Republic Wireless is a cell phone service provider that began offering service in 2011.
They’re changing the way people pay for and use 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 every month.
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 the almost four years we’ve been subscribers.
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.
To make things even better, Republic Wireless has a super simple plan structure.
You pay $15 per month for unlimited talk and text plus an additional $5 per GB of data you’d like to purchase. It’s that simple.
Of course, you still have to pay taxes and governmental fees. On our $20 plan, we pay just $3.57 in taxes and fees per month.
Phones You Can Buy From Republic Wireless
Currently, Republic Wireless offers a variety of phones that cover pretty much every possible price point.
Unfortunately, Republic Wireless doesn’t work with iPhones, but they do have a nice selection of Android phones which currently include the following:
- Samsung Galaxy S9 – $719
- Samsung Galaxy S8 – $599
- Moto X4 – $399
- Moto G5S Plus – $279
- Moto G5 Plus – $229
- Moto G6 – $249
- Samsung Galaxy J7 – $199
- Moto E4 Plus – $199
- Samsung Galaxy J3 – $149
- Moto E4 – $129
- Alcatel A30 – $99
Bring Your Own Phone Compatible Phones
If you’d prefer to save money and want to buy your phone elsewhere or use a phone Republic Wireless doesn’t sell, you don’t have to buy your phone through the Republic Wireless store.
This is great if you already own a Republic Wireless compatible phone, too.
All you have to do is buy a SIM card kit from Republic Wireless to use with the phone you bring. The kit explains exactly how to set up your new phone with the Republic Wireless service and it only costs $5.
It’s important that you buy the North America unlocked version of the phone that works on GSM networks if you bring your own phone. Here’s a list of phones that are currently compatible with Republic Wireless service.
- Alcatel A30 (5046G)
- Google Pixel (G-2PW4100)
- Google Pixel XL (G-2PW2100)
- Google Pixel 2 (G011A)
- Google Pixel 2 XL (G011C)
- Huawei Ascend 5W (H1623)
- Moto G4 (XT1625)
- Moto G4 PLAY (XT1607)
- Moto G4 PLUS (XT1644)
- Moto G5S Plus (XT1806)
- Moto X Pure Edition (XT1575)
- Moto Z (XT1650-03)
- Moto Z Play (XT1635-02)
- Moto Z2 Play (XT1710-01)
- Nexus 5X by LG (LGH790)
- Nexus 6 by Motorola (XT1103)
- Nexus 6P by Huawei (H1511)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J320A)* (2016 version)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (SM-N950U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T)*
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (SM-G935U)
- Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SM-G955U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
*Only certain build numbers of these phones are compatible with Republic Wireless service.
My Picks For Best Republic Wireless Phones
I’m actually about to upgrade my Republic Wireless phone for the first time and have narrowed down my list to two choices, a premium phone and a budget phone. Here’s what I’m debating between as my top picks for Republic Wireless phones.
Premium Phone – Moto G5S Plus – $279
The Moto G5S Plus is currently the top contender for my next phone if I can make myself spend $279 for it. However, I think it is a great value for the money because it comes with the following features that should make it a long-lasting phone:
- All-metal unibody construction
- 5.5″ HD Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display
- 32 GB of storage expandable with a MicroSD card slow
- 3 GB of RAM
- Dual rear 13 MP cameras and 8MP front camera
- Turbocharging with 3000 mAh battery
- Fingerprint reader
- Android 7.1 Nougat
Even at $279, this still won’t compete on the same level with the ultra expensive Samsung Galaxy S8 at $699. However, for a phone that is $420 cheaper, I’d say the sacrifices are well worth the cost savings.
Budget Phone – Moto E4 – $129
The Moto E4 is my favorite Republic Wireless phone on the low end of the price range. Here are the major features that seem great for a phone at this price point:
- 5″ HD display
- 16 GB of storage expandable with a MicroSD card slot
- 2 GB of RAM
- 2800 mAh battery
- 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 7.1 Nougat
While these are great features for a $129 phone, it definitely won’t work as well as a more premium phone like the Moto G5S or the Samsung Galaxy S8.
That said, if you’re on a budget and just need a phone that makes phone calls, can browse the web, run social media apps and take pictures, this is a great fit.
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. I have to say, I’ve been quite impressed with their offerings.
These days, we’re almost always around a source of WiFi. I know we have WiFi at our home, at work and at many of the stores we 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.
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 Is Republic Wireless’s Service?
Republic Wireless uses the Sprint or T-Mobile network for all of your cell calls, text messages and data that don’t end up going over WiFi depending on which phone you use.
My phone uses the Sprint network, which is actually one of the better networks in terms of 4G LTE coverage in my area. My wife’s phone uses the T-Mobile network. We haven’t had any major problems with either one.
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 or T-Mobile 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 we 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 major 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 rarely had to use 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 rarely 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.
There isn’t a phone number you can call for customer service, which is a bit annoying.
However, they do have a well thought out ticket based online support system. You usually get a response pretty fast, but sometimes you may have to wait a bit if they’re super busy.
The only other major downside is you can’t use any phone on Republic Wireless. That said, they do have an awesome selection of Android based phones to choose from.
They have the latest Samsung Galaxy phones, a wide range of Motorola phones and they even have a phone for less than $100 if you don’t care which phone you use. Check out their full lineup of phones here.
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. Luckily, 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.
14 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you’re on the fence about trying Republic Wireless, the 14 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 14 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!
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, 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 is pretty awesome. 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.
That said, Republic Wireless isn’t perfect for everyone.
If you’re not a huge technology nerd that has to have the latest Apple phone every 6 months and your area has decent Sprint, T-Mobile and/or WiFi coverage then I suggest you give them a shot.
You don’t have anything to lose with their 14 day money back guarantee. Odds are you’ll like the service and save hundreds of dollars a year. How cool is that?!
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!
Common Questions About Republic Wireless
I’ve decided to put together a list of common questions I get about Republic Wireless so everyone can have the answers.
How Does Republic Wireless Work Internationally?
Republic Wireless doesn’t offer cell service overseas, so you won’t be able to make calls, receive and send text messages or use data from cell phone providers.
That said, you will still be able to do all three wherever you have access to WiFi thanks to Republic Wireless’s awesome WiFi calling technology. Just set your phone to airplane mode and turn on WiFi to get started.
Are Republic Wireless Phones Unlocked?
Any phone you can currently buy directly from Republic Wireless will come to you unlocked and can be used on any cell phone service provider that uses the same technology (GSM or CDMA) that the phone uses.
If you hate Republic Wireless but love your new phone, simply exercise the 14 day service guarantee to get a refund for your Republic Wireless service and take your new phone to a new carrier.
If you hate the phone, too, you can use the 14 day phone guarantee to get a refund for your phone as well as noted above.
Will Republic Wireless Connect To Any WiFi Including Private Password Protected Networks To Make Calls?
Republic Wireless uses WiFi just like you use WiFi. If your WiFi is turned off, it can’t use WiFi to make calls. If a network is password protected and you don’t have the password to access it, neither can Republic Wireless.
If you have to login using an internet splash page before getting access to a WiFi network, you’ll have to do that before you can make a call using WiFi through Republic Wireless.
It won’t randomly connect to any unsecured WiFi network unless you’ve already connected to that network in the past.
Does Republic Wireless Charge Activation Fees?
Thankfully, Republic Wireless does not charge an activation fee at this time.
What Happens If I Run Out Of Data? Am I Automatically Billed For Another GB?
This is one of the great things about Republic Wireless. Let’s say you sign up for 1 GB of data per month. Once you use your GB of data, your phone no longer has access to data and you will not be billed for another GB of data.
However, if you want to purchase another GB of data, simply open the Republic Wireless app and add an additional GB for $5. You have complete control.
Can You Buy A Phone Using A Payment Plan Like On The Big 4 Carriers?
While I’m not a fan of financing phones, Republic Wireless does offer the option to make monthly payments on their phones through Affirm.
That said, if you’ll be saving a ton of money on your monthly bill but can’t afford a phone upfront, the financing charges could be less than the money you save on your monthly bill making it an overall money saving move.
Does Republic Wireless Offer Any Discount Codes, Promo Codes or Redemption Codes?
From time to time Republic Wireless will run special prices on their phones or free shipping on purchases.
These are most of the deals you’ll see from Republic Wireless. However, once in a blue moon Republic Wireless will offer redemption codes for even better deals.
If I ever hear of a public redemption code, I’ll be sure to share it here.
Do you have Republic Wireless? If not, are you considering switching? Have any questions that we can test out for you? 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.
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.
This review is my opinion only and was most recently updated and accurate to the best of my knowledge as of June 12th, 2018.
- $15 + $5/GB