Even though Google Project Fi has just been around for a little over two years, it has gained quite an impressive traction across the U.S.
The service started in April 2015 and at the time, it was limited to the Google Nexus 6 via an invitation-only system. One had to be invited in order to join Project Fi, but a year later in March 2016, this invite-only system was no more.
With each passing year, Project Fi has been receiving an additional set of supported phones. It started with Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X and when the Pixel and Pixel XL were unveiled last year, they were also added to the list of Fi-compatible devices. As of now, there are five devices that are supported on the network, something that is a huge stumbling block as far as the growth of Fi is concerned.
Project Fi has some amazing features, among them very affordable plans, seamless switching between Wi-Fi and data connectivity, availability across 135 countries globally and best of all, you only pay for the data you use. These features have been attracting more and more people to join Fi, but the limited availability of devices – more so affordable devices – that are compatible with the service has meant that Fi’s growth always remained inhibited.
The Google Nexus 5X is the most affordable of all five devices supported on Project Fi, however, getting hold of this phone is not easy. In fact, Fi no longer sells it, with the next cheapest option available being Nexus 6P priced at $399. This limited number of devices is not a good thing for Fi, especially now that it’s looking to grow bigger and better, but according to the latest reports, this won’t be for long.
Apparently, the year will end with a set of other devices joining the current Project Fi-compatible phones. Other than the two Pixel and Pixel XL successors, Google is lining up another affordable phone from one of its partner OEMs. Rumor has it that this phone will be the Moto X4 from Lenovo and it will be here in Q4, which is about the same time that the 2nd-gen Pixel phones will also be available.
With Google having changed strategies in the smartphone market, there was no chance that the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P would see a worthy replacement from Google itself. This had left many users of these two phones on Fi thinking about their next move once they deem the duo is no longer fit for their use. But with the Moto X4, a phone that will be available on the cheap and offers Project Fi compatibility, Google is doing what was supposed to be done a year or so ago.
The availability of Project Fi services on non-Google phones is what can actually propel the MVNO to greatness. Hopefully, this Moto X4 device will just be the beginning of this trend, with more non-Google devices possibly joining up later in 2018 and beyond.
Would you like to see non-Google phones working perfectly on Project Fi? Furthermore, do you think this latest move by Google should have been made a year ago or even earlier? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.