Phone suggestions for a nonprofit

My wife’s nonprofit organization has three RW lines and 3 phones: Moto e, Moto E5 Play, Moto e6

We need to replace the E5 Play as it’s old and does not get good service in parts of our state (Maine). I’m thinking I might replace the other two, just to keep everything aligned and make my life simpler (I’m the “IT guy”).

Our budget is $200/phone. The needs are basic – calling and texting. The plans don’t even have data.

Suggestions? I have the Moto G Play 2021 and I’ve been generally happy with that, except for the latest debacle with the phone app and visual voicemail. So maybe one of the low-end Samsungs?

I think for that budget, the G Play 2021 is your best bet. You may also explore the used phone route and get one of the Google Pixel line phones.

I am sure you are aware of it, but the Moto e will be affected by the impending Sprint 3G shutdown. So, you will need to upgrade that one soon.

I am curious why the E5 Play and E6 are giving different service experience.
I am wondering if they have different types of sim card

If the E6 has a CDMA Sim card then that will factor into how you go about setting up your replacement phones. If you order the phones from RW then they will likely come with CDMA Sim cards, otherwise you might need to request them using the steps here

There are workarounds for the visual voicemail issue, however, if you want to avoid it altogether, a Samsung phone is an option. From a hardware perspective, Samsung phones are every bit as robust as price equivalent Motorola or Pixel phones. The thing some folks coming from a Moto find challenging is getting used to Samsung’s user interface.

The Moto E5 play is a GSM only phone, so I would suppose the Moto E6 is on CDMA.

@johng.6r5jad, since some but not all Samsung phones compatible with Republic are also GSM only, if you’re willing to do so, sharing the zip code for your part of Maine would allow us to assess Republic’s coverage options for you.

The difference we’ve noticed is between the E5 Play and the G play. There seem to be areas, particularly along the midcoast of Maine, where we get reception with the G play but not the E5 play.

Our zip codes are 04072 and 04101 (southern Maine)

Good Morning @johng.6r5jad,

Please allow me to provide some context. Republic phones are provisioned for coverage with one of two cellular network partners. Republic GSM coverage is provided by T-Mobile’s network. Republic CDMA coverage is provided by Sprint’s legacy network. Though T-Mobile, as a result of its acquisition of Sprint, now owns both networks, the networks themselves currently remain separate.

The Moto E5 play is provisioned for GSM (T-Mobile network) coverage. It cannot be provisioned with CDMA (legacy Sprint network) coverage because the Moto E5 play is hardware incompatible with CDMA networks.

The older Moto E (presuming it’s a 1st or 2nd generation model) is only compatible with CDMA networks and, therefore, is using Sprint’s legacy network.

The 2021 Moto G play is hardware compatible with either network. To confirm which network it is using, please let us know by following the steps described by Republic here:

GSM (T-Mobile network) coverage in both of the zip codes you were kind enough to provide has its weak spots. Particularly, if you notice better coverage on the 2021 Moto G play as opposed to the Moto E5 play, it’s likely the 2021 Moto G play is using CDMA (legacy Sprint network) coverage. All that said, I’d very much like to confirm my supposition is correct as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

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Hey, thanks for this explanation. I checked the SIM status for my G play 2021 and also the E5 – they both just says “Republic” and under network type is says LTE.

I’m confused about your information for the E5 – is it GSM or CDMA?

The E5 play is GSM because it is a GSM network only phone.

It sounds like you’re looking in Android settings. You won’t find the SIM type there. The guidance from Republic I linked earlier is for using the Republic app to find the SIM type. Please try the following:

  1. Open the Republic App
  2. Tap the gear icon upper right
  3. Tap About
  4. Under the Phone Info section, your phone’s SIM type will be listed (GSM or CDMA)
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Ah, sorry. The MotoG 2021 is GSM as well.

Hi @johng.6r5jad,

Candidly, not the answer I was expecting, however, there is still a logical explanation. As a newer phone, the 2021 Moto G Power supports more of T-Mobile’s bands (radio frequencies) than the Moto E5 play. Specifically, Band 12 (700 MGHz) and/or Band 71 (600 MGHz). Technical gibberish aside, it simply means the newer phone gets better reception from the same cell towers.

That makes sense. Bottom line, I just want to make sure that when we replace the older E5 that we do it with a phone that gets better reception in those parts of the state. Thanks for your help deciphering the mystery.

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