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Republic Wireless retail package for the Motorola Defy XT
Republic Wireless initially launched its low-cost MVNO service at the end of 2011 and then had a few growing pains as it ironed out service and hardware issues. In December, they started over with a new piece of hardware and updated service definitions. For just $19 per month you can pick up a $259 Motorola Defy XT and get unlimited calling, texting, and data. While this type of service and limited device support won't appeal to the smartphone enthusiast, it may be just perfect for those wanting to save some serious cash and still enjoy many of the benefits of owning a smartphone without any form of contract.
I have been using the Republic Wireless service and the Motorola Defy XT for the past couple of weeks and wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. Overall, I think the device and service are a good value and will appeal to many people. If I had better Sprint coverage where I live and work and wasn't writing about all the latest and greatest smartphones then I would seriously consider this combo for myself.
Hardware: Motorola Defy XT
There is only one device that works with the Republic Wireless $19/month service and that is the Motorola Defy XT that you have to pay for in advance. The $259 fee includes the service start-up fee ($10) and shipping, but taxes are not included. The Defy XT is actually a pretty decent Android smartphone and the rugged design is a nice touch. Republic Wireless gives you 30 days to try out the device and service and if you are not satisfied then you can return the phone for a full refund. You can also cancel at anytime after 30 days, there are no service contracts, but you won't get the refund on the $259 charge after this trial period. Specifications of the Motorola Defy XT include:
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS
- Dual band CDMA support for Sprint's 3G network
- 3.7 inch 480x854 display with Gorilla Glass
- 1GB ROM/512MB RAM
- 1 GHz processor
- microSD card for expanded storage, comes with 2GB card
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 801.11 b/g/n WiFi
- FM radio
- Accelerometer, GPS receiver, and proximity sensor
- 1,650 mAh user replaceable battery
- 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash
- Front facing VGA camera
- Dimensions of 115 x 58.5 x 11.95 mm and 115 grams
Yes, the version of Android used on this device is a few generations behind the latest and greatest smartphones. However, it is still a pretty solid OS with more functionality than what can be found on a feature phone. The processor and provided memory is acceptable and you can keep things up and running with removable storage and a replaceable battery. I like the rugged feel of the device, but it is also quite light and feels great in your hand.