Republic Wireless becomes 50% More Frugal with the Moto G: A Review

line_of_gsIt is nice when the answers for frugal and efficient living become simple and obvious, so as to free your mind for more complex and worthwhile pursuits. For example, when investing in stocks, Vanguard index funds is all you need to know. For cars, a compact hatchback like a Honda Fit will almost always suffice. The ultimate cable TV package is quite obviously no TV service at all at $0 per month. And for US mobile phone service, Republic Wireless has become my default answer for anyone who asks because it just plain works and the $5/$10/$25 unlimited pricing plan reigns supreme in value. I simply love how boring the mobile phone world has become for me: my phone works great, I never pay attention to usage, they never pull any stunts on me, and the monthly bill is a constant, negligible amount. Republic is becoming the Vanguard of mobile phones in my mind.

The bland simplicity of their pricing scheme. No talk of "minutes" or "texts".. you just use the damn phone as you see fit.

The bland simplicity of their pricing scheme. No talk of “minutes” or “texting packages”.. you just use the damn phone as you see fit.

I am hesitant to write about something so boring when it has already been covered on this blog before, but a new release from the company warrants this one last update. Republic has released a new phone that costs half as much as the previous new one, and readers have been asking me to review it here. So here we go!

Until this month, you had to buy a $299 Motorola X running their customized software in order to use the company’s hybrid calling network. While the math still worked out in your favor and you’d save money, it still hurts some of us to fork over $300 for a depreciating smartphone, as beautiful as it is when you first open the box.

But very recently, they released a new phone called the Motorola G, which is priced at $149. I assumed that it would be about half as good, and being a gadgety former engineer that I would be disappointed by the step down. Still, I dutifully requested that the company send me a review version so I could do some in-person evaluation for the benefit of curious Mustachaians.

To make a long story short, The Motorola G is almost exactly the same as the Moto X, which is to say an amazing smartphone, which means you really aren’t missing out much by saving the 150 bucks. Let’s start with a quick comparison of the tech specs:

Moto G vs. Moto X

Moto G vs. Moto X

Although some of those numbers look bigger in the right column, the “Display” section is what matters most. The phones have virtually identical screens that run at exactly the same resolution. In practice, what that means is this:

Moto X vs. Moto G - screens were equally bright and clear.

Moto X (left) vs. Moto G – screens were equally bright and clear.

This Identical Twins experience continues as you pick up both phones to tap on some stuff, swipe back and forth between various screens, take some pictures and videos, play music, and make some calls. For typical use, there is no noticeable difference between these phones.

Both are incredibly useful due to the full Google integration that allows you to talk to the phone in natural language: “Ok Google, when is my flight to Portland?”, brings up a futuristic summary with full details and realtime flight status, based solely on an old Southwest Airlines email receipt from a ticket purchased weeks ago. “Navigate to the Shiner Brewery in Texas” brings up full directions to the Spoetzl brewery, a 16 hour drive from here. The GPS fires up, 3-D satellite imagery loads and shows a bird’s eye view of my current location with a line showing the way, and we could be on a roadtrip within minutes.

About that Network

If you’re new to the whole idea of this mobile operator, you might wonder if it will actually provide coverage for you. After almost a year with the company, I can say the answer is probably yes, for these reasons:

  • Republic service uses the Sprint network when available, which blankets the US pretty well (voice and 3G data almost everywhere and 4G data in the cities).
  • But if you don’t have Sprint coverage, the phone will automatically roam to the nearest Verizon tower for unlimited voice (plus up to 25Mb/month of roaming data) – seamlessly and at no cost to you. So it is really like having both Sprint and Verizon accounts.
  • If you’re connected to Wi-fi, the phone uses that (and thus the Internet) for all its calling and data needs. This means buildings and basements which were formerly outside of cell range are now great places to make a call. It also means the phone works internationally at no cost whenever you have good Wi-Fi. You can make and receive calls exactly as if you were still in the US – your friends will never know. I tested this feature successfully in Ecuador last year.

So what’s the difference?

The Camera: The Moto X has a better camera. While “megapixels” don’t really mean anything in modern marketing, the X takes sharper images and has a wider lens angle as well. Here’s a comparison of an identical indoor shot with each phone :


Moto X (top), vs Moto G (bottom). Click for full image if you want to compare in detail.

Moto X (top), vs Moto G (bottom). Click for full image if you want to compare in detail.

Futuristic Gee Whiz Features:

The Moto X has a few things that I have grown to like, which are absent on the G:

Active Display is a periodic update where the phone gently fades in stuff like the time, date, and your calendar/SMS/email/twitter status even when the phone is sleeping. It also does so immediately when you pick it up. Sort of convenient, since it saves you from unlocking the phone.

Touchless Control means the Moto X is always listening to you. You can give out commands even when the phone is in your pocket. It also detects when you’re driving or biking, and can do things like automatically answering (or telling the caller you cannot answer because you are driving). I had a neat experience where I was riding down the bike path, and my phone said “Incoming call from WIFEY, do you want to answer?”

“Yes”, I said, somewhat off guard. It answered, and I had a surreal speakerphone conversation with Mrs. Money Mustache while riding my bike with the phone in the pocket of my jeans.

The X also has a nifty feature where you simply twist your sleeping phone back and forth along its vertical axis a couple of times to immediately activate the camera. Better for catching short-lived moments and looking less dorky doing so since the twisting motion can be done subtly with the phone at your side and then Boom, you take the picture before anyone notices.

Even with these things missing, the Moto G is an amazing and intuitive piece of technology, and is a good choice for those of us who are not online media extremists for whom tiny details* make a big difference. So Republic wireless service just became drastically cheaper**, and I welcome the new option.

September 2014 Update:

Republic has now added a third, even less costly phone called the Moto E. Smaller specs in exchange for a $99 price tag. While it won’t be the choice of most 20-something software engineers, this simpler smartphone may be a great choice for people who have no need for gadgetry, or families who want to give phones to their kids and relatives.

If you’re still paying over $25 for your mobile phone service, you can remedy that situation with this link.

You can also find the previous Republic article from November 2013 (which also covers Ting) here.


* So which one would I buy? In my pre-blog life, it would have been the G, hands-down. Now that I use a phone so much for this gig, especially taking pictures that people actually look at sometimes, I’d have to suppress my natural cheapness and spend the extra for the X. It’s the usual tool-vs-toy calculation. Just remember that within a year or two, even better phones will cost even less than these ones, so weigh the steep depreciation on a per-photo (or per gee-whiz) basis.

** you can also now buy a used phone from another Republic member if you can find one and re-activate it on a new account, a further increase in frugality.

  • Sergey May 14, 2014, 10:36 am

    Wow, this is great news! I wasn’t even aware of this technology to exist.
    I’m moving to another country at the end of the year but would like to be able to support my U.S. customers from abroad while keeping my number. Looks like this is exactly what I need :)

  • Sergey May 14, 2014, 10:48 am

    By the way, what do the grey areas on the coverage map mean? What is roaming area?

    I know that Sprint doesn’t work in my area but I have excellent coverage from Verizon. Currently use Page Plus which is another frugal option for Verizon customers.

  • Rachel May 14, 2014, 11:40 am

    Looking at coverage maps, in Western MA and VT there is virtually NO sprint coverage, spotty Verizon and by far the best coverage is AT&T. I’m looking at Aio and Airvoice Wireless as options – unlimited monthly plans are more expensive than RW but still half of what I’m currently paying on contract. Are there any readers who have used Aio or Airvoice? Other suggestions for carriers that use the AT&T network instead of sprint?

  • Jesse May 14, 2014, 11:59 am

    After the first RW article, my wife and I dropped our AT&T plan with 2 iPhones and switched- both of us bought a Moto X. Counting the $220 we got back selling our iPhones, we broke even after 4 months. This includes $380 for phones and $35/mo. for plans (wifey likes 3G). One of the best switches we’ve made since reading MMM. Old monthly bill: $166.80 for 3 phones. New bill: $41.75 for 2 phones.

    • Republic Wireless May 14, 2014, 2:02 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Jesse! Glad we are able to help you and your wife save!

  • Justin May 14, 2014, 12:14 pm

    Does anyone know if the $10 / month plan INCLUDES all taxes, fees, etc? For example, Airvoice costs me a flat $10 / mo. Is this the same?

    • Dezrah May 15, 2014, 7:50 am

      Justin, no it does not include extra taxes and fees. Much of those taxes are state and local so they can’t really advertise what your actual monthly rate will be. Several months after I started using RW, I noticed my bill always seemed to vary a little bit (less than a dollar) every month. When I contacted RW (they have great customer support), they told me they use third-party software to help them determine their local zoning fees and that my apartment complex was probably in a confusing grey zone depending on how you looked at it. Plus regulation does change fees from time to time. The fees are reasonable though: about $2 on my $19 bill. Hope this helps.

    • Mr. Fund May 15, 2014, 9:20 am

      It does _not_ include all taxes and fees. We have the $5 plan, and the real cost after taxes and fees is just over $7. I’d expect the $10 plan to actually cost about $14.

      • Clint May 17, 2014, 6:58 pm

        The $10 plan in NC comes to $12.12

        • Babybees May 30, 2014, 9:49 pm

          Are you in the Charlotte area? Just found this site today and was wondering how Republic worked for people in this area. TIA

  • Dillon May 14, 2014, 1:34 pm

    The wife and i just switched to Republic; i got the Moto X and she got the Moto G basically just to see the difference between the two and i cant think of anything that you didnt already hit on here in this review other than the Moto G is only available with the 3G network/$25 a month plan and cannot upgrade to the 4G/$40 a month plan but still an excellent deal! I must say we are two very happy customers and with a calculated saving of almost $900 BUCKS A YEAR!! You can get any more mustachian than this, hopefully this post leads more people to this amazing service

    • space May 14, 2014, 4:57 pm

      That’d be because the Moto G doesn’t have LTE, and therefore the $40 plan wouldn’t do anything. :P

  • Jay May 14, 2014, 11:50 pm

    Sorry Mr. MM, I think I’ve got you beat. I currently get unlimited EVERYTHING plus 500 MB of 4G data on T-Mobile (probably much more nationwide coverage than Republic Wireless), for $22.71/month.

    The secret?
    1) Month-to-month prepaid family plan, that I went in on with 4 other friends
    2) Buying an unlocked phone instead of signing up for a contract. On another note: these days, phone contracts are for suckers. They are the equivalent of paying a loan shark-like rate of interest for something that costs $600 max (if you want the royal-deluxe mega iPhone with gold dust). Pay for your entire phone upfront and the mobile world is your oyster.

    Best of all, you can use practically ANY GSM phone on T-Mobile. Our “family” uses a variety of top-end, middle-end, low-end (me) Android and iPhones and we all get great service without needing to rely on Wi-fi. Though obviously we still use Wi-fi when we can because of the better speed and power usage.

    I will grant you, that if you don’t want unlimited everything, Republic is still the way to go. But if you’re a professional who travels or otherwise doesn’t necessarily have Wi-fi when you most need it, you still want a fast data plan that doesn’t cost much.

    • Chris H. May 21, 2014, 10:24 am


      I have another plan for you and your friends that would be cheaper than T-Mobile with the same plan. Cricket Wireless was bought out by AT&T just recently and they now have a family plan that equals $22/line if you have 5 people. This is better than T-Mobile since this INCLUDES taxes and fees. Cell phone tax is exorbitantly high, so this would save a pretty penny. You also get 500 MB of data and they throttle you after that.

      You can take your unlocked GSM phones to them, save some money, and get better service than T-Mobile (you use AT&T towers).

      Check them out!

  • Agnes May 15, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Dear MMM,
    This is a great article for American users. Do you know of anything that comes close to these deals in Canada? I live in Ontario and pay about $80/month for one cell. Please help!

    • curiousnomad May 22, 2014, 8:48 pm

      I desperately need a Canadian solution as well! My job has me going between Washington state and Alberta every week, and you do NOT want to know what my Verizon bill is!

    • Peter H May 25, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Wind is pretty decent in southern Ontario. My b/f is paying $30/month for unlimited everything

  • JBug May 16, 2014, 9:16 am

    Not sure if someone else already mentioned it, but . . . if you buy the MotoX, Motorola is offering a $100 rebate in the form of a VISA gift card when you mail in your DefyXT (for current RW customers) or other eligible phone. https://community.republicwireless.com/docs/DOC-1656#jive_content_id_When_does_the_Jelly_Bean_Rebate_expire

  • Scott Pelton May 16, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I wish they would allow you to use your own phone. I just switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. I bought the phone outright, so it wasn’t financed. I’ll be looking for that option and I’ll hop on over to Republic!

  • Shegogue Brew May 16, 2014, 1:56 pm

    I have the moto X with RW and have been pleasantly surprised. I did notice however, the Moto G has functionality that the moto X DOES NOT! I am told the moto G has the capability to listen to FM radio! This is very rare in the smartphone arena, and I wish my X had it!

    Anyone have the G and use it?

    • Greg May 21, 2014, 11:19 am

      I don’t have that FM radio feature on my MotoX and I kind of wish I did. Might use a fair amount of battery though. My iPod nano has FM radio and it uses the battery up much, much quicker than just listening to the digital music files.

  • barbaroja May 16, 2014, 4:42 pm

    My wife and I share an old Moto Razer Flip Phone and use prepaid ATT GoPhone service. It costs us $100 per year for very basic service. We travel a lot outside of the USA and the best thing about this phone is that it’s QUAD Band GSM and it’s easy to purchase and install a local SIM where ever we go. Still, it’s a pain to text and of course we can’t get Google Maps while out on the road. So we’ve been looking for a frugal alternative.

    I really like RW’s simple pricing plan and was considering switching after reading MMM’s Nov 2013 RW review on the Moto X.

    So I was very interested to see the comparison chart in this review that showed both the Moto G and X as GSM and I was ready to sign up. But when I go to the RW website it says that both the models sold by RW are CDMA. If I understand correctly this means they will only work on WiFi outside the USA.

    I hope this doesn’t make me a complainy pants! And I hope that I’m wrong because I would sign up today if I could get a GSM version from RW. Wifi alone is not enough for us when we’re traveling away from home.

    • Stan May 23, 2014, 9:05 am

      My Moto G works on my wifi in America.

  • Kyle May 16, 2014, 6:34 pm

    We ordered the moto G from Republic wireless the day they made it available for order. So far very satisfied. My dad is also going to switch. their VOIP while on WIFI is a perfect solution for people that live in a wireless black hole like my dad. Moto G seems to have better than average call quality and reception as well. We’re using the $10 a month voice and text so we can’t comment on the 3g/4g coverage but I’d expect it to be pretty good.
    The radio only works with headphones plugged in (uses them as the antenna I’ve heard). Works well with them plugged in though.

  • JGfromStl May 16, 2014, 6:39 pm

    I finally decided to try Republic after reading this article, and after wondering for months about how well it would work in the St. Louis area. I have had an Android phone in the past, with the largest carrier in the country, followed by an iPhone, which I really liked due to it’s ease of use.
    Initial setup was simple and fast, since I already had a gmail account. Connectivity to my home network was simple to set up, no different than any other device. I ordered the MOTO G and it appears to be a very slick device and the OS is intuitive and, while different than IOS, as easy to use. I have drove my usual route to and from work, talking to the wife the whole way and had no connection problems at all. Thanks to MMM, so I thought I would add my 2 cents about my experience in St. Louis.

    • Dustin from StL September 2, 2014, 8:42 am

      This is the comment I was looking for, wanting to find a cheaper way to do my wireless as I start to actually commit to frugal living! Currently using Straight Talk on 2 phones, 1 unlimited $45/mo and the cheaper option for the wife ($30 for horrible flip phone). Glad it works well for you, I”m going to do the 30 day trial next month! Just wish I could find cheaper handset options, even $150 is kinda a lot…

  • Becca May 17, 2014, 6:40 am

    I currently use an iPhone on Page Plus without issue. However, when my phone dies I would like to switch to Republic. Any tips for how to avoid losing iMessages when I make the switch?

  • Matt Borax May 17, 2014, 8:24 am

    Hey folks, as a Canadian and MMM wannabe we were looking in to Republic Wireless for our phones up here. (we’re close to the border and go across all the time etc…) Anyhoo, looks like RW’s ‘Free Canadian Roaming’ was a bug that was recently(?) ‘fixed’. It appears Canadian roaming is no longer what it once was. (Mr. M, take note before you fire up your phone on anything but a wi-fi network in Ottawa next time you visit!)
    This information is from the RW community forum pages themselves: https://community.republicwireless.com/message/224265#224265

    Just a heads up.
    M and C

  • JK May 17, 2014, 8:37 pm

    First time posting here. Been reading this blog for a while now.
    I have a old Samsung flip phone that I use with T-mobile. I pay $30/month for 1500 min/texts. Never use anywhere that amount.
    I’ve been thinking of making the switch for a few reasons.
    1. This was originally my ex-wife’s phone and last year I found out she was getting married when an old workmate texted the phone and said congratulations. Hmm..don’t need any more surprises.
    Ok, on a more serious note (though that did happen above)
    2. It would be nice to have data with a phone.
    3. I’d save money with the $10 plan and even a bit with the $25 plan.

    That being said I have two questions-
    1. What are the chances that the Moto X might drop in price sometime soon?
    2. Can I really transfer my old number over? My old phone has bluetooth but I have no idea how to use it. How hard is this process?

    • Clint May 18, 2014, 9:10 am

      I doubt the price will drop because RW already is subsidizing it.

      I wasn’t able to transfer over my number. Can’t remember if I knew that in advance. Some numbers do transfer.

    • noreen May 22, 2014, 8:56 am

      The RW website has a tool that lets you check if your phone number can be ported over to your new phone.

      Check out their FAQ page here: https://community.republicwireless.com/docs/DOC-1332

      (Anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new phone and have been all over their website!)

  • Rebecca May 18, 2014, 4:58 am

    I live overseas and have been paying about $60/year for SkypeOut and $60/year for a SkypeIn number, mainly to facilitate talking to my parents on the phone. (Yes, I know we could talk for free over Skype, Viber, or another app, but they’re not into that whole “talking on the computer” thing and my mom doesn’t have a smartphone yet). I’ve also gotten annoyed on my last few trips to the US that phone companies are now charging $10 for a sim card, when they used to be free – so getting a short-term prepaid plan isn’t very economical anymore.

    So I’m going to give all that up and try Republic Wireless – $5/month while I’m overseas so my parents can call me comfortably (while I’ve got wifi), and then I’ll bump it up to the $25/mo plan when I come back to the US. Some of the comments above have scared me a bit about how it’s going to work, but skype definitely hasn’t been a perfect solution for me either, and experimentation adds spice to life, right?

  • Ed Carver May 18, 2014, 7:16 am

    Both my wife and I got the Moto G from RW when they first came out. Porting numbers from our previous cells took only 24 hours. So far, we love them and the service is good. We pay $23 incl tax with 2 lines at the $10mo. One recommendation if you have iffy call quality is to make sure you aren’t being directed over wifi that has a spotty connection. To fix this, you simply turn off the wifi so the phone uses the cell tower instead. Other than that, the phones are excellent quality “little tablets” and beautiful devices. Let’s all hope that RW stays in business long enough so we can start stockpiling all that cash we are saving. -Ed

  • Rick May 19, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Hey MMM, myself and several colleagues were on the engineering team for the Moto X and big fans of your blog. I can tell you that your articles are the subject of a lot of fun conversations we’ve had at work. Just wanted to say thanks for the article and it was really interesting to hear your conclusions regarding Moto G and MotoX . Keep up the good work!

  • Matt P. May 20, 2014, 1:11 am

    Thanks to MMM for pointing me in the direction of Republic, they are awesome! I had been paying Verizon $100/month for 1 smartphone (for my wife) and 1 flip phone (for me). Now, my wife is enjoying the Moto X for $25/month, and I am now paying PagePlus $10 every 4 months to keep my flip phone working….yep, only $2.50/month! Feeling very Mustachian about it all.

  • 205guy May 20, 2014, 3:52 am

    Just wanted to mention MVNO’s here, since I learned about them on the MMM forums. These are companies that rent AT&T or Verizon bandwidth and then run a phone company (SIM card, billing, and customer service). If you finished your contract with AT&T or Verizon, you can get your phone unlocked, and then switch to these low cost companies.

    I was on the cheapest AT&T plan at $80 (I did have unlimited data grandfathered in, but no texting!), and I foolishly paid that for 2 years after my contract was over. My wife and I both had old iPhone 3G so I had them unlock the phones, ordered SIM cards from the AT&T MVNO called puretalkusa and got their no-data basic family plan at $10 for the first phone and $5 for each additional phone (400 minutes to share, $10 for each additional 300 montes, approx.). For data I can still use the wireless at home or at work, but unlike republic wireless that does VoIP with the phone, my calls are always through the cell. They have other plans that include data, up to unlimited everything for $40-45 I think. AT&T didn’t give me the flexibility to choose no-data, so this really lowered my bill–plus I like to think it’s very mustachian. Plus I kept my old phone, no need to get a shiny new gadget and no need to pay for one. My wife did upgrade to a new iPhone 5c recently–the unlocked version is pricey, but the monthly savings pays for it in 6 months, not a 2 year locked-in contract. The only downside is that there is no visual voicemail, you have to use the old dial-in, enter your password, press 7 to delete routine.

    I just wanted to toss out the info as a low-cost alternative to republic wireless and their choice of 2 phones. With these other services, any unlocked phone compatible with the intended network will do, you can even buy one used on Craigslist. The companies also have phones to sell, from simple old and compact flip-phones to android smartphones as well.

  • Bill May 22, 2014, 6:57 am

    We bought 2 of these and switched from Verizon Wireless. Thanks so much for the tip – it’ll pay off in 3.5 months and we’ll be saving $110/month.

    • david December 5, 2014, 12:21 pm

      Hi Bill – how has this worked out for you so far?

  • Stan May 22, 2014, 7:34 am

    On this advice i purchased a Moto G phone and call it my ”home and away’ phone. I have it bluetoothed to a base phone for my home phone and intend to take it to Aruba next week and Australia in October. I have wifi in the house but haven’t had a home phone for 13 years. For $5 a month for a home phone AND a wifi mobile that the local number works around the world is worth a try. I will report back on how well it is working.

    • Stan February 11, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Reporting back. I forgot to take the phone to Aruba on that trip. Last November I did make it back to Aruba for a day and used wifi, the phone worked GREAT. Used it to talk and send pictures via facebook. It works in any country that I can log onto wifi with.
      January I took a cruise to Hawaii. Before I left on the cruise I checked with my other cell phone company, USCellular. They did not have service on Hawaii and if I used it there whomever I logged onto would charge me $3.99 a day and $2 a minute for calls and data. So that phone went into airplane mode. I checked with Republican Wireless and they had service on the islands through Sprint. I waited until I got onto the island to change my service (big mistake, I had to find a wifi and finally found a McDonalds) then changed from wifi to the cell and text. Another big mistake because I wanted data. Changed the plan to add data and it worked well the whole trip. Downfall was I had to wait a month until I could change it back to wifi charge.
      Seems that RW doesn’t sell phones to Hawaiians even though they have coverage on the island.
      I’m thinking that if my other phone ever dies I will just go full time with the RW phone.

  • Sean Mullin May 22, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Save your money. This review tempted me into getting the new Moto G and Republic service. It took me only 15 minutes to figure out I needed to send it back for a refund. The voice quality is poor, both for the caller and the receiver. It was not possible to stream a youtube video on 3G. I will continue to pay an extra $15/ month for a phone with much higher quality. (Iphone with H2O service). Sorry, but “I make too much money for this”. Hah.

    • space June 25, 2014, 12:48 pm

      Most people who complain about voice quality over wifi have odd internet connection issues caused by their routers, actually – high jitter and such. Occasionally the lack of bandwidth as well, though Republic codecs have improved vastly over the last couple of years and can generally work over questionable connections. Voice quality over cellular, well, that really shouldn’t be poor at all, since it’s basically the same service as a normal postpaid Sprint device. What H2O plan are you on that has unlimited data? AFAIK, just about none of the AT&T MVNOs offer unlimited data – Cricket doesn’t count, and Straight Talk AT&T has… issues.

      • Sean July 15, 2014, 9:16 pm

        That’s a very good point as my Wi-Fi frequently runs extremely slow. Still the moto 3G could not download with an acceptable speed, even enough to watch a non-HD video.
        I do not have unlimited coverage with H2O I typically buy 1 gig.

  • Vicki May 22, 2014, 3:59 pm

    Hi – I was excited to get my new Moto G through the link on the MMM website. I’ve had it for 5 days and unfortunately mine will probably be going back too. It is fine on my wi-fi and in Sprint areas but it will not roam off to any other towers at all. I put in a help ticket and they helped me check my settings to make sure that wasn’t the issue. I have been driving in four different parts of upstate NY and when I lost Sprint coverage, it would not pick up the strong Verizon coverage that was available (on the other phone I had with me). This was what I was worried about…. I am not concerned about data but I need to make sure I can at least have basic calling when I am out of Sprint coverage (and there is Verizon available.) If anyone has any suggestions – I’d love to hear what I might try in order to keep RW.

    • Mr. Money Mustache May 23, 2014, 8:13 am

      Hi Vicki – that’s an interesting story and I wonder what could be causing it. Anyone else had the same or different results in that area?

      I just crossed through a very remote 1400 miles of the West on a train with my Republic Moto X (Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and then arrived here in San Francisco) and was surprised to find data access almost all the way. The phone indicated “domestic roaming” in the remote places, and I usually had data when Mrs. MM’s ATT (Airvoice) phone rarely did.

      It is nice not caring about roaming vs. in-network data. I hope Republic is not regretting having me as a customer with unlimited usage :-)

      • Vicki May 23, 2014, 9:11 am

        Thanks for the reply! I have double checked all the settings but what concerns me is that I didn’t get indications/icons that showed it was even trying to roam. The 3G just disappeared and then reappeared in an area with good Sprint coverage. I would really love to keep this phone and my husband would like to get one too. We were on Route 11 from Watertown to Potsdam NY – a major route with solid Verizon coverage and for 25 miles – no signal on the Moto G. This area isn’t “very remote” – it is the only major road to get to 4 colleges. I just wonder if it is my phone…. Glad it is working for you. Our other phone is on Airvoice – which we love too! Maybe we should just stick with that and try Freedom Pop for some data needs or maybe try a Moto X?

      • Vicki September 10, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Hi MMM – What do you say about the email we all got today about roaming data? Could trips such as yours have caused this? (Not that I am blaming folks who used the roaming data). This could impact many of us staying with RW. I was under the 25 for two of the months but at 40 for July. Would you care to share your usage?

  • Don May 25, 2014, 10:28 am

    I’ve been on RW with the Moto G for about 3 weeks now. For the most part I really love it. Works great at home and at work. Last weekend I was at my sisters house where I know there is great AT&T coverage.
    I had no service at all. Does anyone know how I can tell if the phone is roaming?


    • Vicki May 26, 2014, 5:17 am

      Hi Don – I am having the same trouble as you and it appears that there may be many others. My phone doesn’t even try to roam. I just found this written by jben in the RW forum – he answered my post there too and was incredibly helpful.

      “Assuming you are in a Sprint area you normally should not see the roaming indicator. Roaming is indicated by a triangle to the left of the Cell bars at the top of you screen (status and notifications)”

      I have yet to see any kind of triangle and I did travel out of Sprint coverage. **THE GOOD NEWS – I finally got Chad at RW Customer Service to check my route of travel and he said I definitely should have had roaming coverage where I was traveling (at least at most times). He put a ticket in to Sprint to have them check why this happened and he said if that wasn’t it – it probably is my phone. I wonder if they have a batch of Moto G’s that just aren’t programmed correctly. I have done all the updates too. I will post back when I hear from Chad. I love my RW phone and don’t want to give up on it yet. You may also want to check the post from jben at 8:24 on my thread on RW – it has a list of steps to follow to make sure everything is updated on your phone. (Ignore what the first person posted to me – that isn’t accurate at all)

      • John June 3, 2014, 8:04 am


        I just bought a Defy XT dual band on ebay for $40.00 including shipping. I am using it in northern Maine near Van Buren with no problems. With a Defy XT you would be limited to the $22.00 per month plan but the phone works great for a low initial investment. My only regret is there is no Canada roaming because I am so close to the border.

  • Melinda May 30, 2014, 12:25 am

    Hi there just wondering if all is well at your end as I have been waiting for your next blog. In the past I have lost your blog and at the moment I think you have only written three blogs this month. Am waiting for the next chapter of your blogging

  • Lugo June 2, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Just got mine. So far so good.

  • Bob Werner June 3, 2014, 11:02 am

    So I ordered my 21 year old daughter in Springfield Missouri one a couple of weeks ago.

    She complains that it is not working very well when not on Wi-Fi. Calls don’t come in and the service seems spotty. Since SPFD is covered in Sprint and Verizon towers I was hoping for a better and pretty seamless service? She has agreed to call Republic to see what can be done, but my thinking is that they just don’t have it down that well yet.

    So she is a typical, want it now youngster. I on the other hand I don’t care so much about missing calls. So if after a month she is still a dissatisfied princess I will switch phones with her and give it a try myself.

    I explained to her the “honey, I went 40 years of life without any cell phone and life seemed to work just fine.” She just rolls her eyes.

    I will report back in a few weeks.

  • Valeria June 3, 2014, 8:33 pm

    I have been using Republic for about a month now and I have to say it has been smooth sailing so far. I have the Moto G and the operating system seems thus far to work flawlessly. The handshake between wifi and cell service works great. I have started calls on cell, then arrived home and I didn’t even notice until later that the service switched over to wifi. My first bill arrived and with tax, it was only $29. Less than $30 a month for unlimited phone, text and data. Gotta love it!

  • Parker June 3, 2014, 10:17 pm

    I am considering switching to republic when my contract with Verizon is up in 2 months. However, Verizon now has this more everything plan which will only be $45 month for unlimited talk/text +250mb data. Yeah that’s more than $25, but I won’t have to buy a new phone. I also was thinking of selling my phone (which will easily fetch more than the price of the moto G ) and starting with republic. Either way, lower phone bills are on the way! Currently I pay $58/month for a very limited talk/text/data plan with an employer discount.

    • Vicki June 4, 2014, 6:22 am

      At this point, I am not “sold” at all on this company. There customer service is not responsive at all – and I have been very patient. I am getting all of their email blasts about how they will help with anything if I need it, but no one responds. I will be sending back my Moto G this week if the situation isn’t taken care of. I will stick with Airvoice or Page Plus – they have both been much easier to work with. I wish MMM readers good luck if they ever have any customer service needs with this company.

      • Ohio Teacher June 4, 2014, 6:53 am

        Vicki, it is disappointing that you are having that experience. I have only had to contact their CS once, and they responded to my email within 5 minutes! Of course, it was a Monday at 8:09am, so I probably caught someone just settling into their office.

        • Vicki June 4, 2014, 6:58 am

          It is an interesting community. I posted my on-going concerns and got an immediate response from someone with some ideas on how to troubleshoot the phone. They also stated that many people are frustrated with the roaming issues right now. They said that RW needs to at least send an email saying they are still working on the problem, rather than just letting you wait a week with no reply. I was especially annoyed when the “co-founder” David sent an email (with his picture, etc.) saying to contact him directly if there was an issue. I did – and he didn’t reply either….. Again, I am hoping this works out but I would still be cautious about suggesting their product at this point.

          • Ohio Teacher June 4, 2014, 7:13 am

            Yes, their community is great. This won’t help with your roaming problem, but I did learn there how to change my settings to increase my Wi-Fi offload. I was getting frustrated that every time I completed a call on Wi-Fi, it would “hand off” to cellular within a minute or two. A few quick changes to my settings and I’ve been staying on Wi-Fi since then.

            I really do hope they are able to provide a solution to your problem. I look at the coverage map and it looks like Sprint has built out their network almost as robust as Verizon’s, and then I look at some of the comments above and see the map and the reality are sometimes different.

            Whatever ends up happening, the good news is that you will settle in at somewhere other than the big 4 cell companies, which is liberating. Good luck.

            • Vicki June 9, 2014, 6:29 pm

              UPDATE – well a RW customer service agent finally sent me a code to totally reset my phone and later that day I finally got the white roaming triangle. It does seem to roam now when I am out of Sprint coverage. So I am pretty happy – but I still am concerned about their customer service. I asked if I could have an extension of two weeks on my trial – (since the phone didn’t really work as advertised for the first two weeks!) – And once again…. no reply for days…..

  • Chris H. June 11, 2014, 9:28 am

    I signed up for this service and was very happy with the $10 plan. However, I am returning my phone and cancelling my service since I found a better deal. My wife currently uses the $30 plan ($27 with autopay) on H2O Wireless. So, our net cost for phone service is $39 with tax right now.

    Cricket Wireless just got bought out by AT&T and they have a 5 line plan (unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB’s data) for $105. They give you a group save discount of $90 and another $5 discount for autopay. I plan on joining this plan with my parents, so we can get this rate. Our bill will actually increase to $42, but I get data now and I can use ANY unlocked GSM phone for $3 more per month. My parents will save way more than this if I join, so less money is spent on phone service between the both of us. Our bill is only $42 since we will pay for 2/5th’s of the bill for my wife and I.

    T-Mobile has this exact pricing but you have to pay taxes on their plan which make a huge difference. Cricket INCLUDES all taxes and fees. This is the most aggressive pricing for unlimited talk, text, and 500MB data I have seen (cost is only $21 per line with taxes and fees) and it runs on AT&T’s towers. They throttle you after 500MB, so you technically always have data. One thing I really like is you can buy any cheap unlocked GSM phone to use with these guys. I plan to buy the Moto E which is $129 on Amazon.

    If anyone has spotty Sprint coverage, this is an excellent deal! Republic is a great solution for people with just a few lines AND if you have good Sprint coverage, but this is better for a large group since you can get data at $21 per line. You need to have 5 people join this to get this pricing, but it is very cheap. I just thought I would share another option to everyone.

  • StoicLuddite July 11, 2014, 2:16 pm

    Mr. MM,

    Having been a fairly regular reader of your blog in the past I am consistently surprised by your strange fascination with and reluctance to part with the so called ‘smart phone’.

    Having read today’s post, my jaw nearly dropped, perhaps I missed something and should read this again but I could have sworn that you are advocating that mustachians shell out $ 150.00 of their hard- earned American greenbacks, or the equivalent of some people’s monthly grocery bill, to purchase what amounts to shinny piece of plastic that depreciates faster than, well…perhaps anything else…

    I mean, for someone who can do their grocery shopping with a bicycle attachment, it’s downright unbelievable to me that you would ever require this overpriced piece of soon to be redundant technology. Who are you calling that you can’t call on Skype (Free), a landline phone which you can buy at your local goodwill for $ 1.50, or speak to face to face! What’s the point of early retirement if you still have to check messages, emails and answer calls wherever you go. The only call I want to be answering, is nature’s call!

    I can only imagine that this must be some techy-fetish from your engineering days. You should really check out the resolution on those face to face conversations. The wide angles! The brightness! Come on, shame on you MM!

    • Mr. Money Mustache July 13, 2014, 10:07 am

      Pretty nice contrast, Luddite, and I am glad you enjoy your own style of doing things. As I often acknowledge, the MMM family leads a very fancy life. My smartphone preference is heavily influenced by the fact that I have this blog. It would be impossible to run in its current firm, while also living our current lifestyle, without these wonderfuly cheap (although definitely deoreciating) things.

  • The Dan Man July 26, 2014, 12:44 pm

    I had an interesting conversation with a customer service rep with Verizon today via their online chat feature. Trying to negotiate for a better rate. Turns out if you want a plan with 2 phones(basic, no data), 700 minutes of talk, and unlimited text, you will pay about $25 dollars more, before taxes then if you do their ‘More Everything” plan which gives you 250MB of data. I don’t want your data crap, I just want a phone. Why are they penalizing the people opting to avoid a data package? Can anyone weigh in on this one?

  • Don July 31, 2014, 10:59 am

    Is there a wireless carrier with cheap pricing schemes like Republic but uses the AT&T 4G network?

    • Chris H July 31, 2014, 1:19 pm

      I am currently on Cricket Wireless (which is owned by AT&T) on a family plan. We have 5 lines for $110 (which includes taxes and fees) for unlimited talk, text, and 500MBs of high speed data for each line. After the 500MB’s is used up, it throttles the speed down but it is fast enough for basic browsing. This works out to only $22 per line which is on par with T-mobile except without taxes or fees. You can upgrade any line to 2.5GBs for an extra $10 per line.

      If it is only 1-2 lines, go to H2O Wireless. They currently have a $27 plan (you must sign up for autopay to get this price) for 500MB of data. They have more data, but it is not very cost effective.

      If you are a heavy data user, this math changes. Cricket has a 2.5GB plan for $45 with Autopay and Staighttalk is the same price (except a few dollars more for fees/taxes).

      If you are a very light user, Airvoice has a $10 plan (250min, OR 500 SMS, OR 150 MB’s per month). This is a rollover balance.

      I just looked at these options for myself and found that these companies are the best bet for AT&T coverage. Let me know if you have any questions.

      • Don August 5, 2014, 11:38 am

        Great tips. Thanks.

  • Christina August 1, 2014, 8:15 pm

    In case anyone is wondering about coverage in New Mexico: I live in the Albuquerque area, so I’m not in the middle of nowhere. My husband and I just got one of each Moto (G and X). We really like the phones but, like many people, are having trouble with not receiving calls, dropped calls. I’m starting to seriously consider sending everything back. I knew Sprint doesn’t have great coverage here, but the phones don’t seem to make the jump to Verizon very well – or at all. We have fast cable internet because my husband works at home as a software developer, but even calls to and from our house are iffy. Texting seems to be more reliable. And to top it off, the husband just went to Canada, and he can’t call or text me.

    • Larry August 20, 2014, 1:17 pm

      I live south of albuquerque, just wondering how things turned out. I do know that sometimes a new router will make a big difference on calling via wifi. How old is you router. Where you able to resolve the calling issues when on cell, Roaming to Verizon excetra?

    • Larry August 20, 2014, 1:17 pm

      I live south of albuquerque, just wondering how things turned out. I do know that sometimes a new router will make a big difference on calling via wifi. How old is you router. Where you able to resolve the calling issues when on cell, Roaming to Verizon excetra?

  • Fred Calim August 6, 2014, 10:40 am

    I’m a past user of FredomPop, but not by my choice. I received my phone in February after ordering it in November. It never work correctly and I was always attempting to tune it in to keep service. May I mention that I’m within a mile of a 4G tower. In march I received a bill from my credit card for $10.99 FreedomPop service. I called and told them that I only wanted the free service and did not activate the upgrade, since I only used a cell phone for under 10 minutes a month. They gave me a credit for the month, then several months later when I checked my credit card bill, there again was (2) $10.99 charges. I called again and told them that I didn’t upgrade and only wanted the free service. They only agree to give me 1/2 credit since They told me that I did upgrade. Many heated words and they agreed to give me full credit. I had to send my phone in for replacement and upon receiving the new one, I attempted to connect. I had no service. I called again and was told that my service was forever disconnected and I was blacklisted and would never be able to get FreedomPop service. I Asked why, and their answer was that I created a charge back from my card company and that hurt their credit rating and they didn’t need low volume users like me. They always upgraded new users for the revenue and I wasn’t the client they needed or wanted.

  • Parker August 6, 2014, 11:16 am

    I was about to switch over to RW then realized I get a $10 discount on my DSL (CenturyLink) for having my (Verizon)bill routed through them. And Verizon also introduced this more everything plan and once your contract is over (if you can live with your existing phone, as I can) it is $45/month for unlimited talk/text +250mb data. So with my dsl discount, essentially $35/month. And I don’t have to spend $150 to get a new phone. I’m going to squeeze another year or more out of my old HTC (which works just fine) and then consider the RW switch. But just be aware that if you dig deep with your own provider, you may find offers you never knew existed.

  • Mark August 23, 2014, 7:42 am

    I reached a new level of badassity by recently signing up to Republic Wireless’ $10/month service (WiFi + Cell – no 3G/4G). I’ve only been using it for a couple of days so far but I happily found that the few WiFi calls I made to be very good quality. Both the service and the Moto G are great for my needs. Thanks, Mr. Money Mustache, for making me aware of Republic Wireless.

    Disclaimer: I do not work for Republic Wireless nor for Mr. Money Mustache, nor do I profit in any way from posting this positive review.

  • space August 24, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Yeah, I figured people would run into problems when they tried to use RW service like Verizon service. It doesn’t work well because it’s coverage isn’t quite the same – it has the same coverage range as Sprint postpaid, which results in a couple of caveats:

    1. It doesn’t work in all regions where a Verizon postpaid phone would. This is especially true in the western US, where Verizon relies more on roaming/affiliate agreements with local carriers.
    2. It’s not supposed to work in Canada. Loophole was supposedly blocked a few months back.
    3. It might not be as reliable as a native Verizon phone when roaming. There are a couple of trouble spots with COM50b/phone not authorized errors. This is not a Republic problem, by the way – it’s a problem at the Sprint level.
    4. Republic does in fact count in network and out of network data usage differently, though you wouldn’t ever get anything like overages. While you get up to 5GBs of in-network data before throttle, you only get up to 100MBs of out of network/roaming data. Be aware of this.
    5. (Unsure if this issue exists with RW, however, it does, or at least used to, exist with Sprint consumer plans) Sprint doesn’t allow phones on consumer plans to roam onto Verizon EvDO for data – 1xRTT only.

    • Ryan Damm September 10, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Note that the roaming data plan has changed as of today — hard cap at 25 MB. I only check email and occasionally hit the NYtimes site, and I’ve gone over 25 MB twice in the last three months. 25 MB is essentially nothing.

      Currently shopping for alternatives. I suppose I’m glad there’s no contract, but I’m frustrated that my research from a few months ago is now wasted (as well as the $$ I spent on the Moto G — very glad I didn’t splurge for the X).

      • space September 12, 2014, 9:01 pm

        Figured something like that would happen. I suppose that’s another reason to stick with the Defy XT, even if it has other quirks, as the rules for that plan hasn’t changed since the Moto X/G came out – it’s actually unlimited. Republic must figure that most people would want newer phones, and the XT isn’t capable of using that much data anyways.

  • Kyle August 26, 2014, 1:24 pm

    I’m surprised no one else addressed this, but from experience I’m immediately skeptical of the Moto G. As an Android user since the original T-Mobile G1, my biggest problem with Android phones has always been RAM, and IME 1 GB simply isn’t enough. The problem is that with so little RAM, Android is required to evict background applications too often, resulting in lengthy delays as the OS is forced to reload an application and (attempt to) restore its state to whatever the user was last doing.

    My previous phone, a Galaxy Nexus, otherwise quite a nice device, became intolerable for this very reason (and when I recently had to use it as a backup device while my SGS4 was in the shop I was constantly irritated at delays in doing the most basic tasks). The difference between 1 GB and 2 GB is more than it looks, because the OS consumes a non-trivial amount of RAM, meaning that the jump actually more than doubles available RAM for applications.

    • Mr. Money Mustache August 26, 2014, 8:44 pm

      People may not have mentioned it because we don’t notice any problems with the G’s performance. I guess it depends how big your apps are and how quickly you churn them, but Mrs. MM has been using the Moto G since this article came out, and never noticed anything but speedy performance.

  • David Boland September 1, 2014, 1:42 pm

    Has anyone else had issues porting their numbers over to RW? When we plug our numbers into their website, we are getting a message indicating they cannot be ported. We are currently central Wisconsin Sprint users and would love to dump our iPhone 5 phones for the Moto X.

    • space September 12, 2014, 9:05 pm

      Republic may not normally have phone numbers in your area code. It’s a long and complicated story as to why that’s required (has something to do with physical equipment being present in some location in your area), but they can’t port in numbers that they can’t assign because they don’t have any way of routing that number.

  • A.N. September 3, 2014, 3:21 pm

    My wife and I wanted to reduce our cell phone spending a few months ago so I researched MVNOs, trying to find one that can connect to more than just one network as cell coverage is somewhat patchy where we live. We went with a pay-as-you-go plan from Truphone, a company that specializes in international SIMs but has competitive rates within the U.S. as long as you don’t use your phone excessively and don’t need an all-you-can-eat plan.

    The SIM works with any GSM phone (a huge advantage in my opinion), uses the T-Mobile network by default but roams to AT&T when necessary (at no extra cost and it really works but will drop the call). As a bonus, the service is available in most countries in the world. Their international rates, depending on the country, may not be quite as low as buying a local SIM, but you can use your U.S. number and it’s cheaper than most roaming plans by major cell operators.

    (Last time I checked it was not spelled out on their website, but customer service told me you need to spend a minimum of $5/month in order to keep the line active.)

  • Ben P. September 6, 2014, 7:48 am

    Just switched to Republic Wireless after reading MMM’s blog. Only a week in, but so far I absolutely love RW and my Moto G is the best android phone I have ever owned. Far superior than my beloved HTC Evo.

    Don’t be fooled by some of the comments, The Moto G is a full feature smart phone with fantastic battery life. Anyway thanks to MMM for recommending RW and saving me $13 a month from my previous Virgin Mobile plan. P.S.- Don’t forget to get a referral code as it saves you $20 on your first month!

  • Ryan Damm September 10, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Please note, as of today Republic Wireless is changing their data roaming plan, introducing a very low data cap (25 MB!), which renders the service unusable for me (and many others, I’m sure). I travel enough that having my smartphone suddenly stop working is pretty unacceptable.

    Would love to hear MMM’s alternatives — will read through the site right now.

    • Mr. Money Mustache September 10, 2014, 3:48 pm

      Yeah, I just got that news today and am thinking it over. First of all, travel within the US may not equate to Roaming, because the Sprint network covers the whole country (and republic already didn’t roam to other countries – for that you use Wi-Fi)

      For alternatives, I’d check out some of the many options suggested in the earlier comments on this article. I initially thought of Ting, but remembered it is also Sprint-only with no roaming.

      25MB will definitely keep you connected via email while on the interstate or train between towns (this is the only time my Republic phone has gone to roam mode).. but it won’t get you much action if you’re blasting through Google Maps on satellite mode.

      • Vicki September 10, 2014, 5:11 pm

        I also think that this will really depend on individual patterns of usage. The month I went over 25MB I was really just streaming some music when roaming (at our rental property while mowing the lawn)…. but most of the time I am in Sprint territory or Wifi – so I don’t want to pull the plug just yet on RW. I think that the mission of RW is to save everyone money – and if people are using huge amounts of roaming data – that they are hurting everyone in the long run. I guess we’ll see…. Based on my pattern of usage – I think the Airvoice $30 plan will work just fine for me too (with 500 MB) – seeing that much of the time I am on Wifi anyway. I am interested to follow the comments. I am in an area of upstate NY where I need Verizon/AT&T phone coverage (which RW will roam to) because there isn’t much Sprint coverage when I am traveling.

      • space September 12, 2014, 9:34 pm

        Sprint native service is actually quite terrible at covering the entire country – leaves vast portions of it uncovered, mostly due to the size of the country. Yes, I suppose it does cover 96% or whatever it was of Americans – the problem is that the other 4% live in very low density areas that is difficult to cover with high-band spectrum. 800SMR should help with this, at least on the voice front with the Moto X (Moto X LTE lacks Band 26 support).

  • Ken LaVoie September 11, 2014, 4:30 am

    I purchased a Moto X and signed up for the $25 per month plan based on discovering RW via MMM. I have been sorely disappointed by the service, though I really like the phone.

    I live in Central Maine (Winslow) and most of my usage is in the neighboring city of Waterville. I get zero to shitty phone coverage at my house, on the way to Waterville, or pretty much anywhere from where I live to where I’m going. Phone service in Waterville is decent though about half as good as my old carrier, US Cellular.

    Because there is no Sprint tower near me, it jumps to one of their (presumed) partners, Verizon, which means I’m constantly 100% roaming both cell and data wise, and now subject to their 25MB per month cap PLUS slower speeds.

    The phone is a little buggy though the mediocrity that RW bathes in leads me to believe that it might not be the device. There are some people I simply cannot receive texts from. I cannot group text to certain people. Google voice is a little shaky, (as in unpredictably innacurate) but I’m sure that has to do more with the coverage than the device.

    Bottom line: Unless you’ve got great sprint coverage, this deal is a perfect example of getting 40% of the quality for 40% of the price. Not a MMM worthy service, in my 6 month trial.

    Ken LaVoie
    Winslow Maine

    • space September 12, 2014, 9:30 pm

      Odd, you’re not the first person in Maine to complain that RW phones roam onto Verizon over US Cellular – that actually shouldn’t happen, since Sprint has better roaming rates with US Cellular than with Verizon. PRL bug, perhaps? If your phone allows manual network selection, that might allow you to force the phone onto US Cellular instead.

      • Ken LaVoie September 13, 2014, 2:51 am

        Wow, I didn’t know it was even possible to roam onto US Cellular w RW. Unfortunately, roaming is roaming and it looks like it won’t be allowed without purchasing roaming package in the very near future. I’ll try it anyway though in my settings. Thanks for that.

  • mitch September 15, 2014, 11:23 am

    Similar to one of the [many] posts above, i’m interested in mostly a cell phone with unlimited plan. I just recently got cable wi-fi, so I’m new to the ‘hi-speed’ world. have a tablet & think it’s great. but I’m still on the cheap. moto-G sounds awesome, & the $10 plan amazing with wi-fi possibility… but my only / final question is… I see the ‘battery’ is not replaceable by the user. I’m looking to see what the approx replacement cost (battery & installation) is, & how long the avg battery life is – when you do little surfing on.?

    • Mr. Money Mustache September 15, 2014, 8:11 pm

      Hi Mitch,

      Yeah, the difficult-to-replace batteries (as well as lack of SD card slot) is an annoyance in phones like this, especially the Apple iPhone, since it has these problems AND is mega expensive.

      I find most phones retain a pretty usable battery for a good 3-4 years, as long as you treat them well (avoid discharging fully whenever possible, and use the phone lightly). Then you can get the battery swapped for $50-$75 via a mail-in place or local technician. But by that time, you can get a phone twice as new for about the same amount.

    • Dan September 15, 2014, 10:18 pm

      I have the Moto G and it works great. Battery works all day no problem maybe two days with light use. If ever you have to replace the battery you can do it yourself. Battery not replaceable means nothing to smart people. Replaceable battery is around $30 on ebay right now and some comes with the screw driver to remove the battery. Anyone can do it after watching a youtube video.

      Anyways I am happy with my Moto-G at $10.83 a month in my location.

  • Justin October 1, 2014, 8:20 am

    Hi MMM,

    Thanks for recommending Republic. I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents to others considering making the switch. I switched from a Verizon flip phone that was costing me $60 a month for talk and text to the Moto G with a $10 a month plan for unlimited talk/text and wifi data only. For me, I feel I am getting what I paid for. The cellular service (not on wifi) has been very spotty for me. I’d say I have about a 75% chance of being able to actually talk to someone when they call me or I call them over cellular. This includes a period of 5 days or so when I simply could not make any outgoing calls over cellular. I put in a service request with Republic and they walked me through a fix within one day. Since then, the service has continued to be spotty at best and bordering on unacceptable, but I am able to make outgoing calls now a majority of the time. I live in southwestern CT in the New York Metropolitan area and should have good Sprint service but have not had good luck since switching over to Republic 2 months ago. I can’t say I would recommend republic to friends because of this. I will say that, for me, this service is fine and I will continue to use it. I’m happy to save the 50 bucks a month. The phone is great (huge step up from what I had) and wifi data/talk/text has been flawless…I am in wifi range 90% of the time I use the phone. If you switch, don’t expect all rainbows and sunshine…its a bargain phone service and there will probably be some hiccups. I don’t need reliable cellular service for work or any other reason so I will be sticking with it for now.

  • JB October 4, 2014, 10:01 am

    Any one notice the new Moto E? Looks like the $99 version is due this month.

    Would be curious to know if there is a hardware spec that impacts reception (antennae length, antennae power, etc) as this is the biggest factor I would be willing to pay a premium for or is reception only determined by tower proximity and local topography?


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