Republic Wireless Moto G hands-on: Half the cost of the X with same solid Wi-Fi calling experience

US consumers are starting to question long term carrier contracts and are seeking alternatives to save costs. Republic Wireless now has another excellent smartphone option with the Moto G.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Republic Wireless Moto G hands-on: Half the cost of the X with same solid wi-fi calling experience
Image: Republic Wireless

Last fall I took at the Republic Wireless Moto X and found it to be a great alternative to binding carrier contracts. They just recently started offering the Moto G at half the phone cost of the Moto X with the same low monthly fee options.

The Republic Wireless Moto G is available now for $149 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB model, both capacities come in black only. For just $30, I would recommend getting double the storage capacity if you plan to take lots of photos and video or play games on your phone. I've been testing an 8GB model (about 5.5 GB available to the user) over the last week and find I have about 3GB available after loading up my favorite apps and taking just a few photos. Without a microSD card slot this amount of available storage makes me a bit nervous.

The Moto G does not have LTE support so is limited to Sprint's 3G speeds when you are not connected to Wi-Fi. This 3G network is pretty slow (I recorded speeds of 0.3 to 0.9 Mbps), but remember that the focus with Republic Wireless is on the Wi-Fi data and calling experience. Given that 3G is the fastest cellular option, the available plans for the Moto G are as follows:

  • $5 Wi-Fi only plan
  • $10 Wi-Fi with unlimited cellular talk and text
  • $25 Wi-Fi with 3G unlimited cellular talk and text

Motorola adds many smart features to their devices and you will find Motorola Assist and Motorola Migrate on the Moto G. You also get a free 50GB storage allowance for two years on Google Drive with the Moto G.

Specifications for the Republic Wireless Moto G include:

  • 4.5 inch 1280x720 display at 329 ppi
  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS
  • 1GB RAM, 8/16 GB internal storage
  • 5 megapixel camera with 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2,070 mAh battery
  • Dimensions of 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm and 143 grams

When you compare the Moto G to the Moto X on Republic Wireless you will see differences in all of the specifications. However, in my daily experiences I did not see a lot of differences in standard usage and performance. Remember, the Moto X is twice the price of the Moto G, yet still offers up a solid smartphone experience.

The Wi-Fi calling works well for those who are not walking along the streets of New York or Seattle trying to use just Wi-Fi for calling. It is perfect for those who want to make lots of calls from home or the office with the occasional call or email check while out and about. I was looking for something solid for my wife to use at home while connected to my strong wi-fi signal provided by my new Asus router. The Motorola G worked well in this scenario, but she wants a phone with a much better camera.

Using the Moto G made me want to pull out and use my Moto X on T-Mobile again. The form factor is absolutely fantastic and it really doesn't get much better in a phone. It feels great in your hand with the curved soft touch back, can easily fit in your front pocket, and has a display that looks great.

Battery life has been excellent with me easily going more than a day between charges. This is likely due to the lower resolution display and use of Wi-Fi for connection to the network, but these are both things you don't see as negatives for the most part.

We recently saw Motorola announce the Moto E as a budget phone. The Moto E comes in at $129, but is available only for GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile) with a very limited 4GB of internal storage capacity. There is a microSD card slot, but that is only for data storage and not used for installing applications.

A Moto G with LTE was also revealed with the Moto E, but that is currently just for GSM carriers and starts at $219.

The Moto G on Republic Wireless is a great low-cost alternative on a carrier that gives you full control over your monthly fees. It is not designed for the high end smartphone user like me who consumes a few GB of data each month, but makes a great first smartphone with no risk to get started since they have a 30-day money back guarantee if it doesn't work out for you.

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