How much do you pay for your cell phone plan right now? $60 a month? $100 a month? More??? What if I told you there was a wireless service who’s customers only pay an average of $13.83 a month, would you be interested? Of course you would! Well let me introduce you to Republic Wireless.
What is Republic Wireless?
Most mobile phone providers use cellular towers to provide signal for talk, text and data but Republic Wireless took that a step further, leveraging the power of WiFi signal not just for data but to use for voice calls and texts as well.
What this means is that when you’re at home, in a hotel or a cafe with WiFi you can place calls just as if you were using a regular cellular tower, which is especially great for those who have bad coverage at home or work.
Of course if you don’t have WiFi coverage wherever you are, Republic has you covered there as well because they provide cellular calls and data over the
Sprint (update!) T-Mobile wireless network. Cell phone towers cost a lot of money to build and maintain which means the data they provide is expensive and providers pass that cost along to you. Republic Wireless is able to slash the costs that most cellular providers are forced to pay and they pass the savings along to you!
So with that said, let’s get in to a more detailed Republic Wireless review…
Republic Wireless 3.0 – New Phones Available!
In the past Republic Wireless was criticized for only offering a limited assortment of phones – most notably the Motorola Moto series, which were good budget phones, but a bit underpowered. Starting now Republic answered their critics in a big way launching nine new Android phones plus allowing you to bring your own device (BYOD), provided it’s included in the list of approved unlocked devices which you can find here.
Republic Wireless’ new lineup of phones includes:
- Samsung Galaxy S7 – $699
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – $799
- Samsung Galaxy S6 – $549
- Huawei Nexus 6P – $499
- LG Nexus 5X – $349
- Motorola Moto X Pure Edition – $349
- Motorola Moto G4 – $199
- Motorola Moto G4 Plus – $299
- Samsung Galaxy J3 – $179
This new lineup of phones is an impressive list to even the most savvy of phone buyers, especially the addition of the Samsung Galaxy S and Nexus lines which are widely regarded as some of the best Android phones you can buy right now. The only real notable name missing from the list is the iPhone… sorry Apple fans.
Which Republic Wireless Phone Is Best?
This is a tricky question to answer because the “best phone” could mean different things to different people. so let’s break it down into a few different categories… best budget phone, best value phone, and best overall phone.
Best Overall Phone – Samsung Galaxy S7
We usually preach frugality on our site but if a high quality cell phone is something you’re willing to splurge on then the best phone you can buy on the market today is the Samsung Galaxy S7. Of course it’s expensive but the new S7 line features the absolute best AMOLED screen, the best smartphone camera on the market and top of the line specs that are hard to top. Add to that an SD card slot that Samsung brought back after removing it in the S6 line.
Simply put there is no phone on the market today that can compete with the Galaxy S7 in terms of specs, but of course that comes at a cost as the S7 checks in at $699 and $799 for the S7 Edge variant. Still, if you’re looking for top of the line performance these this are the phones for you.
Best Value Phone – Huawei Nexus 6P
If you’re looking for a high powered phone but aren’t quite willing to shell out the money for the Samsung line, then the Huawei Nexus 6P is the phone for you. The Huawei made Nexus phone is the best bang for your buck phone that Republic Wireless offers. For a few hundred dollars less than the Galaxy S7 you get an Amoled screen, a very good camera, especially in low light conditions and a huge 3,450 mAh battery that should last you the entire day, no matter how much of a power user you are.
Despite the 6P’s great value, it is not perfect for everyone as it is quite a bit larger than the S7 line. If you have small hands or you simply just don’t want a large phone then the smaller LG made Nexus 5X variant (which features a smaller display, but also reduced specs) might be a better fit for you. The 6P also does not feature an SD card slot so you’ll need to choose 32, 64 or 128 GB of storage up front (for an additional cost of course) but these drawbacks are very minor for most users and for the price the 6P is hard to top.
Best Budget Phone – Moto G4
If you’re not looking for all the bells and whistles of the flagship lines and just want a phone that’s going to give you good performance at a cheap price then the Moto G4 might be the phone for you. Just released in just the past couple of months, the G4 is designed for the budget conscious consumer who still wants a good quality phone. It features a vibrant 5.5 inch LCD display which looks great even outdoors, despite not being an AMOLED screen. The now Lenovo run Moto also added in a fingerprint reader for added security and kept the SD card slot for additional storage on the cheap.
On the downside the G4’s camera isn’t in the same class as the Galaxy S7 or the Nexus 6P, particularly struggling in low light photos, but in the right light the G4 is more than capable of taking a good shot. Also, the Snapdragon 617 might be a bit underpowered if you’re looking to do a lot of gaming on your phone, so you may get some lag as compared to the more expensive phones. That all said the Moto G4 starts at just $199, less than 1/3 the price of the S7 and less than 1/2 the price of the 6P so for the money the Moto G4 is an outstanding deal.
Republic Wireless Plans for Talk, Text and Data
As I mentioned in the intro, the average Republic Wireless customer pays just $13.83 per month for their service. How much you’ll pay depends on how much data you’ll need, but most of us fall into one of Republic’s phone and data packages currently provided.
- $15.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + WiFi Data
- $20.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + Text, 1 GB data
- $30.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + Text, 2 GB data
- $45.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + Text, 4 GB data
- $60.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + Text, 6 GB data
- $90.00 / Mo – Unlimited Talk + Text, 9 GB data
If you run out of data don’t worry, you can upgrade your plan at any time through the Republic Wireless app, and your new data limit will be updated immediately so you can get back to what you were doing. This also works great for parents who want to keep a strict data limit on their kids.
Republic Wireless’s Refund Program
Update – Republic’s data refund policy only applies when you use the Moto G 3rd Generation (which is a FANTASTIC cheap phone by the way – and currently on sale!). All of the new phones require new plan pricing.
One of the things I hate about paying for a data plan with most cell phone companies is that all of my unused data – that I paid for – is simply thrown away at the end of the month. If this annoys you too then you’re going to like how Republic Wireless handles your unused data. Much like Google’s Project Fi service, Republic now gives you your money back on all data that you don’t use at the end of the month. For example, if you pay for 2 GB of data but you only use 1.5 GB throughout the month you get a credit for the remaining 0.5 GB, which is applied toward your next bill. We love this because we’re not just throwing our money away every month. Of course the data that you use over a WiFi net work is unlimited and not included in your total data usage.
How is Republic’s cellular coverage?
I’ve been asked how Republic Wireless’ coverage is more than a few times but to be honest that’s a very tricky question to answer.
A customer who lives and works in Manhattan is going to have vastly different coverage than one who lives in rural Montana, and even customers in the same town may have different coverage levels on a street to street basis.
With that all said, Republic uses either the T-Mobile wireless network to provide cellular coverage to power the cellular portion of their service, so if you’re wondering if Republic has coverage in your area the best place to start is the coverage map where you can enter your city or even street address and see how much coverage is provided in your area.
Don’t forget that you still have the option to use WiFi calling if you’re not getting as strong a signal as you were looking for, wherever you are. This is particularly handy if you work in a big steel office building or live in a basement apartment, where signal can be tricky even if there is coverage in the area.
My Republic Wireless Experience
I wanted to do more than just review Republic Wireless by reading their website and relaying all the details – I wanted to try it on my own to see how it actually performs. I already have service through Verizon but it’s expensive so I’m always looking for ways to save money.
I went out and purchased a 3rd gen Moto G and signed up for a service plan so I could test out the full functionality of the service (all paid for from my own pocket by the way – no freebies here!). I live about 5 miles from a medium sized city so my cell phone signal in general is pretty solid but there are some rural areas that struggle with all carriers so I thought it would be a good test.
Overall Republic handled itself very well on the test calls I placed from locations all around my area. The WiFi calling worked well at my house (I still need to test it on public WiFi) and for the most part the switching from WiFi to cellular and vice versa worked well, but a call did drop once during the switch. Not a huge deal for me, but it could be annoying for some.
The phone itself is a solid, but unspectacular device. If you’re just looking for a good phone to place calls, surf the internet and take the occasional photo here and there you’d be just fine with the Moto G, but if you’re looking for a robust phone that can handle high intensity gaming, take amazing photos and handle just about anything you could throw at it, the Galaxy S7, or the Nexus 6P is probably the phone for you. For my test purposes, the Moto G handled itself just fine and I enjoyed my time with Republic.
Republic Wireless Review Summary
Republic Wireless is a very good cell phone provider that offers great phones (especially now with their new offerings!) at a great price. Their WiFi calling is groundbreaking, especially for those with little to no phone reception, and their Republic Refund plan is a great way to save money on unused data that would otherwise be thrown away. Overall they’re tough to beat and if you’re looking to get away from your expensive carrier (looking at you Verizon and AT&T!) then Republic Wireless is an outstanding place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Republic Wireless phones available in stores like Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon?
No, the new lineup of Republic Wireless phones can only be purchased at RepublicWireless.com at this time but you can find some of the older phones available for sale on Amazon. We’re hoping they’ll be available in stores sometime in the future though as that could do a lot to build up the brand.
Does Republic Wireless Offer A Refund If I’m Not Happy?
Yes, Republic offers a 14 day money back guarantee so if you don’t like your phone, your coverage or just change your mind you can send back your phone for a full refund. One note – the refund does not include the cost to ship the phone back to Republic Wireless.
Q: Is there a Republic Wireless coupon I can use to save money?
No, there are no Republic Wireless promo codes available at this time since their prices are already so low. Their phones are still cheaper than almost all no-contract services though so you’re still likely saving money.
Q: What network does Republic Wireless run on?
When you’re not using WiFi to place your calls Republic Wireless uses the T-Mobile cellular network for voice, text and data.
Q: Does Republic Wireless Work In Europe, Canada or Mexico?
I haven’t been out of the country to test this during my trial from what I’ve read from other customers the WiFi based calling will work in most areas that give you connection to a high speed network. If anyone has tested this please let me know how it has worked for you in the comments!
Q: Can I Use Republic Wireless Phones on Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile?
Republic Wireless phones are now sold unlocked so all you should need to do is swap the SIM card to another provider (especially a GSM provider) and you should be all set to go. That said, if you plan on switching carriers call your new carrier to be sure your phone will work just in case.
Q: Can I Use My Existing Phone On Republic Wireless?
No, since Republic has special software that allows WiFi calling that most other phones do not have it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to use your existing phone on the service.
Q: Does Republic Wireless do credit checks?
No, Republic Wireless does not do credit checks since there is no contract and very little risk on their end. This is a great feature for anyone with bad credit and/or someone who doesn’t want another credit check on their report.
Q: Does Republic Wireless offer the iPhone?
At this time Republic does not offer the iPhone, but it does sell many of the top Android based phones available, which many experts prefer to the iPhone. That said, if you’re set on an iPhone Republic is not for you at this time… maybe someday!
Q: Can I Keep My Phone Number If I Switch To Republic Wireless?
Just about all phone numbers from other cell phone carriers in the US can be ported over to Republic Wireless, so if you want to keep your old number you usually can. If, on the other hand, it’s time for a change then you have the option of getting a new number as well.