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Google Fi now with more phones

Formerly Project Fi, now Google Fi, works on some Android phones and newer iPhones. Full services are a work in progress. Carefully read reviews before switching.

Posted by
30932 posts

That's encouraging but it's still not available for those of us that don't live in the U.S.

Posted by
2525 posts

Ken: according to a brief Internet search, while not directly available to our friends north of us, the workaround is to create a Google account in the U.S. and have the SIM mailed to a U,S. address. I quizzed a friend last night about Google Fi as he just switched to that service. He has a more recent but far from latest model iPhone and ported his existing mobile number to the Google Fi account and received a new SIM through the mail. Set-up was easy. Two issues of note...currently the only network his phone works with is T-Mobile, unlike other others that can utilize additional networks switching to the strongest signal automatically. Akso, retrieving voice mails is a nuisance.

Posted by
6752 posts

Could you explain what you mean about trouble with the voice mail? Is it because he’s in Canada? I have no trouble either here in the States or wherever I’m traveling outside the country. I did have a bug in the system at first (2 years ago) , but I also had that cheap LG phone, so it could have been hardware or software.

Posted by
2525 posts

Per my friend, accessing voicemail on his unlocked iPhone is a nuisance...not seamless. Is it a hardware or software problem and ease of fix? Unknown. Per the Google Fi website, "Voicemails won't show in the iOS visual voicemail app, but you'll get them as texts and can call to check them." Further, a relative reported there was no Google Fi service in Anchorage last summer using a dedicated Google phone. Caveat emptor.

Posted by
30932 posts

It sounds like Google Fi isn't very practical outside the lower 48. Even if they do venture into Canada, I think I'll stay with my present provider as the service has been great. Thanks to a CRTC (regulating authority) ruling, I can now roam onto other networks here if my normal provider doesn't have a tower in a particular area (at no extra cost).

Posted by
823 posts

Regarding Google Voice (embedded in Google/Project Fi). I've been using Google Voice on an iPhone (6) for a few years now because I wanted voice mails to that number transcribed as well as recorded when I had the phone turned off or the SIM removed while travelling. However, when using Google Voice, your phone calls are intercepted by google when the call goes to voice mail. Therefore, the built-in IOS voice mail feature is circumvented and the voice mails are not sent directly to the phone's IOS voice mail box. You will receive a text or an email (or both) when you receive a voice mail and the email will contain a link to listen to the recording.

For an upcoming trip to Europe, I have purchased a Google Fi phone (Moto Android One X4) and plan to provide a full review of the experience while traveling to Germany & Austria. So far, while setting up and playing with the phone, I've found it to be superior to my iPhone 6 (not too surprising because of the age difference). I may make this my full-time phone upon return...

Why did I go this route versus just getting a new SIM in country? Convenience and simplicity at the same cost for service. I won't have to hunt for a SIM when I arrive. The Google Fi service is portable to Europe with virtually no added costs and I won't need to worry about giving airlines and hotels a new contact number after arrival. It won't cost my stateside contacts anything to call me (or me to call them) and my calls to Europe from Europe will be billed the same as calls from the USA to Europe (virtually the same rates as European telecoms). Data will also be billed at the same rate as in the USA ($10 per GB up to 6GB, free thereafter.)

Posted by
1317 posts

Google Fi isn't very practical outside the lower 48.

I live in Hawaii it is plenty practical here. Maybe that was just a figure of speech.

For an upcoming trip to Europe, I have purchased a Google Fi phone
(Moto Android One X4) and plan to provide a full review of the
experience

Look forward to hearing it, I've used it in both it is flawless. You will turn on your phone, it will say "Welcome to Germany, We've got you covered" and then you won't think about it again.

Posted by
4686 posts

Regarding Google Voice (embedded in Google/Project Fi). I've been using Google Voice on an iPhone (6) for a few years now because I wanted voice mails to that number transcribed as well as recorded when I had the phone turned off or the SIM removed while travelling. However, when using Google Voice, your phone calls are intercepted by google when the call goes to voice mail. Therefore, the built-in IOS voice mail feature is circumvented and the voice mails are not sent directly to the phone's IOS voice mail box. You will receive a text or an email (or both) when you receive a voice mail and the email will contain a link to listen to the recording.

I've used Google Voice for years on Android, and with the Android Google Voice app, I just listen to the Google voicemail in the app - no need to click on a link in an email or text. I use the Google Voice app for texting too. Because my Google Voice number is my primary number, I don't even use the phone's or carrier's native voicemail or texting. I never give my carrier mobile number to anyone - only my Google number.

Do you still have separate service with Google Fi from your iPhone (two working phones)? How did your Google Voice number integrate with Google FI - did you port your number? According to this, you can't actually keep using Google Voice AND use it with Google FI directly.

https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6246240

For an upcoming trip to Europe, I have purchased a Google Fi phone (Moto Android One X4) and plan to provide a full review of the experience while traveling to Germany & Austria. So far, while setting up and playing with the phone, I've found it to be superior to my iPhone 6 (not too surprising because of the age difference). I may make this my full-time phone upon return...

I just bought a Moto X4 myself (unfortunately, I got the Alexa version, but I don't use voice commands with it anyway, so probably doesn't mean much yet). I don't use mine with Google Fi. But it is a nice phone, especially for the money. I wish it didn't have a glass back, though. I can tell it's going to crack at some point.

Why did I go this route versus just getting a new SIM in country? Convenience and simplicity at the same cost for service. I won't have to hunt for a SIM when I arrive.

I understand what you mean, and I think Google FI may work great for you, especially if you use much data. I really don't use much data, so Google FI costs me more ($30/month?) than I'd spend otherwise on mobile service (currently Mint Mobile - runs on T-Mobile's network - for $15/month for 3GB of data, unlimited talk+text).

And because I bought a Dutch Vodafone SIM ahead of time on eBay, and because most EU roaming fees have been eliminated, I have a working phone when I land in Europe. I've used the SIM on my last two trips to Europe. Because I use Google Voice, I continue to receive incoming calls in Google Hangouts on my regular US number even in Europe. And I don't have to give people a new number to contact me. If I traveled more than once a year out of the country, something like Google Fi might make more sense to me, but I can't really justify the extra cost.

Posted by
1057 posts

I've never heard of Google Fi till I opened this thread.
What's it for?

Posted by
4686 posts

I've never heard of Google Fi till I opened this thread.
What's it for?

It's mobile phone service like Rogers etc. offer, but Google is the mobile phone company. Only available to Americans at the moment, however.