I gave up my iPhone X on AT&T for a Google Pixel 2XL on Project Fi, and here’s why

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Apple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPhone X

I have had a full-time job as a sports writer since I was 19 years old and still in college. I have always loved my job and enjoyed going to work.

My second love is technology, specifically, Apple products. I loved Apple so much that when an Apple store opened in Las Vegas, I got a part-time job there. I did it not because I needed the money, but because I loved the products so much and wanted to learn more about them.

I worked for Apple on the night the iPhone launched in 2007. That was an incredibly memorable day. We closed the store at 2 p.m. and reopened at 6 for the iPhone launch. There were people in line to buy the iPhone from the wee hours of the morning.

I had to teach a Welcome to iPhone class that day, and didn’t even see the phone until 5 p.m., an hour before the store reopened and people could buy it, and two hours before the class I was to teach.

I’ve had an iPhone ever since.

And, I guess, I still do. But it’s an $1,149.00 purchase I don’t have that much use for any longer.

Sigh.

Ever since I purchased the iPhone X, I have had issues using it as a phone. When I first got it, I had great difficulty having people hear me when I spoke, and I had difficulty hearing them. The call quality wasn’t good. When I went out, the LTE coverage didn’t work that well.

Apple Store iPhone opening

I am in the front, as an Apple employee, working on the original iPhone launch day of June 29, 2007.

 

But my primary concern was using it as a phone. I’ve had the same cell phone number for more than 25 years, and I didn’t want to change it because it would have been difficult for me work-wise.

I called AppleCare and went to an Apple Store and they said it was an AT&T issue. So I called AT&T and went to an AT&T store and they said it was an Apple issue.

I finally went back to calling Apple, and got someone who said that even though the phone was passing all the tests, they’d swap phones. So swap I did, and it didn’t fix the issue. The LTE issue was worse. We’d be in a restaurant, say, and I’d have four bars of LTE. I’d want to check a sports score. I’d go to my phone and as often as not, I couldn’t load a page. I took to carrying my Pixel 2XL as well and whenever I couldn’t load a page on my iPhone, I’d pull out the Pixel and it would load instantly.

I went to the Golden Knights’ fan celebration on Wednesday at at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. I was trying to tweet from there and it was next-to-impossible with my iPhone. It was easy with the Pixel, so at that point, the decision was made: I was to give up on the iPhone and switch to the Pixel.

On Thursday, I called Google and got them to port my number from AT&T. This number would then replace the Google Fi number I’d had (but wasn’t really using because few of my work contacts had it).

As soon as the port was finalized, I made a call, and it was perfect. And I haven’t had an issue with any call since.

If you don’t know of Project Fi, I’d look into it because it is incredibly cheap and it seems to work as, you know, a phone. My bill for the phone is $20 a month. That includes unlimited phone calls and text. They charge $10 a gigabyte for data, and prorate it so if you use three-quarters of a gigabyte, it’s $7.50 and not $10. And the most you’ll pay for data is $60.

Google-Pixel-2-XL

The Google Pixel 2XL works surprisingly good as a phone!

On top of that, it works around the world just as it does here. There are a few countries where you have to pay 20 cents a minute for the call, but many are free and you can use it as if you’re home. It also has WiFi calling which is always free.

I’m mystified whether it is a hardware or software issue with the iPhone. I’m better off using it, because I have an Apple Watch and so many other Apple devices, as well as movies, music, etc.

Forgetting the phone for a moment, I like the iPhone X better than the Google Pixel 2XL, but it’s not by a huge amount. And some of the things are just different and I have to get used to a new way.

Bottom line, I couldn’t afford work-wise to keep using the iPhone X because I couldn’t risk having issues with interviews. I actually had a landline phone put into my house a few months ago because I was having so many issues with my iPhone X, but people have that cell number and so it was used the most.

I’m not saying I’ll never go back, but if the Pixel 2XL continues to work as well for me as it has so far, I’ll find myself more into the Google ecosystem. I’ve even considered a Google Pixelbook.

My next step is to find a smart watch I like. I love my Apple Watch, but it requires an iPhone, and in a few days, I’m going to sell that on Gazelle.com.

I’ve spoken to several friends who have the iPhone X who are on other networks besides AT&T and they’ve had the same or very similar issues. So I imagine Apple has to be aware of this and will fix it in the next generation.

It’s probably too late for me, though, as much as I hate to say that. If a phone can’t be used as a phone, it’s probably not worth having. Consider carefully before you buy an iPhone X. If you get one, I pray you don’t have the same issues I’ve experienced.

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I worked part-time for Apple at the Apple Store Fashion Show and I’m here at a store meeting with Howie Begosa (L), Ramil Ramirez (orange shirt) and Matt Maxson (R).

4 comments

  • Hi Kevin, Really enjoyed your post. I too switched to the Pixel XL2 and Project Fi about 4 months ago after using iphones since the first one in 2007. I made the change mostly because of international travel and how much AT&T screwed us on data charges over a 2 week trip to Canada- not exactly a remote foreign locale! Re the Pixel phone I really like the water resistance capability as well as the quality of the camera of course 🙂

    • Hey Wayne, great to hear from you. It’s truly remarkable how many people I’ve heard from today who are in the spot boat as we are. Fi is a great alternative to the major carriers, especially for folks who have limited budgets. I was in T-Mobile and even with an Over-55 plan, I was looking at $80/month from them if I switched to them. I’m looking at around $25/month with Fi. It’s a no brainer, especially since the Pixel 2 XL seems to work very well.

  • Interesting stuff Kevin. I switched from an iPhone to an Android device too, a few months ago, after finding a fatal flaw that interfered with my workflow. It seems that when you try to copy Google Docs text and paste it into an email (whether using the native Apple mail app, or the Gmail App), it loses the formatting. I just couldn’t have that. I write a lot on my phone, especially when I’m out and about and it was such a hassle to always have to run into this problem. I’ve been on Android for about five months now and I haven’t missed the iPhone one bit.

    • Thanks Carlos. I’m an Apple guy so the transition won’t be as easy for me, but this phone is working well

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