Contract Free: Moto G And Republic Wireless Review

Design & User Experience

A stunner the Moto G is not, at least not with the plain old black shell, but it’s not a bad-looking phone, either. The front is plain, with a thin black bezel and the front-facing camera, a speaker, and the power button and volume rocker visible. The back, however, has a gentle curve that feels nicer in the hand than a flat back, and this edition of the Moto G has a soft touch shell that seems to provide a bit of grip as well as offer a little something in the looks department.

Of course, as we mentioned on the previous page, you can opt for a different shell in several fun colors.

The power button and volume rocker are relatively well-placed; the power button is exactly where our forefinger rests when holding the phone, and the volume rocker is below that, within perfect reach of our middle finger. And of course, there’s a headphone jack up top (our preferred location) and the micro USB port and a microphone on the bottom.

The rear camera with flash are around back, and there’s a Motorola logo located in a small dimple back there that presumably is supposed to aid in your grip; we found that when we were talking on the Moto G, that dimple was a comfortable spot for our forefinger to rest.

The rear speaker sounds like a smartphone speaker, make no mistake, but it’s quite loud. If you were for instance listening to Pandora, the music would be loud enough that you’d want the Moto G located several feet away from you when the volume is cranked all the way up. (Note that this is a good thing, especially when you’re conducting a phone call on speaker.)

Unfortunately, like many smartphones these days, you can’t access the battery yourself. You can pop off the back shell to put on a different one, but the battery is designed to be accessed only by a pro.

Perhaps this is nitpicking, but we’re not in love the power adapter. Although it’s quite Apple like--all white with a boxy plug--the micro USB cable is not removable from it. That means if you want to connect your Moto G to a PC to, for example, dump files, you need to have a separate cable handy.

We must discuss the Moto G as it pertains to Republic Wireless. First off, the whole angle of the service is that it relies on WiFi for calling, texting, and data use as much as possible. That makes sense--most people spend most of their time at home or at work (and at friends’ houses), all of which are places where you can typically access WiFi. The rest of the time, Republic Wireless phones rely on Sprint’s network.

Although the phone is capable of 4G LTE connectivity, you can only get that on Republic Wireless if you pay extra. The company revamped its service plans not too long ago; you still don’t ever sign a contract, but plans now start at $5 a month.

For five bucks a month, you get unlimited WiFi usage for talk, text, and data. The $10 per month plan offers the same but with unlimited talk and text anywhere you may be. The sweet spot for many is the unlimited everything plan that includes 3G data for $25 per month, while the $40 per month tier is unlimited with 4G LTE data.

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