Republic Wireless’ new phone – The Moto X and their $10 plan

Last year, I finally upgraded from my old dumb phone to a smart phone from Republic Wireless. They sent me the Motorola Defy XT to review and I have been using it ever since. The Defy XT was a huge upgrade from my old phone because I now can check emails and check on my sites while I’m out and about. The best thing I like about it is the $20/month unlimited plan*. I don’t have to worry about going over and having to pay extra and $20/month is within our budget.

Republic Wireless can offer a good price for their monthly plan because they route all calls, texts, and data over WiFi whenever you’re connected. The phone is on the Sprint network when there is no WiFi coverage.

In November, Republic Wireless released a new phone to the public – the Moto X by Motorola. I asked my contact to send me a phone so I can review it and see if it’s a good fit. I’ve been using the new Moto X for a couple of weeks now and the old Defy XT is sitting in our shoebox charging station. The new phone is an awesome upgrade over the old phone. That’s the problem with nicer stuff. I liked the Defy just fine, but now I don’t want even want to pick it up. That’s lifestyle inflation for you.

The Moto X Price

The Defy is no longer available for sale, but if you have one, then you can keep it along with your old plan. The new Moto X costs $299 from Republic Wireless. I just checked Amazon and an unlocked Moto X cost about $400. The price of $299 is much higher than the Defy’s $99 and it could be a big deterrence to Republic Wireless’ target audience. However, if you have an old Motorola, you might be able to send it back to get a $100 prepaid Visa card rebate when you purchase the Moto X. The rebate offer will expire in June, 2014.

Get the Moto X for $299 with No Contract from Republic Wireless

New Service Plans

With the new Moto X, Republic Wireless also reworked their plan. Previously, there was only one plan. You paid $20 for unlimited talk, text, and data*. Here is the new plan.

*** I guess unlimited means 5 GB. Apparently, this is wireless carrier talk. Unlimited means different things to different carriers.

republic wireless moto x review phone plans

  •  $5 – No Cellular coverage. You do everything over WiFi.
  • $10 – If no WiFi, then you can call and text. Unlimited over WiFi.
  • $25 – Connect over WiFi if available. If not, then you get 3G speed over Sprint network.
  • $40 – Connect over WiFi if available. If not, then you get 4G speed over Sprint network.

The plans start at $5 and goes up to $40. If I trade in my old Defy XT and keep the same plan, then I’ll have to pay $25 instead of $20. However, I think I can make the $10 plan work.

The $10 plan will give me unlimited Talk, Text, and Data when I have WiFi coverage. When there is no WiFi, then it’s only talk and text. That’s not bad because I probably spend 90% of my time in an area with WiFi. Most of the 10% that’s left, I shouldn’t be messing with the phone anyway. Republic Wireless also let you change plans up to twice a month. I can switch to the 3G plan before we go on vacation, then switch back when we get home. I think that’s a great feature to add some flexibility for users like me.

*Update* The $10 plan actually cost about $12 after tax and fee (from the comments.)

10% discount – If you’re an existing customer with Republic Wireless’ old phones (before September 25, 2013), then you’re eligible for a 10% discount on your new monthly service plan. This is a nice benefit for the Beta users.

The Moto X

Let’s get to the phone. As you can tell by now, I’m not an early adopter. I like to wait for the price to come down a bit before I buy any new technology. The Moto X is quite nice and I haven’t discovered all the new features yet. I’ll just compare it to my only other smart phone experience, the Defy XT.

Calling – The Moto X works pretty well for me with voice calling. The phone will automatically route the call over WiFi if it’s available, otherwise it will use the Sprint network. If you start out with WiFi calling and move out of range, then the call will switch over to cellular. I got a few seconds of dead air when the switch occurred, but I haven’t had a dropped call yet. This is much better than the Defy. The old phone will just hang up and try to call back when you move out of range.

Form factor – The Moto X feels like an expensive gadget. The screen is 4.7 inches, a nice upgrade from the Defy’s 3.7 inches. The Moto X hits the screen size sweet spot for me. I don’t want anything larger and the Defy was just a little too small. The screen is really nice too. It’s an LED screen, the color is vibrant and the touch screen works perfectly. Typing on the Moto X is much easier and less mistake prone than the old phone. The Moto X is a bit larger and thinner than the Defy and I think they weigh about the same. The new phone still fits well in my pocket.

Performance – As mentioned above, I’m not an early adopter and performance isn’t a huge concern for me. The Moto X is very snappy and it’s noticeably faster than then Defy XT. It has a dual core processor.

republic wireless moto x phone reviewActive Display – This is a new feature on Motorola’s new phones. When you pick up the phone, it will automatically display the time and any new activities. From there, you can flick left or right to clear the notifications, flick up to go directly to the app, or flick down to unlock the phone. This is a thoughtful feature and you won’t have to wake up the phone every time it chimes.

Voice command – This one is new for me. I haven’t used voice command before and it feels funny to talk to the phone. You just say “OK, Google now” to enable voice command, and then tell it to do various things for you. I was able to call, send text messages, create calendar events, and get directions with the voice command. It’s pretty futuristic and I should learn the rest of the voice commands to see what else it can do.

republic wireless moto x phone review
My terrible selfie at the OPB studio. This was taken with the old Defy.

Camera – The camera on the Defy was fine at 5 megapixels. The big problem was that it only has a rear camera so it’s practically impossible to take a selfie. (Mrs. RB40 comments here> I don’t know if normal people would really consider that to be a ‘problem.’) The Moto X has a 10 megapixel camera in the back and a 2 megapixel in the front. The Moto X has a new quick camera feature. You flick the camera with your wrist a couple of times and it will be ready to take a picture. This sounds a little silly, but it’s great to be able to take a picture in 2 seconds instead of fumbling around the menu.

Battery – I’m not a heavy user and the battery lasted the whole day for me. After a typical day (7am to midnight), I generally have about 30% left. From what I’ve read on the internet, everyone is generally happy with the battery life.

Games – I downloaded Angry Bird Star Wars 2 and we’re having a blast with it. The bigger screen made the playing experience much better than playing on the Defy XT. I think the touchscreen is more sensitive and more accurate as well.

Caveats – The Moto X is sealed and you can’t add an SD card or change the battery. The phone has 16 MB of internal memory with about 11GB available to users. You can only use the phone with Republic Wireless. I think it has a special ROM or something like that. If you’re not happy with it, you can return it within 30 days and just pay the shipping charge ($10).

Is the Moto X right for you?

I really like the new Moto X from Republic Wireless. It’s an awesome phone and I’d loathe to send it back to Republic Wireless when my review time is up. It’s such a luxury item for me, though. I guess $200 isn’t that huge of a deal. I’ll save up my cash allowance and see how I feel when I have $200 in my envelope.

Actually, I’ll most likely get the Moto X after I save up the cash. I can go with the $10 plan and the saving will pay for the phone in 20 months. It’s hard to let such a nice phone go…

Anyway, I think if you spend most of your time in areas with WiFi coverage, then Republic Wireless would work great for you.

  • College students who spend most of their time on campus.
  • People who live dense urban area where it’s easy to find free WiFi. (That’s me.)
  • Workaholics who spend all their time at work and the rest at home.

Republic Wireless will offer more phones this year and the Moto X is just the beginning. The Moto X is the best phone in their good/better/best line up. The rumor is they will offer the Moto G at some point, but I’m not sure how true this is. If the Moto G comes out soon from Republic Wireless, then that might be a good alternative, too.

Let me know if you have any question and I’ll try my best to answer. 

republic wireless phone plans moto x

Update: I’ve been using the Moto X for a couple of months now and I still love it! $10/month is a great deal and the phone works very well. The downside is I got addicted to Clash of Clans. It’s taking the time that I don’t have. 🙁

I also got a nice case from Amazon. The Hyperion Moto X case fits well and it came with a screen protector too. All for $8.99. Nice! If you have a Moto X, I highly recommend it. The phone is slippery and fell out of my shorts’ pocket twice already when I was at the gym. The case made it more sticky and much more secure.

Disclosure: If you sign up with Republic Wireless through the links on this page, then we may receive a referral fee.


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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

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35 thoughts on “Republic Wireless’ new phone – The Moto X and their $10 plan”

  1. I’ve been with Republic for almost a year. I still have the old Defy, it does the trick for me. I listen to Pandora, text some, few phone calls on roaming. I am on Wifi a lot, but use it sparingly. I pay 22 with tax included now. I will upgrade in the future, but now sure with who or when. Republic is a good bang for the buck company. It is certainly not top tier, but they are improving daily. I would like to see a 4 lte moderately priced phone for Republic in the future. Not interested in 3G anymore !

  2. I have been thinking about going to Republic, but I have been wondering about their security. It sounds like all the wifi calls are not encrypted. I heard a rumor that texting is encrypted, however. Can you comment on any of the Republic security features and options?

  3. I love my Moto X from Republic Wireless! I am a bit bummed about the loss in battery life after the KitKat 4.4.2 update but other than that, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else other than another Moto X without a cracked screen and a custom wooden back. (I got my phone in December).

  4. Prior to going over to Republic Wireless, I had been with Sprint for many years. I was reluctant to switch since I was getting a 25% discount through my work and anything out there could just not beat their price, but I was tired of their poor customer service and barely use 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 Curve 8300. I never had any complaints with the service though. Rarely dropped calls and I had reception wherever I would expect it. With that said, at work I have 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 or verizon kicks in and I have even better coverage than before. When I got Republic I started with their Defy XT. Despite that many say the phone is “old” technology, I actually like the smaller size and it’s very robust. That’s all about perspective of course. I mentioned my old bberry, so I felt the Defy XT is a huge upgrade for me. When I truck ran over my phone 2 weeks ago (the Defy could not handle that after all).

    I decided to go with the Moto X instead of replacing the screen (yes the phone actually still worked). The Moto X blew my mind away. Technology wow! Yes I know I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to phones, but this one seems to do everything that over phones seems to do and is comparable to the latest Galaxy, iPhone etc. It’s bigger than my old Defy, but it’s very slim. Fits nicely in my pocket, fits nicely in my hand, easy to type on, and it’s not a clunky UI like the Defy. It of course still has all the benefits of Sprint/Verizon network + WIFI, and that WIFI to Network handover seems to work fine for me. I got the 3G plan for $25 and the speed is more than enough for my needs.
    Bottom line is I have been really happy with Republic Wireless the past 12 months and I have not had any problems with a cheaper “inferior” service. I’m just savings lots of money.

  5. I have been with Sprint for years, and am trying out Republic now for my family ONe of the phones works flawlessly, but not the other one I got. I am finding it difficult to communicate with their customer service since they only have a email/chat option to communicate with their customers. Any reviews on this?

    • Sorry to hear that. I think you can return it, right? I haven’t had to deal with their customer service much. It’s been working for us.

    • Just go into the Republic Wireless forums and you should be set. They have contacted me when I have a questions within a day..

  6. Could I connect to different wifi’s? like a university. then go home and connect to my own wifi? without any problems?

  7. I just bought and activated my Moto X phone from RW and so far so good. I couldn’t stand my Sprint bill and was looking for an alternative. This phone does all the things my Iphone 4s used to do for a third of what I was paying.

    • Yes, you can, but you wouldn’t want to. The Moto X from Republic Wireless only works with their plan. I don’t think it works with other carriers. I’m not 100% sure about this.

  8. Great review of the Moto X. I recently switched to Ting and am really happy with their service, but I’ll probably need a new phone in the next year or so. My smart phone is over two years old (and that’s old for a smart phone!) but I’m not ready to drop some cash on a new phone yet. I’ll have to look whether Ting offers something similar.

  9. I switched from Verizon to Republic Wireless in November, it has been great. I have switched back and forth from 3G and Call and Text Only and it has been spot on. I have noticed only minimal differences in coverage and considering my bill each month was $80 vs the $10-$25 is well worth it.

  10. I just ran the numbers and I would save $40 a month with the Republic $10 plan. I could have the phone paid for by September. Now I don’t have a reason to wait. With Ting I would fall in to the $20/m category but I could get a cheaper phone. So, Republic would be better in the long run.

  11. Every time I read a review for Republic, I want to change over from Verizon. My phone is dying but I can’t afford the Moto. On the other hand, my bill is $55 even with the discount from my employer. I could pay for the phone in a year. Perhaps when they get new phone options I will make the jump if I can wait until September. If not, I might try Ting. Decisions, decisions…

  12. I’ve been with Republic Wireless since late November, on the $10/month plan, and think it’s great so far! My bills have been about $12.33/month with taxes and fees. I really like the Moto X phone. I’m a little bummed sometimes to find myself out of range of free WiFi, like this past weekend when we stayed at a Resort that charged $9.95 per day for WiFi, and I hadn’t thought to bring my HotSpot. But, then again, those are always nice times to be disconnected, and spend more focused time with the boyfriend!

    • I’ll update the main article with the pricing. What’s my HotSpot? It sounds useful.
      I think we need to be disconnected once in a while too. We earn those vacation days. 🙂

      • You do NOT have to buy a new phone with Ting. You can see which phones they support at their website. I was happy with the service that I had from them for several months. I took an old Sprint Samsung Exclaim phone I had and let it run on Ting for several months for my girlfriend’s oldest girl before deciding she was responsible enough. (Bills with ranged from $12 to $20 depending on usage) During this same period I got the Moto X from RepublicWireless and LOVE the Moto X AND the RW service. Once I confirmed that RW worked well for me I turned over the Moto X to the oldest girl and killed the service. (What I like about ting is IF you have multiple phones on their plan, the charges of all phones share the same “usage bucket.” So for a family with “old phones” switching them to ting might be a VERY cost effective option. (In my case $10 unlimited plan with RW gives smart phone goodness without most of the cost.) I am very tempted to switch to RW when my contract is up.

  13. Solid review, Joe. We’ll stick with PTel for now as we’re only paying between $5 and $10 monthly on their pay-as-you-go plan. But for heavy users who want the option of unlimited talk, text, and data, it’s hard to beat Republic Wireless’ rate of $25.

  14. Yep, I came from a flip phone at Verizon for many years. The Moto X is my first smartphone, and Republic my first provider switch. Is everything flawless? Of course not. It’s similar to my desktop computer…because it’s a pocket computer with a telephone feature. I chose the $10 plan (actually $12.27 after texes and fees). It’s such a good value proposition that I am afraid that too many people will join in and the price point will increase… 🙂 Can we keep this service private?

    Joe, have you spoken to the Moto X, “Ok Google now, do a barrel roll”? That’s just one of the easter eggs with this version of Android.

    • I really enjoy the Moto X. It’s a great piece of tech and the $10 is a great price point. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have more members especially on the $10 plan. We’ll be on WiFi and won’t take up much of the network bandwidth. That’s probably the sweet spot for Republic Wireless.
      The barrel roll is kind of silly. 🙂


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