Testing Project Fi: Google’s new $20 per month cell service

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In a time when rate cuts are the rage in the phone world, Google is entering the wireless market with a new service that will be cheap and pay you back for unused data.

I’ve been testing the new Google service called Project Fi. You buy the phone at a full unsubsidized price. Then you pay $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, and you buy whatever data you want at $10 per gigabyte. (I should note I paid for the phone and the monthly service myself as I always do. I never accept any freebies in exchange for reviews!)

So let’s say you buy 2 GBs, but only end up using 1 GB. Your account will be credited with $10 at the end of that month. No more buying a bundle of data and then hoping you don’t go over, when chances are you’re overpaying because you underutilized data!

This plan works with only one phone at this time: The Google Nexus 6 you see me pictured with above. While it is a great phone, I don’t think Project Fi will get a lot of traction unless and until you can bring your own device.

But it’s not the price or the phone that sets Project Fi apart. It’s the backend network stuff. Project Fi runs on T-Mobile and Sprint, plus a network of more than one million free wifi hotspots. Your phone on Project Fi automatically jumps to whichever of those three options gives you the clearest signal.

In my testing so far, I have never had a dropped call. The calls are perfect and the data is ultra-fast.

If you're interested in trying out this service, you can request an invite here.

The cost of cellphone service is plummeting

The reality is what you pay for cell phone service is going way down. You may think a triple digit bill is normal. But we’re moving to cheaper, more reliable, and faster.

The Google option is still a bit out there for most people. So for now, you might want to check out Republic Wireless. Their plans start at $10 a month for unlimited talk and text, plus unlimited data when you’re on wifi and go up from there.

I’m telling you, between Google and Republic, the Verizons and AT&Ts of the world will be dinosaurs with their very expensive plans.

Do not sign any contract with a cell phone company or you’ll be prisoner for the next 24 months to their ridiculously high prices. And then you’ll miss out on the cost savings until your contract is up.

Remember, the cost of the phone is not what matters, it’s the cost of the service!

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