Thursday, October 26, 2017

A truly "smart" phone plan

A truly "smart" phone plan!

I used to pay too much!

My old cell phone plan was a $35/mo. prepaid service from Virgin Mobile, which ran on the Sprint network in my area. It worked well, and I liked Virgin Mobile just fine. The service in my area was seamless, and the price of $35 per month (plus tax) was pretty good. The phone itself was well-made, and I became a fan of HTC!

But when I moved to an area that Virgin Mobile did not service, I knew I'd have to switch. And, considering that my old phone (an HTC One V that cost me $80 in 2013) was getting painfully slow, it was a good excuse to upgrade.

The HTC One V. Well-built and still works fine, just...very, very slowly.
Photo by Sarah Tew, of CNET

So, did I get an iPhone? The latest Samsung? [Hell no!] Another fancy top-of-the-line $500+ gadget?

Nope. Many bloggers, notably Mr. Money Mustache and Jim Collins, recommend Republic Wireless. So, because of those numerous recommendations, RW was already on my radar. But, of course, I don't let people's advice make up my mind for me: I always look into things for myself!

So, I checked into such alternatives as Ting, Verizon prepaid, a bulk prepaid plan at Walmart, and other such options. Each alternative had different advantages and disadvantages, and Ting was tempting—it offers some very low-priced plans plus a great selection of phones, currently including the HTC Bolt on sale at only $150, which is a great value for a very capable phone—but Republic Wireless still looked like the best fit for my needs.

After some hemming and hawing and additional researching, I went with my initial pick: the Moto E4 on Republic Wireless for $100. This is the fourth generation of a phone that has perennially wowed reviewers (who typically say something like, "In my job, I get the newest and best phones, and compared to them, this isn't very good...but I'm amazed that the phone is this fast and this feature-rich at such a low price point!").
The Moto E4 is all the phone I need...

Indeed, this new Moto E is much better than my old phone! The primarily wireless-based RW service works great wherever there's wi-fi, and it's about $15/month cheaper than my old Virgin Mobile plan!

When I called Virgin Mobile to cancel my service, they gave me a "special" offer (one that I'm sure they offer all customers who try to leave), but since they don't have coverage in my new area, there wasn't anything they could do to keep me on. They were super-nice about it, but these days, they're all-in on the iPhone with their $50 unlimited plan for new I don't foresee myself going back.

Fortunately, with the low-price options available today, as well as RW's emphasis on wi-fi communications (which ensures that I'll get cell service anywhere in the world, as long as there's wi-fi...and I'm not planning to visit Antarctica anytime soon), I see no need to change my service!

With Republic Wireless, I get:
  • A phone that is plenty fast and capable for the little bit of calling, Internet, and games, and the occasional texting, that I do
  • Reasonably-priced options for more capable phones, if I ever see fit to buy a nicer one like the Moto G4 or Moto G5 Plus
  • Service that will definitely work whenever I have wi-fi available
  • Service that provides pretty good cell coverage throughout much of the United States, unless you're in Alaska, Hawaii, or one of the wide-open places in the Northwestern U.S. (like Montana, Idaho, Oregon, or parts of Nevada, Utah, and North or South Dakota)
  • All this, plus 1 GB of data, for only $20 per month, plus or minus a few cents! [also count about $2.50 for tax]
  • Various options, ranging from 0 GB for $15/month, up to 15 GB for $90/month.
One note: Republic Wireless isn't available for iPhone, and due to the way Apple runs its tech [the infamous 'walled garden' approach], it's not likely that RW will add iPhones in the foreseeable future. Unless you like being subject to the whims of corporate overlords who charge ridiculous prices in order to pad their own profits, this is just another great reason to switch to an Android phone! Save money and embrace freedom :)

You can get $20 off your first bill by using this Republic Wireless affiliate link. Regardless of whether or not I'm getting compensated for it, however, my recommendation stands!

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