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Google Fi vs. US Mobile: Which carrier is better?

By
Allison Radziwon
November 8, 2023

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Google Fi and US Mobile are popular prepaid carriers that offer a lot of great features with their plans. Each carrier has its positives and negatives, but which offers better phone plans? Let’s put them head to head and see which brand comes out on top. 

In this article, we plan to discuss the ins and outs of both carriers and what they offer. We’ll also cover:

  • What the coverage of both carriers looks like
  • How prices of their plans compare to how much data you get
  • The features each carrier offers for their plans 

Unsure of what you need out of a plan? Check out our guide on how to choose the best phone plan. 

Coverage & Reception

Google Fi is on the T-Mobile network, while US Mobile is on the Verizon network. 

Google Fi and US Mobile are mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. This means that they purchase service access wholesale from one of the three major networks that own infrastructure across the country – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – giving customers service at a much cheaper price. Google Fi is an MVNO of T-Mobile, and US Mobile is an MVNO of Verizon

Often, the quality of coverage comes down to your area. One carrier’s coverage may be better in New York, while another’s coverage may be better in California. It’s important to compare between providers on a coverage map of your specific city. Ookla’s coverage map allows you to see where cellular towers are located and which company owns them. This coverage map provides information about coverage from 2G to 5G for several providers.

However, T-Mobile’s 5G coverage and access is hailed as the best coverage overall. 

Plan Options

Google Fi and US Mobile both offer premium data and many features with their plans.

Like most plans you’ll see on the market, both carriers offer unlimited talk and texting options. US Mobile also offers limited talk and text. Google Fi and US Mobile offer premium data, which does not slow down no matter the amount of network traffic. Both companies deprioritize data, meaning you’ll have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and sports arenas.

Google Fi Plans

Several plans offer unlimited data with premium data at a cap. 

Google Fi offers 2 unlimited plans and one plan with pay-per-use data. Each of its unlimited plans offer a limited amount of premium data. Each plan allows up to 6 lines and renews monthly. Google Fi is on QCI tier 6 of 9.

Image courtesy of Google Fi’s website

If you purchase your phone from Google Fi, your device will already be unlocked. The plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price. 

Flexible 

This plan allows you to pay for the exact amount of data you use each month. 

Google Fi’s Flexible plan is unlike a lot of other plans on the market, as it allows you to pay a set amount per month for talk and text features. Users then pay for only the amount of data they use. After 15GB of data, your speed is slowed to 256 kbps, or 3G speeds. You can still send texts, emails, and use social media with little issues. Streaming video will be much more difficult. 

The plan also includes the ability to buy mobile hotspot data, and all plan data can be used as hotspot data. 

The plan costs $20 per month, plus $10 for each GB you use. For example, you’d pay about $70 per month if you used 5GB.

Simply Unlimited 

This plan gives you 35GB of premium data before slowing down. 

The Simply Unlimited plan gives you 35GB of premium data. Premium data means your data will not be deprioritized in times of high traffic and congestion. After 35GB, data slows down to 3G speeds. 5GB of hotspot data is also included in the plan, then stops after that allotment. 

The plan costs $50 per month. At this rate, you get 35GB at $1.42 per GB. 

Unlimited Plus

This plan is 50GB of premium data. 

Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan has 50GB of premium data. Connection is then slowed down to 3G speeds. You can use all 50GB of plan data as mobile hotspot data, but hotspot data stops after the 50GB. 

The plan costs $65 per month. At this rate, you get 50GB at $1.30 per GB. 

US Mobile Plans

US Mobile offers premium data and a flexible data plan, among others. 

US Mobile offers a variety of plans, including several unlimited and limited data plans. They also offer a plan with customizable data, where you buy as much data as you use. You can have an unlimited number of lines with your phone plan. US Mobile’s QCI tier on T-Mobile is 7 and tier 8 on Verizon. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

US Mobile offers premium data with their plans, which means your data will not slow down in times of high traffic or network congestion.

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

Their plans all include unlimited talk and text, except for the 500MB plan. This plan includes 500 minutes of voice and 500 text messages. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

If you purchase your phone from US Mobile, your device will be sold to you already unlocked. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

The plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are included with the advertised price. 

Kosher Plan

This plan only offers unlimited talk and text, no data. 

This plan doesn’t offer data. As such, users do not have hotspot access or the ability to stream video without WiFi. 

The plan costs $7.50 per month. 

Light Plan

This plan gives you 500 minutes and 500 text messages. 

This plan gives you 500MB, or 0.5GB of premium data. Your data will stop after this allotment is used. It can be used as hotspot data, but stops at the same cap. 

The plan costs $5 per month. At this rate, you get 500MB at $10 per GB. 

2GB

This plan gives you 2GB of premium data. 

Like other US Mobile plans, you get premium data with this plan. Data stops after 2GB. You can use all of your plan data as hotspot data.

The plan costs $10 per month, so $5 per GB.

6GB

This plan gives you 5GB before slowing down. 

This plan, like the others US Mobile offers, gives you premium data. Data then slows to 2G speeds. This plan also includes hotspot access with all plan data. 

The plan costs $18 per month. At this rate, you get 6GB at $3 per GB. 

12GB

This plan gives you hotspot access. 

12GB of premium data is included with this plan, and then data access stops at that cap. Hotspot access is also available. 

The plan costs $25 per month. At this rate, you get 12GB at $2.08 per GB. 

Shared Data

This plan gives you the option to choose how much data you pay for.

With US Mobile’s shared data plan, users can choose the exact amount of data they use and buy. After you run out of data, your speeds will slow to 2G speeds. This allows for browsing the internet and sending texts or emails, but streaming video or playing games will be difficult. The amount of data you purchase can also be used as hotspot data, and stops once you run out of your specific data allotment. 

The plan costs $9 per line per month, and $2 per GB. After you buy 30GB, this plan costs $16 per 10GB. 

Unlimited Starter

This plan gives you 20GB of premium before slowing down. 

The Unlimited Starter plan that US Mobile offers gives users 20GB of premium data to work with before slowing down to 2G speeds until the next month. This plan does not include hotspot access.

The plan costs $25 per month. At this rate, you get 20GB at $1.25 per GB.

Unlimited Essentials 

This plan gives you 50GB premium data. 

The Unlimited Essentials plan is a slight upgrade from Unlimited Starter, which offers 50GB of premium data each month. Speeds slow to 2G after the cap. You also get 5GB of hotspot data, and that access stops once you hit your limit. 

This plan costs $40 per month for one line. You get 55GB per month for $0.73 per GB. 

Unlimited Premium

This plan gives you 100GB of premium data. 

As US Mobile’s biggest plan, this plan gives users 100GB of premium data. After 100GB, data slows to 2G speeds. This plan also gives you 50GB of hotspot data, which stops after the cap. Plans with 3+ lines also have access to several perks that US Mobile offers, such as streaming services and music subscriptions. Only one perk can be chosen at a time, but plans with 4+ lines can choose an additional perk. 

The plan costs $45 per month. At this rate, you get 150GB at $0.30 per GB. 

Features

Google Fi and US Mobile both offer several perks on their Unlimited Premium plans.  

If you’re looking for a plan with more included features, such as international connection or domestic roaming data, it’s best to compare carriers with what they offer. US Mobile offers perks, like streaming services or music services, with Unlimited Premium plans with more than 3 lines. You have over a dozen perks to choose from. Plans with 3+ lines can choose 1 perk, and lines with 4 or more can choose an additional one. If you have a different plan or an Unlimited Premium plan with less than 3 lines, you do not have access to these perks. 

Domestic Roaming Data

Google Fi offers domestic roaming data on their plans. US Mobile offers domestic roaming on all plans except their No Data plan. 

Mexico & Canada Connection

Google Fi offers talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada included with both its unlimited plans. However, only text is included in their Flexible plan. Talk and data are pay-per-use. US Mobile offers talk, text, 1GB of data in Canada and 3GB of data in Mexico for their Unlimited Premium Plan. They also offer call and text in their Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Essentials, and Shared Data plans. The rest of their plans require additional add-ons for connection in Mexico and Canada. Unlimited Starter and Shared Data also have access to these add-ons.  

International Connection

Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan includes international text and data. Calling internationally is pay-per-use outside the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The Simply Unlimited plan does not include international connection, and the Flexible plan includes international texting, but talk and data are pay-per-use. Calling costs $0.20 per minute. US Mobile offers international talk, text, and 10GB of data on Unlimited Premium plans. Their Unlimited Starter, Essentials, and Shared Data plans include international calling and texting. All other plans require additional add-ons for international connection. Unlimited Starter, Essentials, and Shared Data also have access to these add-ons.  

Video Streaming Quality

Google Fi offers 4k Ultra High Definition streaming for their Flexible plan and 480p Standard Definition streaming for their unlimited data plans. All US Mobile plans stream at 720p High Definition. 

Streaming Services

Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers a free subscription to Youtube Premium. US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Apple TV+, Netflix Standard, Max, or a bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium. 

Music Services

US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Slacker Plus LiveXLive, Pandora Plus, Audible, Spotify Family, or Apple Music Family if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium. Google Fi does not offer this feature. 

Gaming Services

US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Playstation Plus, XBox Live Gold, Stadia Pro, and Apple Arcade if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium. Google Fi does not offer this feature.  

Cloud Storage

Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers 100GB of Google One. US Mobile does not offer this feature.

Device Financing

If you buy a phone from Google Fi, the carrier allows you to pay for your device in installments over time. US Mobile does not offer this feature.  

WiFi Calling

Both carriers offer WiFi calling, which allows you to send and receive phone calls over a WiFi connection rather than cellular reception. 

Spam Protection

All Google Fi plans offer spam protection included. US Mobile does not offer this feature.  

Free Trial

Google Fi offers a 7 day free trial. US Mobile offers a 50 day free trial. 

Customer Service 

Google Fi and US Mobile do not have physical stores, leaving all of their customer service to online support. 

Google Fi is a  digital-only carrier, meaning they only offer customer support online. Google Fi offers 24/7 customer support over chat and over the phone at 1-844-TALK-2-FI. US Mobile offers 24/7 support over the phone at 1(878)-205-0088, and over email at [email protected]

The Verdict

US Mobile’s Unlimited Premium plan offers the best deal. 

As US Mobile offers 100GB of premium data and 50GB of hotspot data with their biggest plan,  they offer the best deal between the two carriers. If you’re looking for a limited data plan, US Mobile’s limited data plans are also a great deal. However, US Mobile’s Shared Data plan is more expensive, so the other limited data plans they offer are the better choice. 

We’d recommend checking your data usage before committing to a plan.

Want to compare other carriers?

Really.com helps users compare between features, coverage, price, reviews, and more!

Are you still unsure which carrier to choose, or which phone plan to pick? Use really.com to compare your top choices and find the best deal to fit your needs. Really allows you to compare and sort between most phone plans on the market without the hassle!

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Google Fi Flexible

Flexible Plan
data
$10 per GB, slows to 256kbps after 15GB
Hotspot access
All plan data
Best for:
Light data users
More Details

Google Fi Unlimited Plus

Unlimited Plus
data
50GB premium data, 256 kbps slow down after
Hotspot access
All plan data (50GB, then data stops)
Best for:
Heavy data users
More Details

Google Fi Simply Unlimited

Simply Unlimited
data
35GB premium data, then 256 kbps slow down after
Hotspot access
5GB, then data stops
Best for:
Average data users
More Details

US Mobile 1GB

1GB
data
1GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 1GB)
Best for:
Lightest data users
More Details

US Mobile 6GB

6GB
data
6GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 6GB)
Best for:
Lighter data users
More Details

US Mobile 12GB

12GB
data
12GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 12GB)
Best for:
Light data users
More Details

US Mobile Shared Data

Shared Data
data
$2 per GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at purchased allotment cap)
Best for:
Any users!
More Details

US Mobile Unlimited Basic

Unlimited Basic
data
20GB premium
Hotspot access
Not included
Best for:
Average data users
More Details

US Mobile Unlimited Premium

Unlimited Premium
data
100GB premium
Hotspot access
50GB
Best for:
Heaviest data users
More Details

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your questions,
answered

does this phone service work everywhere?

Yep, we offer premium wireless service on the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in our dewi coverage areas, you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

is there a contract?

Nope, it’s pay as you go.

is this prepaid?

yep! You put your card on file and prepay each month so that you never experience any disruption.

does my phone need to be unlocked?

Yep, but it’s super easy to unlock your device as long as it’s paid off. Chat with us and a real human can help you here.

what if I want a new phone?

We have some recommendations on what we think you should get, from iPhones to Droids. Check out our list here which includes affordable places online to get a good deal.

what does decentralized wireless (dewi) mean?

It means we are building a phone network that is powered by the people. Your neighbors put small radios on their roof and help extend the phone network to cover deadzones™ and get even faster speeds. Right now our DeWi network is available in Austin, but we’ll be expanding to other cities REALLY soon. Learn more about DeWi here.

can I keep my phone number?

yup! you can port your current number in a snap. need help? hit up your VIP concierge.