Best BYOP for 5.0 wifi calling and MMS texting without cell coverage

My 4.0 plan Galaxy S7 is past its prime and by June it will be time for 5.0 and new phones. But I have zero cell coverage at home and spend 95% of my time on wifi. Wifi calling and MMS texts from my kids are essential. The RW answer seems to be buy a locked phone from the RW store. The options to BYOP are really a confusing mismatch of TAC codes and do/don’t features that may/might-not work under 5.0. Anyone have a good BYOP phone suggestion?

This is a start…

You have probably already checked, however, the cellular network partner for 5.0 is AT&T rather than either of Republic’s previous network partners (T-Mobile or Sprint). Have you looked at AT&T’s coverage in your area?

So far, the only phone I’m able to use for MMS over WiFi is a phone acquired directly from Republic’s online store. Multiple household bring your own phones are supported for WiFi calling but not MMS over WiFi on 5.0.

To some extent, this is the price to be paid for having the freedom to activate most any phone on Republic’s service. Previous to 5.0, Republic was the gatekeeper on which phones would activate on its service and which would not. With Republic no longer performing a gatekeeping function (something many members asked for in the name of expanding phone choice), it’s now up to members to do their own due diligence when bringing their own phone. Republic does offer a 30-day money back guarantee on 5.0 service.

Generally, for WiFi calling, I’d suggest a Google Pixel series phone. Many Samsungs more recent than your Galaxy S7 would be supported for WiFi calling as well.

For MMS over WiFi, at this time, it’s buy a phone at Republic’s online store or be willing to do without it. Depending upon the phone and messaging app one’s correspondents are using, RCS (a/k/a Google Chat Features) would mitigate against not having MMS over WiFi. RCS works over WiFi on all Androids, so long as all sides of the conversation are using Messages by Google or another RCS capable messaging app. Of course, this doesn’t help if other parties to the conversation are using different apps or if messaging those with iPhones.

@mistermike, while I very much appreciate your enthusiasm if wanting to BYOP, I would suggest you wait. June is not tomorrow and between now and then 5.0 will mature. Some of the things that seem murky today may become more clear with some additional time.

5 Likes