LG Nexus 5X for Google’s Project Fi: Unboxing and Initial Setup

Another Nexus Phone?

If you’re interested in Project Fi or the Nexus 6 you might’ve seen my other video on the subject. This new Nexus 5X isn’t for me, but to get my wife off of the dreaded Verizon and onto Fi.

One thing I’d like to note for the historical record: At this time there is no “family plan” or its analogue with Project Fi. Fi is still invite-only (though Missus’ invite came through in about 2 days) and is strictly one subscriber per account.

And in case you’re interested in a cost comparison:

Cost of our Verizon plan w/2 lines: $147 / month (w/subsidized phones)

Combined cost of our Fi plans: $112 / month (includes phone payments)

Our Verizon plan had a shared 2GB/mo. cap, and each of our Fi plans is 1GB/mo. But we never used all of our Verizon data (less than half, actually) and the cost for Fi shown above does not include any refund for unused data. We should be looking at about $10/mo. refunded between us.

Of course, that doesn’t tell the full story: We had a contract with Verizon which allowed us to get subsidized phones every two years. While I’ve included the 24 months of phone financing payments into the Fi cost, the Verizon cost of $147/mo. does not include the roughly $500 spent on both of our previous phones. When you factor that in over a 24 month period the actual cost of Verizon service was $168 per month!

So here’s the complete value proposition, including an estimated unused-data-rebate and the cash portion of the Verizon phones amortized over 24 months:

Verizon: $168 / month

Project Fi: $102 / month

Of course there are probably cheaper and more efficient plans than our previous one with Verizon. In fact, Verizon has recently ditched contracts and is also offering zero percent interest loans for phone hardware just like Fi. Nonetheless, that’s how the economics worked out for me in changing providers.

Making the Opening to the Project Fi Review Video

Hopefully you’ve already checked out my other video: Project Fi – From 1996 to Nexus 6. In that video I discuss Project Fi, the Nexus 6, and the cellular industry in general. It started out with an opening shot of twelve Nexus Sixes (or Nexus 72, if you prefer).

In another blog post and video I showed off my motion control slider project. I’ve been looking for excuses to use it in particularly “motion-controley” ways, and so I decided to composite a bunch of passes of the camera over my one Nexus 6 to make make many of them.

As you can see, it’s done in front of a green screen. That let me isolate the Nexus 6 in each pass, which I then layered on top of each other in Adobe After Effects. I just used a mirror effect in Adobe Premiere to create the left side of the “wall”.

I thought that this was a good use of motion control for compositing because it would have been nearly impossible (or at least very difficult) to make each of the 6 passes of the camera happen at exactly the same speed if I did it by hand.

My green screen and the holder for the phone (just a mini light stand covered in green masking tape) weren’t perfectly uniform, either in texture or lighting, so the matte came out a little rough and you can see some artifacts around the phones.

I’ll admit that I’m a lazy man, so rather than re-light and re-shoot the entire thing I used a garbage matte to get rid of the worst of it. With the footage having been sped up 3x and the white-to-normal dissolve thing, it’s not overly noticeable in the final product. (Or at least I’m hoping that you didn’t notice it.)

If you have any questions about how I put it together, or any advice for me on how to get a better result next time, please let me know in the comments!

Google’s Project Fi – From 1996 to Nexus 6

Why Project Fi?

I’ve been a Verizon customer since back when they were called Bell Atlantic back in The Year 2000. Lately their service has been terrible in my area. When I’m lucky enough to get an LTE connection, it’s slow and high-latency.

Project Fi lets my phone choose the best of two providers for my data service: Sprint or T-Mobile. And so far, it’s just plain better.

I go on at some length about it in the video above.

The Intro

In a previous blog post and video I showed off my motion control slider project. I’ve been looking for excuses to use it in particularly “motion-controley” ways, and so I decided to composite a bunch of passes of the camera over my one Nexus 6 to make a wall of Nexus Sixes.

Please check out my new post about the intro!