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With the average cell phone bill approaching $100 per month, we pay way too much for our mobile service. In this Republic Wireless review we’ll take a look at the carrier’s phones, plans and coverage, plus I’m going to tell you how you can cut that wireless bill in half or more.
But first, let’s take a minute to talk about who Republic Wireless is and how they can save you money.
Let’s get started!
1. Who Is Republic Wireless?
2. Republic Wireless Plans and Cost
3. Phones – Buy or Bring Your Own
4. Does Republic Wireless Work With iPhone?
5. How Is Their Coverage?
6. Our Review – How Good Is Republic?
7. Frequently Asked Questions
Republic Wireless Review Of Their Phones, Plans and Coverage
Republic Wireless is a low-cost MVNO cell phone carrier that combines the traditional cellular tower calling with Voice over IP technology that allows you to place calls over Wi-Fi when you’re connected to a network.
Great, so what’s that mean in simple English?
In short, Republic Wireless uses a cheaper form of communication (Wi-Fi calling) whenever possible to save money on tower usage fees.
By saving that money they can create cheaper cell phone plans that save you money.
Here’s the best part…
Your phone does all of this automatically so you don’t need to worry about it.
When you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi signal, your phone uses that signal.
When you’re not connected to Wi-Fi you get great nationwide 4G LTE cellular service like you would get with other carriers, you just pay less money to do it.
Republic Wireless Plans and Cost
Republic Wireless really simplified their data plans, making it much easier to find the plan that is perfect for you.
Republic’s base plan (known as the “Only What You Need Plan”) starts at $20 per month for unlimited calls and text.
If you don’t need any cellular data (and want to just use Wi-Fi for data), you can just stop here and you’re done.
If you do want cellular data, it’s very simple to add.
Add just $5 for every 1 GB of data
- 1GB of data – $20 + $5 = $25 / month
- 2GB of data – $20 + $10 = $30 / month
- 3GB of data – $20 + $15 = $35 / month
- 4GB of data – $20 + $20 = $40 / month
… you get the idea
If you like your service you can also pay for your plan on a yearly basis which will save you even more money.
Unlimited Data Plans
If you’re a power user and need more data you also have the option to get an unlimited data plan (known as the “Everything You Want” plan) for just $40 per month. This plan includes unlimited talk, text and data, along with 10GB of mobile hotspot data, as well as unlimited texting internationally.
If you’re still looking for more you can opt for the $60 per month “Everywhere You Go” plan which gives you unlimited talk, text and data as well as 20GB of mobile hotspot data. This plan also allows unlimited international texts and unlimited calls to Canada from the United States.
Can I Change My Plan?
Changing your data plan is simple and you don’t even need to talk to a person to do it.
To make a change just use the Republic Wireless app on your phone and you can make as many changes as you need. You can find a full list of instructions on changing your wireless plan here.
That’s it! I told you it was simple!
Do They Offer Family Plans?
Republic Wireless does not offer family plans, but they do offer a discounted rate for 2 lines instead of 1. Adding a second line provides a 50% discount on the plan cost of the second line as shown in the chart below.
|Republic Wireless Plan||One Line||Two Lines|
|Only What You Need (Base)||$20 / Month||$30 / Month|
|Everything You Want (Unlimited)||$40 / Month||$60 / Month|
|Everywhere You Go (Unlimited + Canada)||$60 / Month||$90 / Month|
Republic Wireless Phones
If you’re switching, you have two phone options:
- Buy a new phone
- Bring your own
What Phones Can I Buy from Republic Wireless?
These days phone prices can vary wildly, but no matter what your budget Republic Wireless has an option for everyone.
The full list of phones they sell include:
- Apple iPhone SE (2020) – $399
- Apple iPhone 11 – $499
- Apple iPhone 12 Mini – $629
- Apple iPhone 12 – $729
- Apple iPhone 13 Mini – $729
- Apple iPhone 13 – $829
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro – $999
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max – $1,099
- Motorola moto g pure – $150
- Motorola moto g power – $200
- Motorola moto g stylus 5G – $300
- Samsung Galaxy A02s – $110
- Samsung Galaxy A12 – $180
- Samsung Galaxy A32 5G – $280
- Samsung Galaxy A71 5G – $430
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G – $700
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G – $800
- TCL Flip – $35
Which Phone Is Best?
The “Best Phone” is really subjective and depends on the person using it.
Some people use their phone every second of every day, are constantly checking Twitter and Facebook, playing the latest games, take lots of photos and need a battery that can last all day.
Others just want the cheapest phone that they can check the occasional email on.
That said, if I were advising you on which phone to buy, here’s what I would recommend.
Best Overall – Apple iPhone SE (2020) – $399
Even though I’m an Android fan I can’t deny that Apple phones are well built, well supported and receive operating system updates for a long, long time.
For just $399, the iPhone SE (2020) is more than capable to keep up with just about everything you throw at it. It features an excellent camera, a lightning fast A13 Bionic processor and a fingerprint sensor built in.
On the downside the iPhone features the older iPhone body style featured in the iPhone 8 and earlier. That said, I prefer the fingerprint sensor to FaceID with us wearing masks frequently. Additionally SE’s battery is solid but not amazing. For most people and average use it should be enough to get through the day, but you may need to charge it a bit in the late evenings if you use it a lot.
If you’re on a budget and want to stay in the Apple ecosystem which includes iMessage and Facetime, this is a great phone for you.
Best Budget Phone – Moto G Pure
If you’re on a tight budget but still looking for a good quality phone with a lot of bang for your buck, the Moto G Pure is a nice little value for just $149.
The Moto G Pure isn’t going to wow anyone in any single category but overall it packs a lot of features into phone at this price point.
The G Play features a large 6.5” screen, great battery life, an all day 4000mAh battery, and a camera that’s more than capable if you’re just looking for the occasional photo when you’re out and about.
Of course the Moto G Pure does have a few drawbacks. With just 3GB of RAM it’s not going to work at blazing speeds and is definitely not for gaming, but should hold up fine for most people’s daily use.
The phone also comes with just 32GB storage but the good news it’s expandable up to 512GB, a feature most $1,000 phones do not offer.
Best Republic Wireless Phones for 2022 (In Our Opinion)
|Best Value Phone:||Apple iPhone SE ($399)|
|Best On A Tight Budget:||Moto G Pure ($149)|
|Best For Tech Lovers:||Samsung Galaxy S21 ($799)|
|Best Battery Life:||Moto G Power ($249)|
|Best Camera Phone:||iPhone 13 Pro Max ($1,099)|
Bring Your Own Phone To Republic Wireless
If you don’t want to buy a new phone you may be able to bring your old phone with you when you switch.
You can also buy a compatible phone from a site like Amazon, eBay or Swappa.
You can check to see if your phone is eligible to be used on the Republic Wireless network by downloading the Official Republic Wireless App from the Google Play store.
What Phones Work On Republic Wireless?
The following phones can be used on the carrier at the time of this writing
- Alcatel A30 (5046G)
- Google Pixel (G-2PW4100)
- Google Pixel XL (G-2PW2100)
- Google Pixel 2 (G011A)
- Google Pixel 2 XL (G011C)
- Google Pixel 3 (G013A)
- Google Pixel 3 XL (G013C)
- Huawei Ascend 5W (H1623)
- Moto E4 (XT1768)
- Moto G4 (XT1625)
- Moto G4 PLAY (XT1607)
- Moto G4 PLUS (XT1644)
- Moto G5 Plus (XT1687)
- Moto X Pure Edition (XT1575)
- Moto Z (XT1650-03)
- Moto Z Play (XT1635-02)
- Moto Z2 Play (XT1710-01)
- Nexus 5X by LG (LGH790)
- Nexus 6 by Motorola (XT1103)
- Nexus 6P by Huawei (H1511)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J320A) (2016 version)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J327U) (2017 version)
- Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U) (2017 version)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (SM-N950U1)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (SM-N960U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (SM-G935U)
- Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SM-G955U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ (SM-G965U1)
Please note that some of these phones have different model numbers so be sure to double check the model number indicated in parenthesis.
Does Republic Wireless Work With iPhone?
Yes! At long last Apple iPhones are fully supported by Republic Wireless.
How Is Republic Wireless Coverage?
Back in 2010 Republic Wireless became one of the first wireless carriers to use a combination of Wi-Fi calling and cellular for their coverage plans. Since then they’ve dramatically expanded their nationwide 4G LTE coverage to include most of the continental United States.
What cellular network does Republic Wireless use?
Republic Wireless uses T-Mobile and Sprintto power their cellular coverage – Sprint for CDMA coverage and T-Mobile for GSM coverage.
Which network you use depends on the band that your phone is capable of using, while some of the more expensive phones can use both GSM and CDMA.
Republic’s combination of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage means that most of us should have coverage wherever we need it. You can check the carrier’s coverage in your area by entering your zip code on the Republic Wireless coverage map page.
Domestic and International Roaming
Republic Wireless has unlimited domestic voice roaming for no additional cost, which is helpful if you find yourself needing to make a phone call in an area that isn’t covered on the map.
The carrier does not provide international roaming via cellular networks, but if you do find yourself needing to make a call from an international location you can do so via Wi-Fi for no additional fees.
Money Back Guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with Republic Wireless, they offer a 14-day money back guarantee on new lines of service. If you purchased a phone from them on a new or existing line they have a 14-day money back guarantee on that as well, so if you’d like to give them a try, you’re covered. If you don’t like the service you can always switch to another carrier instead.
Our Review – How Good Is Republic?
I wanted to do more than just review Republic Wireless by reading their website and regurgitating all the details – I wanted to try it on my own to see how it actually performs. I already have service through Verizon but it’s expensive so I’m always looking for ways to save money.
I went out and purchased a phone and signed up for a service plan so I could test out the full functionality of the service. All equipment and services were paid out of my own pocket. I live within 15 miles of a medium sized city and I was able to receive full 4G LTE coverage.
Overall I thought the call quality was no different than I experienced with Verizon. I placed a few tests calls in rural areas – where service is notoriously spotty – and the calls went through just fine. I was able to hear the person I called very clearly and they noticed no difference in my voice between this phone and my iPhone. Connections went right through and I had no issues with dropped calls.
I tested Wi-Fi calling from my house on a 30mbps network. Calls were as clear as they were on cellular, and for the most part, the handoff between my Wi-Fi network and the cellular tower went smoothly. I did have one instance where a call was dropped on the cellular tower handoff, but the handoff worked fine in all of my other attempts and I was unable to replicate the dropped call. The drop was not a huge deal for me, but I could see where it could annoy some users.
Final Republic Wireless Review – How Good Is It?
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Republic Wireless is good cell phone service – especially for the money – as long as you live in an area where T-Mobile coverage is strong. Their mobile data plans are very reasonably priced, they have a good phone selection and they have good coverage in most areas within the continental United States.
My personal experience was solid and lines up with their Facebook rating where they received 4.3 stars out of 5. Republic Wireless Yelp review is a bit lower with a 3.5 star rating, with more than half of those ratings coming at 4 or 5 stars. They also receive excellent feedback in their community message boards.
Considering the service along with the significant cost savings that they provide I would have no problem recommending them to anyone looking to save money over their current wireless carrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Does Republic Wireless do credit checks?
No. Republic Wireless does not do credit checks since there is no contract and very little risk on their end. This is a great feature for anyone with bad credit and/or someone who doesn’t want another credit check on their report.
- Q: Can I Keep My Phone Number If I Switch To Republic Wireless?
Yes. Just about all phone numbers from other cell phone carriers in the US can be ported over (transferred), so if you want to keep your old number you usually can. If, on the other hand, it’s time for a change then you have the option of getting a new number as well.
- Q: What carrier network does Republic Wireless use?
Republic Wireless uses the T-Mobile and Sprint cellular networks for voice, text and data. Republic will also use WiFi calling whenever possible to help save costs.
- Q: Are Republic Wireless phones available in stores like Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon?
Not officially, but you could buy a phone from one of those retailers and use it on the network, as long as it is supported by Republic. Before buying make sure your phone is included in the list of approved phones.
- Q: Does their service work in Europe, Canada or Mexico?
Unfortunately Republic Wireless cellular coverage does not work internationally at this time. You can place a Wi-Fi call using your phone from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good Wi-Fi signal.
- Q: Do I need to buy a SIM card?
Yes, you do need a SIM card when you bring your own phone to Republic Wireless but the good news is Republic will give you a SIM card kit for just $5!
- Q: How do I activate my phone on Republic Wireless
Once you have your SIM card, activating is very easy and is done right through the app. You can find a complete list of activation instructions on their help page.
- Q: Does Republic Wireless refund unused data?
Unfortunately they do not. Google Fi is a carrier that does refund unused data if that is important to you.