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Republic Wireless Moto X Review
Hello fellow android users,
My name is Fishwithadeagle, and I have recently purchased the Moto X from Republic Wireless. I just wanted to summarize in a semi deep review my own opinions on Republic’s new phone and plan. Some places may already have some of this information, but I wanted to summarize it and put it into a niece, compact review. Also, if you are interested, there is a link at the bottom that will not only help support me, but also give you 19 dollars off your first month.
Republic Wireless is a new wireless company founded by bandwidth.com that has a focus on value for the consumer. The cheapest plans that are available start at $5 and work their way up to $40 (more on this in the plans section). They plan to do this by putting some of the responsibility on the consumer. The thing that is special about the Republic Wireless phones (hence why there is currently no byod) is that they all run a custom rom that supports Republic’s proprietary wifi calling and messaging service. RW wishes that customers connect their phones to wifi whenever they can. This allows them to circumvent the carrier’s fees (which is sprint). This is not based off of Google voice or anything of the sort, and thus will not be affected by Google’s new enforcement of their policies against 3rd party apps using Google voice as their primary means of communication. Read below for an in depth analysis of whether this service truly stacks up against competitors at a cheap price.
Out of the box:
You will get the basics, a Moto X, a dual port usb charger, a micro usb cord. And for some added touches, RW puts in a nice congratulations card for purchasing a phone from them. There really isn’t all that much to see her.
Once booted up, the phone will prompt you to update service. I highly recommend that this be done on wifi because the sprint activation seems at this point to be at best, shoddy. I have yet to see a successful activation over cellular, even though RW claims that it can be done. Other than some minor complications (had to restart once) there really isn’t anything all that surprising. My phone came straight from Republic Wireless with all account information on there, all I had to do was log into the Republic Wireless app and I was good to go.
These are the same specs as any other Moto X. Nothing new here except that it uses a proprietary cdma frequency, and therefore the phone cannot be used on any other carrier except for Republic Wireless even though the internal chips may support it. Also it runs an older 4.2.2 version, which should be updated to Kit Kat by Q1 of 2014. There doesn’t seem to be a big difference to me between the various versions (I have a Nexus 7 2012 running 4.4.2). Everything is in working order. As another note, comparing the performance of this phone to other leading phones (such as that of the galaxy s4) by specs alone is not actually all that accurate. This phone has the same exact video card as the galaxy s4, except that it has roughly half of the pixel to power. This in turn results in a greater performance from the same chip. Also don’t worry about the screen resolution, it more than clear enough, I have only been able to see the pixels when I have taken a magnifying glass and looked at the screen. As a second note, the memory on this phone tends to read at about 70 megabytes a second, leading to a significant performance increase over phones with slower memory read speeds. This means that many large games load in very short times on the startup.
This may be categorized under the section of specifications, but it needs a separate section in my own opinion. The colors on this phone are phenomenal. After looking at this screen for hours on end, I go back to the led displays that I have on my desktop and laptop, even my 2012 Nexus 7, and each one looks simply washed out compared to that of the Moto X. And for all the people that are going to complain about the screen resolution, this phone boasts a strong 323 ppi, which is above that of the iPhone with its supposed retina quality screen. As a side note, while this phone has a gorilla glass 3 screen, I would still recommend a screen protector because there is always the possibility that the screen will get scratched. On black Friday, I had a keychain that I left in my pocket, and with sufficient force, it scratched my screen. So just take this as a warning.
Seeing that this is a standard android phone, this is running a near stock rom that Motorola has put on the phone, with the exception of the Republic Wireless app. For those wondering, yes it can be disabled. Some may want to just buy the phone straight up, and you can use stock Motorola skinned os. This is the same copy that you will be able to find on any other Moto X. This can be found in many other reviews.
Republic Wireless Software:
This is the biggest feature that separates this version of the Moto X from every other version and is probably the reason why you are buying this phone. Because this is built directly into the rom, yet still upgradeable through the play store, the updates on Republic Wireless will be slightly delayed as this must be incorporated into the updates.
Call quality could be improved on wifi a little because in certain parts of my house, there was some static with a wndr 3400 router and about two bars. Other than that call quality is as expected. It is very clear and easy for the people on the other end to hear you since there are two mics on the moto set aside for the sole purpose of voice identification. The interesting feature about the phone is that there is seamless transitioning between cell and wifi. I have had no issues with this and the phone seems to not even have a delay when it transitions. I didn’t even know that it had switched to cellular the few times that I have switched to cellular.
Texting is exactly the same as calling. It can be done on both wifi and cellular, the features are exactly the same. You are able to even send mms videos through wifi. Everything works spectacularly here. As a side note, even when downloading, I did not notice any degradation in call quality or the ability to text.
When the phone is on wifi, you can do everything that you could on cell. This means that in areas where there is no reception, you can have perfect reception on wifi. When the phone is on cell, it is as expected with sprint; it depends on the area that you are currently located in. In certain instances, I have been able to get better reception than others who have cellular through sprint in the same area. This can most likely be attributed to the better radios in the moto, but don’t expect any miracles. Although I have been quite impressed with sprint service so far.
$5 Dollar: Unlimited calls, data, texting on wifi.
$10 Dollar: Unlimited calls and texting on cellular, unlimited data on wifi.
$25 Dollar: Unlimited calls, texting, and 3g data (capped at 5 GB per month, 100mb roaming)
$40 Dollar: Unlimited calls, texting, and 4g data (capped at 5 GB per month, 100mb roaming)
*Each cellular plan includes 100 minutes of roaming calling.
For most people, the $25 dollar a month plan is the best. It is a shame to ruin a phone such as the moto x by not having mobile data when not on wifi. Only use 4g if you really need to get your data fast. So far, 3g has been fast enough in the Cleveland area and I have had no issue using it. The other two plans are for those looking to conserve more money. $25 dollar plan is ideal.
This is the area where the moto shines. I can get around two days of use with two and a half hours each day. That is phenomenal, in combination with the fact that the moto charges fully with the stock charger in about an hour and a half. Leaving the wifi on constantly (as per Republic business idea of receiving all calls and texts through wifi when possible) does not seem to decrease battery life that much. When roaming, battery is chewed up very quickly, but this is expected. When first received, I highly recommend shutting off activity monitoring. This monitors movement of the phone to detect whether a call should be placed and received on cell or wifi. This is just to prevent possible interruptions during calls, but can easily be turned off in the Republic Wireless app settings and provide a great boost in battery life.
Same as what every other website says. One of the better cameras on phones, but not a dslr.
This phone is just your average moto x with a new app added to the rom.
Good call quality
Good Battery Life
½ price of moto x from Motorola (unlocked)
2x data of other prepaid plans
Top android smartphones
Sprint not available in certain locations
Limited memory (solved by the meenova memory card reader)
Phone not as scratch resistant as gorilla glass hopes.
SHOULD I BUY IT?
I would recommend it. There is a plan for everyone on one of the best smartphones that I have ever used. Nothing really not to like, plus this is such a new service with many things to offer. Highly recommended. 9/10.
Thanks for reading this review!