The advertising tag line for the Google Fi Network is: “A new way to say hello.” And, indeed, this appears to be true. The Google Fi Network (Fi) is Google’s wireless service, launched in April 2015. It is designed to allow the user to seamlessly switch a Nexus (5X, 6 or 6P) phone between Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular’s 4G LTE networks, locating the strongest bandwidth available to carry your data and calls. The Google Fi Network also accesses steadfast public Wi-Fi networks, reducing the cost of usage.

Fi has many useful features, including international use, portability of current phone numbers as well as service transfer between devices (laptops and tablets).

International use

Fi offers high-speed data in over 135 countries. A breakdown of these countries and their related usage costs are found on Google’s Project Fi website and application. While usage is not available in countries not supported by Fi, a SIM card local to the country in which you are traveling, can be purchased for access. Also, Fi provides access to countries not covered by the service when use is originated from a country that is covered (international costs apply).

Number portability

A very handy feature of Fi is the portability of your current phone number to the Fi service. This is easily accomplished when signing up for Fi. If you wish to discontinue your existing service, contact your provider to determine if cancellation fees are applied.

Transfer between devices

Google has added a feature for subscribers. This data-only SIM card can be inserted to a SIM-compatible laptop or tablet, attaining a dedicated connection which provides the same features as on your phone without any additional cost. This can be quite advantageous when sending or receiving video or streaming. Plus, the Google Hangouts application makes it possible to use the data-only SIM for calls.

Cost

Project Fi charges a basic monthly fee of $20 per month. This fee includes unlimited talk and text, unlimited international texts, use as a Wi-Fi hotspot and access in over 135 countries. Data usage is an additional monthly charge: $10 for 1Gb, $20 for 2Gb and $30 for 3Gb. Any cost for data not used during the monthly billing cycle is credited back to the user’s account and applied to next month’s usage. This is a great savings for users who do not require the full data option offered. There are additional charges for state government and taxes; a service termination is not applied.

The only apparent inconvenience with Fi is that the service works with only three phones: Google’s Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P. However, these phones are rated some of the best Android phones on the market. Also, if the user opts out of Fi, a Nexus is not a ‘locked device’ and can be used with a different service provider.

With the offer of a unique, feature-robust and cost-effective service, Google’s Fi Network merits a closer look and “new way to say hello.”