Republic Wireless has done some price cutting. The price of the Sprint MVNO's only phone, the Motorola Defy XT, has been reduced to $199.99 from $249.99 for users on Republic's $19 per month plan. The phone is also available for a subsidized price of $79 plus an extra $10/month for as long as you use the phone. And there's a new $50 per phone add a line discount for users who activate multiple lines of service.
The Defy is getting a bit long in the tooth so a price cut is certainly justified. Plus, back in March, Republic said that it would launch three new phones "this summer". With new phones imminent, it's time to clear out remaining stocks of the old Defy XT. The new phones are supposed to include low, mid and high end models with the top model featuring 4G LTE data!
Republic is a great value. For $19 a month, plus about $5 per month in taxes and fees, you get unlimited calls, unlimited text messages, unlimited data and no extra charge off network voice and text roaming. The low price is made possible by custom firmware on the phone that routes all calls, messages and data over WiFi whenever possible. The technology has some limitations, calls drop and reconnect when you move out of WiFi range, MMS (picture and video messaging) isn't supported and WiFi call quality can be iffy. In addition, customer support is online only. Republic isn't for everyone but the service does have a loyal following among users who are willing to accept its limits in return for the lowest priced unlimited everything service from any carrier.
Although low end and a little old, the Defy XT isn't a bad phone. It's water and dust resistant and has a 3.7" 480x854px Gorilla Glass screen, 5MP main camera with LED flash and auto-focus and a VGA front facing camera for video calls. There's a single core 1Ghz processor, 512MB RAM and 1GB of internal memory. The phone's weakest point is its dated Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Because the OS has been customized to support Republic's hybrid network it's not possible to replace the OS with a different ROM either.