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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Republic Wireless offers cheaper smartphone

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Looking for new ways to save money on wireless service?

There's a service I've talked about before called Republic Wireless that I am now ready to tell you is a real deal.

Republic Wireless offers truly unlimited talk, text, and web for $25 a month -- no contract.

The way Republic Wireless works is you have to buy a phone that has special software embedded in it to work on their system. At first they only had the Moto X for $299. Now they're rolling out the Moto G for $149. The Moto G is still a very good phone, though not quite as good as the X.

I tested the first generation a year and half ago and it was lousy; it was not ready for primetime. But the current version is fantastic. Read my review here.

If you want a more conventional player, AT&T has cut rates for 2 people together on a plan. Their Mobile Share Value Plan offers unlimited talk and text, plus 2 GB of data. The first person is $65, while the next person is $25. Because this is a no-contract plan, you either have to buy a phone or be out of contract with an already compatible phone.

In response, T Mobile now gives 1 GB of data with unlimited calling and texting. The pricing for the first person is $50, the second person pays $30 and every person after that pays $10. So family of 5 pays $100 annually or about $22$ per person per month.

The rates are getting better or better -- except for Sprint. Sprint has a prepaid $45 a month plan that offers unlimited talk and text with no data at all.

By contrast, you can get unlimited talk and text for $4 a month from FreedomPop. I'm testing a Samsung Galaxy S2 on FreedomPop, but I'm not yet ready to recommend it.

By the way, anything I try, I buy. I am unbought and unbossed. I accept no freebies from any company. So when I'm telling you about something, you know you're getting my unvarnished opinion; my responsibility is to you and your wallet alone.

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