Member Since: Since the days when the Refund plan was the only plan.
Phone: Samsung Galaxy A12
Plan: My Choice 1GB
Put Review Here:
As stated above, I have been a Republic Wireless user for a long time. While there have been occasional issues, I have overall been happy with the service.
Until recently, my wife and I have used Motorola phones, mostly because they were the cheaper options available through Republic Wireless. Our most recent phones were both Motorola G5s, which we were mostly happy with. Until the last 6 months or so, when we started having significant reception issues. This did not appear to have anything to do with our Republic Wireless service, but with the phone itself. Wi-Fi reception, Cell reception, GPS reception - all began to work only if we didn’t have a case on either phone.
We had experienced similar hardware breakdown with our previous Motorola phones also, so this time we decided to try Samsung phones. I have heard that Samsung phones are well regarded and generally reliable. Having just switched to a Samsung phone for the first time, I cannot yet comment on the reliability of these phones.
However, when compared with a Motorola phones for user-friendliness, the Samsung phones leave a lot to be desired. Nearly every feature my wife or I use on our phones requires double the taps/swipes that were required on a Motorola phone to achieve the same goal. In almost every case, we had to search online to find how to even perform basic actions, and in almost every case the Samsung phone deviated from the Android “normal” actions where the Motorola followed the standard.
Flashlight: Motorola phones follow the Android standard of the ‘axe chop’ shaking the phone to turn on/off the flashlight. Samsung does not support this and instead requires you to unlock the phone, go to settings, and tap an icon there to turn the flashlight on/off. Sure there is an option to add this button to the Lock window, but only at the expense of the Call or Camera icons.
FM Radio: The Motorola comes with a FM radio app. Samsung supports FM radio, but does not come with an app.
Text Messaging: Motorola ships with the standard Google Messages app for text messaging. Samsung wants you to use a custom text messaging app, which is not compatible with Republic Wireless. It must be uninstalled and replaced with the standard Google Messages to be compatible with Republic Wireless.
Calendar: Motorola ships with the standard Google Calendar app. Samsung wants you to use their custom Calendar app, which offers only month or year views of your calendar. Where the Google app offers Schedule, 1-Day, 3-Day, Week, and Month.
Screen Sensitivity: Not sure about the Motorola because it worked fine in the first place. The Samsung A12 comes with sensitivity turned way down (probably to preserve battery life). It works fine unless you want to use a screen protector, which makes the phone unresponsive except to “firm” taps and swipes. Fortunately, the screen sensitivity is a setting that can be adjusted. Unfortunately, the control to adjust the sensitivity is only available if you change the app-control-bar to swipe-only mode. Once you’ve changed the screen sensitivity, you can restore the control-bar to three-button mode.
Screen Timeout: Not sure what the original Motorola setting was, but the Samsung A12 comes with a 15-second timeout for the display. This is just about enough time to look away from the screen before it locks again. Probably also done to advertise a longer battery life.
Using the Phone: On the Motorola, the Phone App defaulted to showing your most frequent contacts, with an option to switch to the keypad. The Samsung defaults to the Keypad, with choices for Recent and Contacts at the bottom. If you normally call the same people, this add a tap.
Voicemail: On the Motorola, you could see a list of voicemails from the Phone app. Tap on one and it goes to a playback page and immediately starts playing the voicemail for you. On the Samsung… wait… it’s here somewhere… the voicemails are intermixed with the other recent (outgoing and incoming) call history. Choosing a voicemail entry shows… options to call/text/video back to the caller, but no option to listen to the voicemail. There is also a link to the caller’s Contact page, which also shows that there is a voicemail. This time there are two “recording” icons - one on the left and on the right. Tapping anywhere on the voicemail other than the right icon will open a Contact-specific call history which shows the voicemail but does not allow listening to it. Returning to the Contact page, the recording icon on the right side of each voicemail can be tapped to open… a set of playback controls. Finally you can tap (once more) on the Play icon to actually hear the voicemail.