Jan 04, 2014 | Post by: Josh No Comments

Will Republic Wireless Live Up to Claims?

You know, if you save $80 here, $100 there, EVERY MONTH, it starts to add up. For us, we have monthly sub­scrip­tions for cable, mobile phones & yes still a land­line at home (for safety). At work, we have the phones along with sev­eral soft­ware ser­vice sub­scrip­tions includ­ing up load­ers, order man­age­ment, account­ing & gallery ser­vices, among others.

So when I get a chance to slash one of those bills, I do it! For exam­ple, we were using Quick­Base from Intuit, which is an online data­base tool. It lets you cre­ate cus­tom appli­ca­tions. We needed a cus­tom app to man­age our orders because, hey, we were the first peo­ple to do what we do, with noth­ing out there to help us. Well, Qbase cost $250 a month. We’ve since dis­cov­ered Zoho Cre­ator. Yea, it’s only $30 for all the func­tion­al­ity we need. Of course Quick­base was more than we needed, but not at first. That’s the prob­lem with sub­scrip­tions, they have a lot of iner­tia, and suck a lot of money.

Well the chance has come up again. Repub­lic Wire­less aims to change the mobile tele­phony game. They sell you a top-notch smart phone, sub­si­dized by half, with no con­tract AND a 30 day money back guar­an­tee. The phone has spe­cial hard­ware so it uses WiFi when avail­able, instead of a cell net­work. In other words, your mobile phone becomes a VOIP phone when­ever it can. Turns out many/most of us are within range of good wifi for most of the day. So by cut­ting out the cost of rent­ing time on the cell net­work dur­ing those peri­ods, they can offer a much lower price.

Moto X from Motorola on Republic Wireless

Moto X from Motorola on Repub­lic Wireless

They offer four sim­ple monthly plans. The cheap­est is only $5 per month! But that’s for WiFi talk only, no cell ser­vice at all. Their tippy top ser­vice sets you back just $40/month, which gets you 4G unlim­ited text & data, when not in wifi range. In between are a $10 plan & a $25 plan. The $25 & $40 plans are the ones we’re most likely to use, as they allow for mobile data at 3G & 4G respectively.

But wait, that’s not all! You can change your plan up to twice a month. So if you know you’ll be on the road a lot, just bump your­self up to 4G. Stick­ing near the office & home? Hang out at $25 or even $10 (cell-talk but no cell-data).

Here I am hold­ing my new nifty Moto X (designed & assem­bled in the US by the way). It’s been great all day today. Justin & I tested the claim of “seam­less tran­si­tion” from wifi to cell within a call. Sure enough, it worked flaw­lessly. This hand­off issue was appar­ently a  big prob­lem when RW first launched. You’d start a call in a wifi range, and then lose the call if you moved out of range.

Day One’s only glitch: my wife & I only had one of the two needed cir­cuits going, when I was at the Safe­way. I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me. (She’d tell you “That’s not a bug, it’s a fea­ture!”) The prob­lem may have been my wife’s own mobile provider cov­er­age. But my Repub­lic phone had found an open pub­lic net­work at the shop­ping cen­ter, of unknown qual­ity. Since then, I’ve found a set­ting within the Android OS (all new to me btw) which tells the phone to only con­nect to stronger wifi signals.

By the way, the phone feels great, looks great, has a great cam­era, and I like the Android cam­era soft­ware & edit­ing fea­tures MUCH more than my iPhone, even in iOS 7.

Stay tuned to see if I make it to the 30 days with­out return­ing this thing. Based on today’s aus­pi­cious start, I’m hop­ing to cut over $100/month out of our bills. Not the most gigan­tic amount of money, but hey, it will make me feel better!

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