Umm...about my praise for Project Fi...Never Mind!

Umm...about my praise for Project Fi...Never Mind!

It seems like only yesterday I was singing the praises of the Moto X4 and Google Project Fi. What a difference a week makes. I had such high hopes for this combination - a WiFi-first phone service and a reasonably priced phone. What could go wrong?

The biggest disappointment was the Project Fi service. Our home has very weak cell signal, so a WiFi-first phone service seemed like a great idea. We went with Project Fi because, in Google's own words the service was:

Built to intelligently shift between mobile networks & Wi-Fi.
— Google Project Fi Website

Um...Yeah! Sign me up!

Well, here is the secret that I found out after a few days on Project Fi: it is NOT a WiFi-preferred service - it will try and use a cell signal (no matter how weak) first.

I had this confirmed by three different customer service agents on separate calls trying to ascertain why I wasn't getting WiFi phone service on my phone even though I was sitting right next to the WiFi router.

I was dumbfounded at this revelation. My phone was connected to a bad cell tower, with a weak signal and still my phone would not connect to my WiFi to make or receive a call. This was exactly the use case which drove me to sign up for the service, and it was a total failure.

The advice that customer service gave me was to put my phone in airplane mode to force the WiFi calling feature to be used. This ticked me off because it was a manual procedure to use a feature that I thought was automatic. But I decided to give it a try.

This brought me to my second disappointment.

When I put my phone into airplane mode, which turns off the cell radio and the WiFi radio, and then turned on the WiFi radio (notice that this is two manual steps), and then tried to make a call I got this message on my phone:

No Network Available

Apparently, the Moto X4 will not attempt a phone call if there is no cell signal. Sigh...

So I returned my 2 phones for full credit, cancelled my Project Fi service, and went with my tail between my legs back to Verizon.

Verizon had a Mother's Day special where you could buy one Pixel 2 XL and get a second one free. Well, almost free, but close enough to make this a great deal. So we now have two Pixel 2 XL phones (which are great phones, by the way) and Verizon service (which has the strongest signal in my home area) and this seems to be working well from day 1.

Oh, and by the way, Verizon offers WiFi calling on the Pixel phone.

Goodbye Project Fi. I had such high hopes.

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In Praise of the Moto X4 Android One Mid-Range Phone on Google Fi

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