How did activation go? Any problems?
Activation was pretty smooth. As part of the first-time setup, I opted to copy everything from my old phone using the supplied USB cable. This process was relatively easy, but it took me a few minutes to get the process started. For some reason, after connecting the USB cable, I had to disable the feature to charge the other device. Once that was disabled, the process started and completed without issue. This process automatically installed the Republic Wireless app as well. I eventually noticed a notification indicating that my phone needed to be restarted for the activation process to be complete. After the restart, I was able to make/receive calls without issue.
Are calling and texting working as intended on both Wi-Fi and cell?
Calls were placed and received on both cellular and Wi-Fi without issue. I was also able to manually switch from cellular to Wi-Fi and vice versa. I cannot speak for texting though, as I use Google Voice for that.
How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
The phone is performing well. My previous phone was a Google Pixel 2 XL, which has a faster CPU, but it also has less memory. To be honest, if the battery on my Pixel 2 XL were in better shape, I would continue to use that phone. The Pixel 4a 5G seems like a good mid-range phone though. I was always running out of memory on the Pixel 2 XL, so the extra memory on the Pixel 4a 5G seems to improve day-to-day multitasking.
What do you think of the cameras? (If you have photos you’d be willing to share, let me know and I’ll create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category.
The camera seems a bit better than the Pixel 2 XL, especially for photos in the dark. Photos taken in the dark take several seconds to process though, which I’ve read is just to be expected of the mid-range CPU. I’ll have to take more photos to get a better feel for how it handles though. I’d be willing to share some photos.
Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
I’ll update my post when I’ve had an opportunity to test the Bluetooth.
Have you tried any biometrics security feature? Is it consistent?
Yes, I’ve been using the fingerprint reader and it works just as well as the Pixel 2 XL.
Any other thoughts you might want to share?
The only quirky thing about the phone is the way it handles the traditional home, back, and overview/recent apps. There’s no longer a dedicated physical or on-screen button for those. You have to use gestures. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though.
Edit: Looks like you can change the system navigation from “gesture” to “3-button” under settings.
Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone on Republic’s service?
So far, so good. I haven’t noticed any issues at all. I’ll keep using it and report back with any updates though.