In a battle of young vs old, only one can reign supreme. In one corner, we have Verizon: a well established national leader with mountains of options. In the opposite corner, Google Fi continues to grow based around its unique network structure. These two carriers take very different approaches, but you can only choose one for your next plan. In a battle of Google Fi vs Verizon, which carrier is right for you?
We will take pricing, coverage, and promos into account in our category-by-category breakdown. Are you ready to kick off the first round? Let’s get to it!
Google Fi vs Verizon — Pricing
It’s well established that Verizon is one of the more expensive carriers around. Compared to Google Fi, you’ll typically spend between $5 and $10 more per month for an unlimited plan on Big Red’s network. Before we dig too deep into the prices, check out our handy table below:
|Google Fi costs||Verizon costs|
|Entry-level Unlimited Plan||$70 for one line|
$60 per line for two lines
$50 per line for three lines
$45 per line for four lines
$70 for one line
$60 per line for two lines
$45 per line for three lines
$35 per line for four lines
|Mid-level Unlimited Plan||None||Play / Do More Unlimited|
$80 for one line
$70 per line for two lines
$55 per line for three lines
$45 per line for four lines
|High-end Unlimited Plan||None||Get More Unlimited|
$90 for one line
$80 per line for two lines
$65 per line for three lines
$55 per line for four lines
|Other Plans||Flexible Plan|
$20 for one line
$18 per line for two lines
$17 per line for three lines
$17 per line for four lines
Plus $10 per GB of data used
As far as unlimited plans go, Google Fi’s option lines up closely with Verizon’s Start Unlimited plan. Each starts at $70, though Start Unlimited bottoms out at $35 per line with four lines, as opposed to $45 over on Google Fi. If you spring for one of Verizon’s higher-level unlimited plans, you’ll immediately notice a larger bill, though there are more perks to go with it.
See also: The best Verizon deals
While it’s fairly straightforward to compare one unlimited plan to another, Google Fi has another trick up its sleeve — the Flexible Plan. You’ll start with a $20 per month flat rate for a single line, and each gigabyte of data you use costs $10. It’s a great plan if you don’t anticipate browsing too much. Google Fi even offers bill protection so you won’t pay another dime if you use over 6GB of data as a single line.
Of course, you can always opt for an MVNO if you want to save money. There are tradeoffs to think about, but here are a few of our favorite options:
Google Fi vs Verizon — Coverage
One of Google Fi’s unique advantages over the Verizon powerhouse is its unique network setup. Rather than relying on one carrier for coverage, Fi combines T-Mobile, US Cellular, and the remains of Sprint for a wide signal blanket. As long as your phone is designed for Google Fi, it should automatically swap between the three networks for the best signal available.
In the map above, the dark green regions indicate Google Fi’s 4G LTE coverage, while the lighter regions denote 3G and 2G coverage. Google Fi’s service may not be perfect, but it has come a long way in the past few years. If you have a 5G-ready device, you’ll also be able to tap into T-Mobile’s nationwide network at no extra cost. You can check out Google Fi’s local coverage by entering your zip code here.
See also: Where is 5G available in the US?
Verizon’s 4G LTE network, on the other hand, is the largest among major US carriers, reaching 70% of the United States. It offers reliable coverage and solid speeds for most users across the country. Big Red also manages some of the best 5G speeds, though the mmWave network is not without drawbacks. It suffers from an extremely limited range, making a nationwide coverage map nearly impossible. Instead, Verizon offers a street by street breakdown, which you can explore here.
Google Fi vs Verizon — Perks and promotions
Coverage and pricing are important, but they don’t tell the whole story of a carrier. A good set of perks and promos is the perfect way to round out your service, and Verizon has the edge — at least when it comes to streaming. Check out the table below for a quick overview of the perks:
|Verizon Start Unlimited||Disney Plus and Apple Music for 6 months|
|Verizon Play More Unlimited||Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included|
Apple Music for 6 months
|Verizon Do More Unlimited||Disney Plus and Apple Music for 6 months|
|Verizon Get More Unlimited||Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Apple Music included|
|Google Fi Unlimited||Google One membership included|
If you need your Mandalorian fix or you want in on Apple Music, Verizon is your best bet. All of its unlimited plans feature both services, though the Start Unlimited and Do More Unlimited only offer six months of access. Play More includes six months of Apple Music as well as a permanent Disney Plus bundle. The top-tier Get More plan includes both services permanently.
See also: 10 best Music streaming apps for Android
Over on Google Fi, the Android creator tosses in a handy Google One membership with your unlimited plan. It’s a $2 monthly value, but it includes cloud storage, discounts, and support for Google products. Unfortunately, the Flexible plan is hung out to dry except the bill protection for heavy data users.
Verizon is in the driver’s seat when it comes to promotions too. You can only save $100 on Google Fi’s Moto G phones and you’ll pay full price for the Pixel 4a. The promotions hit a pretty hard stop after that. Big Red, on the other hand, is happy to give you a couple of hundred dollars off of most flagships when you switch. In fact, you can get a Galaxy S20 for free right now when you grab a Galaxy Note 20. If you decide to make the switch to Verizon, you can also skip the BOGO and simply get a Galaxy Note 20 for free.
See also: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 buyer’s guide
Google Fi vs Verizon — Phone selections
Verizon, like many of the largest US carriers, offers an impressive list of devices. If you can name it, then Verizon probably supports it — as long as it’s a CDMA device. You’ll notice that a few of Verizon’s 5G phones are also set up under the UW name (ultra-wide), which means that they’re configured specifically for Big Red’s network. Essentially, you won’t be able to use the universal version of the OnePlus 8 or the LG Velvet, to name a few.
Google Fi also supports an incredible list of devices, but the catch is that you’ll have to bring them yourself. You can only grab the Pixel 4a, Moto G Power, and Moto G Stylus from the carrier itself. Here is the list of all other supported devices. The usual suspects Apple and Samsung are on the list, but you might be more excited to see OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei supported on Google Fi as well.
Which carrier is right for you?
At long last, the answer you’ve been waiting for. In the battle of Google Fi vs Verizon, which carrier wins? Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends on your needs. Verizon offers a massive network and a laundry list of perks, though you’ll pay a pretty penny for coverage. Over at Google Fi, you’ll find just two plans and a few phones to pick from. Google Fi’s use of T-Mobile’s and US Cellular’s networks offers reliable coverage with seamless switching, and it’s a great option for travel abroad too.
After all of this, you might still decide that you’re not sold on either network. There’s nothing wrong with that. Choosing a carrier is a marathon, not a sprint. Here are a few other carriers you might want to take a look at: