Google adds Pixel phones to Project Fi lineup

Fans of Project Fi will soon be able to use Google's latest smartphones on the company's wireless service.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

Google showed off its Pixel phones Tuesday in San Francisco.

James Martin/CNET

Project Fi fans will soon have two new phones to choose from when signing up for Google's Wi-Fi-first service.

Google took the wraps off the new 5-inch Pixel and its big brother, the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, at an event Tuesday in San Francisco. The company said the new smartphones will work with Project Fi.

Project Fi is an experimental wireless network that Google started in April 2015. It uses a combination of cellular coverage and local Wi-Fi networks. The service accesses more than a million Wi-Fi hotspots to provide inexpensive wireless internet connectivity. When Wi-Fi isn't available, it uses cellular networks from Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular to provide service.

The service is currently available on three devices: the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6. Pixel devices will now be added to the list. The new Pixel phones, starting at $649, can be preordered in the US, Canada, Germany and the UK. Google will offer device financing for Project Fi customers buying Pixel phones just as it has done for the Nexus phones. This allows qualifying customers to split up the cost of a new Pixel phone over 24 monthly payments starting at $27 a month.

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