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Has anyone from the US used Project Fi for travel in Europe?

Project Fi (google) appears like it might be ideal for long term travel in Europe, but we have no experience with the phones or plans. Any input is super helpful!

Thank you all in advance!

Posted by
1304 posts

I have the LG Nexus 5X and use it with Project Fi. I took it with me to Europe last May. I love the phone and the service. Their newer phone is the Pixel, which has gotten very high marks.

You pay exactly the same for data in Europe that you pay in the US, $10 per GB. It's always best to connect to WiFi, but $10 a Gig is very cheap, and when I was in Europe I didn't go over 2GB of data. And you get unlimited phone calls and text messages. So it's a great deal to use in Europe.

Posted by
30957 posts

Although this doesn't address the question, what are you considering as "long term travel" in Europe? You'll need to keep the 90 day Schengen limit in mind.

Kaeleku will probably be your best source of information on Project Fi, and hopefully he spots this thread. It only works with a small number of Android phones.

Posted by
1343 posts

Yes, I've used it. Just got back from six months in Europe, Middle East and SE Asia. It works everywhere, high speed data, free texts, low cost calling.. Once you use it and have essentially the same service you have at home for the same price, you will read in wonderment as people talk about their "amazing" $10/day plans and whatnot.

Posted by
101 posts

I've used it for travel in Germany, Belgium and the UK. First on a Nexus 5X, and lately on my Pixel. Mostly it's worked well for me, and the data speed has been, for my purposes, indistinguishable from what I get at home.

When I first joined Project Fi last year I wasn't sure about giving up my iPhone, so I took it along with me to Germany, running on a data-only P.Fi sim card, That worked great too.

Now I've transitioned completely to the Pixel XP as my primary phone. I really like the phone, but oddly, it gave me trouble when I traveled to the UK. It wouldn't connect to any networks, and after troubleshooting I was told to temporarily disable the Project Fi app to force it to the correct local network. After that it connected fine. No one has ever given me a satisfactory explanation for what happened, and I haven't been overseas with it since to test if that was specific to the UK or a problem with the software on the Pixel. But despite that, overall I'm pretty pleased. The network has been pretty good in the U.S. too. It's not as strong as Verizon was, but satisfactory, and I prefer their straightforward billing strategy.

Posted by
4125 posts

I used it last year. Fi was one of the things that persuaded me to go Android.

It was seamless and worked exactly as you'd want. (I was going to say "as expected," except I realize I was expecting complications. There were none.)

I relied mostly on wifi, but every time I needed to use data or make a call away form wifi it just worked.

There's only one plan (well, now there's a family option), so you can evaluate the terms pretty easily.

Bonus: Europeans call wifi "weefee."

Posted by
1343 posts

The other thing is that you get the very latest version of Android straight from Google, no waiting for Verizon or whoever to release their version for their phone. I was an iPhone user for many years but now prefer Android due to the simplicity and elegance of Google's version, which seems to have a lot of common sense features, things like knowing it is on a cell network and not downloading anything that you don't specifically ask for (e.g. updates).

Posted by
6798 posts

Kaeleku wrote about it last year and since I didn't have a smart phone, I got it. Seven weeks in Europe costs me $10 over the $25 monthly rate. I did a transatlantic and it picked up a signal in every city and island the moment we entered a harbor on either side of the Atlantic. Very satisfied.

Posted by
10797 posts

All the pricing games the various companies use can be a bit confusing, but it does appear that they at starting to simplify things. The Project Fi looked interesting so I compared it to my TMobile plan. The cost of phone calls in Europe are the same. Both have free texts. Project Fi appears to be about $20 cheaper on the front end, but charges for Data consumption while with TMobile you can stream all day for free. So under what usage circumstance would the TMobile be cheaper? Don't really know. The advantage of the Project Fi might be its cheaper if you don't use a lot of data and it appears the data speeds are better than T-Mobile; the advantage of the TMobile might be in knowing how exactly ho much the bill will be (or how much it wont be). Project Fi is worth watching.

Posted by
25 posts

To James E:

I actually finally found the Tmobile fine print and it's a game changer! The "unlimited data" internationally is only for 2 weeks. Beyond that they boot you from the program! So glad I didn't find that out the hard way! We were about to move all our phones to them because we have a long trip and my husband will be working as we travel and it appeared they had the best deal. Not so!

Thank you (and everyone!) who replied! We are going to get one Nexus 5 with project fi and start testing it out!

Posted by
10797 posts

Never saw that. Do you have a link to it? Most of my trips last 16 to 18 days and I don't recall any charges. Do they boot you or charge You?

Posted by
25 posts

To James E:

Let's try this: https://www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html?icid=WMM_TM_SMMRINTRNT_TVB5C1LRTMC5323

If that doesn't work search "international" on the main Tmobile site then scroll all the way down. It actually doesn't says 2 weeks so at 16-18 days you might be fine. I got the 2 weeks notion when I called after seeing the fine print.

I'll try copying it here too:

Limited time offer; subject to change. Additional charges apply in excluded destinations; included destinations subject to change at T-Mobile’s discretion. Qualifying postpaid plan and capable device required. Usage taxed in some countries. Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people; others (e.g. conference & chat lines, etc.) may cost extra. Communications with premium-rate numbers not included and may incur additional charges. Calls over Wi-Fi are $.20/min (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to U.S., Canada and Mexico) premium-rate numbers not included. Device & coverage impact experience and speeds, which vary. Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for the performance of our roaming partners’ networks. Standard speeds approx. 128 Kbps except as specified. No tethering. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our U.S. network. Device must register on our U.S. network before international use. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming or misuse.

Posted by
10797 posts

I contacted TMobile

Info at 0:15, Apr 21:
How can I help you today?

You at 0:21, Apr 21:
Regarding international roaming and data service what constitutes "excessive roaming" as it relates to your policy "Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming or misuse" Read

You at 0:22, Apr 21:
I am being told 2 weeks Read
Kenneth at 0:22, Apr 21:

Nope we don;t have any limit upon using your roaming service as long as the country that you are going to travel is on our partner countries
Kenneth at 0:22, Apr 21:
May i know what country are you in to ?

You at 0:23, Apr 21:
Many Read

Kenneth at 0:23, Apr 21:
you can access this link out : http://www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html​ to check on the rates of our partner countries

You at 0:23, Apr 21:
Your policy states "Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming or misuse. Read

Kenneth at 0:23, Apr 21:
As we don't have any limit upon using your roaming service as long as the country that you are going to travel is on our partner countries

You at 0:24, Apr 21:
Can you send me this conversation Read

Kenneth at 0:25, Apr 21:
As countries that outside of the list may charge for $0.50 per text message and $5.99 such as country of vietnam
Kenneth at 0:26, Apr 21:
Vietnam that is is the reason why we keep on reminding you of the charges and regulations
Kenneth at 0:27, Apr 21:
You can have the conversation save on the messenger as it works like the FB messenger as the conversation sticks on the app as long as you don't delete it

Kenneth at 0:27, Apr 21:
You can also access this link out : https://c2.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-415069​ for more information regarding our roaming service
Kenneth at 0:27, Apr 21:
Rest assured that I got your back up with this one
Kenneth at 0:27, Apr 21:
I will make special notes on the account regarding your concern so that once you have reach us back , my colleagues can definitely help you with this.

Posted by
10797 posts

About 5 years ago we went to S. Africa for the world cup. I assumed S. Africa was covered by the TMobile International Plan. About 10 days into the trip i get a text from TMobile that my bill had exceeded $1500. Panicked I called TMobile and told them of my mistake. They just zeroed out the bill and told be to turn off my roaming. So I guess they got me for life.