Google’s Fi wireless service has always been a niche option that best served owners of Google Pixels, but today the search giant is adding a more affordable unlimited data plan in hopes of making Fi more palatable to the masses.
To get a sense of what this new, “Simply Unlimited” plan has to offer, though, we need to zoom out at look at Fi’s broader plan structure. To date, you’ve only had two options for Fi service. There’s “flexible” plan that charges a base rate of between $16 to $20 depending on how many lines you have, plus $10 for each gigabyte of data you or your family or friend group use. Then there’s Fi’s Unlimited plan, which costs between $45 and $70 a month depending on your number of lines, though Google offers some pretty hefty price breaks for the first three months of service. In addition to unlimited wireless data, this plan nets you free unlimited data and messaging while you’re traveling abroad, plus full-speed tethering and a Google One subscription.
Google’s new “Simply Unlimited” plan slots in between those two options. As the name suggests, you’re still getting unlimited domestic data use over Google’s partner networks, just without the built-in international calling and overseas data access. (That said, this plan does offer unlimited data and messaging within all of North America, so your post-vaccine trips to Canada and Mexico are covered.) If far-flung voyages aren’t really a priority for you or the other people you share service with, Google’s new plan offers some significant savings: if you’re by yourself, you’ll play $60/month (down from $70 on Google’s rebranded “Unlimited Plus” plan). If you have two people on your plan, that per-device rate drops to $45/month, and plans with three or more lines of service will require each person to pay just $30/month.
That’s not a bad deal at all if you’re not so keen on foreign travel, though you’d do well to keep your coverage needs in mind. Google Fi relies on network partners including T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular for data access, and if you’re using a device specifically designed for Fi — like a Pixel — your phone will automatically switch between whichever carrier currently offers the best signal. This dynamic network swapping has long been one of Fi’s best, most ambitious features, but remember to check your coverage on all three (well, two) carriers before taking the plunge.