Here is our summary of Google FI - updated for Sept 2023
Be sure to read the fine print section. iOS / iPhone tethering can be tricky although now allowed. The other big downside is for digital nomads, your service will be terminated if you stay longer than 30 days outside the US.Google FI is not the cheapest plan vs say a T-Mobile pre-paid that can be $500 per year cheaper.
International Plan Name: Included in Flexible and Unlimited Plus Plans only Amount of Data: $10/GB up to 6GB then free or unlimited Speed: LTE no GB restriction up to 22GB! Cost per day: included in your current plan eSim cost per day*: Gotcha: T-Mobile Coverage in Europe
Google says: Make calls to other countries at little to no additional cost, and get international texting from the US included free. Unlimited Plus and Flexible also come with international data in 200+ destinations at no extra charge.
Data, Data all about the Data
Google FI is a winner here as they don’t scale back your speed or limit your data per day. The “unlimited” data is not really unlimited and has a 22GB cap but that’s a lot of data!
Text and calls
This too is where FI kicks traditional plans in the bottom. Texts are free. Land line / cell phone calls appear to be super cheap too – 1c to 25c / min vs Verizon’s $1.50/ $1.70min. Calls back to the US are free.
WATCH OUT 2 BIG GOTCHAS here ……
- You are not allowed to use the plan for more that 30 days overseas or you will get a nasty email and your service will be terminated. This is being reported in the forums more so now in 2023 so they seem to be cracking down on this
- iPhone can now tether but can be tricky to setup!
Anyone who uses more than 15 GB on Flexible or 22 GB on the unlimited plans in a single cycle will experience slower data until the next cycle (only 1% of people who use Fi ever hit 22 GB). If you want to return to faster data before the cycle’s end, you can do so at a rate of $10/GB.
iOS setup is a pain for tethering!
From the Reddits – a user had to figure out how to enable tethering – seems overly complicated:
iPhone 11, version 15.5 with Google FI eSIM. Settings > Cellular > Under “Cellular Plans”, you will find your network you set up for Google FI per their instructions. > Cellular Data Network > At the bottom, find “Personal Hotspot” and change the “APN” setting to <h2g2-t>, as shown in the OP picture.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out and it worked. I hope it can help others, too.See Original post here – Reddit
My main issue with Google FI is not the international data plans it offers but the everyday monthly / yearly cost. If you’re a cheap bastard like myself here are the numbers – I pay around $33 per month for two lines and 6GB of data, 3GB each per line. About $400 per year. For Google FI that and the simply unlimited plan for $110 per month. That’s $1320 per year and $920 more! Ok not really comparing apples to apples as it’s unlimited. If I wanted to skimp on data with just a 2Gb each 4Gb total with the Flexible plan that would be $75 per month $900, $500 more per year ….. see where I am going here – $500, that a hell of a lot of eSIM cards!
Also you many not want to switch carriers as Google FI uses the T-Mobile network and not Verizon and although in my neck of the woods I get a solid 5G signal with T-Mobile and only LTE with Verizon, traditionally Verizon has had better coverage in some areas.
Also I assume Google FI uses T-Mobile partners or network in Europe. I have tested a T-Mobile roaming plan for a 7 months stay and I found it to be OK coverage wise but in the past I used an eSIM that used the O2 network in Germany and it appeared to have better coverage. So if you are staying in one location for your entire vacation you may find that the coverage to back lacking and an eSIM using O2 would be better.
Of course the solution to Google FI limits is an eSIM so check out our eSIM here.