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Motorola Moto G on Republic Wireless
Author: Bill Lepse
Manufacturer: Motorola
Source: Republic Wireless
Purchase: Republic Wireless
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Page: 4 of 5 [ 1 2 3 4 5 ]
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July 29, 2014

Things to consider before switching to Republic Wireless:

One item to note is regardless of the network connection, Republic Wireless does not support short codes for text messages. Usually businesses will ask you to send/receive texts with a nonstandard number, such as the Home Depot which I know uses 65624 as their short code for promos. For some this may be a big deal. What is really ironic is you can receive from short code numbers so you can get your temp passwords, sale info, etc.; but you can never respond to them even if you want them to stop (see screenshot below). Also the stock messaging app does not allow you to block these numbers. Not really sure why they can't get short codes working, but apparently this is a running complaint in the community forum.

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Republic Wireless also prohibits tethering. For me this is a difficult one. On one hand, I understand the expectation is you will be on Wi-Fi most of the time and you would just use Wi-Fi for your other devices. On the other hand, there are many times while traveling I don't have Wi-Fi and rely on being able to tether. I really wish they would consider offering some sort of service, even if there was an added cost I think many would be interested.

Outbound calling is limited to the 50 US states and Canada. But if you are traveling internationally you can use the phone anywhere on Wi-Fi.

The phones, while a great value, are locked to Republic Wireless. To the best of my knowledge these phones can't be unlocked to another carrier should you decide to switch. So if you are past the 30 days and decide the service is not for you, the choices are somewhat limited.

The potential merger between Sprint and T-Mobile could mean these devices would become outdated rather quickly or at least not make the most of the available network available as T-Mobile is GSM and these are CDMA only.

While the Wi-Fi does work exceptionally well, I am not sure this is a benefit to all. For my use I can see how utilizing Wi-Fi networks would help keep the costs down. At home and work I have Wi-Fi available. Most days I would only be utilizing cell coverage during my commute. But my wife on the other hand is constantly on the move with our little one. Rarely is she in one location for more than an hour. While many of these places have free Wi-Fi, it isn't always the easiest to use. For instance, the local Home Depot has an open connection, but most of these "open" networks require you to open a webpage to acknowledge their terms of use. This is not automated and I doubt many people would bother if they plan on staying a short time. Another issue is all those people that leave their SSID's as they came out of the box; i.e. ASUS, NETGEAR etc. I set two of my routers to have the same SSID but different passwords. With one off I logged into the other, all was fine. When I switched power to the other router the phone failed to connect as expected. But it doesn't allow you to add this new ASUS network separate from the other. So if you want to authenticate you need to put in the new credentials which wipes the old. I was hoping somehow the phone might be able to tell the difference based on MAC addresses but this is not the case. On the flip side you are allotted 5GB on cell network, so unless you are a heavy user and travel a lot it may not matter.

Reasons to consider Republic Wireless:

With the exceptions mentioned there are still some very good reasons to consider Republic Wireless. Their phones are locked to their service, but they offer a 30 day trial. If you decide the service isn't working for you they pay to ship it back and refund your phone cost minus $10 for the initial shipping. So the reality is you don't have much to lose.

While their rates have gone up since the Beta offering, they are still very competitive. For just $25/month you can have unlimited calling, texting and data on a 3G network. Couple these competitive rates with excellent devices and you have a winner. While many prepaid services allow you to BYOD it is unlikely you will find a new device as good as the Moto G for this price. During my review period I didn't experience one issue with this phone; that is more than can be said of other unsubsidized phones in this price range. I have used a few and they all seem to have issues. Also there is significant piece of mind to knowing the device is just going to work well with the network. Too often people buy a phone they think will support 4G only to find out it doesn't support the right frequencies for their carrier.

Not only does Republic Wireless save you money each month, they have another way to save you some loot. They allow you to change your plan twice a month. So for instance; I have a business trip coming up where I will be in Germany. If I currently have the $25/mo. unlimited everything cell plan but won't be able to use cell service there, I can drop my plan all the way down to the $5/mo. unlimited Wi-Fi plan. All of this can be done right from the phone by going to the Republic app. Try calling Verizon and telling them you want to drop your $80/mo. plan down to $16/mo. for a week and see how far you get.

Republic Wireless also gives you a grace period on your data cap. The first time you go over in a 6 month period nothing happens. It isn't until the second time you exceed the cap that they throttle your data. They also send you an email to warn you as you approach you cap so there are no surprises.

If you are interested in trying their service you can easily check to see if your number is portable here.

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