Google Fi is now providing a new method to purchase phones: a subscription strategy. Instead of buying a device outright, you can now sign up for a two-year contract, tack a couple of dollars onto your month-to-month costs, and get a phone to go with your service plan.
You have one whole device to choose from, the Pixel 4a (not the Pixel 5?). The basic agreement is $9 a month for 2 years ($ 216 overall), which will get you a Pixel 4a (MSRP $349) that is “yours to keep” at the end of the strategy. From there, Google imagines you’ll keep paying the subscription charge and pick up a new device, with the business proposing that you “upgrade to a new Pixel after 2 years.”
There’s also an optional “device defense strategy” for another $6 a month that Google says will “safeguard against accidental damage, loss or theft (other than in NY), and out-of-warranty mechanical breakdown.” That $6 a month will not really get your phone repaired if something occurs, nevertheless– there are deductibles on top of that. For the Pixel 4a, Google says it’s an additional $49 for a screen replacement, $79 for a mechanical breakdown, and $99 for a theft replacement. Google is primarily pitching that you get the service strategy with the phone, which exercises to $15 a month for 2 years, a total of ($360).
Google Fi is Google’s MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator) organization. It resells cellular service from T-Mobile and United States Cellular with a lot of Google Voice-style functions on top, like Web-based texts and voicemail. Fi offers 2 kinds of billing: the first is a pay-as-you-go plan where your monthly expense is $20 for limitless texts and calls plus $10 per GB of data you use. Google likes to call the billing “$10 per GB of data,” however information billing isn’t really in 1GB increments; you’ll be billed down to the cent for exactly what you use.
The second choice is a $70 “endless” plan that will get you 22GB of high-speed data per month, the normal complimentary texts and calls, and 100GB of Google cloud storage. With either plan, there are likewise no extra costs for tethering or use on extra data-only SIM cards. On the flexible plan, you still just pay for the information you use, and on the endless plan, anything goes up until you hit your 22GB cap. Google Fi likewise simply keeps working globally in 200+ countries with no extra costs.