How and why you should set up Project Fi on the Pixel 2


Google‘s Pixel 2 ($649.99 at Best Buy) and Pixel 2 XL ($849.99 at Best Buy) are compatible with the company’s cellular service, Project Fi. In fact, neither device even needs a Project Fi SIM card to activate service. Instead, Google included an eSIM in both phones, which means you no longer have to wait for Google to mail you a small piece of plastic to connect to its Fi network.

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If you’re already using another carrier, it makes sense to not give setting up Project Fi on your Pixel 2 a second thought. There are, however, a couple of reasons you should at least consider it:

  • Roaming during international travel is pricey through most carriers. With Fi, you still pay $10 per each gigabyte of data, texts are included and voice minutes are as low as $0.20 per minute in over 135 countries.
  • Switching between your current plan and a Fi account is only a couple of button taps away. You don’t have to remove SIM cards or reboot your phone. It’s a convenient way to have two different phone numbers on one phone.
  • Added coverage. If you frequently find yourself in areas where your carrier doesn’t have service, then switching to Project Fi in emergency situations could help keep you connected to the outside world. Remember, Project Fi uses a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint’s network.
  • You can pause service without being charged 90 days a time, with no restriction on how often you use it.

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what is required to set up Fi on your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.

Set up Project Fi


Project Fi service can be set up entirely from the Pixel 2 phone.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

For those who are already Fi members, setup is as simple as signing into the Project Fi app and linking your phone to your account during the initial Pixel 2 setup process. Those users who don’t have a Fi account, you’ll need to start on

Log into the Google account you want to use for Fi and follow the prompts. Just be sure to select the option of using a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL when it asks if you need a SIM card.

With that done, enable the Project Fi app on your Pixel 2. Once again, follow the prompts which include signing into your Google account and allowing your device to switch to Fi for the setup process. Don’t worry, you can quickly go back to your normal phone number and provider once this process is finished. It should take under 10 minutes.

Pause Project Fi


You can hit pause on your service, so you only pay when you use it.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

As previously mentioned, you can pause Fi service 90 days at a time. After the pause has expired, you will receive an email letting you know your service is back on. You can then pause it again. Google doesn’t charge you during the time service is paused, and will prorate the days you enable service should you remove the pause.

Open the Project Fi app, then under the Account tab select Manage Plan. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Pause Service.

Switch between Fi and your carrier


When you do want Project Fi service on, switching to it is easy.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With Fi linked to your Pixel 2, you can now quickly and easily switch between the two services.

Open Settings > Network & internet > Mobile network > Carrier. Project Fi will be listed under Available carriers; tap it followed by Switch.

Repeat the process to go back to your regular carrier. Keep in mind that when your phone disconnects from either network, calls and texts will not be delivered to your phone. 

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