It has been a little over two weeks since I received my Nexus 5X using Google’s now invitationless Project Fi. Adjusting to life on Android Marshmallow after spending about a year using iOS was a little challenging at first, but I’ve done some more settling in over the past 2 weeks to the point where I can safely say I’m comfortable using Android again. More importantly, I feel like I have a better grasp of Project Fi and how well it works for my lifestyle.
I’ll start off by saying that Project Fi works very well for me, but won't for everyone. I do most of my work, both school and career-wise, from home, so I’m hardly ever away from a Wi-Fi network for long. One of the perks of Project Fi is that if you don’t use your data, they’ll credit your next month’s bill with the amount you didn’t use. In the past 19 days I’ve used 0.03GB of data, which is a long ways off from hitting my 1GB limit.
I don’t think I’ll always be this lucky, but it is rare that I surpass 2GB of data on any given month due to my circumstances. Sometimes I’ll check social media or use GPS to figure out where I’m going while I'm out and about, but that's about it. The big plus side of Project Fi is that even though I signed up 1GB of data, I don't have to worry about going over my limit. Even if I went over, I would still be charged at the same $10/GB rate for an extra gigabyte of data – and again, I would only be charged for the extra data that I actually used. If I had used 1.3GB of data, I only would be charged $3 extra. Essentially, Project Fi has no overages, and there’s a certain peace of mind that comes along with that.
As for the network itself, I’ve had no problems. I have used my phone a couple of times out and about (specifically to see how well coverage worked) and in my area I experienced zero issues with texting, MMS, or phone calls. However, once I headed to Gram and Gramps' house in a more rural area (an hour and a half south of the metro) I was completely without service, and enough family gatherings have proven to me that the only carrier that gets service down that way is Verizon. But around the metro area I experienced zero issues. Your results may vary, of course. It’s important to note that Project Fi’s network piggybacks off of both Sprint and T-Mobile networks, and apparently switches between the two depending on which provider has the strongest signal wherever you are.
Project Fi’s concept is admirable, and although there are some things about the 5X that I’m not thrilled with (the battery drain when my screen is off is insane compared to how well my iPhone managed it) the trade-off of paying $30 a month for essentially the same $85/month service I have with AT&T is definitely worth the money I’m saving. I do, however, wish there more phones that were officially supported by Project Fi, although it seems that there is a running list of devices that will “work” on Project Fi. Perhaps someday in the future we can be so lucky.
Readers, have you made the switch to Project Fi since they’ve gone invitationless, or have you stuck with your current carrier? Let us know in the comments below!