Best phones for Google Fi 2021


Pixel 6 Pro Fall AutumnSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

Best
phones for Google Fi
Android Central
2021

Starting at just $20 per month for unlimited calls and texts and $10 per gigabyte of data, Google Fi is one of the most compelling carriers around. Factor in its excellent global roaming, nationwide coverage, and billing feature that credits back whatever data you don’t use, and you have an even more appealing purchase. Fi works with almost any unlocked phone, but certain features, like intelligent network switching, only phones “designed for Fi,” like those below. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the best Pixel phone yet with improved cameras, a custom chipset, and great 5G support on Fi.

Best overall phone for Google Fi: Google Pixel 6 Pro

Pixel 6 Pro

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the ultimate partner for an unlimited Google Fi plan with support for Fi’s entire network, including 5G, with the smart network switching feature intact. It also comes with Wi-Fi 6E support, so if you’ve upgraded to one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers, you can get full gigabit internet speed on your phone.

For this Pixel, Google ditched some off-the-shelf components with its own Google Tensor chipset. This CPU and GPU package can keep this phone running smoothly even on the large 6.7-inch 120Hz display. The extra power is put to good with Android 12’s Material You design, giving this phone a unique and modern appearance. Pixels are also the first to get the newest Android updates, so you’ll always have the most up-to-date features on your device.

Around the back of the phone is a reasonably thick camera bar housing three cameras. A 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, and 48MP telephoto camera gives you the hardware needed for just about any scenario. Google’s camera software can also make the most of the new Tensor chip to produce sharp and colorful photos in nearly any lighting conditions. Not only that, Google focused on delivering accurate skin tones, a challenge for cameras dating back to film.

Pros:

  • Fast performance with Tensor
  • Beautiful 90Hz OLED display
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6E support
  • Bold color options
  • 5G support with network switching

Cons:

  • Large camera bar on the back
  • Confusing lack of mmWave on some models

Best overall phone for Google Fi


Google Pixel 6 Pro Cloudy White Render

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google’s best phone

The Pixel 6 Pro is more than a larger Pixel 6 with more RAM, a faster display, an extra camera on the back, and mmWave 5G.

Best upgrade pick phone for Google Fi: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

S Pen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

The best way to use Google Fi is with a phone that can use its whole network and all of Google Fi’s features. Samsung has brought the entire Galaxy S21 line to Google Fi, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the biggest and most powerful phone of the bunch.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the fastest phones with a Snapdragon 888 and a massive 12GB RAM. The RAM is even upgraded to 16GB with a higher-capacity model. The 6.8-inch 3200×1440 AMOLED is simply stunning to look at with inky blacks and great colors. It can even drive the display at 120Hz if you are willing to trade a bit of battery life for improved responsiveness.

The back of the S21 Ultra features four cameras that work together to deliver a great photography experience. There is a main 108MP camera for everyday shots next to two telephoto lenses and a wide-angle lens. This enables an optical zoom of up to 10x with minimal distortion. As a result, this phone will be the best camera many people have ever used.

Pros:

  • Best-in-class display
  • Phenomenal cameras
  • Good battery life
  • Exceptional performance
  • 5G support with network switching

Cons:

  • Quite Expensive
  • Very large

Best upgrade pick phone for Google Fi


Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Render Phantom Black Front Official

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The ultimate Galaxy phone

The S21 Ultra is the biggest and fastest Galaxy ever, with a speedy CPU, a beautiful display, and great 5G support.

Best value phone for Google Fi: Google Pixel 5a with 5G

Google Pixel 5a

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Google Pixel 5a with 5G is a great phone for the price with surprisingly good camera performance, especially when you consider the price. The phone is powered by a competent Snapdragon 765 processor with 6GB of RAM. 5G support is included and works great with Google Fi. This phone has a 6.34-inch display stretching to every curved corner with a hole-punch camera on the front. The 4680mAh battery inside can keep this phone running all day with ease.

The main camera is a 12.2MP shooter that manages to kick out some great results thanks to Google’s optimizations and processing. Photos look sharp and vibrant, even placed next to much more expensive phones. This all comes in a compact device that slides easily into a pocket.

Like all Pixel phones, the Pixel 5a with 5G runs the latest version of Android with frequent updates. This phone is one of the cheapest ways to stay on the cutting edge of Android. Whether you’re looking for a great phone to travel with or want something that will deliver great photos for social media, the Pixel 5a is a great choice.

Pros:

  • Surprisingly good cameras
  • Great battery life
  • Smooth performances
  • IP67 dust and water resistance
  • 5G support with network switching

Cons:

  • Plain design with only one color

Best value phone for Google Fi


Google Pixel 5a 5g Product Render

Google Pixel 5a with 5G

A cheap Pixel with 5G

The Pixel 5a has great performance for its price with great battery life and a camera system that delivers outstanding photos.

Best mid-range phone for Google Fi: Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 Material You Pink Theme

Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central

The Pixel 6 Pro is a great phone that will work great for most people, but its large screen (and price tag) may not be for everyone. You can still get in on the latest Pixel with the Pixel 6 with the same great Google Tensor processor. The display is down to 90Hz, but it should still feel buttery smooth with Android 12’s new design behind it. The battery size is also a bit down at 4614mAh, but you should still have no trouble making it through the day.

As with its larger sibling, the camera system is one of the best you’ll find on any smartphone. This model only comes with the main 50MP sensor, but you will still get some stunning photos thanks to Google’s excellent camera app and the power of the new processor. From the raw numbers, it may not take the best photos technically, but the software makes it hard to take a bad one.

This phone runs Google’s latest software, Android 12, with its new Material You design. This software makes Android feel more personal than ever and compliments the colorful design of the Pixel 6 line. With a Pixel, you’re also first in line for Android updates, so you can be on the cutting edge when it comes to new Android features.

Pros:

  • Fast performance with Tensor
  • Beautiful 90Hz OLED display
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6E support
  • Bold color options
  • 5G support with network switching

Cons:

  • Large camera bar on the back
  • Confusing lack of mmWave support

Best mid-range phone for Google Fi


Google Pixel 6 Kinda Coral Render

Google Pixel 6

Pixel perfect performance

The Pixel 6 is one of the best phones Google has ever made with a new CPU and camera plus the newest version of Android.

Best battery life phone for Google Fi: *Moto G Power (2020)

Moto G Power 2020 Hands On

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central

Time and time again, Motorola stands out as one of the best companies for delivering good, cheap Android phones. 2020 saw the Moto G Power release, and if you’re in the market for an affordable smartphone, it’s hard to beat.

The “Power” name is a reference to the phone’s best feature: battery life. With a 5,000 mAh battery crammed inside, you can easily get two or even three days of use on a charge. In a world where it’s the norm to throw your phone on a charger nightly, being able to go a couple of days without worrying about it is a dream come true. The 6.4-inch display is easy on the eyes, performance is plenty fast thanks to the Snapdragon 665 processor and 4GB of RAM, and graphics performance is vastly improved over its predecessor. The G Power also has a trio of solid cameras, allowing for a wide variety of shots, and image quality is pretty good considering how cheap the G Power is.

Motorola’s software ties it all together. The interface is nearly identical to what you’d find on a Pixel, so it’s clean Android as Google intended it. Motorola also throws in a few software tweaks to enhance the experience, like Moto Display and Moto Actions. The former is arguably the best always-on display out there, with the latter allowing you to move the phone in various ways to launch features.

The Moto G Power lacks NFC, which rules out contactless payments. Plus, Motorola’s history with software updates is very weak, in stark contrast to Pixels. However, if neither of those two things bothers you, the Moto G Power is a wonderfully complete package that we think many people will be overly happy with. And because it’s part of the “Designed for Fi” program, it gets complete network support on Google Fi, just like a Pixel device.

Pros:

  • Great build quality and design
  • Three rear cameras are a lot of fun
  • Up to three-day battery life
  • Moto Display and Moto Actions are great
  • “Designed for Fi” multi-network compatible

Cons:

  • Moto G line isn’t known for swift software updates
  • Lacks NFC
  • No 5G support

Best battery life phone for Google Fi


Moto G Power

Moto G Power

Great battery life for less

You want the Moto G Power if you’re on a budget. It’s built well, has a good display, fun cameras, and insane battery life.

Best budget phone for Google Fi: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Samsung Galaxy A32 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is the 5G-enabled variant of the solid Galaxy A32, and it comes with full support for Google Fi’s network. It’s powered by an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G that sips power from the massive 5,000mAh battery so you can keep going all day and then some. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t have the power to eliminate all lag but will work great with most social media and video streaming apps.

The camera performance is great with a 48MP camera produces some solid images with plenty of contrast and clarity for social media. There’s also an ultra-wide and a macro camera on the back, so you’re equipped for various situations.

Samsung’s Android works great with this phone and will receive consistent updates to keep the phone secure. If you’re used to Samsung’s particular flavor of Android, you should be very comfortable. This also includes excellent features like Smart Switch to bring any content you want from your old phone and Samsung’s cloud features.

Pros:

  • Vibrant 90Hz AMOLED display
  • Great battery life
  • Attractive minimalist design
  • 5G support with network switching

Best budget phone for Google Fi


Samsung Galaxy A32 5g Reco

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Cheap with a huge battery

The Galaxy A32 5G is a great budget device with good longevity thanks to software updates from Samsung and 5G support on Fi.

Bottom line

To get the most out of your Google Fi service, it’s best to get a phone that has been “designed for Fi.” This means that it has the necessary software to automatically switch to the network with the best signal no matter where you are in the country. You can still use any of the best Android phones on the T-Mobile network with Google Fi, but you may not get the same consistency in coverage as other phones.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the ultimate Google Fi phone with all of the best features Google offers, including some of the best cameras on any phone and 5G support. The phone comes with a great display running at an ultra-smooth 120Hz, and you can rest assured that Google will keep the phone up to date with the latest version of Android as soon as it’s ready.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he’s defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

Author:

Andrew Martonik has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012.

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