A review of the Moto X on Republic Wireless
Shopping for a smart phone used to be complicated. One company had better coverage, while another had the best price. Plans were complicated too and required you to guess how many minutes you would talk, texts you would send, and most confusingly of all, how much data you would use. I say that the cell phone industry used to be complicated because it no longer is. As of November of 2013, it all became really, really easy.
Republic Wireless(RW) has the best coverage at the best price with the best plans, and until other companies become more competitive it is difficult to image a scenario in which a consumer should even consider having a phone with any other company. My wife and I purchased new Moto X phones from RW, and spent the weekend testing them. I know a lot fo artofbeingcheap.com readers have already got one of their own. For those that haven’t here is what we found:
I had previously been with T-Mobile because it was the cheapest plan I could find, but it had lousy coverage. If I was in a town of at least 50,000 then the coverage was fine, but in rural areas there was no coverage at all. So, the ability to use my phone wherever I went was the most exciting thing to me about RW. I found that RW has the best coverage available.
RW runs primarily on your wireless internet in a process I explained here. Using the wireless network you already pay for is what allows RW to offer their service for so little money. In previous generations of phones this didn’t really work so well as the call quality wasn’t really very good. With the brand new Moto X phone, however, RW has gotten it right. Calls were just as clear over wireless internet as they were on a cellular network. The process of switching between wifi and cellular was seemless as well. When I made a phone call over wifi and then walked away from my house until I was out of wifi range I found that the call continued without me noticing any difference at all.
When you are not on wifi, RW runs on both the Sprint and Verizon networks (Calls and texts on the Verizon network are unlimited. Data is extremely limited). The Verizon network is what makes RW coverage so exciting. Although many prepaid companies use Sprint’s fairly limited network to make calls, there are very few budget options for using Verizon, which offers the country’s best coverage. To test the coverage area, my wife and I drove out of town to have dinner in a rural area. How rural? The special was gooseberry pie, so that’s pretty rural.
I found that the coverage was great. I used the phone’s GPS navigator to find the restaurant and had data coverage every inch of my trip.
I had previously been using the Nexus 4, which was the world’s best phone at the time I bought it early in 2013. I was pleased to see that the Moto X outperformed my beloved Nexus 4. The Moto X is smaller and lighter than the Nexus 4, which is a good thing. I was also pleased to see that there was very little junk preloaded onto the Moto X.
Phone companies are usually paid by app makers to put their apps onto your phone. These apps are normally called “crapwear” or “bloatware” and cannot be removed without hacking your phone and voiding your warranty. Having all these unwanted apps takes up storage space, slows your phone down, and drains your battery.
Although there was slightly more bloatware than my Nexus 4 has, I was very happy to see that Motorola has crammed almost no garbage onto the Moto X. This means that it will outperform phones with better specs by rival companies such as Samsung or HTC. The little it of junk that came with my phone was actually useful.
An app called Assist automatically changes the setting of your phone depending on what you are doing. Your phone can tell if you are driving by checking the GPS and will automatically read your text messages to you and send a message back saying you are driving and will reply later. If your calendar says you are in a meeting, your phone will automatically be silenced to prevent a phone call from disturbing you. You can also set your phone to be silenced overnight. I was also impressed by the voice activated control which works something like Apple’s Siri.
One of the complaints about RW prior to the Moto X was that it’s phones couldn’t send pictures over text messaging, which is known as MMS. This doesn’t seem all that important to me because emailing pictures works just fine for me. Irregardless, the Moto X can send MMS messages with pictures.
After a day of heavy use the battery never got below 50%. No complaints there.
As great as the Moto X is, the most exciting part about it is that comes with incredibly cheap plans. RW’s plans are so cheap, most consumers would save so much money with RW that it makes sense to cancel their current contract and buy a new phone with RW. To prove it, I created this calculator to figure out just how much you can save with RW.
$5 plan- This plan only works on wifi. I don’t think this plan makes much sense. It doesn’t seem very wise to buy a $300 cell phone that you can’t use except when you are on wifi. If this is what you want to do, I suggest you buy a much cheaper phone then use an app such as Groove IP to make calls over wifi for free.
$10 plan- This is a great deal. You have unlimited talk minutes and text wherever you go, but you only have data when you are on wifi. This is the plan my wife has and is perfect for someone who doesn’t need to surf the web or receive emails wherever they go.
$25 plan- This plan gives you unlimited talk minutes, text and 3G data wherever you go. 3G data is fine for using the GPS navigator, receiving emails and doing a little bit of surfing while you are on the road, but is a little slow if you want to do a lot of surfing and downloading while you are on the road. This is the plan I signed up for, because I can wait until I am home before I need to use serious data.
$40 plan- This plan for heavy data users that want to use data wherever they go. Compared to any other phone company, unlimited minutes, texts, and 4G data is an incredible deal.
The Moto X on Republic Wirelessis an incredible deal. At this point in time it is such a better deal than any other phone on the market that there really are no viable competitors. I have to think that this will really shake up the industry as all the other phone companies are forced to slash their prices in order to become competitive with RW. Until that time my recommendation to anybody who wants a smartphone is that they should buy a Moto X from Republic Wirelessimmediately.
Photo Courtesty of Celeste Lindell