After years of existing as a cellular network that you could only use with Nexus and Pixel smartphones, last year Google’s Project Fi started offering customers a chance to pick up a Moto X4 Android One edition smartphone.
Now it looks like Google is getting ready to double the number of phones it sells.
The Moto G6 is now up for pre-order for Fi customers for $199 and up, while the LG G7 ThinQ and LG V35 ThinQ are both listed as “coming soon,” for $749 and $849, respectively.
Existing Fi subscribers can see the new offerings by firing up fi.google.com and selecting the “buy device” option.”
The update means that sometime soon you’ll have 6 options for buying a new phone that supports Project Fi:
- Google Pixel 2 – $649 and up
- Google Pixel 2 XL – $829 and up
- Moto X4 – $249
- Moto G6 – $199 and up (marked down from $249
- LG G7 ThinQ – $749
- LG V35 ThinQ – $899
You should also still be able to use some older devices with the network, including the Google Nexus 5X and 6P and first-gen Google Pixel and Pixel XL. But Project Fi isn’t selling those phones anymore.
Project Fi is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that uses Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and WiFi to route your phone calls and data. Phones on the network should connect to whatever tower/network is best at any given time.
The network has a few interesting perks: you get unlimited talk and text, and only pay for the data you use in a month, at $10 per gigabyte up to 6GB. If you use more than that, Google will offer “free” high speed data until you hit 15GB, at which point your connection may slow down.
While Project Fi is only officially offered in the US, customers can use data when travelling to more than 170 countries without paying extra. You will be charged for international phone calls, but the rates are pretty competitive… and if that’s not good enough, you can just make calls over data using WhatsApp, Hangouts, Skype, or another app.
It’s not necessarily the best network for everyone. I’ve been a Project Fi customer for a few years because I appreciate that tethering is included for no additional fee and as a light data user, there are some months when my bill is less than $30.
But my wife tends to get better reception in parts of Philadelphia thanks to her Straight Talk SIM card which connects to AT&T’s mobile network. And she also uses more data than I do, which means she’d end up spending a lot more than I do if she were to switch to Project Fi.
Still, last year I was complaining that the biggest problem with Project Fi was the limited selection of smartphones. Now it looks like Google is working with phone makers to address that issue by offering a mix of mid-range and high-end phones.
Sure, most other wireless carriers support a lot more than 6 phones. But it’s a start. And the list will probably get longer later this year when Google launches the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.