$20 Unlimited: Republic Wireless & Moto DEFY XT - HotHardware

$20 Unlimited: Republic Wireless & Moto DEFY XT

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When something sounds too good to be true, we’re as skeptical as anyone, which is why we raised an eyebrow at Republic Wireless last year when the company pledged to offer unlimited mobile service--that’s unlimited talk, text, and data, mind you--for just $19 a month, without any contracts. Compare that number to current wireless offerings and Republic Wireless' proposed $19 plan seems like a total impossibility.

However, Republic Wireless held to its promise, announcing two large-scale rounds of beta testing last year and finally offering its absurdly low-priced plans to all late last fall.

Motorola DEFY XT

The Service
Republic Wireless pulls off this feat by leveraging WiFi; whenever your phone is connected to a hotspot (i.e., your home or work networks), it will make calls and surf the Web via WiFi instead of using more expensive 3G networks. When it’s not connected via WiFi, it will fall back on Sprint’s mobile network.

That approach makes a lot of sense. Most of us spend quite a bit of time near a secure WiFi network at home or at work, so why not use it automatically, even for phone calls? And to bridge the gap more smoothly, Republic Wireless easily and smoothly switches between WiFi and 3G networks by adding WiFi Hybrid Calling Technology to its handset, the Motorola DEFY XT.

The Handset
Ah yes, the “handset”--singular, not plural. This is the only catch to Republic Wireless’ service: Users are limited to just a single phone option, and because there’s no service contract with Republic Wireless, there’s no discount on the Motorola DEFY XT. The phone isn't cheap, either; it will run you $249 in addition to a $10 startup fee.

That means no iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, HTC Ones, or Nokia Windows Phones. For some people, that tradeoff is a deal breaker, but for others, the Motorola DEFY XT may not be a bad option.

Operating System:

Keyboard/Form Factor:
Special Features:


Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
1GHz single-core Snapdragon S1
1GB (up to 32GB with microSD), 512MB RAM
CDMA 1900, 800, 1X/EV-DO Release A
Bluetooth 3.0
WiFi (802.11b/g/n)
5MP autofocus w/flash (rear), 0.3MP (front)
Virtual QWERTY
3.7-inch (480x854) FWVGA Corning Gorilla Glass
micro USB (charging and data), 3.5mm headphone
SWYPE predictive text, voice recording, MotoSwitch UI 2.0, FM Radio,
       dust-proof and water resistant, gravity ambient and proximity sensors, GPS
1650MAh, up to 9.5 hours
115 x 58.5 x 11.95mm

This is a midrange phone running an older version of Android with a single core processor, a small amount of RAM, and limited onboard storage--in other words, by today's standards, the DEFY XT is a starter smartphone. However, the DEFY XT is a rugged device, which is a big plus; it’s water- and dust-resistant, and the back of the phone has a rubberized grip to help users avoid dropping it. The MotoSwitch UI allows you to switch the phone back and forth between work and personal modes to keep your work and personal life separate, and the DEFY XT has FM radio capabilities, too.


Of course, users have access to the Google Play Store, but Republic Wireless preloads the device with plenty of apps. There are the usual suspects such as Gmail, a calendar, phone, email, YouTube, a Web browser, a notepad, a calculator, camera, and image gallery, but we counted nearly four dozen preloaded apps (including setup and settings-type apps). Republic Wireless included everything from a simple flashlight app to QuickOffice.

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Good deal

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I switched to Republic Wireless a few months back from Verizon. They were killing me with the monthly charges. Around $120 a month. Verizon does have the best 4G coverage. I won’t deny that. I got the Republic plan for $25 a month. Unlimited calls, text and data with 3G. It doesn’t have the 4G on my plan. It takes a few seconds longer for the internet to load compared to Verizon. But for $100 a month savings its well worth it. If you get the 4G with Republic remember you might not have use of it except in large cities. Im completely happy with the plan I have. I have no dropped calls. It works great. Get the Moto X phone and not the Defy (it sucks). The Moto X rocks. Yes, you will have to pay $299 for the phone upfront but it pays for itself in a few months. Do the math and figure out your yearly cost compared with your current plan. I have a link that you can use to save $19 for the first month. Yes, it helps me with my bill too when you do. I won’t lie. For Christmas bonus my boss decided to let most of us go and I am unemployed. If you don’t like Republic, there is no contract. Just switch back. It is a great company. Here is the link. Cut and paste if it needed. Thanks!! http://referrals.republicwireless.com/a/clk/1ymPvN

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I've had Republic Wireless for a month now. I moved over from a big red company, where I was over-paying for what was once called a 'feature phone'. For what it's worth, I'm totally impressed with R W and intend to stay. The 250 for the phone and 20 per month will save me about 300 over the course of two years vs what i was paying previously for the lowest level service. Now everything is unlimited and I feel like a kid in a candy store. The limitations are not debilitating.

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I have republic wireless with the Motorola DEFY duel band & by far it's the best phone I every had,now at $19 a month for unlimited it's the greatest deal anywhere= republic wireless I'm here to stay.

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keep the comments coming I am almost sold. I would really like a smart phone but really don't like to let the money. I just now got a phone that is not a flip phone and it has a keyboard so I can now text. I am in front a computer at least 12hrs a day so I never thought about getting a smart phone. We travel more now and it sure would come in handy.

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We tried Republic Wireless for a month. It had very slow data speed and horrible call reception. Everyone kept complaining they couldn't understand me. Plus the only phone they have available felt very underpowered, like I had taken a step down from my last 2 year old phone. We were still within the cancellation period, so we canceled to get a full refund for the over $500 cost of 2 phones. Or so we thought. Their customer service is non-existent. Email only, and they don't actually help with anything. They drug their feet the whole way, reimbursing $20, $20 there. Their customer service kept saying they couldn't help until we had waited 10 business days for the payment to clear (it didn't), and then said they would just mail me a check (they sent $20 instead of the remaining $450 they owed). By then it had been 116 days since my original purchase and I was still nowhere close to getting the rest of the refund back. I had to have my credit card dispute the transaction to get my money back. I think they were purposefully dragging their feet, hoping I would forget. If I had waited 2 more days, not even the credit card company could have helped me.

In short, sure it is unlimited, but it is unlimited crap: horrible call and data service, underpowered phone choice, nonexistent customer service, and they will try to steal your money!

If you are looking for cheap smartphone service, try Ting instead. We are on them now, and it is only $4 more than Republic with much better everything (except data speed. After all, they are both Sprint rebundlers). Sure, they are not unlimited, but we found out that we don't actually use that much phone data and minutes since we use wifi so much anyways. Plus with Ting, you don't have to buy a crappy new $300+ phone, you can bring in an existing one or get a used one on ebay for much cheaper. https://ZJSTN31QN62.ting.com

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If you're ordering Republic Wireless service, use the link


to get $19 off....yay!!!!

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If you're cool, you would use this link to save $20 off when you sign up for Republic Wireless! Thank you!


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You should try Republic Wireless. All talk, text, and data is unlimited for 19 bucks a month was a huge incentive for me. I have been with Sprint for many years and I was reluctant to switch since I was getting a 25% discount through my work, but I was tired of their poor customer service and barely used any of the data that's on my plan (got really annoying when I was forced to pay an additional 10 bucks) when I'm still using my old Blackberry 8300. I never had any complaints with the service though. I rarely dropped calls and I had reception wherever I would expect it. With that said, at work I had zero reception.

However I do have wifi at work of course and with almost all my calls are being done at home or at work, Republic Wireless works out great for me. When I'm outside a wifi hotspot, the old sprint network (the 3G) or Verizon kicks in and I have even better coverage than before since I can use the same Sprint network when I'm outside a wifi hotspot. Many say the phone is "old" technology, but that's all about perspective. Someone who always needs the latest and greatest won't be too happy with Republic, but in that case they shouldn't be with Sprint either. I mentioned my old bberry, so I feel the Defy XT is a huge upgrade for me personally. If you use my referral link, we will both save $19 when you sign up.

Link to save an additional $19. http://referrals.republicwireless.com/a/clk/17rWzy.

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I have been Republic Wireless for a month now and love them!! I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk, text, and 3G data. You can get unlimited everything including 4G data for $40 a month or you can switch to the $10 a month plan and you get unlimited talk and text anywhere but only can use data on WiFi but you can switch you plan 2 times a month from your phone and the rates are prorated so you only get charged for the days you use that plan!! The Moto X is an awesome phone!! I actually like it better than my iPhone 5 because the phone itself has features that the iPhone does not have (twist your wrist and the camera starts and its a better camera than the iPhone, it knows when your driving and reads you texts, and active notifications are very nice too). I highly recommend this service and phone and if anyone wants to use the service after doing some research use this link and get an additional $19 off:


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