I recently tested a Moto X from Republic Wireless, and was so impressed that before getting around to writing this review I have already bought one from them. I’ll be buying the second as soon as I am free from the chains of my old AT&T contract, which happens next month. In the 5 years that we have been iPhone users this is the first time I have been happy about dropping my iPhone….
Our household has been running on iPhones since 2009, we would typically wait until our 2 year window was up before upgrading, but had paused at the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 respectively. As both are a little dated, I opted to compare the tech specs of the 5s with the Moto X.
When playing with both devices, I found them to be of similar performance quality, this is reflected in their technical specs below. I find this interesting as I wouldn’t have thought of the Moto X to be a top tier phone, but it really is a solid device.
The real reason that I wanted out of AT&T was money, I was tired of receiving a bill each month for $135 for our two phones. Republic Wireless offers 4 different plans, we will likely select one 3G and one 4G for our family as I want that extra speed when on the go. Note that you can swap plans
once twice a month also.
The unlimited aspect of the cellular internet is actually focused on 5GB, if you exceed that then you will be throttled down to 2G speeds for that month, however they give you a free pass on exceeding it once in every 6 month period. I’ve only exceeded 5G once on my iPhone, but I was using cellular at home rather than running off wifi at the time too.
Despite the upfront cost of the device being $299 rather than $199 the reduced monthly costs make a breakeven point of month 3, after which your annual outflows have been reduced.
Republic Wireless uses three different technology platforms:
- Wifi – whenever possible it will jump onto a Wifi network to run your calls without relying on cellular data.
- Primary Carrier – when not on Wifi, Republic Wireless will seek out the Sprint 4G (or 3G) network to run on, it is a MVNO that uses excess bandwidth from the primary carrier.
- Roaming – when not on Wifi, and there is no Sprint coverage, Republic Wireless will join a roaming network.
I found Sprints coverage excellent, but obviously this is location specific. When I trialed the Moto X on a road trip I had service with Republic Wireless when I did not with AT&T.
Currently, you can only dial into the 48 states and Canada with this handset. If you are calling internationally then it wouldn’t work for you. Personally, when I need to dial international numbers I tend to use a Skype app. If you simply must be able to dial Internationally then this is a weakness of the currently structure. Interestingly, on the reverse side, when traveling overseas you jump onto Wifi and can call back to the US for free, which is a great feature. Your habits will dictate whether this offers a viable solution for you.
We ported over the number from AT&T with ease, you just need the account number from your AT&T bill (which can be accessed online also) and a quick form here will get the number migrated. They recommend checking your eligibility to transfer first with their tool here.
To port the contacts from the iPhone you simply sync it within iTunes, then export that to Google, there is a guide that explains in more detail here – but it really is about 2 seconds longer than that.
Republic Wireless is a great alternative to AT&T, or any of the traditional carriers, it is emerging as a leader in the MVNO sector, but it isn’t the only option out there, be sure to check out other potential alternatives to see what might be best for you, such as Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, TracFone etc. I haven’t reviewed those products so can’t compare them.
I think the only areas for improvement that I am looking for from Republic’s pricing is that they don’t have a great family plan, it seems to be best for single people, but in our case as a two cellphone family we are still coming out ahead after just a couple of months by making the switch, plus we are getting a better phone than the Iphone 4 and 5 that we are currently running. With no contract, and lower monthly expenses, this is one more string cut away, and another step towards financial freedom.
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