I’ve been noticing a lot of posts in the community, and other forums, about folks that purchase phones that they believe are compatible with Republic, but it turns out they aren’t. In most cases, it is because the manufacturer makes multiple versions of the same phone, but only one of those versions is compatible with Republic.
I should note, if you already have the phone, the easiest way to check is to download the Republic Wireless App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.republicwireless.tel) and open it. It will quickly let you know if your phone is compatible. That obviously doesn’t work is you’re still shopping. Tips for that situation are below. If a phone below isn’t sold by Republic, but is sold by reliable 3rd party with some stability to their inventory, I may include a link below.
First, here is the list of supported phones: Republic Wireless Phones – Republic Help and Republic’s official advice on checking if a phone is compatible: How to Confirm a Phone You Have or Will Purchase Is Compatible with Republic Wireless – Republic Help To be clear, ONLY the specific phone models on the list will work with Republic. “Similar” models will not work.
Troublesome Models Addressed in this post:
Moto Zs (all generations)
Samsung Galaxy A10e / A20 / A50
Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10 and Note 8, Note 9, and Note 10
An Important Note about Samsung Devices
Google Nexus 6
Google Pixel / Pixel XL
Google Pixel 3a / Pixel 3a XL
Moto G7 Power
Moto G6 Play
Moto E5 Play
Moto E4 / E4+
A General Moto Warning
Moto Zs (all generations)
Here, we have the case of the manufacturer reusing the model number of a phone of multiple versions of the phone. Motorola has reused their model numbers for the North America Unlocked Version, the Brazilian version, the Indian version and the International Dual SIM version of their phones. ONLY the North America Unlocked version will work with Republic. There are some things you can check to verify if it is the North America Unlocked version: First, does the SKU include “NARTL”? If so, it is the compatible version. Also, on the phone itself, does the phone have dual SIMs? If yes, then it won’t work. Finally, if you have the phone, you can check the Settings – About Phone – System Version and look for
"en.US" there for the correct version, or check the “Software Channel” and be sure it indicates “retus” or “amzn”, any other software channel is not compatible. Best Buy has the compatible version of the Moto Z3 Play and Certified Refurbished Z3 Play
Samsung Galaxy A10e / A20 / A50It appears that although the Republic's current documentation indicating models that end in "XAG" are the compatible model, the traditional factory unlocked model indicator "XAA" will also work. Note, that in either case, on the phones themselves, the model MUST end with "U1".
Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge
The unlocked versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are easier to find. Their model numbers (SM-G930U and SM-G935U) are only applicable to the unlocked versions. That being said, there are a number of unscrupulous sellers on eBay and Amazon selling phones that are NOT the “U” version of the phone, but labeling them as such. These sellers are buying carrier branded phones, reflashing them, and selling them as the “U” version. While these models may or may not activate with Republic, they have incompatibilities that will limit your coverage and provide an inferior user experience. There is generally one way to tell that the phone you’re looking at is one of these “frankenphones”. In the listing, does the seller mention that the phone will only work with GSM carriers? Or that it doesn’t work with Sprint or Verizon? If that’s the case, you should skip that phone, as it isn’t the factory unlocked version.
Samsung Galaxy S6
It is quite honestly nearly impossible to get a compatible S6 used. When Samsung released the unlocked Galaxy S6, they used the same model number (SM-G920T) as the T-Mobile version of the phone. However, the T-Mobile version, won’t work with Republic. In addition, Samsung sold very few unlocked versions of these phones, so nearly every SM-G920T that you’ll find used, won’t work with Republic. The only way to tell if the phone you’re looking at will work with Republic is to check the actual Android build of the phone or to verify the SKU, instead of the Model. The compatible SKU is SM-G920TZKAXAR and you can find the supported builds In the Compatible Phones document.
Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10, Note 8, Note 9 & Note 10
Here, we have an issue with Samsung creating a new, and confusing model number scheme. Depending whether you are looking on the phone itself, or you’re looking at the box, or the longer SKU listed on websites, you’re looking for two different things.
On the phone: The model number listed MUST be SM-G950U1, SM-G955U1, SM-N950U1, SM-N960U1, SM-G960U1, SM-G965U1, SM-G970U1, SM-G973U1, SM-G975U1, SM-N970U1 or SM-N975U1. The “1” is very important. Unlike previous Samsung phones, the plain “U” version is NOT factory unlocked, and therefore NOT compatible with Republic.
On the box or websites: In this case the SKU must start with SMG950U, SMG955U, SMN950U, SMG960U, SMN960U, SMG965U, SMG970U, SMG973U, SMG975U, SMN970U or SMN975U and MUST end with XAA (other than the exception below). The letters in between don’t matter, as they simply indicate color and capacity. To add further confusion, it appears that some retailers are using an entirely different SKU when selling the unlocked version. I’ve confirmed that at least Best buy and ABT Electronics have placed a sticker on the boxes that they sell that shows SMG950u1Z?AX, SMG955u1?AX, SMN950u1?AX, SMG960u1?AX, SMN960u1?AX, SMG965u1?AX, SMG970u1Z?AX and SMG970u1Z?AX and SMG975u1Z?AX as the SKUs for the US unlocked versions. Please note the “?” mark can be replaced with any letter as this letter indicates only color. These SKUs will work as they are the US Unlocked versions. Best Buy does currently have the compatible Galaxy S10 available: Galaxy S10 at Best Buy
Please note: That being said, there are a number of unscrupulous sellers on eBay and Amazon selling phones that are NOT the “U1” version of the phone, but labeling them as such. These sellers are buying carrier branded phones, reflashing them, and selling them as the “U1” or “XAA” version. While these models may or may not activate with Republic, they have incompatibilities that will limit your coverage and provide an inferior user experience. There is generally one way to tell that the phone you’re looking at is one of these “frankenphones”. In the listing, does the seller mention that the phone will only work with GSM carriers? Or that it doesn’t work with Sprint or Verizon? If that’s the case, you should skip that phone, as it isn’t the factory unlocked version.
Samsung J3/J7Samsung makes what seems like a million versions of these phones. The model numbers that works with Republic are very specific and are, when sold or advertised, just called the J3 or J7. Any J3 or J7 with another part to the name, such as the J7 TOP, J3 Luna, or J3 Star or J3 Achieve are NOT compatible with Republic even if the seller is claiming the model number matches.
An Important Note about Samsung DevicesAs the most popular Android devices in the world Samsung phones are the playground of folks from skilled technical users to scammers. These folks may modify phones in a way that causes the phone to show the right model number, but then you find that the phone isn't compatible when installing the Republic App. Because of the possibility of these modifications, there is unfortunately only one real way to check a Samsung and that's to look on the back of the phone where the model number is usually etched in to the glass back, or printed under a removable back. If you run in to a problem where a phone appears to be compatible is reporting that it isn't, the support team will ask for a picture of this information on the phone.
Once again, we have a case of sellers selling phones with a model number that looks compatible (XT1103) and then saying that the phone doesn’t work with CDMA carriers. This either means that the phone is the international version, reflashed to look like the North America Unlocked version or that the phone is blacklisted with the CDMA carriers because of unpaid bills or something similar. In either case, the phones are to be avoided (and I would recommend, so is the seller). While the phone MAY activate with Republic, if issues arise, Republic will be unable to assist in working to improve the coverage or troubleshoot.
Google Pixel / Pixel XL / Pixel 2 / Pixel 2XL / Pixel 3 / Pixel 3XL
Recently, I’ve seen a number of listings on eBay for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL that advertise themselves as the Unlocked Verizon version of the phone. While the Verizon version of the Pixel is compatible with Republic (as Google doesn’t allow Verizon to modify the software on the phone), a number of these listings state “Will not activate with Sprint”. In these cases the phones are equivalent to the “frankenphones” I’ve described above in the S7 section. These phones may activate with Republic, and work on the GSM carrier partner, but in case of coverage issues will never be able to be activated with the the CDMA partner (Sprint). I would advise that these phones be avoided if you’re seeking service with Republic. At Best Buy you can find the compatible Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL.
Google Pixel 3a / Pixel 3a XLThe Google Pixel 3a is listed on the Republic Site as model: G020G and the Pixel 3a XL as model: G020C While this is Google's official model number, the phones are being sold by a number of retailers using other model numbers. At Best Buy, B&H and Walmart you'll find the compatible version listed as follows: Pixel 3a: GA00655-US, GA00656-US, or GA00657-US and Pixel 3a XL: GA00664-US, GA00665-US or GA00666-US Despite the way they're listed, all will work with Republic.
This one is fairly simple. Some retailers use the Model Number, XT1900-1. When they use this things are easy, because it matches the Republic documentation. Some other retailers are instead using the MPN (Manufacturer’s Part Number). In this case, they phone will be listed as PA8S0006US, PA8S0007US, PA8S0017US, PA8S0019US, PA8S0021US or PA8S0024US. These are the same phone, and no matter which way it is listed, it will work with Republic.
The Motorola Model number for the Moto G7 is XT1962-1. In some cases, you may find the phone advertised by its part number. In this case, the phone will be listed as PAE00002US, PAE00004US, or PAE00009US . These are both the same phone, just different colors. Both are compatible with Republic. While out of stock at Republic they do still appear to be in stock at Best Buy: Moto G7 at Best Buy
Moto G7 PowerThe only Moto G7 Power that will work with Republic is the XT1955-5. Please note that the correct version of the phone does NOT come in 64GB. Anyone that you might see on Amazon or eBay that has 64GB was meant for sale only outside the US and will NOT work on Republic. You can find the compatible version at Best Buy: Moto G7 Power at Best Buy
Moto G6Once again, we have the fun on multiple model numbers. The Motorola Model number is XT1925-6. In some cases you may see the phone advertised by its part number. In this case, the phone will be listed as PAAE0000US, PAAE0002US, PAAE0007US, PAAE0008US, or PAAE0009US. These are the same phone (differences may be Amazon Prime Exclusive version and/or color) and no matter which way it is listed, it will work with Republic.
Moto G6 PlayUnfortunately Motorola has user the same Model number XT1922-9 for both the Factory Unlocked and AT&T version of the phones. The AT&T version even if unlocked, can NOT be used with Republic. It appears that listing for the AT&T version will indicate the phone can NOT be used with Sprint, Verizon or CDMA Carriers or will say "GSM Unlocked". The "real" factory unlocked version works with all major carriers. You can also check on the phone at Settings -- About Phone -- Software Channel and make sure that it says RETUS and **NOT** ATT.
I’ve recently begun seeing eBay and Amazon sellers advertising phones as the XT1687 or 01110NARTL or as “Unlocked” and saying it works with all carriers. However, that’s not what they’re selling. They’re generally Mexican versions (software channel AMXLA) which means they are incompatible with Republic. This creates an unfortunate situation where the only way to tell if the phone is the US FACTORY Unlocked version is to check the software channel on the phone and be sure it is RETUS or AMZ.
While we’ve yet to see specific problems with the Moto E6, many of the online listing do not include the model number of the phone. Of the major retailers I’ve only found the compatible version at B&H here.
Moto E5 Play
Thanks again to Motorola for using the same model number (XT1921-2) for multiple versions. For instance, the Cricket version carries the same model number, but won’t work with Republic. So, once again, you can only be sure a 3rd party purchase E5 Play will work with Republic by checking the Software Channel and verifying that it is “RETUS” or “AMZN”.
Moto E4 and E4+
We once again here run in to the combination of Motorola using the same model for multiple version of the phone and unscrupulous eBay sellers. In this case, the Consumer Cellular versions of the E4 and E4 plus carry the same model numbers as the Unlocked version (XT1768 / XT1775). It appears the CC version of the phone didn’t sell well and inventory of these phones has been dumped in bulk. Unscrupulous sellers are buying these in bulk, unlocking them (they’re locked to CC when sold new) and selling them on eBay as factory unlocked. They are not factory unlocked, and won’t work with Republic. Unfortunately, the only way to tell is to look at the “Software Channel” under Settings – About Phone. The US factory unlocked channel is “retus” and the Amazon Prime Channel is “amzn”. Both these will work with Republic. Any other software channel will not.
A General Moto WarningI've just recently seen a new issue, that I haven't seen before with Moto Phones for sale on eBay. Sellers are taking non-US versions of phones and flashing the US firmware on them. When you look at the phone it appears to be a compatible model (such as Moto G4+) appears to be a compatible software channel (retus) and even appears to be a compatible build however the actual hardware model is incorrect and the phone won't activate with Republic. The only way to be sure this isn't happening is to make sure you've checked the model number against https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005789107-Republic-Wireless-Phones
I’ll update as more troublesome models appear.