Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Unlimited Smartphone $19mo. Really?
Old 01-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Unlimited Smartphone $19mo. Really?

AN Android smartphone with unlimited calls, unlimited texting, unlimited data and no contract, all for $19 a month? Really?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/bu...lling.html?hpw

The link to Republic is in the article. Need a $259 Motorola Android Phone.
http://republicwireless.com/motorola-defy-xt

Where's the catch?
__________________

__________________
Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again. - Eleanor Roosevelt
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
A pretty good review of the upsides and downsides here:

http://republicwireless.com/images/n...k_20120816.pdf
__________________

__________________
Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again. - Eleanor Roosevelt
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
We were on the waiting list for RW, but the lack of phone selection and waitlist status drove us to Ting instead. If you use a lot of cell data and don't mind the phone limitations, RW should be good. If you don't use a lot cell data (use Wi-Fi instead - it's free), Ting will probably be better. Check Ting rates and see if they add up to more than $19 for you.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2013, 10:41 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,278
Another option for occasional users of data...

Get a cheap T-Mobile phone (or just the SIM, I think) on their pre-paid plan. Put $100 on it, and it is good for 1000 min/texts, and a year ("Gold Status"). The next year, just $10 extends it for a year, and unused minutes roll over. So ~$9/month the first year, just $0.90 /month in year two and on. Top up with a few bucks more if you use more min/texts.

But no data - however...

You can buy an Android smart phone for ~ $180 at Walmart (Samsung Exhibit II), put that pre-paid "Gold Status" SIM in. You can use all the smart phone features when you are in a wi-fi zone, and make free calls/texts with a VOIP app and a Google Voice phone #.

And if you need data away from wi-fi, you can get unlimited voice/texts /data for just $3 per day, or slower speed data for $2, or just unl text for $1/day. So if you only occasionally need data away from wi-fi, this will be pretty cheap. I set DW up with this, so now she has a 'cool ' phone, and we have not had a need for the data away from wifi yet. If we go away for a week-end or something, I'll enable it (you can turn it on/off from the phone).

For us, better than any set monthly data plan, and we kept the $150 she already had on the Gold Status plan (about the same that I have).

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 141
I have been on their invite list for ages, also got 2 invites but gave them away (other sold it for $100 or something which I was not very impressed about) So why I did not take the offer?
As someone already mentioned, limited customized phones that will work on only their network, fine, they are there for the business. Still I was not impressed and that is the reason, I am still sticking to GSM. Second, more important point, whatever software-hardware combo, they are using, is not well optimized. The forums were flooded with problems. RW was quick to try to help the users in the beginning but as the load increased, they started censoring it. A big NO NO for me. So although the plan looks great on the paper, if your call is dropped as you go from wi-fi to cellular network, its not fun.

If someone really wants to save money, visit howardforums.com, the guys are expert in this business. I have HTC One X, Airvoice wireless ($10 for 3 months, 10c/min or /text), data optional at 35c/mb or something but I never use it. I use Cablevision's wi-fi wherever its available. Otherwise, install apps like Viber, Vonage, Tango and encourage your contacts to use them. As wi-fi becomes omnipresent, the data charges (and carrier's greed) must reduce, otherwise they are doomed for sure.

Offnote, there is a rumor that google is trying to venture in this business with TMo, not too sure how disruptive that alliance is going to be.
__________________
noelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,971
Very interesting, I'll have to research Republic and Ting further. We have limited voice/text/data for $15-20/mo each now with Net10, but the phone choices are poor, I'd describe them as semi-smart phones. If we could have unlimited plans with a true smartphone for $19/month, that would be wonderful. We'd love to have iPhones but we looked into it and it would be $130/mo at minimum for the two of us, just not worth that for us. The cheapest unlimited plans we've seen so far seem to be about $45/mo each. YMMV
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
couple of reviews from PC mags

Motorola Defy XT (Republic Wireless) Review | Smartphone Reviews

Republic Wireless and Motorola Defy XT are a solid combo for just $19/month (review) | ZDNet

One drawback is paying $250 for fairly old android phone ( android 2.3 )

also seems the cheap price is them assuming you do most surfing on wifi and not on their 3G.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
AN Android smartphone with unlimited calls, unlimited texting, unlimited data and no contract, all for $19 a month? Really?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/bu...lling.html?hpw

The link to Republic is in the article. Need a $259 Motorola Android Phone.
Check out the Phone | Motorola DEFY XT by republic wireless

Where's the catch?
That is amazing. I will have to follow this and see how it goes with others who switch to it.

I recently switched to Pageplus(Verizon's nw) on Labdog's recommendation and it has been good so far. Better coverage around here than my old T-Mobile service. Paid $40 for an LG flip phone and bought the $80 2000 minute plan good for a year. Should easily last me a year. You can use data with the plan, but that will eat it up quicker. Someday when I'm traveling more, a smartphone is something I would like to have.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
I have an HTC EVO 4g LTE on Ting along with my two DS's Samsung Transform Ultras, sharing the same account. We share 100 minutes a month and 100 MB a month. Not big talkers, and most of our data usage is free over Wi-Fi instead of cell data. We pay $6 for each phone, $3 for the minutes, and $3 for the data and $2.46 in taxes. Divided three ways, that's $8.82 each month for each of us.

DW is holding out for an iPhone. Ting thinks they might have one in 2013, sometime. Until then she's still on the prepaid T-Mo plan, described nicely above, which is even cheaper, but she has a very dumb phone.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
ZDNet review seemed pretty positive.
Seems like a good deal- if you don't mind spending $$$ for an older phone (no 4G) and have decent Sprint coverage in your area. Time will tell how this MVNO market will work out.

I'm on TMO no-contract using $30/mo for 1500min(texts) + 30MB/mo data. That's worked great for me since I use phone most days and use WiFi for (almost) all data. I can change plan month to month when I want. Doubt I will ever go back to contract mobile service again.
BTW- Last week I was able to get new (no contract) Galaxy Exhibit II with $50 TMO air credit for $180 at local TMO store. Surprised to see that deal undercut Walmart.
__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
That is amazing. I will have to follow this and see how it goes with others who switch to it.

I recently switched to Pageplus(Verizon's nw) on Labdog's recommendation and it has been good so far. Better coverage around here than my old T-Mobile service. Paid $40 for an LG flip phone and bought the $80 2000 minute plan good for a year. Should easily last me a year. You can use data with the plan, but that will eat it up quicker. Someday when I'm traveling more, a smartphone is something I would like to have.
I moved from Virgin to PagePlus, too. The upside for me was going from Sprint to Verizon network and the ability to use a smartphone on the cheapie plan. I bought a Droid X2 on eBay for $80 and just turned off the 3G, so all my apps load and update off wifi. It is neat to have all the features of a smartphone that don't require 3G, plus if I really, really need it, I can turn it on and just pay the high data rate until my crisis is past.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Austin
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Another option for occasional users of data...

You can buy an Android smart phone for ~ $180 at Walmart (Samsung Exhibit II), put that pre-paid "Gold Status" SIM in. You can use all the smart phone features when you are in a wi-fi zone, and make free calls/texts with a VOIP app and a Google Voice phone #.

-ERD50
I've got that phone on a month to month $30 T-Mobile plan that gives me unlimited texts, 5gb of data, but only 100 minutes of voice calls.

I've got a Google Voice phone number, and have the Google Voice app on my phone - it's set to show the Google number as the caller ID whenever I call from the phone. But it still uses carrier minutes, how do you set it up so that it goes over WiFi without counting against plan minutes?
__________________
LakeTravis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 09:44 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeTravis View Post
I've got that phone on a month to month $30 T-Mobile plan that gives me unlimited texts, 5gb of data, but only 100 minutes of voice calls.

I've got a Google Voice phone number, and have the Google Voice app on my phone - it's set to show the Google number as the caller ID whenever I call from the phone. But it still uses carrier minutes, how do you set it up so that it goes over WiFi without counting against plan minutes?
I got that phone first for my DD, who needed a smartphone for some apps for her course work, and I put her on that $30 plan (while I kept DW on the 'Gold Status' TM account).

It is a little confusing - but I think I figured you need a Google Voice number and a VOIP app, like Talk-a-Tone (the one we use), and make and receive calls using that app over wifi. Google Voice ends up using minutes, IIRC, because..., well, I actually don't know, something about them leasing those numbers or something - but when I tried Google Voice on DWs phone it was using minutes, but not through Talk-aTone. Groove-IP is another popular VOIP app.

TIP: we have had serious echo problems when talking to DD over Talk-a-tone. There are echo-cancelling settings you can play with, but she just switches to a headset/earpiece, and the echo is gone. You don't even need the kind with a mic, the phone figures that out and uses it's own mic if you just have an earpiece. Also, there can be significant delay - you need to learn to pause and allow time or you end up talking over each other. Not too bad, but it's an adjustment.

But $30 for unl text/data is a relative bargain, and she 'needs' the text capabilities and some data. But she's on wifi enough on campus and here at home, she doesn't really use much data - but it is there when she does need it.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 10:30 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
I use Groove IP with Google Voice for free internet calling. It's adequate for free. You can also get programs to turn off cell radio when you are connected to Wi-Fi, That ensures you don't use cell minutes when you don't have to. Auto Air is the simplest Android app. I use Profile Scheduler, which does lots of other stuff as well.

I think the free internet calling is a bit of overkill given the cheap minutes, but it's nice to have if you might have really long calls.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,971
I'll be following this with interest, but another review suggesting Republic still isn't ready for prime time yet.

I also noticed that you can't start a call on wifi (ie, Starbucks) and then walk out expecting the call to (seemlessly) switch to 3G/4G. The call will be dropped. I don't see that as an issue, some users might.

Motorola Defy XT (Republic Wireless) Review & Rating | PCMag.com
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #16
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I'll be following this with interest, but another review suggesting Republic still isn't ready for prime time yet.

I also noticed that you can't start a call on wifi (ie, Starbucks) and then walk out expecting the call to (seemlessly) switch to 3G/4G. The call will be dropped. I don't see that as an issue, some users might.
Seems to me that in theory, you could disable wifi before making the call, even while in a Starbucks, and the call will go through on the 3G/4G network.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 02:43 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
I have a t-mobile smart phone & the 2 year contract expires this summer, so I am eager to hear people's experience with an ex-t-mobile phone. I know I can use it on the Simple Talk plans which are quite reasonable.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 01:12 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
I have a t-mobile smart phone & the 2 year contract expires this summer, so I am eager to hear people's experience with an ex-t-mobile phone. I know I can use it on the Simple Talk plans which are quite reasonable.
Or T-Mobile Pay as You Go, or no-contract plans.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 09:36 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
AN Android smartphone with unlimited calls, unlimited texting, unlimited data and no contract, all for $19 a month? Really?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/bu...lling.html?hpw

The link to Republic is in the article. Need a $259 Motorola Android Phone.
Check out the Phone | Motorola DEFY XT by republic wireless

Where's the catch?
Keep in mind that Republic Wireless is in beta test only cell service. They state this on their website. They are not consumer friendly (hard to contact) and customer service is pretty much non-existent (check them out at BBB - Consumer Complaints for Bandwidth.com, Inc. - Eastern North Carolina BBB. BBB gives a pretty good picture of RW customer service.

I was on their waiting list for quite awhile (release "L"). When they reopened the beta program, they ran through their wait list in days with just the single band phone (didn't work everywhere and the complaints about it were public). You could wait for the dual band phone coming out by the end of last year, and they would notify you. They finally came out with a dual band phone (I opted to wait for it), but then RW opened up dual band phone beta service to everyone (no waiting list preference). Guess most got tired of waiting or held back when they literally threw it open to anyone (hard up for beta customers?).

I went with T-mobile prepaid earlier in the year (got tired of waiting), but was still interested in going with RW (as an additional alternate option) as the service sounded too good to be true. I've decided I will wait to see if they ever become a viable (public) cell phone service provider before investing $259.00 (or more) in a cell phone to get on their $19/mos. program.
__________________
fritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,452
I was using T-Mobile prepaid, I would purchase the $100 refill and the 1000 minutes would last me almost the entire year. Recently switched to Ptel, I believe they share T-Mobile's network. I use the same phone (unlocked) that I had with T-Mobile, just added a Ptel SIM card (cost $5). With Ptel the cost/min for talking is $.05, text is $.02, and web is $.10/MB. The cost/min stays the same no matter how much you spend on a refill ($10 minimum), the minutes just last longer the higher the refill cost. I buy a $10 refill and it's good for 2 months so I will end up spending about $60/year.
__________________

__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:13 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.