Published: Wed, November 28, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google's Project Fi might support Samsung, OnePlus, and iPhones beginning today

Google's Project Fi might support Samsung, OnePlus, and iPhones beginning today

If the only thing holding you back from ditching your phone contract and switching over to Google's wireless service is that you don't want to invest in a brand new phone, you're in luck.

In brief: Google's fairer and more straightforward alternative to traditional cell services, Project Fi, may be about to get much more accessible.

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Project Fi uses T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular's networks if Wi-Fi is unavailable. You can use the compatibility checker to see if your handset will work, but just keep in mind that phones that aren't officially sold through Google Fi won't have access to every available feature. Google spoiled this a bit by sending out "Google Fi" flyers (complete with the new logo) with some Pixel 3 purchases earlier this month, but now it's official. That raises some questions about how exactly it will work on Apple devices because they simply don't offer the same flexibility that Android devices do when it comes to network hopping and always-on VPN.

The rebrand is easy-Project Fi is losing its "Project" designation and is now just "Google Fi". Google says that's because only the phones listed on the site have the hardware and software required for these features. On Tuesday, however, Google announced a number of new phones that are compatible with Project Fi. If you're on an iPhone, regular SMS texting requires you to update your settings in order to work and visual voicemails won't appear in the Phone app. Still, even without the Wi-Fi LTE hand-off, you'll have pretty good combined coverage from three LTE carriers and a great value for those who dont use too much data on an individual plan.

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Speaking of which, Google is ringing in the Fi relaunch with two travel-themed promotions, both of which run for today only.

It's also important to note that numerous devices that now support Fi still won't get the "full Google Fi experience". Alternatively, if you're starting up Fi on your current phone, the company will give you $200 in service credit upon joining.

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Since this marks the first time Fi is available on an iPhone, there's also a new iOS app. iPhones will need iOS 11 or higher, and Android devices will need Android 7.0 or higher and bands 2 and 4.

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