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Has your cell phone bill gotten out of hand? Join the crowd.
With most text, talk, and data plans starting at about $50 a month, carrying around that little device has gotten expensive. And, that’s if you get the cheapest package. Many users have bills that soar near $100 a month or more! That type of money can eat into your savings and destroy your budget in a hurry.
But, there is a solution.
No, you don’t have to return to the Stone Ages of 2001, going without a smartphone and data plan. You can get all the web surfing you need and more from a discount cell phone provider like Republic Wireless.
As one of the pioneers of the discount cell phone market, Republic Wireless is a darling of frugal fanatics everywhere. With nice new phones, a cool concept, and excellent customer service, Republic Wireless has evolved into one of the best cellular values around. And since they’re constantly updating their offerings, this is about our third version of our Republic Wireless review. (We gots to get you the most current info, yo!)
So, if you want to save money on your cell phone bill, let’s get started!
Republic Wireless: What You Need to Know
Want a quick summary of Republic Wireless before we get started? Here you go:
- Plans start as low as $15/month
- No contracts or commitments
- 9 different smartphones to choose from
- Talk, text and data plans available
- Uses WiFi whenever available
- Calls, text, and data backed by the Sprint® network
Republic Wireless Plans
Let’s start by digging into the most important item of all: How much does Republic Wireless Cost?
In some of our past Republic Wireless reviews, we mentioned that their pricing structure was based on more of a “Small, Medium, Large” scale. They have since updated their plans pricing considerably, actually lowering prices on data packages above their base level plan. As of August 2016, current plan pricing is as follows:
- $15/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data (Note: Cell Data not included)
- $20/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data PLUS 1GB cell data
- $30/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data PLUS 2GB cell data
- $45/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data PLUS 4GB cell data
- $60/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data PLUS 6GB cell data
- $90/month: Unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data PLUS 10GB cell data
As you can see all plans come with no contracts and unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data included. Unlike some of the big players, that means you can switch your plan or cancel at any time without penalties. There are also no hidden fees (although taxes are applicable), so what you see is what you get.
How it Works
You’re probably wondering how Republic Wireless can offer such rock bottom rates. Does the service suck? Are the phones crap? Is there a catch?
No, no, and no.
The most expensive part of running a cell phone company is operating the cellular network. So, Republic Wireless developed a hybrid method they call Adaptive Coverage™. Your smartphone relies primarily on available WiFi connections for calls, texts, and data. When you’re not covered by WiFi, Republic Wireless uses a nationwide cellular network (Sprint) as its backup. This saves the company a ton of overhead costs, and they pass that on to you in the form of huge savings.
See also: Cut the Cord to Cable
What Phones Available at Republic Wireless?
Since our last Republic Wireless review, the company has added a whole host of available smartphones to use on their network. Although they used to run exclusively on Motorola phones, customers now have over 9 options to choose from. Prices range from $179 to $799. Here’s a full list of smartphone offerings, current as of August 2016.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Nexus 6P by Huawei
- Nexus 5X by LG
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Moto G4 Plus
- Moto G4
The only real downside here is that you’re not able to bring your own phone to the program. Alas, the hybrid technology perfected by Republic Wireless makes it difficult to handle the technical challenges of bringing your own phone. However, Republic works very closely with its customers and even takes their suggestions from time to time. From the reports I’ve read, they’re optimistic that this option may be offered in the future.
What We Think of Republic Wireless
On a personal level, we hold Republic Wireless close to our hearts. We happen to be the very first blog that worked with them when they opened their affiliate marketing program a few years ago. Holly consulted with them on how to get the program up and running, and it has become a very popular program for bloggers since that time (for good reason). We’ve worked with the people at Republic for years, and as human beings and customer service agents, they are absolutely fantastic.
But, does the program work?
Yes it does. Our experience using Republic has been very good. The data and texting work as well as any plan from the major cellular carriers, which makes sense since the fallback is the Sprint® network. So, if you do a ton of texting and web surfing, Republic Wireless is going to save you boatload of money.
The only small drawback comes in the talk department. Although the company claims there’s a seamless interchange from WiFi calls to cellular, we found that it can be a little clunky at times. Their Bonded Technology™ patches your calls using WiFi, 3G, and 4G LTE networks and has improved over the years. However, there still seem to be a few kinks.
So, if you’re WiFi connection isn’t strong or your phone is a dud, you may experience a few dropped calls from time to time. Of course, you can expect the same from other carriers, even the major brands. That being said, if you aren’t using your phone for business purposes, the talk part of the plan is more than acceptable.
Republic Wireless Review: The Verdict
The addition of better quality smartphones makes Republic Wireless an even better option than it has been in the past. Customers looking for access to great smartphones now have a number of options from which to choose. Samsung and Nexus lovers are sure to enjoy the new lineup, which should also reach a whole new set of potential customers for the company.
With all the great things about Republic Wireless, there are still a couple of downsides. Republic continues to refine their WiFi based calling, but it can still act up a little at times. When problems are experienced, it usually happens when flipping from WiFi to cellular. This can be especially frustrating if you’re in the middle of a conversation. The only other issue I see is with the phones themselves. Because of Republic’s technology, you need to use a phone purchased through them. That means, you can’t bring your favorite phone with you when you make the switch.
Overall, Republic Wireless is a huge win for cell phone customers. If you’re looking to save tons of money on your monthly cell phone bill, Republic Wireless is an excellent option. With unlimited talk/text and an excellent data package, you get all the important stuff that the major carriers provide. Plus, switching to Republic Wireless could save you hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars a year. Now that’s what I call thrifty!
Rated: 4 out of 5 Stars