Republic Wireless Review


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Republic Wireless Review

We recently had the opportunity to give Republic Wireless a try. If you’re not familiar with Republic Wireless, they’re a cell phone carrier with dirt cheap phone plans. And you know how Johnny and I feel about anything that saves us greeeen.

At the time of our Republic Wireless test drive, Johnny and I both were proud iPhone 4S owners that we got way back in 2011. And then, by some act of… Sally, my iPhone broke. And it wasn’t just the screen. She broke it real good. So I got to give Republic Wireless my all for a month. So here are my honest to goodness feelings about my experience with Republic Wireless.

Reception

When considering a cell phone carrier, there’s nothing more important than good reception. And I wasn’t sure how the reception for Republic Wireless would be since they’re not one of the ginormous carriers that waste millions of dollars on advertising like AT&T or Verizon. So color me surprised when I not only had full bars, but also had crystal clear reception.

I used the phone at home (where it uses WiFi to make calls) as well as all around the great state of Utah. And not once did it drop a call. I pledge allegiance to the Republic Wireless… alright, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. NEXT!

Ease of Use

Time for full disclosure… I’m not the most technologically savvy person on this planet. And I hate reading directions. When it comes to computers and phones, I like to just push buttons until I figure it out. So believe me when I say that Republic Wireless was easy to use. You know all of that technical wizardry that allows you to make calls over WiFi and then magically switches to cell service? You don’t even need to lift a finger. It just does it behind the scenes. And the phone I used (the Moto X) was just as user friendly as my iPhone was.

Customer Service

We were able to work directly with Republic Wireless while we tried their service, and their team was prompt, responsive, and helpful. They made it clear that they put the customer first, and all of our interactions with the company confirmed that. They’ve got a David vs. Goliath edge, and we like choosing the Davids.

Phone Selection

This was probably the only perceived downside. Currently, Republic Wireless offers the Moto X, the Moto G, and the Moto E. I tried the Moto X, and I found it easy to use and very responsive. Now, it’s not the iPhone, which is probably music to some of your ears. But our iPhone 4S’s were our first and only smartphones, so were partial because it’s all we know. BUT, the Moto X ran smoothly, and I was able to do almost everything on it that I did on my iPhone. Instead of FaceTiming family, I used Skype. I was also surprised to find that the battery life was actually better than my iPhone 4S. I’d still consider the limited phone selection a drawback, but they’re all perfectly fine, reliable smartphones.

Price

The following graphic describes Republic Wireless’s phone plans better than I ever could. And because if I said some of the numbers shown below, you’d think I was lying or high as a kite when I wrote this. I’m happy to report that neither of those cases are true. Republic Wireless KILLS it on cost. Their plans are a fraction of the price of other phone companies’ plans. Yes, PLEASE.

Republic Wireless PlansAfter my trial run with Republic Wireless, we’re officially fans. Our current phone plan is subsidized through Johnny’s work, and since Johnny works for an iPhone app development company, he’s tied to his iPhone for now. But as soon as that’s no longer on the table, you better believe we’ll be switching over to a much cheaper phone plan, and Republic Wireless will likely sit at the top of our list.

So go check those dudes and dudettes out over at Republic Wireless and see what they’ve got to offer.

Any others out there who have tried Republic Wireless? What has your experience been like? I think it’s incredibly awesome that super cheap cell phone carriers like Republic Wireless are making their stamp in our world of overpriced cell phone carriers.

*Heads Up/Disclosure: Republic Wireless provided us a phone and month of free service to test drive their service, but all opinions came straight from our own noggins, not some robot’s.

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29 Comments

  • Reply TT November 5, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I’ve been with Republic for three years now–can’t believe it has been that long. The service and the phones have come a long way in that time. I am around Wi-Fi almost all the time, so I get by with the $10 plan just peachy. When I need data (road trip!) I can switch it on and off again once finished and only pay the pro-rated amount of the higher plan. As a family trying to save a little coin, this service has been fantastic.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:10 am

      That’s awesome! Great to hear from someone who has used it for such a long time and had such a great experience. Crazy how much cheaper it is than mainstream providers.

  • Reply shannon November 5, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Agree (I commented before when you 1st mentioned you’d be reviewing them) – they are an awesome alternative to the big carriers. Some of my family thinks I’m crazy for using them but I love my tiny cell phone bill each month and the coverage is perfect.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Seriously. It’s totally worth it.. And the phones they offer can do everything any of the mainstream providers’ phones can do.

  • Reply Danny C. November 5, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I’ve been with them over a year now and recommend them to anyone who will listen. I had always thought having a cell phone was one of those things like internet service or insurance where you need to have it and just thought you had to suck it up and pay these major companies whatever they wanted to charge. Feels so good to have someone innovate better options. The $10 plan should work for almost anyone and there’s also cheap wireless hotspot options like FreedomPop that allows you to have access to data everywhere.

    I would like to caution that the customer service Joanna was praising is not the norm for regular customers, but it’s more likely she got special attention for this review. I haven’t had any major issues so far, just wanted everyone to be aware that it is simply a part of their business plan to reduce expenses anywhere they can to pass along the savings. Everyone is encouraged to take questions or problems to their online forum and basically try to crowd source your solution. Otherwise, if you are dealing with the company directly it will be via e-mail and the response time varies.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:14 am

      Great to hear your honest perspective, Danny. It sounds like despite any customer service shortcomings you’ve seen, it’s still been worth it to you. Very cool to hear from readers who can give some long-term perspective on the company.

  • Reply Miranda November 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Republic seems like a really solid company with a great product. Bummer on the ‘act of Sally’ that broke your phone, but now you have an awesome new plan! So basically Sally girl was helping you out.. Not even in school and she’s already finding ways to save you guys money… 😉

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:14 am

      HA! If breaking stuff = saving us money, Sally saves us money all the time! That girl…

  • Reply Jenna November 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    We’re seriously considering this when our phone contract ends in July. We get unlimited text/talk/data for $55 for two people a month, including prorated phones. so our current deal is good. But… $20 is cheaper.

  • Reply Amanda November 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Have you evaluated Ting? I’m wondering how they compare to Republic

    • Reply Skyler November 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      We were having a hard time deciding between Ting and Republic when we left T-Mobile, and we decided to go with Ting for a couple reasons. One was the phone selection and support, while the Moto X is a fabulous phone, we were worried about getting timely updates since Republic has to tweak some things to make it work for them. With Ting you can bring a number of devices (I use a Nexus 5, and some of my extended family on Ting uses iPhones), they have a white list of phones you can bring to them. The other reason was while we primarily use wifi, we use a little data for Hangouts, email, Google maps, or whatever else we need while not on wifi. Our bill is $29 before taxes for two smartphones. It’s great for us right now, but Republic would be another good option should something happen to Ting.

      • Reply Amanda November 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

        We use ting right now and I’m really liking it. The only data we’ve used has been accidental (i.e. when it wasn’t shut off for some reason). I like the appeal of Republic, though, as we’d probably go with two $10 plans which would make it even less than our typical $30-$40 bill. I’m just curious about a comparison of the two. Either way, it’s way way less than our previous $100+ non-smart phones with verizon!

        • Reply Skyler November 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm

          Yep, hard to go wrong with either one. From what I’ve heard and read on Republic and what I’ve experienced with Ting, both have great customer service, and they’re way cheaper than the main carriers! It’s awesome to have options like these available to us as consumers.

  • Reply Steve November 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I have been with Republic for over two years, great service, used internationally over WiFi. I have switched my wife and son to Republic.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Awesome. Great to hear your feedback on your experience with RW, Steve.

  • Reply Jeremy November 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I have had Republic for a couple months now. Never had a dropped call. Its a GREAT company!

  • Reply Hip K November 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I did a lot of searching to find something negative about Republic and their service. I had heard all the glowing reviews, but I wanted to uncover the negatives. In the end, I couldn’t- there weren’t any! Just articles like this one. When they introduced the Moto E at only $99, it was the spark that encouraged me to give them a try. Good phone, good service, good company. What else are you looking for in a cellular provider?

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Good to hear it! I couldn’t find anything I disliked, either!

  • Reply vinh dinh November 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Thinking about getting Moto G with republic, I have no wifi at home, so I was thinking at getting a 10.00 plan, haven’t tried Sprint before, so not sure how the coverage map is. Saving the money now to get the phone, proably before christmas time

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank November 19, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Price and reception are the first factors I look for in a cell phone carrier and plans. I’d try to check out more about the Republic Wireless. Thanks for the tips and idea.

  • Reply Kristina February 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Joanna,
    How is your reception with Republic Wireless now that you live in NYC?
    I’m thinking of making the switch but I live in Queens and am curious if it’s still as reliable in the NYC area.

    • Reply Joanna February 11, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Since my husband works for an app company, we’ve had to stay on our existing plan with the iPhone, so I don’t have a firsthand account of how it is in NYC. Sorry, wish I could be more help!

  • Reply adambein March 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    What if someone (like me) only needs a phone? I don’t need texting or internet. Also, I live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Would Republic be a good choice for me? What plan? What phone? Thx for the help.

  • Reply StevenV May 27, 2015 at 9:03 am

    We tried Republic Wireless and in the end we left them. Their service is just too glitchy and feels like it’s still a beta service with tons of technical bugs and shortcomings. We cut the landline phone quite a while ago so we need a cellphone service that is 100% reliable. Unfortunately, RW is not reliable at all if you need a solid phone service. We recruited some friends and relatives for them and they all ended up leaving as well.

    I’ve read online that they are looking to introduce huge price hikes to their service – $15/gb of data. That is just absurd! RW used to be a value when they started out with their $19 plan, but they are now entering the price ranges of the big carriers. People are better off looking at the major carriers and their deals to get a solid, working phone without the hassle and worry of whether or not it is going to work for you when you need it.

    I do NOT recommend Republic Wireless to anyone who wants a phone that ‘just works’.

  • Reply Lyrrad Skoorb June 7, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I’ll speak up for Republic Wireless. I’ve recently jumped in with both feet. I have three phones with them, after reading and thinking about their offerings for the last couple of years. The more I read the more I decided it would be a good thing. So far I still very much think it is. I have a Moto E that I ported our “landline” number to. The fact that it works off of wifi means I can use it for only $5 a month, because we do have good wifi in the house, and it solves the problem we’ve always had with regular cellular reception at our location. We’re kind of in a hole and behind a hill.
    I also have a Moto E that I use on the $10 plan for my business purposes. That’s working great, and most of the time I use it at home.
    My third RW phone is a first generation Moto X that I use on the $10 plan, as my personal everything phone, replacing an iPhone 5 on AT&T. I actually enjoy the Moto X a lot more than the iPhone. It just operates better and faster for me than the iPhone did. I know the iPhone 6’s are faster, of course, but they’re also very expensive to buy off contract. I found a mint condition Moto X on ebay for $225, so I considered that a pretty good find, and it was just like new. It was specifically a Republic W Moto X. You have to make sure you find one of those. It activated with no problem at all. The seller was a refurbisher that deals in lots of phones and had the Moto X ready to activate.
    Last plug: The other day one of my Moto E’s died. I feel like that could happen with any phone and any company. The good thing is that I filled out a service ticket online with Republic, and to make the story short, I was dealt with royally and I had another phone waiting at my mailbox location THE NEXT MORNING. I went and picked it up at my leisure and had my service running again on a mint condition Moto E in just a few minutes.

    I hadn’t wanted to depend on Sprint’s towers for cellular, because their coverage disappears only about 12 miles south of where I live, but when I found out that Republic roams to Verizon and roaming is free, I was hooked. I deliberately drove to a place some distance from home so I could see how the roaming worked. I’m not sure I really stayed in the distant area long enough to really find out if the roaming would have kicked in. There was sometimes only one bar or none with the Republic phone, but ironically there was NO service with my AT&T based iPhone. Then it occurred to me that if I really needed to make a call, I could head to a McDonalds or another place with wifi and make a call.

    Someone who has commented before me is telling about their bad experience and mentioned that Republic is going to jack up their data prices, etc etc. Actually they are evaluating other plans now in what they call their Lab, looking at ways to charge less — even paying users back in real $$ for unused data.

    It’s looking good so far. I’m saving $25 a month just on my main phone, compared to Cricket. If this works out, I’d like to get my wife on RW too and then we’d be saving another $25.

  • Reply Lyrrad Skoorb June 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    I’ll speak up for Republic Wireless. I’ve recently jumped in with both feet. I have three phones with them, after reading and thinking about their offerings for the last couple of years. The more I read the more I decided it would be a good thing. So far I still very much think it is. I have a Moto E that I ported our “landline” number to. The fact that it works off of wifi means I can have the landline number for only $5 a month, because we do have good wifi in the house, and it solves the problem we’ve always had with regular cellular reception at our location. We’re kind of in a hole and behind a hill.
    I also have a Moto E that I use on the $10 plan for my business purposes. That’s working great, and most of the time I use it at home. I only got the $10 plan because I do have reason to carry the phone away from the house.

    My third RW phone is a first generation Moto X that I use on the $10 plan, as my personal everything phone, replacing an iPhone 5 on AT&T. I actually enjoy the Moto X a lot more than the iPhone. It just operates better and faster for me than the iPhone did. I know the iPhone 6’s are faster, of course, but they’re also very expensive to buy off contract. I found a mint condition Moto X on ebay for $225, so I considered that a pretty good find, and I hadn’t been told it was a refurb unit, I would have thought it’s new. It was listed on ebay as specifically a Republic Wireless Moto X. You have to make sure you find one of those. It activated with no problem at all. The seller was a refurbisher that deals in lots of phones and had the Moto X ready to activate.

    Last plug: The other day one of my Moto E’s died. I think that could happen with any phone and any company. The great thing is that I filled out a service ticket online with Republic, and to make the story short, I was dealt with royally and I had another phone waiting at my mailbox location THE NEXT MORNING. I went and picked it up at my leisure and by the afternoon I had my service running again on a mint condition Moto E in just a few minutes.

    I hadn’t wanted to depend on Sprint’s towers for cellular, because their coverage disappears only about 12 miles south of where I live, and the coverage map shows Sprint coverage pretty much in cities and along major roads but not much else. However, when I found out that Republic roams to Verizon and roaming is free, I was hooked. I deliberately drove to a place some distance from home so I could see how the roaming worked. I didn’t hang out in the remote area long enough to really find out if the roaming would have kicked in. At the place I stopped there was sometimes only one bar or none with the Republic phone, but ironically there was NO service on my AT&T based iPhone. Then it occurred to me that if I really needed to make a call, I could head to a McDonalds or another place with wifi and make a call. With my iPhone I would have been out of luck until getting to a better reception area.

    Someone who has commented before me is telling about their bad experience and mentioned that Republic is going to jack up their data prices, etc etc. Actually they are evaluating other plans now in what they call their Lab, looking at ways to charge less — even paying users back in real $$ for unused data. There seems to be a lot more to it than just jacking up the data prices. Call me crazy, but so far I’m believing that Republic Wireless is genuinely operating with the customers needs in mind.

    It’s looking good so far. I’m saving $25 a month just on my main phone, compared to Cricket. If this works out, I’d like to get my wife on RW too and then we’d be saving another $25. Not bad.

  • Reply Lyrrad Skoorb June 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Whoops! Sorry everybody. I posted twice by accident. Actually, the second post is an edited version.

  • Reply Jeff August 2, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I gave the Moto G a spin for a couple months and I’m very happy with it so far. Switching between wifi and cellular hangs a little bit (or doesn’t switch at all) but I don’t run in to it very often anyway so it’s a very minor inconvenience. I’m going to give it another month or so and if I don’t run in to any more issues Verizon is getting kicked to the curb!

  • Reply Mike October 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I have 3 phones on Republic Wireless now, Home phone, teenage son, and myself. WiFi and cell usage is awesome and when I travel overseas I’m not either looking for a local card or making damn sure my phone is turned off like others. Just upgraded to the Moto X 2nd gen and what a nice phone that is. The only thing that could make this company better is if they offered service on the iPhone.

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