Update: I went back to an iPhone. This was a good experiment but I was just too attached to the experience on my iPhone.
I’m a firm believer that to reduce financial stress people should try and do two things:
#1. Find a way to earn more money
#2. Keep your personal expenses low
Why are these two things important? Because if you can do them well you can afford to pay for the most important thing of all – your freedom.
Generally I spend most of my time writing about #1 but today I’m focusing on #2 with the review of a phone service I’ve been using for the past 8 months that costs less than half of what my grandfathered unlimited AT&T iPhone plan cost.
My $25 Per Month Unlimited Everything Smart Phone
I bought a Moto X from Republic Wireless in November 2013 for $299. Coincidentally, the same time I set a business high that month for 2013 with $86,401.31 in profit (I like to focus on big wins in my business and keeping personal expenses low – double win).
Why did I buy this phone?
I’ll admit that my initial reason for wanting to leave the iPhone 5 was because Apple was yet again coming out with a 4 inch screen with the iPhone 5s at the time. For years I had been an iPhone user from starting with the 3G, 4, 4S and lastly the 5 but as most iPhone converts realize – the rest of the smart phone market caught up (a while ago).
So when I decided to leave the iPhone I looked for ways to save money on my bill and I came across Republic Wireless.
Why Is it Only $25 Per Month Unlimited?
Republic Wireless uses hybrid calling where when you’re on WiFi your talk, text and data all run through your personal network (or any WiFi network you hop onto). When not within WiFi range they use Sprint cell towers as a MVNO.
Basically it costs less because they use cell towers less.
What Do You Get For $25 Per Month?
Unlimited Talk (WiFi and Cell)
Unlimited 3G Data (WiFi and Cell)
Unlimited Text (WiFi and Cell)
If you want 4G it’s $40 per month (or half of what I was paying AT&T), but I opted for 3G as I don’t want to make it even more tempting to look at my phone when I am out of the house and should be enjoying friends, family or having fun.
They also offer $10 per month for unlimited talk and text but no data unless on WiFi. In fact, I had that plan for roughly a month but decided I couldn’t cut the cord completely when I was out of the office. They even have a $5 per month WiFi only plan.
Part of why I tried Republic Wireless is because they finally got a phone worth using. I believe they had one or two previous generation shitty phones that they used to prove the concept but the Moto X was their first “real smart phone” that they offered. They now have the Moto G as well for $149.99.
Let’s start with what I liked
Switching Contacts From iPhone to Moto X Takes 2 Minutes
When I switched from AT&T over to Republic Wireless I was able to transfer all of my contacts over in 2 minutes. Here’s the link I used. Option B seemed most simple to me so that’s what I went with. Took me 2 minutes to download, run the recommended iPhone app, email the contacts to my Gmail account and then open the exported list of contacts attachment on my Moto X phone. I only had 112 contacts to transfer though (yah I have no friends), but the entire process was literally 2 minutes.
4.7 inch screen size and quality are great
As I said before, I was tired of the 4 inch iPhone screen size so moving up to something bigger was a must. The quality of the images are great. I’m not sure if it’s “retina” or anything like that but it looks good to me.
Google integration is cool
I’ve never used an Android phone before so this integration was very cool (if a little creepy). For example, the phone automatically started providing me scores for relevant teams I follow based on what I was searching for on Google. But I didn’t have to do anything to find out Sounders FC soccer scores and that was cool. It also tells me automatically how far away I am from my home sometimes without me asking (via the screen dashboard).
Here’s what I didn’t like…
Picture Quality – not as good as iPhone 5
Simply put the picture quality on the Moto X is not as good as on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and certainly won’t be as good as on the iPhone 6 when it comes out. They did offer an update a few months ago that did improve the camera slightly but I didn’t really notice it that much. The biggest annoyance is that motion blur occurs while taking photos that are moving (such as a baby flailing arms around all over the place – we have two of those right now).
Call Quality – depends on your area relies on Sprint towers when not on WiFi
If you’re in a bad sprint coverage area and on WiFi then calls sometimes switch over to cell mode and the call quality worsens. I know for instance that it’s better on WiFi at my house so I use a free Android app called Toggle Cell to disable cell mode while connected to my home WiFi network. It would be nice if the phone knew that it was better to say on WiFi for instance but Toggle Cell works just fine and solves the issue.
My Overall Impressions: Close Enough
That doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation, but from a 4 year iPhone user who liked their phone it is still impressive.
Ultimately if you want to save money (especially if you haven’t mastered point #1 I mentioned before – “Find a way to make more money”) then this should be a simple decision. Switch to Republic Wireless and save money where you can and pour your time into finding your side gig that can eventually allow you to leave your job. With yet one more lower bill it will be that much easier to leave your job behind.
I haven’t decided if I’ll buy the iPhone 6 which is rumored to offer a larger screen, but I’ve been using Republic Wireless for 8 months now and although there have been some parts I didn’t like it’s nice to be paying only $25 a month for a smart phone with unlimited everything.
Still want to use your iPhone? Alternative option is Ting
P.S. I generally write about how to build an online business but half of being successful is knowing what to do once you do make money. I’ve met a bunch of idiots that have made a lot of money and then started spending as fast as it was coming in (only problem is when it dries out). Don’t be like that.
Remember – the best thing money can buy is your freedom to do whatever you want to.
Update: Well the iPhone 6 lured me in and I decided to switch to T-Mobile. The primary reason why I moved is because the Moto X camera isn’t as good as I want it to be and with twin babies now I want to take more (and better) photos. I still maintain a very simple lifestyle to use my money to continue buying more and more of my favorite thing – freedom.