May 28, 2023

Enlarge / Google Fi’s new brand and logo.


Google Fi, Google’s cellular service, is getting its third rebrand in eight years. First it was Project Fi, then Google Fi, and now it’s “Google Fi Wireless.”  It also has its third logo, and this one’s kind of clever: It’s an “F” styled to look like sideways signal bars and in Google’s trademark rainbow colors.

There is also now a free trial mode. Google is harnessing the power of remotely configurable eSIMs to give anyone with an eSIM-compatible phone a seven-day/10GB free trial of Google Fi. That makes it easy to run around and test coverage. Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)—a cellular reseller—of T-Mobile’s network, so whatever your T-Mobile coverage is like, that’s what Fi is like. Google says that during the trial, “We’ll give you a new Fi number to try out on your phone, but your current number will still work. During the trial, you can choose between Fi or your current network whenever you’re calling, texting, or using mobile data.” You’ll need to enter a credit card for the trial, and after seven days, you’ll be automatically billed on a $50 “Simply Unlimited” plan. Google notes you can cancel immediately (this is just one or two taps inside the app) and will still get the seven-day trial.

The new Fi app has family members right at the top.
Enlarge / The new Fi app has family members right at the top.


The Fi app is getting a “new family-centric experience” in the form of a big horizontal list of family members across the top. Clicking on a person will show you that person’s data usage and a bunch of parental controls. Parents can limit devices to only contacting people in the contact list (Android only), remotely turn on location sharing, or manage data limits.

Google Fi previously allowed you to share your smartphone on the Flexible or Unlimited Plus plans for free, but now that perk is also coming to the base Unlimited plan. Google also offers free phones if you sign up for 24 months of Fi. Google says if you buy a Pixel 6a through the Fi site, “the full device price will be due at time of purchase and you will receive $449 back via 24 monthly credits.” That should work out to zero dollars, and each line on your plan is eligible.

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