How To Use Your Pixel Or Nexus Smartphone With Google's Project Fi: Quick Guide And Practical Tips


Unveiled in 2015, Project Fi was Google's solution to lagging mobile phone network services. But instead of trying to usurp traditional phone carriers, it had instead partnered up with Sprint and T-Mobile to offer a cheap phone service that had better coverage and faster feeds than other network options.

For those interested but new to the service, here is a useful guide on how to start with Project Fi, and how to bring Pixel, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 6 onto the service, which is handy for those who already own these handsets.

Project Fi Requirements

Project Fi used to be an invite-only program, but not anymore. Now, users can just easily go to Project Fi's signup page and order a SIM kit from there. Then, after receiving the SIM kit, users need to download the Project Fi app on their phone to start using the service.

The smartphones compatible with Project Fi are Google's self-branded Pixel and Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 6. However, these devices need to be unlocked variants, otherwise they won't work with the service.

Additionally, the aforementioned handsets must be running Android 5.1 Lollipop or above.

Activate Project Fi

Upon receiving the SIM kit, users would then need to activate Project Fi. First, the handset must be plugged into a power source to make sure the phone doesn't shut down during the setup process, and the phone must then be connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Set Up The Phone

Turn the phone off and insert the SIM card. Google has uploaded a detailed video on how to do just that for those having a bit of difficulty. Turn the phone on and follow the series of onscreen steps. If the initial setup process is successful, users may then activate their new Project Fi number, or transfer an existing number.

Afterward, users should always check if they have the latest version of Hangouts, Messenger, and Project Fi installed, as these are the headline apps for Project Fi.

To make sure everything is up and running, users are advised to perform a test call, send a text message, or try browsing the web via mobile data connection. Users should also keep an eye out for Project Fi-exclusive features such as automatic Wi-Fi access, calls over Wi-Fi, and data usage alerts.

Project Fi Tips And Tricks - Automatic Wi-Fi Access

Project Fi works best when the handset is always connected to a Wi-Fi network. By always having Wi-Fi access, users can expand coverage in places with weak cellular networks, limit the amount of mobile data usage, and download or stream content at faster speeds.

Users may also set their Project-Fi smartphones to automatically connect to a verified and secure Wi-Fi network, and have saved Wi-Fi networks sync across Android devices where the same Google account is signed into.

Project Fi Tips And Tricks - Make Calls Over Wi-Fi

As previously mentioned, Project Fi phone owners can also make calls over Wi-Fi, and Google has published detailed instructions to start using the feature.

Project Fi Tips And Tricks - Data Usage Alerts

For those who don't want to go overboard with their monthly data budget, they may opt to receive alerts regarding data usage, and set the phone to automatically halt its mobile data connection when the set limit is reached.

Project Fi Tips And Tricks - Turn The Phone Into A Wi-Fi Hotspot

Smartphones under Project Fi can be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot, able to siphon data for up to 10 Android devices simultaneously.

Best Apps To Use With Project Fi

To get the most out of Project Fi, Google encourages users to use specific apps, such as the default phone client, which can take advantage of Project Fi's Wi-Fi calls. Users may also use the Hangouts app to text contacts on any given platform that supports it.

Users should also regularly check the Project Fi app, since it's an extremely useful tool for checking current data usage. Alternatively, Signal Spy, a third-party app, also provides similar features, and it's purported to provide information faster than the stock Project Fi app.

Also, several users from Reddit have reported that domestic data roaming incurs no additional charge for those under Project Fi, so this is something users might want to try out.

Know other useful tricks for Project Fi? Tell us in the comments section below!

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