Republic Wireless Moto X, with Kidgi Charging Dock
Back in November, Mrs. GubMints was insanely jealous when my employer upgraded me from my self-owned iPhone 3GS (on AirVoice Wireless) to a company-owned iPhone 4S. She wanted a new phone, too, as her 3GS was acting a bit slow and was finicky with MMS on the AirVoice network.
I was ready to upgrade her to a Google Nexus 4, but they had just run out of stock. The Nexus 5 was coming out, but very pricey. I looked back to Republic Wireless in early November, and as luck had it, they were taking orders on the Google/Motorola Moto X for new customers. I jumped on the waiting list, and later used the discount code which was posted on Mr Money Mustache a few days later following his promotional review of the Republic Moto X.
Here’s Mr. and Mrs. GubMints take on the Republic Wireless Moto X:
The deal with Republic is that the handset uses WiFi for EVERYTHING (Calling, texting, web, MMS) when on a familiar WiFi network. Out of WiFi range, Republic lets you choose between dirt-cheap and reasonably cheap plans, based on how much ‘gap’ cellular coverage you think you need for calls, text, and data, and speed when you are away from a familiar WiFi signal. At present, the plans range from $5/month (ZERO cell minutes/text) to $40/month (4G cell coverage). We chose the $25/month plan with 3G ‘gap’ coverage.
Tech Specs on the Moto X are posted here on the Republic site.
The Republic Moto X is hard-coded with Android 4.2.2 ‘Jelly Bean’. Android has very advanced features, but it is a bit harder to learn than the iOS. This caused the wife some frustrations at first, as it was not intuitively obvious how to attach photos to text messages, emails etc.
For instance, access to voicemail takes multiple steps (there’s not phone handset icon with a flashing number on it – You have to push a few buttons to get there after noticing the microscopic voicemail icon in the upper left corner of the phone).
Call quality is just fine- If Mrs GubMints is at home I can’t tell if she is on cell or landline. On the road (away from WiFi), it sounds the same as just about any cell phone. Bluetooth shakes hands with the car and home phone handsets just fine.
Voice to Text works great (Is it still considered texting if you are dictating in to the phone?). This in itself is a big jump over the old iPhone 3GS.
However, if you were using iOS’ iMessage feature before, you have to dis-enroll yourself from iMessage, and then tell all your previous friends to stop using iMessage to contact you- Or else there may be some issues with missed group texts, etc.
Side Note: My overall take is that iMessage sucks. Even when sending between iPhones, I missed some time-critical messages because the sender automatically assumed I got them via iMessage. Problem is, if you walk out of your hotel’s WiFi range and switch back to cellular, there can be a delay in the iMessage send/receive confirmation.
Some Cool Android Features
- Face Recognition to log in. Just look at the Moto X phone when you pick it up and it will recognize you (unless you are not wearing your makeup, tee hee). Use a back-up PIN code to unlock the phone in the event the phone fails to recognize your face because you are wearing sunglasses, a hat, or no makeup.
- To access the camera function immediately, Twist the phone twice (like you’re winding a film lever, for those who remember film cameras) to take a quick photo.
- HDR photo quality and speed is excellent. Responds more quickly than my iPhone 4S and has excellent dynamic range.
- “Ok Google Now” is Android/Google’s answer to Siri on iOS. I can’t give you a detailed comparison here as I’ve always kept Siri shut off on my 4S phone. I tried to get Mrs. GubMints to use the Google starter command “OK Jarvis”, which is an Easter Egg put in by Google’s programmers, but she does not appreciate the obvious reference to Iron Man.
Moto X Accessories.
Moto X accessories are not quite as ubiquitous as they are for the iPhone/iPod/Pad.
For example, you won’t find a Toledo Mudhens skin, or a Combination Charging Dock/Espresso Bean grinder like you can for the iPhone, but the stuff you would really like to have for the Moto X- Like a charging dock- Is relatively easy to find on Amazon. In our case, the Kidgi Charging dock fits the bill quite nicely.
Republic Moto X Quirks:
Don’t ‘Hide’ your home WiFi network. Our Moto X phone said ‘No soup for you’ after a few inadvertent days out of home WiFi coverage (I made the decision to ‘upgrade’ our home network security, but in the end half of our devices balked at the change).
Also, at present there’s no way change the time stamp on your Voicemail messages (I don’t this is Android specific- from the Republic Wireless help pages, it appears that the voicemail time stamp is locked on Eastern Standard Time).
Overall Opinion of Republic Moto X:
After 30 days we’re finally glad we made the switch.
There were some growing pains, but the Moto X phone is far more advanced than the old iPhone, and is $170 per year cheaper per year than the comparable plan we had on AirVoice (which was $40/month for nearly-unlimited 3G). For those ‘on the fence’ about making a cell carrier switch, Republic Wireless offers a 30-day no-risk trial period for the new Moto X.
Give it a try if you are out of contract with an older phone!
|via RSS:||via Email:|