republic moto x thumb

Ever since Republic Wireless started its unconventional carrier experiment, there's been one common cry of lament among those who want to use it: "where are the good phones?" Republic's hybrid 3G-WiFi system requires some customized hardware, which means that new phones are few and far between for the unlimited, cheap-as-dirt Sprint MVNO. If you wanted an excuse to try out the service, here you go: a screenshot taken by Reddit user imaliamatoo indicates that the Moto X is coming to Republic.


And that's not all. According to a brief preview in the search results, the Moto X will be sold for $299 unsubsidized (if not exactly unlocked, since it probably won't work with other carriers). That's about $300 less than the unsubsidized models being sold for other carriers, a full $350 less than that shiny new Developer Edition, and only $100 more than the contract price on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Let me state this unequivocally: that is an awesome hardware deal, even if you ignore Republic's $19 (or $29, depending on the price of the device) unlimited talk, text, and data plan.


Republic went on Google+ to tease an announcement for later this week, which is probably what inspired the Reddit user to make that website search. The results are gone now, but the phone teased in silhouette sure looks like Motorola's new flagship. In case you're in any doubt, here's the press shot of the Moto X overlaid on the teaser image with a bit of transparency. It's a perfect match.

republic moto transparency

This is the move we've been waiting for and something that might actually make the larger, more expensive carriers sit up and take notice. It won't fix the core problem with Republic Wireless (namely that you're reliant on Sprint 3G when not in range of a WiFi network), but it's a damn good start. Expect an announcement from Republic Wireless on Thursday or Friday of this week, barring any major setbacks.

Source: Reddit, Google+

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.

    For this price, I'd buy a Moto X immediately. This is how the Moto X was supposed to take off.

    • Yousef

      But sprint......

      • Brandon Jiang

        it has HSPA+.... if someone could unlock it, it could actually be used on other carriers

        • Zack Dunda

          Very unlikely that it can be unlocked. This is their whole business model after all.

      • ERIFNOMI

        I guess it wasn't clear, but I meant this is the price the X should have been at launch on all carriers. If it was, I would have bought one.

  • troph

    What's keeping people from buying this, then unlocking, and selling it on ebay? Is it CDMA or something?

    • chris125

      Yes its cdma

      • Brandon Jiang

        but has HSPA+ support.... how interesting

        • JD_26

          so it can be used on GSM networks if unlocked ??/

  • silver_arrow

    Just pointing it out but Sprints Moto X has 850/1900/2100 mhz HSPA+ on board...

    • ProductFRED

      Yeah but it's locked out of domestic US carriers permanently...

      • Kenny O

        You were not supposed to have LTE on the Nexus 4, but after a little help from the folks over at Xda, T-Mobile LTE works great.

  • Zack Dunda

    You sure they won't offer this with their $29/month plan instead of the $19/month plan?

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Good point. Added a bit of clarification to the article, thanks.

  • atlouiedog

    I'd like to point out that Republic Wireless has two tiers for their current phone. The Motorola Defy XT is $299 on the $19 plan and $79 is subsidized by paying $29/mo. This seems more likely to be $29, or maybe even more, per month at that price.

    • Jef Franklin

      Look at the numbers in the ad. Can you guess what those might be?

      • Brandon Jiang

        does thsi mean there's going to be a $5/month plan???

  • wolfkabal

    I wonder if this would work on Ting.

    • Jef Franklin

      Nope, RW only. And why would you want to? Ting has no roaming and requires at least a 3G signal to work.

      • Max Fource

        Let's tone it down there, Jef. Already with the rah-rah, cheerleading stuff? Geezz. Give it a rest please before you even get started. We all know you're a known mouthpiece for Republic as one of their ambassadors. Yeah, Republic has some interesting ideas (if they can ever get them fully implemented after nearly 2 years), but they are not the savior of the no-contract mobile world.

        • Matthew

          Irony of your paragraph long "Let's tone it down there"

        • Jef Franklin

          Just because I provide support to others who ask for it does not make me a "mouthpiece." A question was asked and I provided an a accurate answer. Yep I added other information that suggests a preference.

  • dogulas

    So what would keep this from working on other GSM carriers? I find it hard to believe that am obscure carrier like this would lock down the device with their own firmware. Right?

    • aiden9

      Never mind didn't realize they slipped GSM onto Sprints version, how interesting.

    • moelsen8

      Republic wireless is averse to root and tinkering because of their unique network setup last we heard.. Never mind that anyone would buy it unlocked to use on a GSM carrier otherwise.

  • Cuvis

    Well played, Republic. Well played.

  • Freak4Dell

    I wonder how they can afford to do this. I really doubt Motorola is selling them to a tiny, no-name MVNO for that cheap. I'd be kind of mad that I just bought one, but since I don't know if this one will ever work on a better network, I think I'll just be happy with paying more for one that I know will work.

  • Braden Abbott

    I really hope it is CDMA-only and locked to their network, it would not be fair to buy the phone at this price and then take a dump on them by not being their customer, that's the whole reason for the price. Plus I really hope this catches on because I think the concept is the future of mobile. I kind of do this myself, I had a 2012 4G and now a 2013 Nexus 7 LTE and use Google Voice and VoIP calling over WiFi and unlimited data on Aio for a cool $14.99 per month, no tax on data where I live

  • Otto Prime

    As a Republic Wireless user... the big news here for me... LTE is coming!! Previously all models were 3G only.

  • sc4fpse

    My God. I'm looking to get an X for use overseas where I am most of the time. This would be an instant-buy so long as that HSPA+ isn't locked down. o_o

    • yankeesusa

      The phones with republic wireless are cdma only.

  • Perv Bear

    Sprint besides us cellular and a state wide cell company available to me really... So looks like I found my new carrier.

  • Scott Breitbach

    Appears that it is official now:
    With plans at $5 (wifi), $10 (wifi w/cell), $25 (wifi w/3G), or $40 (wifi w/4G).

  • Steve Crouse

    I switched to Republic Wireless a few months back from
    Verizon. They were killing me with the monthly charges. Around $120 a month.
    Verizon does have the best 4G coverage. I won’t deny that. I got the Republic
    plan for $25 a month. Unlimited calls, text and data with 3G. I dont have the
    4G on my plan. It takes a few seconds longer for the internet to load compared
    to Verizon. But for $100 a month savings its well worth it. If you get the 4G
    with Republic remember you might not have use of it except in large cities. Im
    completely happy with the plan I have. I have no dropped calls. The switch from
    wifi to Sprint 3G is seamless. Those commercials for Verizon that show the map
    show the 4G map coverage only and 3G is pretty much everywhere so their ads are
    really misleading. It works great. Get the Moto X phone and not the Defy (it
    sucks). The Moto X rocks. Yes, you will have to pay $299 for the phone upfront
    but it pays for itself in a few months. Do the math and figure out your yearly
    cost compared with your current plan. Even if you have to pay an early
    termination fee it will save you money over the next year or two. I have a link
    that you can use to save $19 for the first month. Yes, it helps me with my bill
    too when you do. I won’t lie. For Christmas bonus my boss decided to let most
    of us go and I am unemployed. If you don’t like Republic, there is no contract.
    Just switch back. It is a great company. Here is the link. Cut and paste if it
    needed. Thanks!! http://referrals.republicwireless.com/a/clk/1ymPvN