I’ve had my Republic Wireless phone for a little over a year and I thought it might be helpful if I gave you an update. I’ve used their $10 smartphone plan for almost all of the past year.
| The price
The phone – features and battery
Unlimited talk and text
|You must buy their phone
The occasional dropped call
Republic Wireless Review Summary
Republic Wireless service has the best smartphone plan you can get for your money. They have plans ranging from the $5 WIFI only plan all the way up to 3 GB of data for $53 a month and beyond.
To give you a better idea of how the Republic Wireless service works, I put together this review for you.
How does Republic Wireless work?
Republic uses a unique technology built into their phones that allows them to offload phone calls and data to WIFI whenever you’re connected to a WIFI network. This saves them bandwidth and they pass on that savings to their customers in the form of lower monthly phone bills.
- The cost. You really can’t do better than $10 a month ($12.93 with tax for me). It’s hands down the absolute cheapest smart phone plan you’ll find.
- The phones. I love my Republic phone. I love having tons of apps, I have a love/hate relationship with email and it’s so handy to be able to access calendar, email, and all my lists right from the device in my pocket. I have absolutely no complaints about the phone.
- Friendly customer service. I’ve only had to contact Republic twice, but each time they were friendly and helpful (more on service below).
- WIFI calling. This is so awesome, people! I was able to use my phone when I visited my sister in the UK just by connecting to her WIFI network. Try to do that with a typical cell phone! My phone works perfectly at home over WIFI even though the cell reception isn’t great in our neighborhood. Having this functionality built in to the phone is so convenient.
- Call handover. If you’re on a call over WIFI and you’re too far from your router to get a good signal, you can tap a button to handover the call in progress to the cell network. You don’t even have to call back! Since our house is so large, I use it frequently.
- Data refunds. My plan doesn’t have data, but if you do get the data and you don’t use your entire quota, Republic will credit you for the unused data! It’s like the old rollover minutes on steroids.
- No contracts or hidden fees. I hate being locked into a service. Not a problem here.
- No overage fees. If you reach your data limit, they’ll email you. If you then go over your monthly limit, they give you a grace period. If you go over the next month, they’ll throttle your data speeds once you reach your limit. You don’t have to worry that you’ll be charged overage fees.
- You can’t use an iPhone. I realize this is a deal breaker for a lot of people. I’m not going to lecture on how it’s a bad idea to spend a thousand plus dollars a year just so you can have an iPhone, but at least realize that this is happening if you can’t live without it. To use a Republic plan, you’ll have to buy one of Republic’s phones for between $129 and $399.
- Occasional dropped calls. About once a week, I have a problem with a call made over WIFI. I may have to hang up and try again. I’m not sure if it’s my WIFI network or the phone. To be fair, this isn’t unique to Republic and could happen with any phone.
- Switching plans has to be done from the phone itself. This is a picky thing since I’ve only ever switched plans twice, but I don’t like having to do this from the phone. I’d much rather logon to the Republic site via my PC (where my password is conveniently auto-filled for me). Oh well – I just have to look up the password if I ever want to make this kind of a change.
- Activation can be tricky. The Republic phones have a built-in activation process which is usually seamless but Murphy’s law can and does strike. Friends of mine had a hard time activating their new phones. Once they got in touch with customer service, they were able to get set up and now everything works fine.
Before you get a Republic phone…
Consider getting a phone with at 16 or 32 GB storage. My 8GB phone quickly maxed out on storage and I have a hard time downloading large podcasts for offline listening.
Definitely check the coverage map. Republic doesn’t have 4G service in my area so I couldn’t use their 4G plan if I wanted (well, I could, but I would only get 3G service at home).
Realize that customer service support is via email and live chat. If you absolutely must talk to a person, you may be frustrated at having to use email or chat. Given that, I’ve only ever had to contact Republic twice (once during activation of a phone I bought for my mother). This policy isn’t unusual, but it’s nice to be aware of before you buy your phone.
An overview of their smartphone plans
$5 WIFI only plan – great for – home use, extra phone
$10 base plan – great for teens or anyone wanting an ultra-cheap phone and willing to access all data via WIFI
Add a data package – If you want data with your phone, you pay only for what you end up using. Data costs $15 per GB per month and any unused data is prorated to the MB and refunded at the end of the month. So, for example, if you use 2GB of data, you’d pay $10 + $30 = $40 + taxes.
Republic says their average customer pays $13.79 a month.
You can also read my earlier reviews when I first got my phone and about using Republic as a great phone for teenagers.
You can learn more about Republic Wireless and order a phone here.
If you have questions related to your purchase(s), please do not leave a comment on the blog. Contact our customer success team for assistance.
4 thoughts on “Republic Wireless Review: 1 year later”
We love republic. Bottom line for a boof non perfection you can save a boat load of money. I get a refund each month oy data plan. For 3 users inmy house our cell bill is under 60 dollars. You can not get that anywhere else. My teenagers are used to not having an iPhone now. They pay for their own service. Better learn now how to save money. I’m not a perfect person. Why would I expect my phone or anything else in my life to be perfect? The little quirks are worth the cost savings in my book!!!
Thanks, Robin. So great that your teens pay for their own phones.
I loved republic wireless until my phone just stopped working. I had my Moto G for a little over a year and a half. I spent around $200 when I first signed up and bought the Moto G with the most inphone storage for this phone since it didn’t have any sd card slot. Service on republic wireless worked great for me. Customer service through multiple emails is frustrating and in the end the only resolution to my phone problem is to buy another phone from republic, which is too expensive for me to do again. I’m disappointed that they don’t offer special discounts for people like me who had a phone that stopped working not due to dropping it or other accident. My phone recently got the link for the lollipop system upgrade. After the upgrade my phone started performing worse, slower, and freezing. Then in the middle of making a call my phone just froze and that was the end of it. It completely died. After calling Motorola tech support and then emailing republic wireless, and trying to get it to boot up since it was frozen on the boot up screen, nothing worked and replacement was only option. Unfortunately the only phones that work on republic wireless are the 3 models they offer, Moto E, Moto G, and Moto X, alkyl with special republic wireless system built into the phones so I’m not able to use any other phone, even if I had another Moto G unlocked from Amazon, so I’m stuck with buying another phone only from republic wireless directly, our a replacement refurbished phone from Motorola in order to continue my service. That is the only downside to republic wireless, but it is a big one for me since now I’m stuck without phone service until I can afford to but another phone from them again.
That is frustrating. It’s too bad they wouldn’t work with you, but I wouldn’t expect any phone company to replace a phone out of warranty. I hope you get a new phone soon.