Sunday, March 20, 2016

So Far Google Fi Is A Hit With Me!


Hello!

Easter is next weekend, so plan to see another Gallery post soon!

I was perfectly happy with my "dumb" phone and tablet, but knew I had to make a change.  I really don't use my phone for talking much (I get enough of that at work!) but everyone around me was not-so-gently nudging me to just carry a smart phone and be done with it.

I wasn't thrilled with Verizon for many reasons, including overcharging me for data I couldn't even use.  I owned the phone though and could leave when I wanted.  So I did.

My friend Donna was researching phones and I told her I would get whatever she was getting because it makes me dizzy just thinking of the choices.  When she chose a Nexus 5X, I googled it to see what it was like and came across a news article on CNET.com telling about a new program from Google, called Google Project Fi.  Turns out Taylor had heard of it from last Fall and said it's probably pretty good.  Google folks claiming to be tired of the cell companies taking advantage of their customers started this program.  It used to be invite only, but now is open to the public  So far, so good.  All you need is a gmail billing address, which is easy to get and free.  If you answer a few simple questions, they will port your number for you within a day or so of activating.


The Nexus 5X

Here is how it works:

They give you a few options for the 5X phone, (gig size, color, SIM card included, $5 device insurance if you want) and charge you $199 for 16G or $249 for 32G.  You can also make payments if you want.  (This is $100 less than retail.  If you don't sign up with the program in 30 days, they charge you the balance to avoid cheaters.)  I went with the 16g, and hope it's enough for what I do.  I have a new iMac, etc, so I don't really need to do a lot on my phone. They ship for free and you get it in a couple days.  The plan is straightforward:  Basically, unlimited talk/text for $20/mo plus a few bucks in tax.  You can choose your data plan starting at 1G for $10, 2 for $20, etc.  If you don't use the amount of Gs you purchase, you are prorated a credit on your next bill.  Example:  I bought 2Gs/mo.  If I use 1.5, then I will get a $5 credit next month.  There is no contract (if you buy phone outright) and you can leave anytime.

My first bill with base rate, $5 insurance (which I cancelled and got through my homeowner's policy cheaper), 2Gs for $20 and tax was $48ish.  That's it, no surprises.  There are extras I don't deal with such as free international stuff, etc.  They operate by co-oping with the other networks and your phone is designed to pick up the fastest, clearest in whatever area you are in any particular time.  (The networks had no choice if they wanted to use Google software....)  It also automatically picks up free, secure wi-fi networks when available that don't require passwords.  I still wouldn't do financial things through that wi-fi though.  So, you only use your data when you absolutely have to.

I will let you know how it goes, but if you aren't stuck in a contract, I highly recommend you check this out as a cheaper, simpler option for your cell service.  I also love the phone which does many of the things those expensive iPhones do!

Let me know what you think!

Gale

PS:  Since I didn't use hardly any of the data and got a large credit on April's bill.  I only owe $18.00ish for my current bill!  Awesome!
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