New Money-Saving Cell Service

Many of us love our smart phones, but oh, those bills!

One told us, "I'd like to choke. It's very high!"

Another said, "My bill? Outrageously high."

Republic Wireless is a new cell-phone service provider that promises an unlimited data plan for just 19 bucks a month.

That means you can talk, text, and e-mail all you want, and surf the Web. Here's the concept behind Republic's money-saving plan.

David Toner with Consumer Reports says, "Republic Wireless makes it easy for you to make calls over Wi-Fi instead of cellular. Ultimately this saves them money, and you money."

But Consumer Reports' tester Dave Toner did find switching back and forth from Wi-Fi to cellular service is a bit tedious. If you're talking to someone, you have to have the person wait while you make a call to switch your service, then you continue the conversation.

Republic currently offers just one phone - the Motorola Defy X-T, an Android smart phone that goes for $259.

That's pricey for a phone that's not top-of-the-line. It's only 3G, so when using cellular service, you won't get the fastest Internet connections. But this smart phone does have acceptable voice quality and a decent camera.

David says, "It's great if you're still carrying around an old flip phone and haven't upgraded because of high data costs. It's also good if you live in an area with spotty cellular coverage, or if you're a college student and have access to a Wi-Fi network all over campus."

If you can live with a fairly basic smart phone and service, Republic can be a real money-saver.

Consumer Reports says that you can use Republic's tactics to save on your cell-phone bill no matter what carrier you use. Switch to Wi-Fi coverage from cellular service when you are at home or the office to avoid going over your plan's allotment of data.

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