Republic Wireless Plus Moto E and Moto G Reviews

Product by:
Lance Cothern
Price:
$5 to $10 + $15 per GB per month

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 4, 2016
Last modified:February 9, 2016

Summary:

Republic Wireless allows you to shrink your cell phone bill by hundreds a year. We found out the service is about 95% perfect, but no cell service is 100% and Republic Wireless is well worth it for the money you'll save.

Republic Wireless is a cell phone company that began offering service in 2011.

They’re changing the way people pay for and use their cell phone service. 

Why are they making such big waves?

Republic Wireless is stealing customers from the big four carriers left and right because they can save people a massive amount of money on their cell phone service every month and you don’t have to sign a contract.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think anyone loves paying crazy high cell phone bills.

Personally, my wife and I both have our cell phones with Republic Wireless.

Included below are our personal experiences with Republic Wireless throughout our time, well over a year, with them.

Republic Wireless Plans And Their Prices

No matter which Republic Wireless plan you pick, you never have to sign a contract. Right away, that puts Republic Wireless ahead in my mind.

Save hundreds per year on your cell phone bill with Republic WirelessRepublic Wireless offers plans starting at just $5 a month for WiFi service only.

With this plan you can use their smartphone to make calls, texts over WiFi as well as any data you wish over WiFi only. There is no cell service with this plan.

Their next most expensive plan is only $10 a month and gives you unlimited cell service for texts and phone calls but no mobile data over cell towers.

Instead, you can use unlimited data over WiFi.

If you’d like to use data, you will only pay for the actual data you use.

You’ll have to pick a plan based on your estimated usage and then Republic Wireless will refund you for any data you didn’t use on your next bill.

Currently, you can get their 0.5 GB plan for $17.50 per month, their 1 GB plan for $25 per month, their 2 GB plan for $40 per month or their 3 GB plan for $55 per month. All data on these plans can use 4G LTE, if available.

If you end up needing more data than your plan allows for, you can simply add more data via an a la carte option at $7.50 per 0.5 GB or $15 per GB.

Note: Roaming data is charged at a rate of 18.3 MB per actual 1 MB used. Also, data used for the Republic Wireless app does not count toward your cell data and you do not pay for it.

Of course, you still have to pay taxes and governmental fees. On our $25 plan, we pay $6 in taxes and fees per month.

So how can Republic Wireless offer these insanely low rates? Keep reading to find out… Already excited to check out the plans for yourself?

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How Can Republic Wireless Offer Such Low Rates?

How can a cell phone provider offer these rock bottom prices, have great service and survive? I’m glad you asked, because switching to their service can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Republic Wireless uses wireless networks (WiFi) instead of cell networks whenever possible to make phone calls, send text messages and for all data consumption purposes.

By using free WiFi instead of a cell network, Republic Wireless is able to save a ton of money by not paying for cell network access. They pass these savings along to their consumers in the form of lower rates and I have to say, I’m quite impressed with their offerings.

These days, we’re almost always around a source of WiFi. I know I have WiFi at my home, at work and at many of the stores I shop at on a regular basis like the grocery store and Home Depot. The only time I don’t have access to WiFi is if I’m travelling somewhere unfamiliar or I’m actually on the road.

Neat Benefits Of Republic Wireless Service

I thought it was cool that Republic Wireless offered great rates and an innovative service. That’d be enough to get most cost conscious people to switch services. However, Republic Wireless had a couple of aces up their sleeve.

Data Refunds

As I mentioned above, Republic Wireless will refund you for the cost of any data you don’t use. Simply take the number of unused MB you had left on your plan and divide it by 1024 (the number of MB in a GB) to get how much of a GB you didn’t use. Multiply that by $15 and that will be your refund on your next bill.

Data Usage At A Glance

Republic Wireless has built in a detailed list of exactly what is using your data within the Republic Wireless app. You can see how much WiFi you use and how much cell data you use in total for the billing cycle or any date range you choose. You can also view how much data each individual app has used.

Data Controls

The Republic Wireless app allows you to control which apps can and cannot use data. This helps keep your data cost down. You can turn off all cell data if you want or you can simply switch off certain apps so they don’t use any data. This may disable some app functionality if you don’t have access to WiFi.

Data Usage Notifications

Republic Wireless doesn’t believe in surprises when it comes to your phone bill. For that reason, your phone will notify you when you’ve hit certain data usage thresholds.

If you wish, you can purchase more data or you can be more conscious about using WiFi to reduce your data usage.

Be A Part Of Their Thriving Community

Have you ever heard of a community of passionate AT&T or Verizon users that come together to help each other? I didn’t think so. The community at Republic Wireless’s site is quick to help you out if you ever have a question.

You can even learn how to optimize your Republic Wireless experience through the knowledgeable people already in the community. As you learn, you can add to the conversations if you’d like.

How Good Is Republic Wireless’s Service?

Republic Wireless uses the Sprint network for all of your cell calls, text messages and data that don’t end up going over WiFi. The Sprint network is actually one of the better networks in terms of 4G LTE coverage in my area, which is nice if I want to pay for the faster data.

Make sure to check the coverage in your area on the Republic Wireless website. You can see coverage maps and enter your zip code to see what coverage they have in your area.

But what if you don’t have awesome Sprint coverage everywhere you go? Is it a big problem? I’m going to say it isn’t a game breaker with how Republic Wireless works. Due to the fact that they route everything over WiFi as a first priority, as long as you have access to WiFi you should be fine.

Over the past year, we’ve encountered just a few places where my wife didn’t have phone or data service through Republic Wireless. However, I can remember there were dead spots when I used to have AT&T, too.

You’ll run across these issues with any cell phone provider, but Republic Wireless’s calling and texting over WiFi offers another option for when you’re in a dead zone.  As soon as we connected to the store’s WiFi network, we were able make the call we needed.

When you consider how much cheaper Republic Wireless is than AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, I’m willing to accept an occasional area of spotty service for the hundreds of dollars I’ll save each year.

You Can Switch From WiFi To Cell Service Manually During A Call

If for whatever reason your WiFi call isn’t working smoothly (which we haven’t had any problems with) there is a setting you can turn on that will allow you to switch a call manually from WiFi to cell service or from cell service to WiFi. It’s called handover and we’ve never had to use it, but we have tested it. All you have to do is tap the button.

Republic Wireless’s software is very good at picking a stable network for your phone calls, so we’ve never had to switch mid call. However, it’s a nice feature to have.

You might end up with a dropped call if the handover doesn’t go smoothly, but I’d say this is a rare occurrence based on our experience. We could count the amount of dropped calls we’ve had in the past year on one hand with a couple fingers to spare.

What’s The Catch?

Republic Wireless isn’t going to be able to offer the same exact service on all levels of their business that AT&T and Verizon can because they aren’t a behemoth company yet, even though they currently have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

For instance, you can currently only choose from three different phones, the Moto X (2nd gen), the Moto E (2nd gen) and the Moto G (3rd gen), to use on their network due to the special software needed to route calls over WiFi. For many people, the phone doesn’t really matter as long as it gets the job done.

To me, the Moto X (2nd gen) and Moto G (3rd gen) easily compete with some of the popular Apple and Samsung phones and Moto E (2nd gen)  is more than powerful enough for the average smart phone user.

If you wanted the latest and greatest name branded Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone though, Republic Wireless won’t work for you.

Don’t Worry! You Can Bring Your Phone Number With You!

The biggest worry my wife had about switching to Republic Wireless was keeping her phone number. Luckliy, in almost every case you can port (or take) your old cell phone number to Republic Wireless.

The setup is pretty simple and they have step by step instructions for you to follow. Make sure to check and see if your number can be ported over before you make a purchase with their online tool.

GetRepublicWirelessToday

Are The Moto E (2nd gen), Moto G (3rd gen) and Moto X (2nd gen) Good Phones?

Note: The Moto X (2nd gen) is no longer for sale directly through Republic Wireless.

My wife and I both currently have the Moto G (3rd gen) 16 GB version phone. However, we have used both the Moto X (2nd gen) and Moto E phones for a few weeks each, so we can definitely review both and tell you the differences between them.

Full disclosure, Republic Wireless did send us a Moto X (2nd gen) and Moto E (2nd gen) demo phone to try out for a couple weeks. However, we both currently own Moto G (3rd gen) 16 GB phones. 

My wife originally had a Moto X (1st gen) phone, but she dropped it and cracked the screen so we upgraded her to her current Moto G (3rd gen).

The Basics About The Moto Phones

All of the Moto phones are decent smart phones that get the job done for the average smart phone user. They’re not a name branded iPhone 6 plus or a Samsung Galaxy S6, but they’re still pretty slick.

These phones are extremely affordable compared to what you’d have to pay out of pocket at AT&T or Verizon with no contract or payment plan. The Moto E (2nd gen) is $129, the Moto G (3rd gen) is only $199 (8 GB) to $229 (16GB) and the Moto X (2nd gen) starts at $249 if you just want the basic version.

That’s only $5.38 per month for the Moto E (2nd gen), $8.29 a month for the Moto G (3rd Gen 8GB), $9.54 per month for the Moto G (3rd gen 16 GB) or $10.38 a month for the Moto X (2nd gen) if you compared it to a standard two year contract AT&T or Verizon used to make you sign.

Details And My Thoughts About The Moto E (2nd Gen)

The Moto E is a solid phone at an amazing price point of just $129. Unfortunately, the phone only comes with 8 GB of internal memory which is very small, although you can expand that with a micro SD card for up to an additional 32 GB of space.

The phone allows you to use both 3G and 4G LTE data. The display is a 4.5″qHD display and it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for durability.

It has a 5MP Tap-to-Focus camera main camera, which honestly isn’t very good. It will capture the idea of the picture, but if you want to zoom in or print a picture it probably won’t turn out very well.  It also has a forward facing camera.

If you just use your phone for calling, texting, browsing the web and an occasional app or two, this phone is for you. I would not get this phone if you like to take and actually use your pictures or if use a lot of apps, unless you get a micro SD card.

Get Your Moto E Today!

Details And My Thoughts About The Moto G (3rd Gen)

The Moto G (3rd Gen) is the mid-priced Republic Wireless phone at $199 to $229 depending on if you want the 8 GB or 16 GB version of the phone.

Honestly, we thought the Moto G (3rd Gen) was a better deal than the more expensive Moto X (2nd Gen) phone.

If you like using a bunch of apps, I personally would recommend the 16 GB version. The 8 GB version won’t have a ton of storage left after the operating system takes up a good chunk of your main memory.

While you can use a micro SD card to add an additional 32 GB of memory to either version of the phone, you may lose a bit of speed, so I recommend going with the 16 GB version if you like using apps or storing a lot of photos, videos or music on your phone.

If you just use your phone as a phone with occasional internet access, the 8 GB version should work just fine for you.

The calls we made on the device came through clear and we had no problems making or receiving calls.

We didn’t have any problems with call clarity when we had good signal either from a cell tower or from WiFi.

The Moto G hasn’t ever given me any problems with speed. In fact, it feels at least the same, if not better than my old Samsung Galaxy phone I had when I was on AT&T.

The screen comes in at 5 inches and has 720p resolution. The screen is made with the Gorilla Glass 3 HD display, which has been pretty durable in my experience.

The phone comes equipped with two cameras and a LED flash. The main camera is a 13MP auto-focus camera which is really easy to use. We use this camera for all of our candid shots.

The battery life on the Moto G hasn’t been a problem for us at all. It easily lasts an entire day of normal use without having to recharge it. In fact, I sometimes go multiple days without recharging my phone, but I’m not a super heavy user.

The other weird detail is the phone doesn’t have a physical home button, even though it looks like there would have been a place to put one below the screen. Instead, you must use a home button on the screen itself.

Overall, the Moto G is an awesome smart phone at a great price point. Both my wife and I personally picked the 16 GB model of the Moto G (3rd Gen), so you can tell we think this is currently the best deal available for our needs.

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Details and My Thoughts About The Moto X (2nd Gen)

Note: The Moto X (2nd gen) is no longer for sale directly through Republic Wireless.

The Moto X (2nd gen), currently only $249, shocked me after using the other Republic Wireless phones in the past. This phone actually competes with the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phones, while the Moto E wasn’t really a competitor compared to the latest and greatest phones.

The standard version comes with 16 GB of memory, but you can upgrade the memory via Moto Maker to 32 GB for an additional $50. You can even completely customize the look of your phone through the Moto Maker program, too.

This phone has an amazingly beautiful 5.2″ AMOLED Full HD 1080p display which is a big improvement over the previous generation. The Moto X (2nd gen) also comes with Android KitKat 4.4.4, has a Qualcomm Snapdrago quad-core processor and Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The camera on the Moto X (2nd gen) works really well and could easily replace your digital camera, if you still have one. The camera is tap to focus and you can quickly access it by simply twisting your wrist rather than launching it on a menu.

The one thing I wish was different about this phone is the fact it doesn’t have a physical home button. If that’s going to bother you enough to spend several hundred dollars more per year on a phone and service at a big carrier, then you’ll want to pass.

However, if the inconvenience is outweighed by the savings, you’ll just have to deal with this small problem, in my opinion, with this phone.

 

Differences Between The Moto E (2nd Gen) vs The Moto G (3rd gen) vs The Moto X (2nd gen)

So what are the big deciding factors between the Moto E (2nd gen), the Moto G (3rd gen) and the Moto X (2nd gen) phones?

The Moto E really should be reserved for those that just want a basic smartphone that browses the web. While the price point is cheaper, it only has 8 GB of internal memory which can fill up fast unless you use the expandable micro SD card slot.

The Moto G (3rd gen) is a newer phone and comes in at a slightly lower price than the Moto X (2nd gen). Due to the fact that the Moto G (3rd gen) came out more recently, it has some newer features the Moto X (2nd gen) doesn’t have.

However, the Moto X (2nd gen) was the high end Moto phone when it came out so it still is a quality phone. It has an extra GB of RAM, which may be the tipping point for some techies, but it does not have an expandable memory micro SD card slot.

Personally, I’d go with the Moto G (3rd gen) 16 GB version, which both my wife and I use for our phones.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

If you’re on the fence about trying Republic Wireless, the 30 day money back guarantee should ease your mind. If you don’t like it, simply return it and get all of your money back, except for your initial shipping. Just make sure to follow the rules.

In order to get the money back guarantee, you must contact Republic Wireless within 30 days of delivery of your phone. You must be able to return the phone in an undamaged condition AND with all of the original packaging. Don’t throw anything away!

As long as you buy your phone through Republic Wireless, you can get refunds on both your phone and your service within the first 30 days. If you buy your phone customized through Moto Maker, you’ll have to follow Motorola’s 14 day return period for the phone.

You can only return accessories if they are unopened and undamaged. So, don’t open any accessories if you’re not sure if you’re going to keep the phone yet.

All you have to do is wait for your free return shipping label and ship your phone back and they’ll process your request. It’s a pretty simple process! Make sure to check out the Republic Wireless website for full details.

Our Final Verdict On Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is a great way to save a ton of money on your cell phone service. Even after you buy the phones up front, you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year over a traditional cell phone plan.

The WiFi calling technology seems to be working pretty well for us and it will only get better going forward from here. Yes, you might drop a call once in a blue moon or you might hit a spot that doesn’t have cell coverage, but the same exact things happen on the big networks like AT&T or Verizon, too.

Overall, I’m willing to take any of the minor inconveniences I’ve dealt with so far in exchange for savings hundreds of dollars a year. In fact, my wife and I have both made the switch to Republic Wireless and we’re saving a ton of money.

Republic Wireless isn’t perfect for everyone. If you’re not a huge technology nerd that has to have the latest and greatest Samsung or Apple phone every 6 months and your area has decent Sprint and WiFi coverage then I suggest you give them a shot. 

You don’t have anything to lose with their 30 day money back guarantee and odds are you’ll like the service and save hundreds of dollars a year. How cool is that?!

GetRepublicWirelessToday

Ready to try out Republic Wireless and want to support this site? Sign up through this affiliate link for Republic Wireless! I’m very thankful for everyone who helps support Money Manifesto!

Do you have Republic Wireless? If not, are you considering switching? Have any questions that we can test out for you on our Moto G (3rd Gen) phones? Let me know in the comments or contact me!

I worked very hard on this review to help you decide if Republic Wireless is a good fit for you or not to help you save money. All views are 100% my own and 100% honest.

There are affiliate links within this post that will pay me a small commission if you sign up through them. It is the same price for you either way, but I thank you in advance if you sign up through one of my links.

Republic Wireless allows you to shrink your cell phone bill by hundreds a year. We found out the service is about 95% perfect, but no cell service is 100% and Republic Wireless is well worth it for the money you'll save.

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

Comments

  1. I’ve heard awesome things about Republic Wireless, and we will definitely use them if we ever get smartphones, but for now we’re using talk/text phone at a cost of about $8 a month.

  2. Switching from WiFi to cell service manually during a call is really a good one! Thanks a lot for this great review!

  3. Thanks for the extensive review. This will help me when I will be switching from my present carrier soon.

  4. Michael Frazier says:

    We have been using the Moto G Ext (2nd gen) with another sell carrier for about two months now, switching it to wifi wherever available. It costs us $33.25 for 250 shared phone minutes, for a lot of text messages, and for 500 MB of data excluding the wifi. The Moto G Ext (2 gen) phones are an excellent value. In addition to the $33.25, we pay $2.00 per month for detailed billing, and about $5 of taxes and “fees”.

    • Michael Frazier says:

      This refers to two phones, hers and his, which are sharing the minutes and the data.

    • Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, Republic Wireless only currently has the Moto G 1st gen phone, but I’m glad you like the phone. I think you could probably save even more money once Republic switches to paying you back for data you don’t use, but right now I think your plan is the one best for you if both phones are under $40 per month combined and you both end up using some data each month.

  5. Republic Wireless sounds like a great alternative to the big carriers. I really like the low cost and the fact they now refund you for data you didn’t use. I’d love to see my $65/mo cell phone bill get cut nearly in half but the thought of giving up my iPhone makes me uneasy. This post has a lot of helpful details and may end up getting me to convert anyways. Tough decision!

    • It definitely is a tough decision. If you absolutely must keep your iPhone, there are still other providers out there that are cheaper than the big cell carriers.

      • Karrhik says:

        Hi

        1 who are the other providers who could give unlimited voice and 1GB of data

        2. If I buy Motto G through Republic wireless, can I switch to different GSM provider later if I want to with this phone..

        • Great questions. I’m not sure off the top of my head what other providers offer what you’re asking for, but a quick Google search should reveal that. The Republic Wireless phones only work on Republic Wireless though. Sorry if that is bad news!

  6. I’ve been with Republic since last year and my wife and I both use the 1st Gen Moto X. We love the phone, I think it’s on par with some of the best phones out there.

    We just switched to the new data plans, which will mean going from two Moto X phones – one of them with 3G data for $35/month, to two Moto X phones both with 4G data for $27.50 (or so) a month. Not too shabby! We love it!

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the savings already, Peter. We haven’t decided yet if we’ll switch to the new plan or not for my wife. I’m sure we’ll save money, but she wants to double check for a couple months first.

  7. I have the Moto G and so far only minor complaints about it. It doesn’t seem to switch between Wifi and cellular as smoothly as I would like but it works really well otherwise. I kind of wish I spent the extra $ and got the Moto X because everyone seems to love it but the G is fine too.

    • We’ve had a problem with the switch over once or twice, but for $10 bucks a month for unlimited talk and text, I can’t really complain that much. The new Moto X (2nd gen) is pretty awesome, but the G or even the new E (2nd gen) works just fine.

  8. Mimi Slamet says:

    About ready to order the Republic Wireless phone, my choice is probably between Moto E and Moto G. Can we find a better price on the phones than offered on Republic’s website?

    • Mimi

      The prices are they best you can get as far as I know. You have to buy the phone through Republic Wireless so you get a phone with their software and they very rarely offer discount codes. If you like using apps and storing a lot of pictures and video I would go with the Moto G 16 GB model. If you just use your phone as a phone and use the internet occasionally I would go with the Moto E. Remember to keep all of the packaging so you can use the 30 day guarantee in case you don’t like the service or want to switch to a different phone. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. So it’s not compatible with iPhone 6? I own my device. Currently on pageplus 43/month 1GB

    • Shonda you are correct. As of right now, you can only use phones sold by Republic Wireless (the Moto phones) on their network. Who knows if that will change in the future or not. However, if you want to keep your iPhone 6, there are many other discount carriers you can consider!

  10. Phillip says:

    What about if you travel and use the map on your phone a lot for directions?

    • If it uses data it will affect your monthly bill. However, I have heard there are directions you can predownload now. You can check to see how much data the map app you use normally uses by doing a Google search.

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