Overview Of Republic Wireless: We would classify Republic Wireless as the most exciting and cheapest prepaid smartphone option out there. One major problem though. They are currently in a beta right now and the end of that beta program is not yet determined. We will break down the details and it most likely will have you excited and disappointed at the same time. You can sign up for the beta but you will be waiting for your turn to get in.
We call Republic Wireless a new breed of thinking. They are all about using wifi rather than celluar. When you are unable to get a wifi signal, the smartphone switches itself over to cellular. It's this way that they are able to charge $19 per month prepaid smartphone plan. Yes, that's right, $19 per month. Republic Wireless touts their proprietary Hybrid Calling technology which allows for smart signal usage which ultimately costs less.
In the initial beta, Republic Wireless offered the $199 LG Optimus S. At this point they have added an upgrade with their recent announcement of the Motorola DEFY XT. It's available for $249. You can check out the Motorola DEFY XT on the official website here. Instead of paying the $249, you can pay $99 for the phone and pay $29/month for the service. It comes with your first month of service included and you get a 30-day money back guarantee.
Republic Wireless Coverage Map: When not using available wifi, they use Sprint's cell network. How good is the Sprint coverage? Check their official coverage map here.
Republic Wireless Prepaid Data Plans: Not much to say for now other than it's an unlimited plan for talk, text and data for just $19 per month. Most likely this will change in the future but for now during their beta testing phases the price will likely remain.
Current Prepaid Smartphones From Republic Wireless:
Currently they offer the Motorola DEFY XT as part of the new beta program. It's going to cost you $249 plus a $29 start-up fee and applicable taxes. Don't worry, the start-up fee does include the first month of service and shipping.
Previous beta registrants had the opportunity to buy the LG Optimus S. We are expecting there to be new models as they move forward and beyond a beta stage.
Motorola DEFY XT
Operating System as Tested: Android OS
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon S1
Processor Speed: 1 GHz
Form Factor: Candy Bar
Physical Keyboard: No
Screen Size: 3.7 inches
Screen Details: 854-by-480 LCD display
802.11x/Band(s): 802.11 b/g/n
microSD Slot : Yes
Phone Capability / Network: CDMA
Bands: 850, 1900
High-Speed Data: EVDO Rev A
Battery Life (As Tested): 3 hours 58 minutes
Megapixels: 5 MP
Camera Flash: Yes
Storage Capacity (as Tested): 92.16 MB
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You have opportunities to save more by refering a friend. Basically you can earn a $19 credit on your account balance for every friend that joins. They have to stay on for 30 days, and you both get a one-time $19 credit. More details here.
If you're contemplating a move to Republic Wireless, check out their savings calculator. You can look at what you pay elsewhere and compare.
There is now an opportunity to sign up for what they call a "Beta Wave". Essentially this is like a waiting que or number and when your spot opens up, your're in! Sign-up for the Beta Wave here.