The 9 Best Google Fi Phones

Take advantage of Google Fi's smart network with the best Android for you

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The Rundown
The flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra has an amazing screen, excellent camera performance, great battery, and blazing fast 5G speeds.
For 5G without breaking the bank, the Pixel 4a 5G offers excellent camera performance and fast connectivity.
Best New Release:
Samsung Galaxy S21 at Amazon
The S21 pares down some of the frills and premium features in exchange for a better price point.
The Pixel 5 is Google's flagship, featuring a snappy processor, optimized software, great cameras, and 5G connectivity.
For a powerhouse phone without compromise, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is one of the biggest, best phones you can get.
The Google Pixel 4a offers a clean Google software experience and an excellent camera, all for an affordable price.
The Galaxy A71 hits a sweet spot in offering a solid mid-range 5G phone at a reasonable price.
Best Older Generation (Compact):
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G at Amazon
The S20 5G is still a great buy with its high refresh display and blazing fast 5G connectivity.
Best Older Generation (Large):
Samsung Galaxy S20+ at Amazon
The phone to buy if you want a big phone with a high refresh display, great cameras, and fast 5G connectivity.

The best Google Fi phones work perfectly on the service. Google Fi acts as a mobile virtual network carrier (MVNNO), piggybacking on mainstream U.S. cellular carriers like T-Mobile/Sprint in order to provide service to customers. The advantage of Google Fi is that it can provide the same or better service, often at a lower price. However, it's important to keep in mind that not all phones are Google Fi compatible, which is why we've put together a roundup of the best phones you can get on Google Fi for any budget. These phones include Samsung flagships, mid-range devices, Google's Pixel lineup, Motorola budget options, and more.

If you prefer a more traditional carrier like T-Mobile, take a look at our roundup of the best T-Mobile phones. Otherwise, read on to see the best Google Fi phones to get.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
What We Like
  • Huge, amazing screen

  • Dazzling cameras

  • Speedy performance

  • Zippy 5G speeds

  • Long-lasting battery

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • No microSD slot

  • Charges slower than S20 Ultra

  • No charger included

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the latest and great phone that works with Google's Project Fi. The phone features a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with Samsung's classic rich, saturated colors. It also sticks to a 2300x1440 display with a crisp 515 pixels per inch and boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, giving you smoother animations and scrolling. Under the hood, the phone is powered by the incredible Snapdragon 888 processor, comes with 16GB of RAM in the base model, and also has a model with 256GB storage, or 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. Needless to say, it does great in benchmark testing and handles games with ease.

Connectivity is 5G, with our reviewer registering a top speed of 2.22Gbps, which is 21 times faster than most nationwide results. Camera and video performance is stellar, with a versatile camera setup that consists of a 108MP wide-angle camera, and three other cameras including a 12MP ultra-wide, a 10MP telephoto for 3x optical zoom, and another telephoto for 10x optical zoom. The combination gives you crisp shots, with incredible zoom performance. Pictures are very detailed, colors are rich, and the phone fares well even compared to the very capable iPhone 12 Pro Max. Last, but not least, battery life is excellent, with the S21 Ultra boasting a 5,000mAh cell that lasts all day with ease.

“If you’re looking for a super-premium, extra-large Android, there’s no better phone around." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best 5G: Google Pixel 4a 5G

Pixel 4a 5G
What We Like
  • Stellar cameras

  • Smooth Android OS

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Great, big screen

  • 5G support

What We Don't Like
  • Generic looking design

  • No water resistance

  • Lacks mmWave 5G

The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a pared-down version of the Pixel 5 that retains a lot of key features that makes it a winner. You get a 6.2-inch OLED screen that has a 1080p resolution. It works out to a crisp 413ppi, so everything looks sharp even though it doesn't have the 90Hz panel like on the Pixel 5 for smoother transitions. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 765G processor which isn't as high-end as the Snapdragon 888 on newer flagship phones. That said, the Pixel 4a 5G benefits from Google's clean and optimized software. You won't experience any real slowdowns and it'll handle benchmarks, games, and multitasking with ease.

The phone supports 5G connectivity, though not the mmWave-powered UltraWide 5G unless you get the phone on Verizon. Camera performance is a particularly strong selling points. The 4a 5G has a dual-camera setup with a 12Mp main sensor and 16Mp ultrawide camera. It's a reliable snapper that captures details and colors well, and it has solid zoom. Low-light shooting is a particularly strong point, and the phone can handle 4K video at 60fps. The 3,885mAh battery will keep you going for a fair amount of time as well, though you don't get wireless charging.

"At $499, you get a 5G-capable phone with a great screen, excellent cameras, and strong battery life, and enough processing power to get the job done." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best New Release: Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S21
What We Like
  • Gorgeous 120Hz screen

  • Plenty of power

  • Excellent cameras

  • Distinctive design

What We Don't Like
  • Downgrades from S20

  • Battery life just OK

  • No microSD slot

  • Plastic backing on $800 phone

The Samsung Galaxy S21 isn't as premium of a phone as the S21 Ultra, but it's still one of the top new flagship phones you can get on Google Fi. The phone features a 6.2-inch AMOLED display with a 2400x1080 resolution. It's a crisp 421ppi, though not as sharp as the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It also features a 120Hz high refresh rate with smooth transitions and animations. Looking underneath, the phone is powered by the blazing-fast Snapdragon 888 processor. It has 8GB of RAM compared to the 12GB on the Ultra, but it still does great in benchmark testing and 3D gaming. Our reviewer recorded fast 1.727GBps on the 5G network during testing, giving it incredibly fast speeds.

The camera and video quality is similarly excellent. The phone has a 12MP wide-angle sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 64MP telephoto zoom lens. Shots are stellar and the camera does great in terms of detail and color. It also fares well in low-light shooting. The battery is solid at 4,000mAh, though it won't last quite as long as the larger cell as on the S21 Ultra.

“It’s a speedy handset that feels super responsive with all demands, from apps and games to media and multitasking, and the smooth 120Hz display only aids in that swift sensation." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

What We Like
  • Brilliant cameras

  • Super speedy 5G

  • Smooth 90Hz screen

  • Incredible battery life

  • Android 11 OS

What We Don't Like
  • Skimps on power

  • Bland design

  • Iffy value proposition

The Google Pixel 5 is the latest flagship phone from Google, and a direct successor to the Pixel 4. It has a large 6-inch OLED screen with a resolution that works out to 2304x1080 (432ppi). That makes it fairly sharp, though not as sharp as the Quad HD panel on the Note20 Ultra. The refresh rate is 90Hz, again, lower than the 120Hz refresh rate most Samsung phones on this list can hit.

Hardware is solid, though again, you're looking at a Snapdragon 765G processor rather than an 865+, and 8GB of RAM and 12GB of storage. With Google's lightweight software and optimized performance, we expect the phone won't have trouble with multitasking or gaming, though it won't handle as well in benchmark tests. Camera performance is one of the more standout features the Pixel series has become known for with a 12.2MP main senor and 16MP ultra-wide, optimized for shooting in low light and challenging settings.

In all other regards, the phone has everything you'd expect like IP68 water and dust resistance, a sizable 4,000mAh battery, fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging capabilities. While it's true there are are trade-offs, the Pixel 5 is also cheaper than most flagship phones on this list, making it a worthy choice if you're looking for a high-end Google device to get.

"The more I used the Pixel 5, the more I appreciated a compact phone that you can more practically control with a single hand." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Big Phone: Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
What We Like
  • Huge, stunning screen

  • Amazing cameras

  • Ample power

  • Productivity perks

  • Good battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Can be hard to handle

  • QHD+ or 120Hz, not both

  • Sluggish fingerprint scanner

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is one of the biggest, most powerful phones you can buy. It has an enormous 6.8-inch screen with a Quad HD AMOLED panel. Everything looks great on the screen, and it also benefits from a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother transitions, animations, and scrolling. The internals consists of a Snapdragon 865+ processor with 12GB of RAM. The phone was smooth and responsive in usage, excelled at benchmark tests, and handled demanding 3D games without issue.

The Note20 Ultra is a 5G phone, supporting sub-6GHz and mmWave. Our reviewer hit a solid 1.1Gbps on the device during testing. The camera setup consists of a 12MP wide-angle camera, telephoto sensor, and a 108MP ultrawide camera. The phone took great shots with plenty of clarity and rich, saturated colors Samsung is none for. The telephoto zoom delivers crisp detail at a distance, and it's capable of recording 4K and 8K video. The 4,500mAh battery is sizable, though the power-hungry screen does tamp down some of the runtime. That said, fast charging and wireless charging are both supported.

"The Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is equipped with compatibility for both the low-level sub-6Ghz 5G and super-speedy mmWave 5G, meaning you’re fully equipped for what US carriers have on offer right now."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

What We Like
  • Solid specs

  • Great camera performance

  • Compact build

  • Nice OLED screen

What We Don't Like
  • Battery could be bigger

The Google Pixel 4a is one of the best value Android phones you can get. It's a more affordable model of the Pixel 4, and as such, it has a lot to offer but also comes with some compromises. The main paring down is that the Pixel 4a uses a Snapdragon 730 processor and has 6GB of RAM, compared to the Snapdragon 855 processor on the Pixel 4. That means the Pixel 4 will be able to benchmark a bit better and perhaps handle more demanding games, but fundamentally when it comes to day-to-day usage, the Pixel 4a should manage just fine for multitasking and web browsing.

Both phones have 1080p OLED displays and the Pixel 4a is in fact a little bit larger at 5.8 inches. The downside is that the refresh rate is 60Hz rather than a smoother 90Hz like the Pixel 4. In all other regards, the Pixel 4a isn't much of a compromise. You have a solid 3,140mAh battery that should last longer than the Pixel 4, there's the same features like face unlock, a fingerprint sensor, and there's even a headphone jack which the Pixel 4 scrapped.

Perhaps the most important feature is camera quality. The Pixel 4a doesn't make any serious compromises here. It has a 12.2MP camera with optical and electronic image stabilization. The camera is good enough to take high-quality snaps with accurate color reproduction and good low-light capabilities. It doesn't have the secondary telephoto lens of the Pixel 4, but for almost 50 percent off, the Pixel 4a is nothing to sneeze at.

"The Pixel 4a is lightweight and better suited as a one-handed device than most of today’s major smartphones."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Mid-Range: Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

 Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
What We Like
  • Extensive battery life

  • Big, beautiful screen

  • Smooth performance

  • 5G support

What We Don't Like
  • No water resistance

  • Middling speaker

  • Unlocked doesn't work on Verizon 5G

Samsung’s Galaxy A71 5G sits below its Galaxy S flagship smartphone line as a slightly more modest alternative. While lacking some of the design flourishes of the pricier Galaxy models, the A71 5G still looks and feels pretty premium, and the large 6.7-inch OLED screen is a beauty. And even with a mid-range processor within, the Galaxy A71 5G runs smoothly the vast majority of the time, while the huge battery is built to withstand heavy usage.

The cameras are pretty solid overall, but not quite at the level of the rival Google Pixel 4a 5G, plus the Galaxy A71 5G has other mid-range deficiencies such as a mediocre speaker and no water resistance certification. Still, if you’re looking to save a little cash on a large-screened 5G phone and don’t like what Google’s serving up, this is a very good option. Just note that the unlocked version doesn’t work on any of Verizon’s 5G spectrum, but there is a Verizon-centric version available for $50 more.

"The Galaxy A71 5G feels smooth and responsive the vast majority of the time, with only occasional hints of sluggishness here and there."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Older Generation (Compact): Samsung Galaxy S20 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
What We Like
  • Lightweight design

  • Camera and zoom innovation

  • 5G speeds

  • Great overall performance

  • Excellent display

What We Don't Like
  • 30x with AI still not as good as optical zoom

  • 5G coverage still spotty

The Galaxy S20 5G is Samsung's older 5G flagship phone. It comes in a total of three variants, the S20, S20+, and the most expensive, S20 Ultra 5G. Across the board you're looking at three powerful, capable phones with 5G capabilities, solid specs, and great multi-camera setups for the price.

All three devices have have a Quad HD Dynamic AMOLED display with the Infinity-O cutout for the front-facing camera. The S20 is 6.2 inches, the S20+ 6.7 inches, and the S20 Ultra is the largest at 6.9-inches, putting it on par with the Note20 Ultra. Under the hood you have a capable Snapdragon 865 processor and 12GB of RAM, which can handle everything you can throw at it in terms of multitasking and gaming.

Our reviewer noted that the camera performance is particularly impressive, combining a 12MP ultra-wide camera with a standard 12MP wide camera and a 64MP telephoto lens. It provides both the S20 and S20+ with 3X hybrid zoom and 30X Super Resolution Zoom which utilizes AI enhancement. The S20 Ultra takes things even further, adding a 108MP sensor, a 48MP telephoto camera, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a unique folded lens. This allows the Ultra to take in more light and it supports Nona Binning, combining 9 pixels into one at the sensor level, turning 108MP into 12MP for ultra low-light shots.

In our hands-on with all three phones, we found the S20 Ultra to be heavy and slightly unwieldy to use, albeit packed with the best features. Ultimately, all three phones are fast and capable mainstay flagships.

Best Older Generation (Large): Samsung Galaxy S20+

Samsung S20 Plus
What We Like
  • Full mmWave 5G support

  • Quad lens camera system

  • 120Hz AMOLED display

What We Don't Like
  • Still pricey

While all the old Samsung S20 models offer basic 5G capabilities, only the higher-end models support the ultra-fast mmWave 5G frequencies, making the S20 Plus the best choice if you want the best 5G performance possible without breaking the bank.

Of course, there’s more to the S20+ than just 5G support. As Samsung’s older flagship phone it also features a stunning AMOLED Infinity display that stretches from edge to edge with a crisp 523 poi resolution, following in the footsteps of last year’s model to use only a simple, clean hole for the front selfie camera. The screen refresh rate also now ramps up to 120Hz, which promises a smoother gaming and scrolling experience. 

The S20 Plus also offers a quad-lens camera system, although the fourth camera is actually a VGA “time-of-flight” sensor that’s used for “bokeh” depth-of-field effects and augmented reality applications. 12MP ultra-wide and standard wide lens and a 64MP telephoto lens make up the other three cameras, arranged in a unique new design that offers better zoom performance. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core CPU also ensures that you’ll be able to take maximum advantage of the higher speeds that the mmWave 5G chipset can offer.

Final Verdict

One of the best Google Fi phones you can get is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. As the newest flagship from Samsung it features powerful specs, excellent cameras, and a long-lasting battery that can keep you going all day. For a more affordable option that has solid performance, cameras, and 5G connectivity we also like the Google Pixel 4a 5G.

About Our Trusted Experts

Andrew Hayward has been covering gadgets, smartphones, smart home devices, werables, games, and more for Lifewire since 2019. He's been working in the industry since 2006 and has previously been published in TechRadar, Stuff, Polygon, Macworld, and more.

Ajay Kumar is Lifewire's Tech Editor. With over a decade of experience in the industry, he's reviewed hundreds of phones, tablets, laptops, and other consumer electronics. He's previously been published in PCMag and Newsweek.

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