Google Fi wireless service now works with iPhones and most Android phones, but there’s a catch

You're really only getting T-Mobile service.

Credit: Martyn Williams/IDG

Look out Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, there’s a new carrier in town. Google is opening up its Project Fi nationwide wireless service to way more phones, including the hottest iPhones, Galaxy phones, and GSM-only Android phones of the year. But, sadly, you won’t be getting the full Fi experience.

To mark the expansion, Google has renamed the service to Google Fi (or just Fi for short), because it’s no longer a project. It’s now a real-deal network, using three mobile 4G LTE networks and more than two million secure Wi-Fi hotspots to create a blanket of coverage.

Where the service was previously limited to a handful of handsets designed for Fi—namely Pixels, the Moto G6, and a couple LG ThinQ phones—the new service expands availability to phones made by Samsung, Huawei, Nokia, Essential, Apple, and others. And it’s not just the newest handsets either—compatibility goes all the way back to the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 5S and SE.

Google Fi for iOS is still in beta, so Google warns that not all Fi features will be supported. Most notably, visual voicemail won’t work and you’ll need to update your iPhone’s MMS settings in order to send and receive texts with non-iPhones. iMessage works out of the box, however, according to Google.

google fi coverage map Google

Green means go on Google Fi’s coverage map.

But that’s a small price to pay for Fi compatibility. And speaking of small prices, Google Fi is based on a pay-as-you-go model, so your bill might go down significantly. Google charges $20 for unlimited calls and texts, and $1 per 100 megabytes (or $10 per gig) for data. So if you only use 2.6GB one month, your bill will be $46 (plus taxes and fees). And the maximum you’ll pay is $80 a month, as Google caps the data fees at $60 or 6GB. If you go above 15GB, however, your speeds will be throttled unless you agree to pay $10 for each gigabyte over 15.

However, the newly compatible phones won’t be getting the full Fi experience. While handsets designed for Fi get cellular coverage across T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular and Wi-Fi hotspots, Fi-compatible phones will only have nationwide access to T-Mobile’s network, as the phone won’t be able to switch between the networks and hot spots. So if you’re using more than 6GB of data per month, going directly though T-Mobile is the better deal, as the carrier charges just $70 per month for unlimited service, including taxes and fees. With Google Fi, the same data will cost you more than $90 with taxes and fees.

But if you sip megabytes and hate paying for data you don’t use, Google Fi is worth consideration for your iPhone or Galaxy phone.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Michael Simon

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?