UPDATE: Google Fi has officially announced support for more Android devices.
Thanks to a now-pulled news piece, we may be getting a look at the future of Google Fi. According to the article that originally appeared over at BGR, it looks like Google is going to expand the lineup of phones it allows on its MVNO, Fi.
Currently, Google recommends that you purchase only the devices it sells to work on its network. Those range from Google’s own Pixel lineup to offerings from Motorola and LG. If the information in the BGR piece is accurate, you will soon be able to use devices from Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple. This change is potentially huge for customers looking for a low-cost option but are tied to a specific device. This news comes several weeks after we learned that Project Fi has been rebranded to Google Fi, implying that Google may be looking at changes to the service which will make it more appealing to mainstream consumers.
Google does give the disclaimer that you may not get the “full Google Fi experience” if your device isn’t “designed for Fi.” But what exactly does that mean? Right now, the devices that Google sells all have the ability to quickly switch between service providers. Like all MVNO carriers, Fi leases unused tower space from larger service providers. In this case, Fi leases space from T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Designed for Fi phones are able to quickly switch between towers they’re connecting to based on which has the strongest signal. Fi offers a base of $20 per month for calling and texting and $10 per month for each gig of data that you use. Additionally, data rates are capped at $60 per month no matter how much data you use so customer costs don’t spin out of control. For users who use very little data or a ton of data, these rates are great and now the expanded choice of phones makes Google Fi even more compelling.
It’s yet to be seen if a move like this will entice customers to come on board. The quick network switching is one of the biggest reasons to join Project Fi and if you’re unable to take advantage of that, Fi looks like any other carrier. But, what do you think? Does this make you more likely to consider Fi in the future? Let us know in the comments.