These are the Best Google Fi Phones in 2022
If you’re planning to buy a new smartphone, finding a device that fits your budget is not difficult. But choosing amongst some of the best phones can be a little difficult if you’re hoping to use it with a flexible carrier plan. Google Fi is a virtual network operator that offers such flexibility, with support for unlocked phones ranging from budget up to the top flagship smartphones.
While Google Fi is said to work on every iOS and Android device regardless of whether they are cheap or expensive, certain features that the MVNO offers are limited to those certified for use with the network. Hence, this article consists of a list that we think are the best options to consider for Google Fi since they can make the best use of the plans and features offered.
Navigate this guide:
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Best Camera: Google Pixel 6 Pro
- Best Midrange: Google Pixel 5a (5G)
- Best Battery Life: Moto G Power (2021)
- The Balanced Option: Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
- The Best Affordable Camera: Google Pixel 4a
- The Stylus Option: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
If you’re looking for a smartphone experience that doesn’t compromise much in the way of specifications, while still hoping to make the most of your Google Fi plan, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a tough choice to beat. While its version of Android isn’t the cleanest, if you compare the performance and feature set offered by the other devices on this list, this Samsung flagship does stand out.
With a Snapdragon 888 processor, a 6.8 inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display with a variable refresh up to 120Hz, and a four-sensor camera array headlined by a 108 MP shooter, this device will never let you down, especially with its 5000 mAh battery.
Also Great: Samsung Galaxy S21
If the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s price tag is a little hard to stomach, the Galaxy S21 makes for a pretty good alternative. While the only component that it shares with the Ultra is its processor, the rest of its parts are mostly par for the course.
The Snapdragon 888 in this device powers a 6.2-inch FHD+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display (with adaptive refresh rate) and handles the image processing from a triple camera system. You’ll also find a 4000 mAh battery within the polycarbonate chassis of this device, capable of wireless charging and fast charging speeds of up to 25W.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Pixel 6 Pro is Google’s latest flagship smartphone for 2021 and is arguably one of the best Pixel smartphones ever launched. It has the latest Tensor chip custom-made by Google along with flagship-grade specifications that make it a truly enticing option for a price tag of $899. The display is a QHD+ LTPO AMOLED panel that can refresh at 120Hz and has curved edges. Both the front and back are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.
The new Tensor chip allows for better AI and ML processing on the phone. It’s not just the chipset, but Google has also refreshed the camera hardware on the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s got a new 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 48MP telephoto lens with 4X optical zoom. The front has an 11.1MP ultra-wide camera. A large 5000mAh battery is what powers everything. Other features like wireless charging and IP68 rating that are generally found on flagships are also present on the Pixel 6 Pro.
Google has also promised 3 years of Android version updates and 5 years of security patches on the Pixel 6 Pro. It comes with the latest Android 12 out of the box with all the Material You goodness. If you’re looking for a flagship Pixel with excellent cameras, this is the one to get. It’s a reliable point-and-shoot device that is sure to produce a good image no matter what situation you’re shooting in.
Also Great: Google Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 slots in right below the Pixel 6 Pro and is an excellent value offering which is why a lot of people may even opt for the Pixel 6 over the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s got the same new Tensor chip with all the AI and ML capabilities. The display has been slightly toned down with the Pixel 6 compared to the Pro. It’s still a good display though with a 90Hz OLED panel. The rear houses the same two cameras — a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide but misses out on the telephoto lens from the Pixel 6 Pro.
The camera on the front isn’t as wide as the one on the Pro and also drops the resolution to 8MP. Other than that, there’s not a lot you’re missing out on with the standard Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 is also slightly smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro which a few people may prefer. You get the same sort of software support on the Pixel 6 too. The battery is slightly smaller at 4600mAh but the smaller screen and lower refresh rate mean that the battery life is going to be as good as the Pro if not better. For $300 lesser than the Pro, the Pixel 6 is a great value offering and should be the phone most people should get if you want the best value flagship with excellent, reliable cameras.
Best Midrange: Google Pixel 5a
With Google Pixel 5 discontinued, the Pixel 5a is the best phone to just “point and shoot” photos. It packs the same no-frills camera setup as the Pixel 5 with a 12.2MP primary wide-angle shooter and a 16MP ultra-wide camera. So you don’t have to worry about camera tricks or crazy zoom range, and can just take fantastic photos whether it’s day or night. In addition, there is optical image stabilization available on the primary shooter to help you take sharp images even in challenging conditions.
Apart from its superior camera capabilities, the Pixel 5a is also a great all-rounder. So if you don’t want to spend too much on a smartphone but still need speedy performance, the promise of software updates, and all the basics, you can’t go wrong with the Pixel 5a.
Best Battery Life: Moto G Power (2021)
If you are someone whose primary use for a smartphone involves quite a bit of social media scrolling and having the best display around isn’t the highest priority, the Moto G Power 2021 might be a great pick. The device also offers one of the cleanest Android experiences after the Pixel line.
With an HD+ LCD panel and Snapdragon 662, both of which are components that will just about sip on a battery, this phone is capable of being titled an endurance champ with its 5000 mAh cell. Keep in mind, the processor on this device is serviceable but might struggle under heavy loads.
The Balanced Option: Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
While not quite the looker, this offering from Samsung is for users who prefer to have a large display but would rather not spend extra to get a Galaxy S21+. It offers a decent mixture of performance and hardware similar to other devices in its price range.
The Galaxy A71 5G has a 6.9 inch FHD+ AMOLED panel powered by a Snapdragon 765G and a 4500 mAh cell. These specifications make it perfect for heavy users. With Samsung’s One UI 3.0 and a capable quad-camera setup headlined by a 64MP sensor, this device is an option for those looking at mid-tier phones in search of a jack of all trades.
- The highest-end model from the A-Series, Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, is a smartphone that packs in enough features that make it worth its price. Powered by a Snapdragon 765G, this phone shouldn't struggle in most demanding tasks and comes with a camera setup capable of taking great pictures.
The Best Affordable Camera Phone: Google Pixel 4a
The Pixel 4a is a simple-looking device with what is arguably the best camera at its price point. Like the Pixel 5, it mixes and matches a set of specifications that can very well justify its price tag. The phone offers the cleanest software experience compared to its competitors and is also first in line to receive Android updates like all phones from Google.
It comes with a 5.8 inch FHD+ OLED panel that doesn’t compromise on quality. Powered by a Snapdragon 730G and a 3140 mAh cell, this device is good enough for day-to-day tasks, but the processor’s lack of power is visible when you have to wait a few seconds for the 12 MP images to process. Although, the images produced are almost always worth the wait.
The Stylus Option: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Last year’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is arguably still a top performer in 2021. First made available in October 2020, the device is a little over half a year old, with a Snapdragon 865+ powering its WQHD+ Super AMOLED 120Hz display supported by a 4500 mAh battery and a 108 MP sensor similar to the one in S21 Ultra, it can compete with the top performers on this list.
The addition of the S-Pen with its dedicated silo also makes a good case for users who want quick access to a stylus. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra does support the use of this tool, you will have to deal with the hassle of carrying it around or buying a dedicated case giving the Note an advantage due to design.
Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is your best bet for a capable budget phone on Google Fi. It’s among the least expensive 5G phones in the market and comes with specifications like an HD+ display, Android 11, MediaTek Dimensity 720 SoC, and a large 5,000mAh battery.
There is nothing particularly exciting about the phone, but that’s the case with all budget phones. Fortunately, even with its not-so-exciting features, the A32 provides pretty much everything that you need for a decent performance. Its primary shooter is surprisingly good for its price and takes nice photos in Google lighting conditions. Of course, the same can’t be said about pictures in low-lighting situations, but that is expected on a sub-$300 phone. In addition, Samsung is promising four years of security updates for the A32 5G.
As mentioned earlier, each of the phones listed in this article will support Google Fi’s features like network switching, Wi-Fi Hotspots, and VPN service. So if you still haven’t made a decision, in our opinion, for those who want the flagship experience, they should consider getting the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. For those who want a larger screen but do not want to spend a lot, the Galaxy A71 5G is a great option. And lastly, if you are a point-and-shoot buff, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the way to go.