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What’s more important to you: Cheap cell service, or the latest and greatest phones?

Republic Wireless Logo - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Something really cool just happened: Republic Wireless just left its open beta, and it’s available now to the public. For those of you who aren’t aware of this little MVNO, Republic Wireless is a carrier that rethinks how we connect to wireless networks. It recognizes that nowadays, most people are connected to WiFi – at home, at work, and sometimes even on the train or during flights. There are times when we have to connect to cellular networks, but if you pay attention and connect to free public WiFi hotspots when you’re out and about, those times are becoming rarer and rarer.

Republic Wireless has decided to capitalize on the increasing availability of WiFi in our daily lives, and has created a totally unlimited service for $19/month. When you’re connected to WiFi, all of your calls, texts, and data will be routed over that WiFi. And when you aren’t, you’ll seamlessly fall back onto the Sprint network. And to make things even better, Republic Wireless doesn’t even have a fair use policy anymore – so theoretically, you can use the Sprint network as much as you want, and you don’t even necessarily have to have WiFi at home or work (although the company really encourages you to use WiFi as much as possible).

Industry critics have been skeptical about how sustainable this model of cell service will really be, but things look promising since Republic Wireless opened the service up to everyone and is keeping its pricing the same. But before you jump on board, you have to ask yourself one question. What’s more important to you: cheap cell service, or always having the latest and greatest phones?

This is an important question, because as of right now, Republic Wireless is only offering the Motorola DEFY XT. This device runs Gingerbread, has a 3.7-inch screen, 1GB of internal storage, and 512MB of RAM. In other words, it’s pretty pathetic in the specs department. But on the other hand, the service will only cost you $19/month. This undercuts even the cheapest of the cheap prepaid carriers like Virgin, Boost, and Straight Talk.

I doubt that Republic Wireless will ever have a Bring Your Own Device program like Sprint MVNO Ting – there’s a certain technology needed to make the transition between WiFi and cellular networks seamless, and so this particular carrier will have to approve any phone it allows on its network. And while it’s promising a better selection soon, I doubt we’ll see devices like the LG Nexus 4, the HTC One X+, or the Samsung Galaxy S III. That just doesn’t seem very likely to happen.

But I want to know what you think – what’s more important to you? As an obvious fan of the latest and greatest gadgets, would you be willing to sacrifice a bit in order to save some major cash each month on your cell phone bill? Or are you still holding onto your EVO 4G LTE – or whatever superphone you currently own – with a death grip?

[Android Police]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

Avatar of John F

16 thoughts on “What’s more important to you: Cheap cell service, or the latest and greatest phones?

  • Avatar of G-Thang

    Waiting for Google wireless! Which will have both. But if I had to pick one it would b latest & greatest.

    Reply
  • latest and greatest phone for me!! i could never wait 2 years for an upgrade.. i newest evo every year it comes out :)

    Reply
  • Latest and greatest here. I never have a phone that long. That is why I get Best Buy’s buy back plan. It’s DEF worth it if you change phones as much as I do.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Carl D

    Latest and greatest!!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Carl D

    Hey John, you should do a poll on that question.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sharon

    Latest and greatest!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Kevin

    Would this work if you were connected to WiFi overseas? I’m being sent to Dubai today, and I’m trying to find a way to be able to use my EVO LTE to make calls.

    Reply
    • This service won’t work with your EVO, but just download Talkatone or GrooveIP and you’ll be able to use your phone over WiFi.

      Reply
  • Avatar of NelsonTitua

    i tend to keep a phone well over 2 years unless its the evo lte… had to get right away lol.. but i root and flash the hell out of it to keep it new and up to date..

    Reply
  • Avatar of Luis Berrios

    Death grip…..Nuff said.

    Reply
  • Avatar of David

    Price. I have the latest & greatest in a tablet – the Nexus 10. A phone is great, but not at the prices Verizon charges. I will be using the phone as just that – a phone. My interesting stuff can be done on the tablet.

    Reply
  • Avatar of David

    Addendum: for the monthly price of cell phone service with big red versus republic, I can buy the best tablet every year.

    Reply
  • Avatar of ArcherMP

    I am gonna jump on Ting when they open the BYOD. If Google does its wireless network I will probably jump ship after.

    All signs point to GSM for Google so I wanna get my money worth out of the Evo.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Aleko

    Price of service is more important to me. Like some suggested above, one can buy the latest and greatest tablet if they want.

    Reply
  • Avatar of -UserName

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    Reply

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