Author Topic: Cost of Phone Ownership  (Read 3572 times)

Seradoc

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Cost of Phone Ownership
« on: March 14, 2018, 01:04:44 PM »
Anther thread prompted me to evaluate my cost of phone ownership since switching to Republic Wireless.

Our monthly cost of phone ownership (phone purchases, monthly service, taxes, fees) is $18.26/month per person for the last 5.25 years.

How are you clocking in?

RWD

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2018, 01:37:37 PM »
Wow, that's quite low! We're at $38.60 per month per person for 2012-2017 (six years of data).

ketchup

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 02:17:27 PM »
We're at $39.62 per person-month average all-in now (going back to November 2011 when I bought my first smartphone on eBay for $60).  Now GF and I are on swanky iPhone 7s with unlimited plans.  How we have fallen.

Just Joe

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 03:39:40 PM »
I run an Asus that I bought new outright (~$320). Tracphone plan costs me about $10 per month. Have heard other people here talk about Tello which might be even cheaper.

DW uses an iPhone 7 (8?) she bought outright and it runs her about $30 per month on Cricket (unlimited everything I think).

Eldest child does the same thing as DW with an iPhone one generation older.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 03:43:01 PM by Just Joe »

PC2K

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 07:41:20 AM »
Ä20 a month, have a Moto G3+ (2.5 years old). Previous smartphone lasted 5.5 years.

(I do think that upgrading a phone more often can be ok; especially as i keep finding good useful apps. )

andkar

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 09:58:22 AM »
Well, I purchased a Nokia 3210 early in 2000. At the time, before the collapse of the IT industry, the providers where throwing subsciptions at you. The phone alone cost som 2500 Swedish Krona (~300 USD) at the time, but with a plan I paid 95 SEK / month for 24 months, or less than the price of the phone alone. The minutes rolled over each month, and after the two years were up I had enough left to talk for free for another year.

Then I got my current job where I could use my appointed device for personal use. Now I've got less than two months until FIRE and I've moved this number I've been using for 15 years to my own subscription and have payed my first phone bill since 2002, 190 SEK or ~23 USD.

So, in 18 years I've paid 95*24+190 = 2470 SEK, the monthly average comes out to  11.44 SEK / month or about $1.40.

It's alright :) A bit higher than I expected though.

Oh, and I get to keep the phones. Got a few Samsung and Nexus 5 lying around.

Also, since 2012 I've used the phone as hotspot, not paying for internet.

CCCA

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 11:37:08 AM »
In our household, we have 2 $150 used iPhones and spend about $7-8/month/person for tracfone wireless pay as you go plan which gives about 60 min/60sms/250mb data.  I've always been on a <$10 per month for plans (always pay as you go on MVNOs) since about 2003, wife switch to an MVNO after getting a smartphone in 2009 or so. 


We haven't kept phones all that long (maybe 2-3 yrs at a time), partly because we buy them used on eBay and then sell them and trade up on eBay.   The iPhones keep their value so well that the cost is minimal (maybe $25-35/yr for phones per person net costs).

Rubic

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 06:20:50 PM »
Another Republic Wireless user here.  My company paid for the Moto-G phone,
still running strong after 3 years.  Total cost is $13-14 per month, including taxes.

Considering Google Project FI when the Moto-G finally dies.


step_away

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 07:33:05 AM »
Haven't paid a cellphone bill other than the recent acquisition of a Huawei Mate 10 pro for $650 net which supposed to replace my work cellphone (when I retire in May/June this year), tablet and camera.  I don't expect to have an ongoing cellphone bill with my current set up of Google voice# along with the free data from Freedompop.

ETA: The phone now cost $550 following the $100 refund using the credit card price protection benefit. 

ETA: The phone cost is further reduced to $400 with additional claim for price reduction and error in claim processing.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 02:22:41 AM by step_away »

Gerard

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 12:46:01 PM »
Canadian here. I use my phone very rarely, so I bought a dumb phone from 7-11 and got their pay as you go speakout plan. The minutes roll over as long as you top up at least once a year. The minimum top-up is $25. So I guess my phone costs me $2.09 a month?

cantgrowone

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 12:57:13 PM »
Tracphone plan costs me about $10 per month.

Where do I access the $10 Tracphone smartphone plan? They only have a $15 on their website.

I currently pay $25/month.

CCCA

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 10:56:03 PM »
Tracphone plan costs me about $10 per month.

Where do I access the $10 Tracphone smartphone plan? They only have a $15 on their website.

I currently pay $25/month.


I don't use the smartphone plans but their pay as you go plans. 
https://get.tracfone.com/smartphone-plans/


if you scroll half way down the page you'll see the plan I get ($19.99 for 90 days of service, or $6.66 per month).  This is pay as you go plan that gives you 180 min/180 texts/180 MB of data, which wroks out to be 60 of each per month.  You can double those amounts with the $30 ($10/month) "plan".


I don't talk or text much on my phone (I have an iPhone so iMessage with other iPhone users uses data and not SMS).  I do run out of data and just buy data cards $10/GB.   Unused minutes/sms/data carries over when you recharge after 90 days with new card (or sign up with Autopay).  They have sim cards that work with AT&T network or Verizon network so coverage is good and you can use lots of different phones.

Just Joe

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 10:27:55 AM »
Thanks CCA. Yes, at the bottom of the page there is a $9.99 refill. Looks like the $19.99 refill is the better plan and let it ride for 90 days. I'll do that next time.

CCCA

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2018, 01:54:41 PM »
Thanks CCA. Yes, at the bottom of the page there is a $9.99 refill. Looks like the $19.99 refill is the better plan and let it ride for 90 days. I'll do that next time.


Yeah, it's the cheapest per month of any plan that I've seen across MVNOs that use AT&T or Verizon and have low data rates (1c/MB).  I probably only talk on my phone about 10-20 min/month and maybe use 10 texts per month.  But because they roll-over, I've got a huge pile of minutes in case of emergency (I could talk for 8 hours if I need to).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 01:20:00 AM »
Around A$30-35 per month on average for phone service.

My current phone was A$300 used and I'm planning to get two years from it.

So, maybe $45 a month? Maybe $50 a month if I account for needing to replace a case or screen protector every so often, or a new charging cable.

Just Joe

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 12:49:31 PM »
Thanks CCA. Yes, at the bottom of the page there is a $9.99 refill. Looks like the $19.99 refill is the better plan and let it ride for 90 days. I'll do that next time.


Yeah, it's the cheapest per month of any plan that I've seen across MVNOs that use AT&T or Verizon and have low data rates (1c/MB).  I probably only talk on my phone about 10-20 min/month and maybe use 10 texts per month.  But because they roll-over, I've got a huge pile of minutes in case of emergency (I could talk for 8 hours if I need to).

Your usage is similar to mine. I have many months of rolled over service too.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2018, 10:56:39 PM »
My LG Tribute HD smartphone cost me $20 over a year ago on Black Friday, and I'm using Tello PAYG "pay as you go" cell service.  I'm still on my original $5 credit (with free $10 bonus credit) from over a year ago... in Feb 2017.   So, that about 38 cents per month so far.  And it will almost certainly drop further from there because I still have plenty of credit left.

If I FIRE and travel more in the next year or so, I'll probably have to move to at least a $12/mo plan to get a GB of data.  For now, I get by with very little data usage because I have wifi at home and work.  Another option for when I FIRE and travel is that I might get a second phone, on a different provider (AT&T) for better travel coverage, which hasn't been an issue for me so far.

That is my only phone service.  I do not have a land line.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 09:53:26 AM by DreamFIRE »

HenryDavid

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 07:53:29 AM »
In Canada, Koodo $15/month, no data. Can add talk time which rolls over month to month if needed, but don't use much.

In Europe, Free.fr 2 euros/month, no data, not much talk time, unlimited texts. Europe-wide.

Mostly use texts, and wifi where free.

radram

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 08:21:16 AM »
I am at about $1.33 per month.

$80 phone bought 5 years ago.

$0 monthly for 500 texts, 200 phone minutes and 500MB of data through Freedompop.

Phone is just so-so on 4G, but ok on WiFi. I also noticed quite an improvement in service about 2 years ago. They must have upgraded the towers near me.

Daughters use text+ for unlimited texting, and it works well for them.

I would not use it as a business phone, but it works great for my uses. Others believe Freedompop is just garbage. They have phones starting at about $30. I think it would be worth a try for many.

I have heard customer service sucks. My daughter just bought an S5 and it broke under the 90 warranty. She was able to contact them and get a new one sent out. Took about 3 weeks and is scheduled to arrive this Friday. We did have to pay $7.00 to ship it. I would consider that experience adequate (excellent had they included shipping on their defective product).

One word of warning. You will be signed up for a paid service after your 30 day trial. You have to downgrade your service AND your upgrades or you will be charged monthly for added services. 30 days starts on ship date.

thef0x

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 03:55:33 PM »
Paid $270 for a scratchless used Galaxy S7 Edge/Exploder -- sold my Nexus 6 for $108 ($90 after fees) -- so $180 for my phone (let's call it 24 months to pay it off) or $7.50 / month for the phone + $15/month for MintSim = $22.50 / month.

I use Google Hangouts to manage my calls/texting and get 2GB of LTE data with great coverage.  I'm pretty happy. 

Landslave

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2018, 02:16:48 AM »
Well, I purchased a Nokia 3210 early in 2000. At the time, before the collapse of the IT industry, the providers where throwing subsciptions at you. The phone alone cost som 2500 Swedish Krona (~300 USD) at the time, but with a plan I paid 95 SEK / month for 24 months, or less than the price of the phone alone. The minutes rolled over each month, and after the two years were up I had enough left to talk for free for another year.


Then I got my current job where I could use my appointed device for personal use. Now I've got less than two months until FIRE and I've moved this number I've been using for 15 years to my own subscription and have payed my first phone bill since 2002, 190 SEK or ~23 USD.

So, in 18 years I've paid 95*24+190 = 2470 SEK, the monthly average comes out to  11.44 SEK / month or about $1.40.

It's alright :) A bit higher than I expected though.

Oh, and I get to keep the phones. Got a few Samsung and Nexus 5 lying around.

Also, since 2012 I've used the phone as hotspot, not paying for internet.

AMAZING! WELL DONE. I think you win. Enjoy your freedom.

CheapScholar

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2018, 08:24:09 AM »
I'm running a surplus.  Work gives me a $30 monthly stipend and I typically pay about $16-$22 with Ting.

andkar

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2018, 02:29:15 AM »
AMAZING! WELL DONE. I think you win. Enjoy your freedom.

Thank you :) I will!

xtinerator

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2018, 11:04:33 PM »
You are all badass. I'm newer to FI and a bit obsessed. It's great! My husband is still on a contract with Verizon, but I discovered that:
1) If you work for a nonprofit, Verizon will lower your cost by 19%
2) If you use your phone primarily for work, it's worth asking for some compensation! My employer is now giving me $50/mo.
I hope this helps anyone who is using Verizon and not yet able to move to Republic Wireless or other cheaper options.

meatgrinder

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2018, 03:28:42 PM »
We have google Fi and are happy with it.  Total is ~$55 month for both of us.  My work subsidizes all of my phone so its really $30/month.  Once nice thing about Fi that I've discovered is that the Nexus 5x (which is a great phone) can be bought used for less than $100 on ebay in very good condition. 

marty998

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2018, 03:34:12 PM »
I "won" this thread a few years back with a $99 phone that cost me $2.50 a month in usage over 8 years.

I am happy to pass the title onto some of you guys who are around the $1 mark. Kudos to all of you who have well and truly hacked it :)

Prairie Moustache

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2018, 07:43:41 PM »
In Sask. Canada here I pay $53 for 5 gb of data and unlimited talk and text with Koodo. Suprisingly, this is an excellent deal in Canada. Anyone in Sask who's with Sasktel should switch to Koodo immediately. They have the same coverage. My employer also pays $40 of my bill a month so my monthly bill ends up being $13.

I bought a used unlocked Nexus 5 a few years back for $240 and it still works like a charm, slowing down slightly.

londonbanker

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2018, 05:32:31 PM »
Mine costs me $0. I use my company phone. Not only it doesnít cost me a thing, but it also saves me the annoyance of carrying 2 phones (company and personal).
I have had that number way before I joined my current employer and managed to port that number over to this company plan.
I am very reasonable with personal calls, and use WhatsApp voice for long distance/long personal conversations. I definitely work more than the contracted 39h and itís just a perk that my company allows me

CBnCO

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2018, 05:35:03 PM »
We switched from Google FI, where we paid for one line and then used the extra data-only SIM on another phone with Hangouts..total there was about $35 per month after taxes & fees.

We are now using Xfinity Mobile, have to be an Xfinity internet customer to get the best prices, and on the $12 per Gbps (1st 100 MB free) with no line charges for talk & text. The taxes alone for our two lines average around $5.75 per month and we just had our first month where that's all we paid. The others we've kept under 1GB, so paid a little over $17 for the two lines and moderate data usage. Not bad for getting the VZ network, which for us, living outside a metro area, works better than the Sprint, TM, US Cellular combo that Google uses for coverage.

daverobev

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2018, 08:53:35 PM »
Currently I'm spending $45 every 6 months for 'air time' on an old pay as you go plan (Wind->Freedom Mobile), and another $17 a month for data (3Gb).

Canada is really crappy for phone stuff. I should probably can the data, and switch to 7/11. Oh... except I got a 'free' tablet when I signed up for data, and sold it, so my actual cost is more like $10 a month.

Oh, I also have a couple of Freedompop SIMs for trips down to the USA and theoretically other places as well. Note to other FP people - you can get free extra data by making friend requests. There is a list of people currently looking for extras to add on Slickdeals - https://slickdeals.net/f/5276432-freedompop-friends

CrazyStudentDad

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2018, 02:33:46 PM »
Ting and $100 used iPhones all the way.

I like iPhones because of quality hardware, and continued support until the hardware won't run modern apps any more. Shop around (craigslist, ebay) and you can get an iPhone 5C for $50. Bought an iPhone 6 from a co-worker for $100 bucks.

Our ting bill is about $40/mo for two lines. We use all the minutes/messages/data we need. Might be $50 if we take a roadtrip and used lots of data for maps and stuff.

profnot

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2018, 07:59:45 PM »
I just made some changes so we'll see how things go....

Recently purchased my first smartphone from TracFone.  $30 on sale for $16 inc tax.

I was able to transfer my minutes, etc, from old TracFone flip phone.

I just set up Google Voice, Hangouts, and Hangouts Dialer.  I've been making calls via wifi for free.  If someone calls, I just tell them to hang up and I phone them back via wifi.

I leave my smartphone at home.  I keep the old flip phone with no SIM card in the car for 911 emergencies.  I charge it when I drive.

Notes:
I don't have a TracPhone contract.  I buy minutes, data, texts, via a card purchased with cash at Walgreens.  (I left the office work world to write books full time so only a few people need my new phone number.) 

I LOVE the absence of spam calls!  If someone not on my contact list calls, I don't answer.  They can leave a message.  Few do.

I buy TracFone cards for $20 at a time.  1 hour cell phone plus some texts and data.  The minutes, etc, last 3 months.  I must add more minutes, etc, before the expiry date or I lose my phone number.

hope this helps

Cwadda

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2018, 09:44:32 PM »
I used to have a $30/month plan for unlimited calling/texting, plus 1 GB of data.

Now I have a $50/month plan for the same, but 5 GB of data. 1 GB is just fine for personal use, but unfortunately I need more data for business use.

I'm with Airvoice Wireless and have enjoyed the service for several years.

jpdx

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2018, 01:08:54 AM »
Spouse and I each have an iPhone 6 and the total bill is $89/month for voice and data. These phones are both paid for AT&T GSM phones. I had no idea we had other options beyond AT&T and Verizon. Cricket? Someone please explain.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2018, 05:40:12 AM »
My phone costs 10 dollars a month for free calls and SMS and half a GB of data use on fast 4G net.
Norwegian company, so not available for Americans.

daverobev

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 07:56:13 AM »
Currently I'm spending $45 every 6 months for 'air time' on an old pay as you go plan (Wind->Freedom Mobile), and another $17 a month for data (3Gb).

Canada is really crappy for phone stuff. I should probably can the data, and switch to 7/11. Oh... except I got a 'free' tablet when I signed up for data, and sold it, so my actual cost is more like $10 a month.

Oh, I also have a couple of Freedompop SIMs for trips down to the USA and theoretically other places as well. Note to other FP people - you can get free extra data by making friend requests. There is a list of people currently looking for extras to add on Slickdeals - https://slickdeals.net/f/5276432-freedompop-friends

Update on the Canadian side - thanks to the massive RFD thread, I live chatted with Fido and they gave me 50% off for a year. So now about $18 a month.

dhc

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2018, 07:23:19 PM »
Another Republic Wireless user here.  My company paid for the Moto-G phone,
still running strong after 3 years.  Total cost is $13-14 per month, including taxes.

Considering Google Project FI when the Moto-G finally dies.


Sadly, at about 3.5 years, both of our moto Gs are on their last legs. Has anyone actually made this switch (or the reverse)? I'm having trouble stomaching a jump from $25/month for both of us to ~$45, but even on Republic in order to get a new phone we'd have to jump to at least ~$40, and Google Fi sounds like it's probably worth the $5/month price difference?

Rubic

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2018, 03:40:42 AM »
Another Republic Wireless user here.  My company paid for the Moto-G phone,
still running strong after 3 years.  Total cost is $13-14 per month, including taxes.

Considering Google Project FI when the Moto-G finally dies.


Sadly, at about 3.5 years, both of our moto Gs are on their last legs. Has anyone actually made this switch (or the reverse)? I'm having trouble stomaching a jump from $25/month for both of us to ~$45, but even on Republic in order to get a new phone we'd have to jump to at least ~$40, and Google Fi sounds like it's probably worth the $5/month price difference?

Is the problem battery life?  I'm about to replace my Moto-G battery
with some help from youtube.

dhc

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Re: Cost of Phone Ownership
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2018, 03:26:06 PM »

Another Republic Wireless user here.  My company paid for the Moto-G phone,
still running strong after 3 years.  Total cost is $13-14 per month, including taxes.

Considering Google Project FI when the Moto-G finally dies.



Sadly, at about 3.5 years, both of our moto Gs are on their last legs. Has anyone actually made this switch (or the reverse)? I'm having trouble stomaching a jump from $25/month for both of us to ~$45, but even on Republic in order to get a new phone we'd have to jump to at least ~$40, and Google Fi sounds like it's probably worth the $5/month price difference?


Is the problem battery life?  I'm about to replace my Moto-G battery
with some help from youtube.

Battery life is dropping off, but the main problem is having upgraded the OS and apps to the point where without much besides stock apps, the phones are out of storage space, unable to update, and severely slow in comparison to their old selves. A few months ago I factory reset one of them, which helped for about a month but then quickly returned to molasses.

The good old Republic "sometimes we mysteriously won't make calls until you restart your phone 7 times, forget all wifi networks, and start from scratch" thing also doesn't help, either.