I should get you on the best available network between Wi-Fi and two 4G LTE networks. (Photo: Google)
Google's Project Fi, a phone service that repels the major carriers and Wi-Fi in the US, has added three new phones that will work with the service, additions that may interest more customers ,
But without Apple's iPhone as an option, the thrust still remains a curiosity.
On Wednesday, Google announced that three new handsets will soon be released in Fi, starting with the budget-oriented $ 199 Moto G6, which is now available for pre-order. The Motorola phone usually costs $ 50 or more.
The other devices, both from LG, are high-end smartphones: the LG G7 ThinQ at $ 740 and the LG V35 ThinQ at $ 899.
Project Fi has been at peace since April 2015, when Google set up its phone service for invitation only. Very few phones are compatible with the service, which has remained inconspicuous.
These latest phones, each with large screens, cameras in portrait mode, and expandable storage, are the only ones to receive a thin Project Fi portfolio: Google's own Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; the Android One moto x4; plus the older Google devices that are still supported, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL.
The expansion of the Fi series is certainly positive, but it's still hard to imagine that Fi suddenly gets a flock of new customers, especially since it still lacks the most expensive phones on the market from Apple and Samsung.
"Choosing a handset – or better, missing – is a big hurdle," says Roger Entner, analyst at Recon Analytics. "Without iPhones, its addressable market literally halves."
Fi never emerged as a breakthrough force in the wireless space, which some predicted as rumors surfaced that Google had plans to become an Internet Service Provider. Google, for its part, claimed that it was not trying to outrun the mobile business, but rather what would be possible if the company could manage the hardware in its devices, the software in Android, and the connectivity with Fi.
The appeal of the service to consumers is that Google charges $ 20 per month for unlimited calls and text messages, and $ 10 for every gigabyte of data up to 6GB. Google does not charge you for data that you do not use.
Of course, the environment has changed since 2015, and consumers now have many attractive unlimited Wi-Fi plans to choose from.
The Google Network is actually an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) operating in the US. Mobile uses Sprint and US Cellular and automatically selects the fastest and most powerful network available, whether mobile or Wi-Fi. (Overseas, it works with a European provider Three.)
Google has not answered a question as to how a T-Mobile / Sprint merger, if approved, could affect Fi.
Yet Google has said how many customers use Fi.
"I do not think there is much, if any, growth," says Entner. "Advertising and advertising are the lifeblood of any wireless brand, and without it, and I have not seen any ads for it, it languishes." As the name implies, it's a project, not a product. "
Email: ebaig @ usatoday.com; Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter
Read or Share This Story: https://usat.ly/2xnIrns