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Google Fi vs. Ting Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Pros & Cons and Final Verdict 2024

Google Fi vs. Ting Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Pros & Cons and Final Verdict 2024

    If you’re looking for ways to save money on your phone service,you’ve come to the right place.

    MVNO (Mobile Virtue Network Operators) have been providing users with cheaper talk, SMS and data plans as compared to the main mobile carriers in the market today.Google Fi,Ting Mobile and Cricket Wireless are very popular choices right now for those looking to cut their monthly cell phone plan bills right down to size.But which one is going to be best for you?That’s probably going to depend on what you must prioritize,such as the price,speed,coverage or more.So Google Fi vs. Ting Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless:which is better?What is the difference between Google Fi,Ting Mobile and Cricket Wireless?Is it worth it to switch to Google Fi?What are the pros and cons of Google Fi?Can I switch from Google Fi to Cricket?

    Within this guide, you'll be able to compare Google Fi,Ting Mobile,Cricket Wireless coverage, features, plans and prices side-by-side, so you can decide for yourself which carrier offers the best deal.

Cover Photo:Thom Holmes on unsplash.com
 

Google Fi Review

1651886108696517.png

Source:fi.google.com

Known as Project Fi when it launched in 2015,Google touted its service as an alternate wireless carrier for select Google devices by using a blend of Wi-Fi and other carrier networks to keep you covered. Project Fi rebranded to Google Fi in 2018 and has grown to support more devices, including iPhones, in the years since.

Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that provides calls, short message service (SMS) which is also known as text messaging, and mobile broadband using cellular networks and Wi-Fi. As an MVNO, Google Fi operates on T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular networks but is not owned by those companies. Currently, Google Fi only serves customers in the United States.The carrier is simple to set up and although it doesn't have the largest phone selection, it is known for very high user satisfaction.

It’s safe to say that Google Fi isn’t quite like other cell phone service providers. The service stands far above every carrier for international phone and data service. It’s the cheapest, easiest, and most effective international phone plan, period, with coverage in 200-plus countries – almost always at lightning-fast speeds.Whether you want an everyday phone that keeps you connected abroad or a travel-only phone, Google Fi is far and away the best option. 

Google Fi Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Excellent 5G coverage

  • High-speed data

  • Offering unlimited plan

  • Great Google integration

  • Competitive multi-line discounts 

  • Compelling premium features

  • International features

  • Flexibility to only pay for what you use

  • Limited phone selection

  • Not the cheapest pay-by-the-gig plan


Ting Mobile Review

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Source:tingmobile.com

Launched in February 2012,Ting is a customer-driven mobile virtual network operator and wireless service provider based out of Toronto, Ontario. It’s relatively a new player in the MVNO space that aims to provide maximal independence and support to customers. Ting uses two of the three major network providers: Verizon and T-Mobile. However, unlike Google Fi, Ting does not allow switching between networks; rather it allows you to choose between the GSM or CDMA service based on your location and coverage.Because they are purchasing service at less expensive wholesale prices they are able to pass those savings on to their customers. Ting does not have physical stores – everything is done online or over the phone.

Ting’s tagline is  “A smarter phone service where you can get more for less.“, and they definitely fulfill that promise.Ting is a great value for many people, especially light users looking for a plan that starts cheap but can still use data without getting too expensive. 

Ting Mobile Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Service on Verizon and T-Mobile networks

  • Excellent network coverage

  • Free alerts and per-line limits

  • Great customer service

  • No hidden/extra fees

  • Early termination fee relief

  • Flexible plans

  • Simple plans for light phone users

  • Data costs are higher than some other carriers

  • Phones are not subsidized so they can be expensive

  • Multiple lines must use the same plan

  • No physical stores

Cricket Wireless Review

Source:tingmobile.com

Cricket wireless is one of the Biggest Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in the country.It was founded in Chicago in 1999. They are currently headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and they have 5,000 retail stores nationwide.Cricket Wireless is a big name in the line of prepaid cell phone service. The provider has been in the industry for over two decades now while still providing budget-friendly rate plans to low-end consumers.

Cricket is a brand of AT&T and operates on the same network. In regards to the network technology, the main carrier utilizes Global Systems for Mobile Communications (or simply GSM). So, you should be able to use most of the unlocked cell phones, which is a plus since they have fewer bloatware apps.

Cricket has a decent coverage area, but their service tends to work better in densely populated areas and along the Eastern Seaboard.They provide cheap plans that are mostly ideal for people who have high internet needs but who are on a budget.

Cricket Wireless Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Huge AT&T network

  • International calling and texting

  • 5G is available

  • Comes with multiple plans

  • No activation fee if you order online

  • Low prices compared to some of the competitors

  • Offers mobile hotspot on the Cricket More plan

  • Additional $10 per month for mobile hotspot

  • Hotspot is only on the top plan

  • No data-free music streaming feature

  • Speed limits on most plans

  • Poor customer care

  • One of the few MVNOs that charge an activation fee

 

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Google Fi vs. Ting Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Comparison Side by Side

1.Network Coverage

  • Google Fi

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Source:fi.google.com

By Using T-Mobile network,Google Fi provides ample access to the nation's best 5G service.Coverage is dependent on 5G availability in your area, but due to its many networks, the Google Fi plans have vast 5G coverage. Customers will have 4G LTE service when 5G is unavailable.There are just a few pockets where domestic service is weak, including much of Alaska. But even in Hawaii, you can expect a strong 5G signal.

Google Fi also offers coverage in more than 200 countries or territories and counting. Check out the full list of countries, and you’ll see that every major destination (and many of the smaller, less-touristed spots) is covered, from Albania to Zambia.

>Check Google Fi coverage map

  • Ting Mobie

Ting Mobile offers coverage from coast-to-coast plus 5G and LTE where available.Ting’s coverage and performance is excellent as it will be identical to whichever network is carrying the data: Verizon or T-Mobile. With access to 2 out of the 3 US carriers, Ting’s coverage is now extremely good. Coverage and network performance can vary greatly depending on where you live. 

>Check  Ting Mobile coverage map

  • Cricket Wireless

Source:tingmobile.com

Cricket uses AT&T’s network, which means it offers the same coverage that you’d get with a more expensive carrier . While rural areas will struggle a bit, this is the case for most networks.As for 5G coverage, AT&T’s network is officially “nationwide,” but don’t let that fool you. There are still large parts of the country that have no 5G availability. Nearly all of AT&T’s 5G coverage is concentrated in the nation’s metropolitan areas. 

2.Plans and Pricing

  • Google Fi

Compared to the major carriers, Google Fi is an affordable option.Google Fi offers three different types of plans:Unlimited Plus,Simply Unlimited and Flexible.All three plans include unlimited calls and texts. Google Fi doesn't require a contract, which means the user has the option of canceling at any time without any sort of penalty.Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between the plans:


Flexible PlanSimply Unlimited PlanUnlimited Plus Plan
Talk & TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Data$10/GB with Bill ProtectionUnlimited up to 35GBUnlimited up to 50GB
Hotspot$10/GB with Bill Protection5 GB/moUnlimited
InternationalFree calls to Canada & Mexico
  • Free calls to Canada & Mexico

  • Free texts,20¢/min for calls outside US, Canada & Mexico

  • $10/GB data in over 200 destinations

Extras/
Data included for tablets and other devices
  • Data included for tablets and other devices

  • 100 GB of cloud storage with Google One

Price$20 for 1 line
$18 for 2 lines
$17 for 3 lines

$17 for 4 lines

$16 for 5 lines

$16 for 6 lines

$50 for 1 line
$40 for 2 lines
$25 for 3 lines

$20 for 4 lines

$20 for 5 lines

$20 for 6 lines

$65 for 1 line
$55 for 2 lines
$45 for 3 lines

$40 for 4 lines

$40 for 5 lines

$40 for 6 lines

Each has its perks, but it’s up to you to decide which fits your needs. The three plans work for up to six lines, so it’s a great option for larger families. 

>View more plan details

  • Ting Mobile

Ting offers excellent coverage, features, phone compatibility, and customer service in four different plans. All plans include unlimited talk and text, with variable amounts of data differentiating each plan.While Ting may not be as feature-rich as Google Fi, the plans are relatively inexpensive.


Set 5 Plan

Set 12 PlanUnlimited PlanOllo Unlimited Pro Plan
Talk & TextUnlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 
Data5 GB12 GB22 GB35 GB
Hotspot5 GBup to 8 GBup to 12 GBup to 18 GB
Price$25/mo$35/mo$45/mo$55/mo

After monthly data allotment is exceeded, you will be reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of the month. If you run out of fast data, you can top-up your plan for $5/GB. Any unused fast data that you've added carries over to the next month.

>View more plan details

  • Cricket Wireless

When it comes to plans, Cricket Wireless comes with quite a number for both individual and family use. The service is prepaid.And all plans include unlimited calling and texting, with various data (and service) options of 5 GB, 10 GB, unlimited, and unlimited with 15 GB of mobile hotspot data. This allows for people to pick that which suits them best, and they are distributed as below:

Data & TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Data5 GB10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Hotspot///

15 GB Mobile Hotspot (compatible phone required)

International//Unlimited texts from the U.S. to 37 countries

Unlimited texts from the U.S. to 37 countries

ExtraHD Voice & Wi-Fi Calling with compatible phone

HD Voice & Wi-Fi Calling with compatible phone

  • HD Voice & Wi-Fi Calling with compatible phone

  • SD quality video streaming (480p)


  • 150GB Cloud Storage

  • HBO Max with Ads

  • SD quality video streaming (480p)


Price

$30 for 1 line

$30 for 2 lines

$30 for 3 lines

$30 for 4 lines

$30 for 5 lines

$40 for 1 line

$35 for 2 lines

$30 for 3 lines

$28 for 4 lines

$26 for 5 lines

$55 for 1 line

$40 for 2 lines

$30 for 3 lines

$25 for 4 lines

$25 for 5 lines

$60 for 1 line

$45 for 2 lines

$37 for 3 lines

$33 for 4 lines

$32 for 5 lines


>View more plan details

3.Phone Selections

  • Google Fi

You can use most new Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and the Google Pixel 5 on Google Fi. The Apple iPhone is still in beta testing with Google Fi. You’ll be able to bring your iPhone to Google Fi, but you’ll need to contact the carrier for instructions on how to activate service on it. 

Google Fi also allows customers to purchase phones directly from Google or bring their own devices. However, the phone selection is very limited.Check with Google Fi first.

The trade-off in not using a Fi-approved phone, though, comes with what network you'll use when accessing cellular connectivity. Phones that aren't designed for Fi cannot switch between those three networks, and will make do with T-Mobile connectivity alone.Check with Google Fi first.

Google Fi now supports 5G on its Designed for Fi phones as well as Compatible with Fi phones that support T-Mobile's 5G network. 

  • Ting Mobile

Most modern smartphones including iPhones and Android phones are compatible with Ting’s networks.Concerning that, Ting also provides a Device Checker for checking the compatibility of the devices on their CDMA and GSM networks.

Ting’s website also provides a purchasing option for its devices on its website. It has pretty decent selection of the latest smartphones from leading brands, including the flagships and the latest iPhones.

  • Cricket Wireless

Cricket is compatible with most of the flagship phones out there. Or maybe you like Cricket phones less traveled—and if so, you can get Nokia, Motorola, and Alcatel phones as well.Unlocked and eligible GSM phones that support AT&T's LTE bands can be brought into Cricket to check eligibility.

If you’re a Google Pixel fan, though, you won’t be able to buy one directly through Cricket. But you can buy an unlocked Google Pixel and set up your network that way.

4.Data Speed

  • Google Fi

Google Fi claims to offer high-speed data both domestically and internationally. To offer the best experience to as many users as possible any data used after you reach your data limit is slowed to 256 kbps. Your full-speed data limit depends on the type of plan you have and can't be manually adjusted: Flexible plans allow up to 15 GB of full-speed data.

If you have either Unlimited plan, certain categories of data usage like video may be managed at a particular speed or resolution, like DVD-quality (480p).

  • Ting Mobile

After monthly data allotment is exceeded, you will be reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of the month. If you run out of fast data, you can top-up your plan for $5/GB. Any unused fast data that you've added carries over to the next month.

  • Cricket Wireless

Cricket customers might have some issues with its data speeds. While AT&T has some of the best mobile data speeds—depending on where you are, it might be the fastest network available— most Cricket customers will not be able to take full advantage. This is because Cricket limits data speeds to a maximum 8Mbps on the 5GB, 10GB, and Unlimited Plan. While 8Mbps is certainly fast enough to do most internet-related tasks, those who want extra-fast internet for things like games might not be pleased with this limit. Cricket also limits video streaming to 1.5Mbps

The Unlimited + 15GB plan does not have this 8Mbps speed limit. This is important as you probably want a little more speed while using your phone as a hotspot. Plus, 5G would be pointless if you could only get 8Mbps speeds.

5.Service Features


Google FiTing MobieCricket Wireless
NetworksT-Mobile & U.S. CellularT-Mobile & VerizonAT&T
Data Speed5G & 4G LTE5G & 4G LTE5G & 4G LTE
Mobile HotspotIncluded with unlimited plan
Bring Your Phone
Keep Your Number
Multi-line discountsX
Multi-month DiscountsXXX
International RoamingX
International CallingIncluded with unlimited plans
Taxes/fees includedXX
Customer Service24/7 24/7 24/7 

Final Verdict: Which is Best for You?

If you’re considering switching, the very first thing you have to be worried about is the network coverage around the area you live. Google Fi enables you to intelligently switch between the two dominant mobile networks – T-Mobile, and US Cellular – providing seamless access to a wide range of mobile services exclusively offered by Google. Also, Google keeps things simple with its flexible pricing plan. 

Ting also offers excellent customer support and flexibility. However, unlike Google Fi, it does not offer multi-line plans; it rather urges you to pay for what you use. Ting is an excellent choice as long as you don’t exceed your usage in terms of calling, texts, and data. The more you use, the more you pay.

With Cricket you get robust network coverage, above-average international perks, and the confidence of being with a wireless company that knows what it’s doing. If you are looking for AT&T-like service at cheaper prices, Cricket Wireless should be at the top of your list.While Cricket is one of the more dependable of the smaller carriers, it’s certainly not automatically the best, especially if you expand your shopping outside of the AT&T network. 

Google Fi,Ting Mobile and Cricket Wireless are great carriers, but determining which is better is often a matter of needs and preferences. 

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2022-05-06 19:142622