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Google Fi now directly sells Samsung phones and adds a new 5G map

Google Fi now directly sells Samsung phones and adds a new 5G map


Fi gets a bigger emphasis on 5G

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Photo by Brennan King / The Verg

Google is expanding the phones that it sells directly to use with its Google Fi network, with the company now offering six of Samsung’s latest 5G phones: the Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20 Plus, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the Galaxy A71 5G.

Fi customers have been able to use Samsung’s Android phones — which are practically the face of Android as a whole, despite Google’s own efforts with its Pixel lineup — for years, but they’ve had to buy them unlocked. Now, though, Google is directly selling the devices, something that it’s previously only offered for its own Pixel devices and Motorola phones.

Google is also offering a few discounts on Galaxy phones purchased for Fi customers: $300 Fi billing credits for anyone who buys the Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra, $300 off of the three S20 models (once activated on Fi), and $150 off the A71 5G.

Additionally, Google has started to put a much bigger spotlight on Fi’s support for 5G, with the company now advertising its “nationwide 5G” on its coverage website and including a new coverage map that shows where you’ll be able to get 5G with Fi. Google Fi has supported 5G for months already, given that it’s a T-Mobile-based MVNO — so long as your device has support for T-Mobile’s various flavors of 5G.

Of course, all these new 5G-focused additions come just as Google is about to launch the first 5G devices of its own, with the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G both set to arrive in a few weeks. When the only way to use 5G with Fi was to bring your own separately purchased unlocked device, there wasn’t much incentive for Google to make a big deal out of it. But now that the company is directly selling 5G devices (including ones from Google itself), it makes sense that the company is putting a bigger emphasis on the new networking standard.