Phone questions


#1

Hello, just have a couple of questions about phones. Need to upgrade 3 of my family’s phones (currently have 2 moto x gen one and one moto 3.

Can the newest phones be used on another network later?

I shopped for phones and discovered that only 2 are available on my area. The rest are “not optimized for my area.” Does that mean I can’t use them in my area or that they just won’t work as well? One of these not optimized phones is moto z play which my daughter got last year for Xmas. It is working fine for her. I hesitate to upgrade with only 2 options available.


#2

1st note all new phones nee the new plans (3.0 Clear choice Affordable, No-Contract Cell Phone Plans | Republic Wireless)
the coverage check is looking at wither CDMA or GSM is a better fit if most phones are not currently compatible it means GSM partner (T-Mobile) coverage is not up to par in some way
currently there is a limited selection of CDMA phones due to a new type of SIM that the CDMA partner (Sprint) has moved to and Republic is having issues activating it’s Hybrid VOIP/Cell network with this should increase once this is resolved (target end of the year) once this is done many other phones will be able to be activated on CDMA)
the Moto Z play is a GSM only phone (there is no CDMA radio in it) If it’s coverage is good enough for you then you should be good with any phone you order (though if you would like a CDMA option in the future there are many that will soon be able to be converted)
the table in the following post does list which phones have CDMA radios


#3

I recommend you consult the Sprint and T-Mobile coverage maps to see which carrier works the best for you. The coverage checker results are based on the ZiP code entered. My ZIP returns Sprint coverage but T-Mobile actually works best for me in areas I frequent.

Part of the problem is that at my home I have good WiFi and don’t need cell service. When I’m away from home and need cell service I want T-Mobile. I wanted T-Mobile for the last phone I ordered (granddaughter) and used ZIP 56557 to be sure the phone would arrive with a GSM SIM. It did.


#4

thanks to both of you for helpful advice! So basically I can order whatever phone I want - republic is just making me aware that it probably wont have as good coverage as the optimized phones. I know that t-mobile coverage can be spotty in some areas around town. I think I may take your advice and just sit tight with the phones we have to see if some of the others are improved later.

Do you know if the republic phones are able to be transferred to another network later if we decide to change? We may be moving out of state and dont want to be stuck with new phones that possibly wont work there. Another reason to wait I suppose. I was really hoping to get my son a new phone for christmas but will probably rethink that.


#5

any phone that has a CDMA radio and Republic is able to activated as CDMA can be done so via a Help ticket if currently on GSM


#6

While the Coverage Checker isn’t perfect, I find it as a whole a much better indicator of potential cell coverage in the area than just relying on the maps. I typically would recommend that anyone take all factors into consideration including real-world experience that others have with the underlying cellular carriers in the area you will be using the phone. In my opinion, the maps are best-case scenarios or theoretically based on mathematical calculations.


#7

It depends on the phone in question. All phones sold or supported by Republic are hardware compatible with GSM networks. Some but not all are hardware compatible with CDMA networks. More here: What Phones Are Compatible with CDMA Service? – Republic Help. Additional phones that will eventually be able to be provisioned with CDMA coverage include the Moto E4, Moto E4+, Moto X4, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and Samsung Galaxy 8s.


#8

The newer 3.0 phones you may purchase are unlocked versions and can be transferred to another CDMA or GSM carrier.


#9

My experience is different. Where I’m at Republic has correctly identified that its GSM network partner has better coverage than that of its CDMA network partner. Your experience (which I respect as one data point) isn’t necessarily dispositive everywhere.

Furthermore, coverage maps (including those of the carrier network partners themselves) are by no means accurate everywhere either.

If it were me, while I’d certainly use Republic’s coverage check tool and might glance at the coverage maps, I’d rely most on the opinions of local folks using one or both of those networks.


#10

thanks to everyone for the advice. We tend to keep our phones for as long as we can, so a new purchase is one I will live with for a long time!

My husband is thinking Att would be better for him since he does a fair amount of national travel on business. He may be wanting, at some point, to transfer to them, so would like to get a repubiic phone that he could use on ATT. His moto X gen 1 is really starting to show its age - very lethargic, freezes up a lot, and drains battery quickly. He will really hate to give up his unlimited data for $20 a month though!! I think thats what has kept him using the moto x so long.

Anybody else using a moto x gen one have tips for rejuvenating it? If we could improve our experience on it it would make the wait more bearable.


#11

This coverage matter is very complicated. For example, the T-Mobile coverage in areas where they use Band 12 is superior to their coverage in areas where they don’t because the lower band 12 frequencies penetrate building better. I don’t think either the T-Mobile maps or the coverage checker takes this into consideration.

Another factor is roaming. The T-Mobile native coverage is far more extensive than the Sprint native coverage. T-Mobile roams on many AT & T towers, Sprint roams on many Verizon towers. When I’ve roamed on an AT & T tower my experience has been better than when I’ve roamed on a Verizon tower. Sprint has coverage along most major thoroughfares but mostly roaming coverage in the boondocks. T-Mobile generally has decent native coverage in the boondocks. Since there is no roaming data I would rather be on a 1-bar home signal than a 4-bar roaming signal especially with Google Maps.

Finally, most of my calls on T-Mobile are VoLTE, none of my calls on Sprint were. As a consequence my T-Mobile call quality has been quite a bit better than my Sprint call quality.


#12

@billg
T-mobile has been improving their coverage maps to cover this
they now show the type of signal, the Frequency band and a penetration reference (outside, in vehicle, indoor residential, indoor commercial)
https://maps.t-mobile.com/pcc.html?map=mvno-roamd-34l
image


#13

In areas I frequent where having data is important you can see the striking difference between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Sprint, Gray is roaming


T-Mobile, Gray is roaming


#14

Just the other day I replaced my SO’s Moto X (1st Gen) with a Moto X (2nd Gen). That kept her on the refund plan. The difference in battery life is noticeable and the X2 doesn’t have the optimization bug the X1 sufferes. You could look for a good used X2 on eBay. This one looks good to me.


#15

Lethargy can probably be fixed using one of these three steps

  1. Clear Cache
    Clearing the Cache – Republic Help

  2. Run in Safe Mode to see if it is caused by an app
    Safe Mode – Republic Help

  3. Factory Reset
    Factory Reset – Republic Help

Battery drain is most likely a battery age issue and that one doesn’t have any easy remedies.
Depending on how much longer you intend to use the phone…you could consider getting the battery replaced.

When I upgraded my X1 to Lollipop… my phone was extremely lethargic due to an issue with the Dunkin Donut app…which kept interfering with my WiFi as well. Getting rid of the app improved the performance but battery life was an on-going issue that progressively got worse.


#16

The comparison chart is great!! Really helpful to see all the information together like that.

So when rw gets the cdma issue resolved does that mean if I have one of the phones with both gsm and cdma radios my phone will be able to go back and forth between TMobile and Sprint depending on where I travel?


#17

Hi @kristinhf,

I’m afraid not. The phone is provisioned with one cellular network partner or the other. Switching from one to the other requires changing the SIM card. There is no on-the-fly Google Fi like switching.


#18

Thanks, I figured it sounded to good to be true. Maybe someday…


#19

I’ve been going through this post and I have a few questions.

rolandh made it clear that even if/when RW gets the CDMA issue resolved, RW phones would not be able to go back and forth between T-Mobile and Sprint. So even if this issue between RW and CDMA is “temporary,” and will be fixed this month, why is it a big deal (that it would be fixed) when the phones wouldn’t access the Sprint network anyway?

But billg said: I recommend you consult the Sprint and T-Mobile coverage maps to see which carrier works the best for you. The coverage checker results are based on the ZiP code entered. My ZIP returns Sprint coverage but T-Mobile actually works best for me in areas I frequent.

First, how does the coverage map differentiate between Sprint and T-Mobile? Second, if the phones can’t switch back and forth between the two networks, how can a RW subscriber basically choose the better carrier? Isn’t your network determined by the RW phone you get? And third, if Sprint is best for me, how can I be assured I get a phone that connects to Sprint and not TMobile?

The fact that in the phone’s specs it says “CDMA temporarily unavailable,” doesn’t say much because no one knows what that means, assuming they even noticed that. And besides, even if CDMA was available, along with GSM, how would you know which carrier the phone would use since it can’t switch back and forth?

On the Coverage page, it says, “We utilize two of the largest nationwide networks…” But, unless I’m missing something, since the phones can’t “utilize” both T-Mobile and Sprint, isn’t that misleading? You get one or the other.

Regarding that coverage map that billg posted - if the phone you get is 4GLTE 2100 (how would we find out?) and the house icon is white in a specific area, and not green, but it’s green on 4G LTE 1900, does that mean you won’t get a signal inside a home but would have if you have a 4GLTE 1900 phone? Or are all those different 4, 3 and 2G LTE’s bands are bands that phones automatically switch to? So if a 2100 house is “white” it can switch to “green” (house) in one of the other bands automatically?

Sorry about all these questions, but I am considering RW in the event I have to buy a phone and switch carriers and want to fully understand this before I make any decisions.

Thank you.


#20

Because a number of people don’t have coverage with the GSM carrier so that they have a limited selection of phones. Expanding the ability of activating the phones to the CDMA partner expands the selection of phones for people in CDMA only areas.

Sprint Map: Coverage Check | Republic Wireless
GSM Map: Coverage Check | Republic Wireless

Exactly the same way you would choose if you were buying coverage with any other carrier.

Many and soon most phones will be able to be used with either partner

If the network you get doesn’t work for you, and your phone is compatible with the other network, you can ask support to switch you.

I agree. Republic DOES utilize two of the largest nationwide networks, just not on the same phone at the same time. That being said, I don’t like the language either.

Worrying about this is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. If you were buying service from Sprint or AT&T would you be trying to figure out LTE bands? Of course not, and you shouldn’t here either. My more geek inclined fellow members forget that sometimes.