After spending my first week with the new Project Fi (by Google) phone service- I can confirm that I’m in love.
You will probably agree that most Millennials prefer à la carte when making a purchase. This has been the bane of many corporations such as “the evil cable companies” who want to up-charge your bill and provide you with bundled packages that include all the items you don’t want.
Google has seen the proverbial light with Project Fi. The perfect phone-soul-mate for every Drunk Millionaire.
If you haven’t already heard, Project Fi is Google’s experimental cell phone service where you buy a special Project Fi SIM card from Google. Currently, these cards are invite only and it took me a couple of weeks before I could order one.
You can only use this service with a Nexus phone. I’ll admit, this may be a deal-breaker for apple loyalists. These are the stock Android phones available in a variety of iterations. My particular flavor is the Nexus 5X made by LG. This is the new, mid-range, phone that is more than adequate for any normal human’s day-to-day activities and then some.
Here’s where it gets crazy: You prepay $20 for unlimited calls and texts, world-wide, per month. Any data you use is an additional $10 per GB, with NO overage fees. There is no long term contract- take that Verizon!
In the US, the service combines T-Mobile and Sprint, but the phone has the ability to automatically switch between multiple different networks and Wi-Fi.
I recently drove to Minneapolis for a week conference to test the range and quality of the coverage. My Google Fi phone worked perfectly at every stage of my journey. I’m sure there may be lapses in coverage wherever Sprint or T-Mobile have issues but this was a non-issue thus far in my multistate travels.
Let’s look at the numbers:
My previous phone plan with Verizon was expensive. Check out the side-by-side comparison below: Note: Both plans included unlimited text/voice plus 2 GB of data.
I did not include the cost of the phone for either plan. Typically, new iPhones cost significantly more than the mid-range Nexus I bought, but we’ll set that aside for today.
As you can see I am saving $987.48 per year, just by switching to the Google Fi plan.
Since this is the Drunk Millionaire, we have to take into account opportunity costs.
Say I save the $1,000 I would have spent on my cell phone plan and instead invest it for 5 years in a standard index fund that has a yearly 11% gain.
I start putting that money in the account at age 25, then contribute for the next 5 years. I then let it sit for 20 years for a total 25 year investment. I’ll be 50 years old by that point, and the money I’d saved from simply switching to Google Fi would be worth about $70,000, or close to the current average savings of Americans in their 50s.
Google Fi is still in a beta period meaning you need an “invitation.” I signed up at fi.goole.com and it only took a week and change to get the invitation to sign up.
Update (12/09/2015): I just received a Happy Holidays gift from Google for signing up for the Fi plan. They sent a lego-esque kit that allows you to build a charging stand or anything you can think of. Also included was a type-C to USB cord which was greatly appreciated and furthers Google’s unconventional foray into the mobile phone world. At the very least I’ve been impressed by their commitment to service. Photos below:
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