Reuse a Republic Wireless Defy XT

I’ve just been cleaning out the attic and found an older Republic Wireless Defy XT that is still pretty snappy. What’s the best way to unlock/root or in some other manner reuse the device as a wifi only device for my 8 year old daughter?


Hi @mukunds

I never got around to rooting my Defy XT’s before they stopped working but here is a link to some helpful info from others who have rooted theirs:


@mukunds & @johnny5,
I assume that the goal is a WiFi only table? Is it really necessary considering that it has all the necessary elements of a tablet as is. My 1st Republic phone was a Defy XT, but I have long forgotten what I may have known at the time.

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Thanks @jben. Your right - I might be overthinking this.
The problems that I’d like to fix on my reset phone are

  1. Install apps (whatsapp, facebook messenger for kids) from the play store. Currently the Play Store says “Server error - Retry”. I’ve confirmed it is not the network connection (browser works) and I’ve cleared all the caches for Google Play, Google services and the browser.
  2. Remove The big red X with “Republic not provisioned” in the status bar
  3. Upgrade the android version from 2.3.7 to alteast 4.x

I can live with 2 and 3 if 1 is successful.

Hi @mukunds,

The DEFY XT precedes my time as a Republic member, so I’m generally not the DEFY expert. That said:

Please see the solution from my friends at the Republic Wireless Wiki (an effort from fellow Republic members not Republic itself):

I’ll have to defer to someone else on this.

I do not believe this would be possible short of rooting and maybe not then.

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I don’t think you’re going to have any luck with number 1, which is a result of not being able to do number 3. Gingerbread was left for dead by Google Play Services. I don’t recall any custom ROMs being distributed for the Defy XT (Republic Wireless version).

Actually, I believe fixing number 1 is the first solution offered in the Republic Wireless Wiki article I linked. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That may get the Google Play store operating, but I believe the two apps the OP mentioned require Android 4 and up.

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Thanks for the quick responses. I had great luck with the Republic Wireless wiki suggestion and their Play store APK. So I’m all set with that - thanks @RolandH!

For whatsapp I think i either need to upgrade to Android 4.x or find an older version of Whatsapp that’s compatible with my Android 2.1. I’m working through the latter approach for now.
Thanks again!

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Good luck, but:

“Specifically, as of February 1, 2020, WhatsApp will no longer support devices running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older. After February 1, users will no longer be able to create new accounts or reverify existing accounts on these older Android versions.”


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