The December security patch that rolled out last week was packed with bug fixes and new features that will be gracing our Pixel devices very soon. However, some features get introduced that do not make it to the release notes and we have to rely on users to catch them and report them to their favorite tech blogs. Such is the case with this newest Google Fi feature, as reported by 9to5Google, that allows Pixel owners to set their preferred network type to LTE instead of 5G.
While you would think that 5G is the setting that makes the most sense — and you would be correct to think so because it is actually the default — the 5G rollout has not necessarily been the game-changer it was meant to be to most users. Sometimes you do not get the highest speeds or the best experience, and Google is apparently acknowledging this fact by allowing this change in the Google Fi settings.
When you open the Settings app and navigate to Network & Internet > SIMs/Google Fi, you will see a preference labeled “Preferred network type.” This preference can be tapped, and it will disclose that it is already set to “5G (recommended).” LTE and 3G are two of the other options that are available on the menu.
The theory is that by using LTE instead of 5G, you can actually enjoy better connectivity, or at the very least, consistently more bars on your Google Fi Pixel. This will of course depend heavily on the cellular network in your area that Fi is using.
The change has been widely noted by Pixel users that have updated to the December security patch. In the past, changing your preferred network required some sketchy workarounds that did not persist through reboots. However, this new setting appears to stick and we are hopeful that is the way it was meant to function, and not a bug that will later be corrected.