We first reviewed Republic Wireless back in 2013. The company made waves by being the first company to offer a crazy affordable unlimited talk, text, data plan for just $19.99 a month. But our biggest issue with their service was the lack of solid handsets. Nearly a year later the company has introduced new handset choices – and they are solid choices – the Moto X and the Moto G. In addition, they have also revamped their pricing plans and have introduced 4 new pricing plans.
• Unlimited talk, text, and data, on WiFi only – $5/month
• Unlimited talk and text on WiFi and cellular, and unlimited data on WiFi – $10/month
• Unlimited talk, text and data on WiFi, plus 3G cellular – $25/month
• Unlimited talk, text and data on WiFi, plus 4G LTE cellular – $40/month
You can check out our full review of AT&T’s Moto X here. But the Moto X that Republic Wireless is offering is nearly identical, except that it’s running on Sprint’s CDMA network. It’s also only available in two colors – white or black, so there are no customization options, the likes of which you can get with an AT&T Moto X. Regardless, the pricing for the Moto X is quite good at $299, even if you can’t get it in pink. Also, Republic Wireless is only offering a 16GB model of the Moto X.
But aside from being a much more capable handset than Republic Wireless’s previous first handset the Motorola DEFY/ XT, the Moto X brings with it a major addition – and that is support for 4G speeds. We tested the Moto X in New York and saw speeds of 9.38Mbps down and 3.92Mbps up. These speeds are respectable for a prepaid 4G plan but they aren’t nearly as fast as the LTE speeds you can find on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s LTE networks.
The phone also comes preloaded with the Republic Dashboard which offers quick access to your account plan and lets you see your phone number. You can use the app to change your plan or phone number on the fly, transfer your number, and toggle wifi on and off. By default, every time you turn on the phone, Wi-Fi will default to on.
It’s important to note that Republic’s original $19/month unlimited plan will still be available on the Motorola DEFY/ XT and that they will continue to offer a 30-day money back guarantee on their phones.
All in all, we think that Republic Wireless is moving forward in the right direction. They just better be wary of the competition – since they first opened, other uber cheap prepaid providers like TextNow and UppWireless have introduced pretty similar sub $20 wireless plans. That said, choosing the Moto X and Moto G as new handset choices for Republic Wireless was the right way to go – after all the Moto X is one of the most well rounded smartphones on the market. That said, the 4G speeds that we are seeing on the Moto X are solid too but on the lower end for LTE. Fortunately the device performs very well when it comes to switching between Republic Wireless’s Wifi and cellular options.
The Good: New pricing plans offer even more options, Moto X brings 4G LTE support, Moto X handset is super solid, pricing for the Moto X is competitive, data performance in New York on Sprint’s 4G network is pretty good but not great
The Bad: Camera on the Moto X is disappointing, still would like to see more handset choices
Update 3/31/2014: Republic Wireless has added the Moto Maker customization option for the Moto X, that includes the wood finish upgrade.
Update 4/23/2014: Republic Wireless is now offering an update for the Moto X to Android 4.4.2, AKA KitKat