Pixel 5a 5G: How long does it take for Republic to verify "bring your own phone" compatibility?

Hi @nicholaswilde,

As much as I’d like to be able to give you a simple answer about the timing of this project, the timeline is still quite fluid and there are just too many factors that could make our target date shift. I don’t want to end up in a situation where anyone feels like an original target date was published simply to “string members along.”

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@southpaw ,

Thanks for the update. I can certainly understand the conflict there, working in software myself. I would ask for an estimate or date, but could you give us a sense of the amplitude of that outlay (the certification process changes, let alone individual devices being certified after that)? Is it something on the scale of weeks, few months, or perhaps quarters?

Even without any kind of uncertain promises about delivery, knowing the size of the undertaking and range of its projected completion could help folks like myself stuck in limbo make some better informed decisions without making estimates that a fluid schedule can’t promise.

Again, if not I certainly understand, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask and better understand the scope of that undertaking.

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I’m in the same boat as @nathanielj.qdsme5. Just a rough idea would help me make more of an informed decision.

Thanks @nathanielj.qdsme5 for the articulating exactly what I was thinking.

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Hi @nathanielj.qdsme5,

It is a project that requires a significant amount of work, yet has a very high priority. I cannot give you any type of timeline.

I would encourage you to make the decisions you need to make based on what you know, in order to avoid feeling like you are in limbo.

What do you know for certain? (I think I need a flow chart!)

  • Are you currently on the Republic Wireless Annual Payment plan?
    • Yes: Remember that it is non-refundable, so now may not be the time to be studying a shiny new phone that we’re not yet able to support.
    • No: Is your current phone unusable, necessitating an immediate replacement? Is there some other reason you must make a buying decision now?
      • No: Maybe consider waiting to see what news we bring you at a later date
      • Yes: Is a non-supported phone the only phone you can see yourself using for the next couple of years?
        • Yes: You may have activate it elsewhere. We hope you can avoid a contract and watch for an opportunity to return to Republic.
        • No: We still support over 70 phones for BYOP.
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Well, I have an annual plan, but I’m S.O.L. there anyway if I can’t transfer that to a new device, because mine is terminal and in need of replacement in short order, meaning I’ll likely have to get a 4a 5G instead. This was not a question of when unless I thought I could hang in there long enough (which seemed unlikely based on the prior comments), but rather of what I’d be getting when I ultimately have to replace my phone.

The annual plan can be transferred to any compatible device.

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What’s going on with the old phone?

It’s a Moto Z Play whose battery can no longer hold a significant charge. It dies regularly anywhere below 80% power and tops out after only a minute or 2 of charging.

Pretty clear symptoms the battery is toast. The only way I’ve been able to limp along for a while is the moto mod battery that has allowed it to function as if it’s constantly charging as long as the mod can charge it. However, the mod is having trouble staying connected, so It’s still dying often when not plugged in.

Repair would cost 200+ and the phone just isn’t worth that.

How about a replacement Incipio Moto Mod Offgrid Power Pack 2220 mAh Battery to see if that can buy you some time? I have one here that has been needing an owner. It’s brand new, except I actually just opened it because it’s so lightweight I was afraid someone had given me an empty box.

It’s yours, on the house, if you think it would be of use. (I’m not sure from your description if the current mod’s failure to stay connected is the mod’s fault or the phone’s fault.)

Well first of all, thank you for the offer. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the mod that’s faulty actually. I think it’s the contact points on the phone. FWIW it seems they’re still worth about $60 to some folks, so you might try selling yours.

I’m sorry to hear you don’t think it would help. It’s not my moto Mod personally, it’s Republic Wireless overstock inventory that needs a good home.

I guess you’ve tried cleaning the contacts with a soft eraser?

Yeah, I’ve tried cleaning the contacts on both sides, I think it’s physically an issue with the pinhole that’s supposed to keep the mod contacts lined up (fault with my phone or just bad design of the mod hookup, not sure).

Thank you for being honest about what you know is going on with RW. I purchased a Pixel 5a 5G for my elderly father because his Moto X 1st Gen just can’t survive much more than living on the charger without playing possum about 4 hours later.

I am a bit disappointed that Republic Wireless decided to stop device certification entirely while they revamp their internal processes. I understand the need to do so; however it is 2021 and this is 1980’s thinking. Maybe it is not as cut and dry as your comment; however the notion that the entire team is dead stop while they figure out how to improve their certification process is a bit backwards.

Part of my disappointment comes from the awfully rapid adoption of the 4a 5G last year (1 week?) to the “indefinate hold” on certifying the Pixel 5a 5G.

One of the biggest reasons I own a Pixel 3 after having the Moto X 1st gen and Moto X 2nd gen is the uniform Android OS and continued support from Google to their phones. It doesn’t come with a bunch of carrier locked garbage on it; each one of their models cover all the basic functions we need and none of the bloatware that other carriers custom load into the firmware of the devices (I’m looking at you: Verizon, AT&T, and (formerly Sprint)).

It runs the same operating system as the other latest Pixel phones, in fact it uses the same chipset as the Pixel 5 phone; I am having a hard time understanding what is so different hardware wise that its not much more than a copy/paste in the database of allowed devices (I realize its not as simple as that).

Here is some feedback to your team approving devices since they are reworking their process:

  1. Make a partial certification for RW
    a. Makes phone calls on Cell
    b. Makes phone calls on WiFi
    c. Can send and recieve Text/MMS messages (or to make things simple just Text messages since they are literally text!)
  2. Make a full certification for RW
    a. Does all the things from before and whatever bonus stuff that is not included in the core functionality of partial certification

Under partial certification: no official support from RW. Its a your mileage may vary scenario; things are not guaranteed to work except the two basic things cell phones have done for decades.

I was considering getting it setup on Google FI since it has an eSIM (I hope this is on your dev. teams list of “oh yeah we should do that”) and just forwarding the phone and messages to that number temporarily until RW finishes green lighting the Pixel 5a 5G.

However, when I looked into doing this Google’s documentation only talks about activating the eSIM (since it can do both regular SIM card and eSIM simultaneously) only if it currently has service with another carrier. So the RW sim I have installed will not do the trick since I can’t activate it because the RW App says this phone is not compatible. So much for this idea. I really would like to stay with RW but maybe going through the trouble of porting his number to Google FI and then maybe porting it back to RW once its is “approved” is worth the hassle.

Rick.

P.S. If you have a beta test group for the 5a, count me in.

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Hi @rg1,

I’m a huge fan of eSIM and would love to see Republic support it, however, it’s a much harder lift than it might seem. Few providers other than the big 3 and Fi support eSIM. Though it’s an Apple document referencing iPhones, one may see how few linked here: Find wireless carriers that offer eSIM service - Apple Support. Generally, when it comes to eSIM, supporting iPhone is easier than supporting Android.

Have you tried walking through activation with Google Fi on the eSIM without a physical SIM in the phone? Google’s documentation seems to indicate doing so is possible: Set up and manage eSIM - Google Fi Help.

If you decide to go the forward to Google Fi route, this may be of interest: https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005859528-How-to-Enable-Voicemail-Forwarding. The downside would be outbound calls made from the Pixel on Google Fi wouldn’t come from the number folks are accustomed to seeing when your father calls them. If that’s important, it would be necessary to transfer the number to Fi, then presuming Republic ultimately supports the Pixel 5a bring it back.

My apologies to all the members that were misled by my post pointing out the past timeline of release to certification of previous Pixel phones. Pixel phones are so popular… I am disappointed that RW didn’t have a workaround in place for Pixel 5a. I hope whatever this new framework is for device certification, gets put in place quickly :crossed_fingers:

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I appreciate the information that was given. I can understand why no specific timeline is given but it would be super helpful if we could at least know if we are talking weeks or months here.

I want to go to the Pixel 5a (as I am ready to throw my slow Moto X4) through the wall. But if we are talking months I need to get something else or move to another provider (really don’t want to).

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Hi @mikel.n3bq8g and welcome to the Community!

I appreciate your dilemma, however, it seems reasonably clear Republic is not prepared to put a general timeline out there. The problem with publishing even a general timeline is that it might change. What if the intent were weeks but it turned into a month or more? Timelines on these types of things have been known to slip.

For what it’s worth, this transitional dilemma is not unprecedented for Republic. In August of 2016 when launching its then new 3.0 platform, Republic ended up temporarily delaying its then new BYOP option. Having already purchased a then new Moto X Pure for BYOP, needless to say I was disappointed as folks who had purchased a new 3.0 phone from Republic were able to use those phones with Republic while my then new phone sat in its box.

Rather than continue to be frustrated, I decided to activate the then new Moto X Pure with an alternate service provider. I chose an alternate provider that, like Republic, offered prepaid month-to-month service with no contract. When Republic ultimately launched its BYOP option, I chose to bring the Moto X Pure to Republic as I wasn’t particularly satisfied with the alternative provider’s service.

Perhaps, a similar approach might work for you? If you prefer the Pixel 5a to other currently compatible Republic compatible options, you might consider using an alternate month-to-month no contract provider. My understanding is Google Fi is offering 3 months service for free with the Pixel 5a. Should Republic ultimately support the Pixel 5a, you would be able to then come back to Republic if you so chose.

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@rolandh - Yes, I get it (I’ve been in the software business for 30+ years ) and moving to another provider is an option. If they know it going to be at least a couple months I would consider moving. I just don’t want to go through the trouble of moving if there is a chance it might become available in a couple weeks. That’s all, I’m not looking for promises.

Hi @mikel.n3bq8g,

My intent here is for absolutely no one to feel they are being strung along. When multiple departments of multiple corporations have to work together to accomplish a task, there are just far too many opportunities for deadlines to slip. And while you and some of the others on this topic have extensive experience in software and technology, and completely understand how that goes, I’m afraid we have far too many members who think we make business decisions just to make them miserable.

As an example, you absolutely would not believe how many members go through our late-payment process, never see the many (count 'em, many) warning e-mails, and then wake up one morning to find their service has been cut off, and show up in a Help Ticket screaming profanity because we canceled their service line for no reason. Why would a company whose income requires having customers have service just randomly cut off people’s service?! :man_shrugging: It makes no sense at all to think we just poke buttons and cut people’s service off just because we’re bored or something.

(There’s a point here, somewhere…) Oh, yeah, likewise, if I give any kind of date or timeline or hint of a quarter or whiff of an era, someone will come back later and yell profanity at me and say I lied just to make them make a decision they didn’t want to make. :crying_cat_face:

However, I gotta admit you’re making a pretty valid case that by not giving any timeline at all, maybe I’m passively stringing you along, and I don’t want anyone to think that, either.

So I will venture out on a limb and say only that I do not see “a couple of weeks” in my :crystal_ball:

If you must go, and I know having the phone you really want is important, please tell me you’ll look for a competitor who doesn’t lock you in for long, and you’ll watch for the first opportunity to come back. And when you do come back, let me know you’re back! I love welcoming members back!

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Well rats. I read this thread because I’m itching to get my hands on a Pixel 6, and I suppose that its approval will be on hold too.

But, as always, I appreciate your honesty and the amount of communication you are able to give.

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