Long story short, I joined Project Fi in 2016 October using a Nexus 5X purchased from Project Fi. The 5X was a good phone until last Monday morning, 2018 April 23, when it went into the notorious boot loop. Luckily, it was covered by the $5 per month Device Protection Program.

After some back-and-forth with Project Fi Support, they agreed to send a replacement device. "And what will the replacement device be?" I asked. "It will be a new Moto X4 Android One." I pay the $79 deductible. The phone came by overnight express from Carol Stream Illinois and was in my hands on April 26th, 11:09 am. I spent some time on setup and a series of updates to the OS, and by evening it was working, about 3 1/2 days after the trouble started. I shipped the nonworking phone on the 27th, using a prepaid label that they supplied as a pdf.

In fact, my good luck depended on a flow of good information from others through internet discussions. Here is some basic chronology:
  • Nexus 5X Announced: Sep 29, 2015 ; Release date: Oct 20, 2015 ; Received by me, Fri Oct 07, 2016, 2:07 pm. ; stopped working 2018 April 23.
  • Moto 5g+ Announced: Feb 26, 2017 ; Release date: Mar 31, 2017 ; Purchased by me, Nov 9, 2017.
  • Moto X4 Announced: Aug 31, 2017 ; Release date: Oct 19, 2017 .

So, my good luck resides in the fact that the Moto X4 Android One is a 2 years newer phone than the Nexus 5X that conked out. Now if we think back to 2016 when I joined Fi, almost immediately there were reports of the N5X devices failing. The phone would reboot itself and before completing the startup, it would start over with a return to the initial Google logo, and so ad infinitum. Web discussions taught that these failures were common and that the failure was probably related to heat. Something about fragile solder connections.

By the summer of 2017, I knew all that. Each day when I went to the outdoor swimming pool, I wrapped the phone in a plastic bag and put it in a small cooler along with bottles of cold water and bottles of ice. One has to think that helped the phone survive for 18 months. Others had worse luck and kindly posted about it on the web.

The Moto 5g+ figures in because it is a backup device in two ways. For now it is activated on T-mo's legacy Gold Rewards plan. Four or more Howard Forums users helped me pick it out for that purpose. Also, it runs Hangouts with the same Google account used on Fi. Therefore, if the 5g+ has Wi-Fi, it can answer calls to the Fi number. If I were to lose the Gold Rewards account, it could be activated as a "data only" device on the Fi account, still able to answer Fi calls. Thanks to all!