I've been given a Google Pixel Fi phone. Now what? [telecom]

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Bill Horne

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Jan 4, 2022, 11:43:23 PMJan 4
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A kind neighbor has given me a used Google Pixel Fi phone, and I'd
appreciate your help to make use of it without spending too much.

Please answer these questions for me:

1. The phone is model G-2PW4100. Is this model able to work with 4G
service?
2. Google offers a "Low Cost" plan with "Unlimited talk and text,"
which they say is great if I can use WiFi a lot, but the $20 they
quote on the first page turns into "$20-$80" when it's time to give
them a credit card number. It turns out that they want to be paid by
the Gigabyte for data. Can I limit data use?
3. Verizon is the only reliable cellular carrier in my area. Does
Google use them? If not, which one?
4. Verizon has been offering a prepaid plan for $20/month. Can this
phone be used with that? I don't need data.
5. If someone gave this phone to you, what would you do with it?

Thanks for your help.

Bill Horne

--
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)

John Levine

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Jan 7, 2022, 12:05:57 AMJan 7
to
It appears that Bill Horne <malQRMass...@gmail.com> said:
>A kind neighbor has given me a used Google Pixel Fi phone, and I'd
>appreciate your help to make use of it without spending too much.
>
>Please answer these questions for me:
>
> 1. The phone is model G-2PW4100. Is this model able to work with 4G
> service?

Yes.

> 2. Google offers a "Low Cost" plan with "Unlimited talk and text,"
> which they say is great if I can use WiFi a lot, but the $20 they
> quote on the first page turns into "$20-$80" when it's time to give
> them a credit card number. It turns out that they want to be paid by
> the Gigabyte for data. Can I limit data use?

Probably not.

> 3. Verizon is the only reliable cellular carrier in my area. Does
> Google use them? If not, which one?

Yes.

> 4. Verizon has been offering a prepaid plan for $20/month. Can this
> phone be used with that? I don't need data.

I think so. You might also look at the $20 and $25 plans from Tracfone
which also uses Verizon, and from Ting which will send you a Verizon SIM
if you ask for one using the online chat on their web site.

> 5. If someone gave this phone to you, what would you do with it?

Stick a SIM in it and see how it works. It's a nice 2017 vintage phone.

R's,
John

Bill Horne

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Jan 8, 2022, 12:22:02 AMJan 8
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Here are some more question, inline.

On Wed, Jan 05, 2022 at 12:48:59PM -0500, John Levine wrote:
> It appears that Bill Horne <malQRMass...@gmail.com> said:
> >A kind neighbor has given me a used Google Pixel Fi phone, and I'd
> >appreciate your help to make use of it without spending too much.
> >
> >Please answer these questions for me:
> >
> > 2. Google offers a "Low Cost" plan with "Unlimited talk and text,"
> > which they say is great if I can use WiFi a lot, but the $20 they
> > quote on the first page turns into "$20-$80" when it's time to give
> > them a credit card number. It turns out that they want to be paid by
> > the Gigabyte for data. Can I limit data use?
>
> Probably not.

I got an email from another reader, who said that there's a software
option that will do that. Do you know anyone at Google who can confirm
or deny?

> > 4. Verizon has been offering a prepaid plan for $20/month. Can this
> > phone be used with that? I don't need data.
>
> I think so. You might also look at the $20 and $25 plans from Tracfone
> which also uses Verizon, and from Ting which will send you a Verizon SIM
> if you ask for one using the online chat on their web site.

Ting looks like a good deal: I especially like that they don't charge
for data that's over the plan limit. They do throttle the rate, but I
don't mind that, given how seldom I use or need data.

But, I use a Verizon Femtocell, since coverage is so poor out here in
the hills. Tracfone used to use a different carrier, so I'll ask if
Verizontal switched them to Verizon Cellular as part of the Tracfone
deal.

> > 5. If someone gave this phone to you, what would you do with it?
>
> Stick a SIM in it and see how it works. It's a nice 2017 vintage phone.

The Google Pixel Fi site said it has an "e-sim" in it, so I didn't
know that was possible. I'll check.

Thanks for your help!

--
Bill Horne

John Reiser

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Jan 8, 2022, 12:22:02 AMJan 8
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>> Can I limit data use?
>
> Probably not.

Most versions of Android have a Setting for "Data warning and limit".
In recent versions, go to Settings and then Search for "limit".
On a handy instance of Android 12, I see a default of 2.0GB;
but the default is Off, and I have never turned it On.
The web administration page for my plan shows usage as of yesterday,
and my plan sends me an email when I reach 75% of monthly allowance.

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