This is another post in my series – “List of Items I Don’t Spend Money on That You Probably Do That Are Draining Your Net Worth!” I really need to find a better name for this series. Today’s post looks at cell phone plans. You may want to consider switching to Google’s new Project Fi.
Let me say first that I’m certainly not a techie by any definition of that word. Some people hop on the technology bandwagon; I limp after it, shaking my fist in the air and complaining about my bad knee. Some people wait in line for hours to upgrade their Apple 12.06 to Apple 12.07; I used my gifted Palm phone long after the company went out of business. Some people revel in knowing about the latest and coolest apps; my Blackberry struggled with the very concept of apps.
All of which to say that my personal cell phone needs are fairly simple and so I recognize that this phone and plan might not be for everyone. But I am seriously madly truly deeply in love with Google’s Project Fi. It’s a relatively new deal from my favorite company with some seriously reasonable prices. I paid $317.69 for a Nexus 5X phone, but that’s where the extravagance ends. I’ve never understood why people pay such ridiculous sums for their cell phone plans. For $20/month I get:
- Unlimited phone calls in the United States
- Unlimited text messages in the United States and internationally*
- Unlimited data usage over wi-fi domestically and internationally*
- Data usage over 4G LTE cellular network (Sprint or T-Mobile, whichever is stronger) domestically in the United States for $10 per gigabyte and you only pay for what you use
- Data usage over local cellular network internationally* for $10 per gigabyte and you only pay for what you use
- Phone calls to the United States over cellular networks internationally* for $0.20 per minute
I use my phone primarily for calling, texting, taking pictures and the occasional map when I’m lost. I’m not a data fiend and prefer people-watching to playing on my phone when I’m out in the world. I’m almost always close to wi-fi. I also do a ton of international traveling and wanted a plan that let me wander the planet. Project Fi perfectly suits my penchant for thrift and fits my phone needs like a glove.
But let me reiterate that I am a technology idiot. This deal will not be for everybody. Here are some reasons you might want to pass on this great new service.
List of reasons to ignore this post and stick with your current phone and plan
- You thirst for data and regularly use many gigabytes whilst out and about.
- You are not near wi-fi very often.
- You are an Apple loyalist and you envision some unscrupulous undertakers prying your iPhone from your cold, dead hands.
- You need a plan that gives you a discount for multiple devices – a family plan or the like.
- You live in an area where T-Mobile and Sprint coverage stinks.
- You don’t want to give Google more power over your life than what it currently has.
- You’re a customer of Republic Wireless and are happy with your $10/month plan and don’t travel abroad very often.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s my list of reasons I would marry Google if it ever asked:
Why Google Fi Rocks My World
- I purchased my phone on November 17, 2015 for $402.69. A couple of weeks later, I noticed that Google was having a Black Friday sale on the phone! I cursed my timing, but continued on with my life. I then checked my credit card statement as I’m wont to do and noticed an $85 credit – Google retroactively and unilaterally gave me the sale price that I never asked for!
- Great, fast, friendly, 24/7 customer service!
- The Nexus 5X has swipe technology. I cannot even believe how fast I can text and type on this baby!
- The phone tells me how much time left until it charges to 100% and it charges so much faster than my old Blackberry.
- The back of the phone has a nifty fingerprint reader that unlocks the device swiftly and is intuitively placed.
- If I unlock the phone and then say “OK Google”, it will listen to my commands. It’s like having a friend living inside my phone. I’ve named this friend Hester.
- Hester transcribes my voicemails so I can read them instead of listening to them.
- Google sent me an unexpected holiday present – a box of Legos and instructions on how to build my own phone stand.
- Google gave me a $25 credit for the inconvenience of replacing my sim card. I never noticed any problems and it took approximately four seconds.
- There’s no contract, so if another startup comes along that offers an even better deal, I can switch with no fuss. Except maybe a little guilt for abandoning Hester. I know she just wants me to be happy though.
I’m doing quite a bit of traveling in the new year and will update you all with how well the service works abroad.
*internationally means 120+ supported countries.