Google Opens Project Fi Wireless Service For All, Itching To Kick Your Carrier To The Curb With $199 Nexus 5X Tease

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If you’ve been looking in from the outside with regards to Google’s Project Fi wireless service, now is your chance to hop in with no strings attached. When Google launched Project Fi last year, it did so using an invitation-only system that artificially limited the number of people that could join the service. Google has stripped out the invite system and has now opened up Project Fi to anyone with a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P (voice and data) or data-only with the Nexus 9, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 or Galaxy Tab S.

For those that need a refresher, Google charges you a flat $20 per month for a the Fi Basics package, which includes unlimited talk and text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international calling to over 120 counties. You can then pay an additional $10 for each gigabyte of cellular data that you wish to add to your plan. But what makes Project Fi so interesting, is that you get refunded for the cost of the data that you don’t use. So if you want 3GB of data, you’ll pay a total $50 per month. If you only end up using 1GB of data for the month, you’ll be refunded $20, bringing your total monthly cost to $30.

When you make a phone call through Project Fi, it will first attempt to connect via Wi-Fi to make the call. So if you’re connected to a known Wi-Fi hotspot — like your home network — all of your calls will take place over Wi-Fi. Once you’re out and about, Project Fi will seamlessly switch from Wi-Fi to either Sprint or T-Mobile’s wireless network.

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“Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi works in partnership with leading carriers and hardware makers to push the boundaries of what's possible,” said Project Fi produce manager Simon Arscott. “By designing across hardware, software, and connectivity, we’re able to explore new ways for people to connect and communicate.”

In addition to ditching the invite system, Google is also sweetening the offer by allowing those that signup for Project Fi to score a 16GB Nexus 5X for just $199 or a 32GB Nexus 5X for $249.99 (the Marshmallow smartphones retail for $349 and $399 respectively). So you could technically purchase the 16GB Nexus 5X for $199, pay $30 for the first month with unlimited talk/text and 1GB of data, and then discontinue the Project Fi service. You’d effectively score a Nexus 5X for $229.99 which is still a pretty good deal in our books if you wish to use the phone with a different wireless carrier.