For the longest time, Google Fi didn’t play the unlimited calls, text and data game and instead focused on offering pretty affordable and flexible plans with a price cap of $80 (before taxes and government fees). Today, however, Google is introducing Fi Unlimited, which, as you’ve probably figured out from the name, is more akin to a traditional ‘unlimited’ plan from other carriers.
Fi Unlimited plans start at $70 for the first line. For families, you can also opt to pay $60 per line for 2 lines, $50 per line for 3 lines or $45 per line for 4 to 6 lines (excluding taxes and fees). That’s pretty much in line with the unlimited plans from other carriers, though they all come with their own limitations, special services and may feature different (and often more substantial) family discounts.
“Since Fi’s launch in 2015, we’ve had one plan, the Fi Flexible plan, that gives you the flexibility to pay for just the data you use,” writes Fi product manager Dhwani Shah. “As we’ve grown, we’ve heard that many of you want the simplicity and predictability that comes with paying the same price each month. So today, for the first time ever, Fi is adding a second plan: our Google Fi Unlimited plan.”
If you’re also a happy Fi user and like the old plan, don’t panic. A Google spokesperson has told us that Google will continue to offer the existing flexible plan, too.
Unlimited, of course, is never quite unlimited, so Google will cap your speed after you use 22GB of data in a given month (only 1% of Fi users currently do so, the company says) and it ‘may’ cap video quality at 480p. Like with the company’s other Fi plans, there are no contracts or activation fees.
There are some positives, too, though. You’ll get free international calls from the U.S. to 50 countries and territories and you’ll still get Fi’s unlimited data and text in 200 countries. Every unlimited plan also includes a Google One membership with 100 GB of cloud storage and live support for all Google products, as well as Google’s new phone backup service. There are also no limits on hotspot usage.
As always, you’ll need a compatible phone to make Fi work for you.
The maximum you’ll pay for Fi’s flexible price is $80 per month after you’ve used more than 6 GB of data. So there’s a tradeoff here. You’ll pay a fixed price for every unlimited line, even if you only use 1 GB of data, but you’ll pay a predictable price and you’ll get a discount for activating multiple lines, as well as a few other goodies.