A discussion on the market for the Relay


I’ve been thinking about the way Republic is currently marketing the Relay as an alternative to the cell phone for younger kids. It is certainly one market, but not the way my family is using the devices. I’m curious about others…

In my family, we are using the Relays IN ADDITION to cell phones. When we send the kids out into the world, in situations where we especially don’t want them to be distracted by their phones, or where phones might not work (climbing trees, roaming the woods, etc), we replace the phones with their Relays. The kids also often choose the Relays instead of their phones themselves because they would rather have the ease of quick one button response to “Everything OK?” rather than digging a phone out, responding to a text, etc.

So despite the concern that some have expressed that kids won’t accept a Relay because it isn’t an iPhone X, we’ve not seen that at all (and in fact have seen friends asking their parents to get Relays too).


Understanding the technology

I have no kids, so certainly am outside the current market being targeted. Thinking back to my own youth, I do see where Relay is an excellent modern way to replace my friend’s Italian grandmother screaming from the back porch that it was time for Nicky to leave us at the playground and come home for dinner. :slightly_smiling_face: Nicky’s grandmother had a good set of lungs but I think she would have appreciated something like Relay.

For me, there are three intriguing potential use cases. I’m an avid runner and, yes, I do run with my phone for both music and tracking purposes. That said, there are times I would prefer to minimize the tech when out running. Specifically, once a week I try to do some longer trail running. Just as I use a different pair of running shoes for this, I’d be happy to leave the phone in the car and hit the trail with a Relay.

Secondly, I’ve dealt with my mom’s significant illness this past year. She was in a hospital and then rehab for six weeks. Mom is actually quite tech savvy and did have her iPhone with her and, therefore, could reach family when needed. On the other hand, when dealing with a significant illness, there’s a lot to be said for one button simplicity.

Finally, I’m a resident of hurricane prone South Florida. Cellular voice networks tend to become quite overburdened in a storm situation. Text messaging generally works well and local authorities encourage folks to use text messaging rather than voice. I’m thinking Relay might be an interesting way to maintain voice communication in a challenged environment (extended power outage for example). I do have concerns about CDMA power draw.


Hi rolandh
I sure agree with your point 3-4. I am getting the relay
so I can have contact with the wife in case any thing
happens She is in a wheel chair now due to Post polio
syndrome. Which has happened for the last ten years or so. The doctors said it would happen .The muscells
just ware give out over time. But we are in good health
other wise. and she Has a good under standing of all the tech things That we have an use every day.
Being senior citizens (LOL) every thing is good.
Cant let things get in the way.


Since my son and I have been using the Relay, my son’s friends and their parents have started asking about it. They want it for the same reason I did. We want our kids to feel independent and not weighed down or chained to a cellphone. I went on Amazon to buy a waterproof case for around the neck and another waterproof case as a cross body so that my son’s hands are free to play but the device is still within reach to hear me calling. I bought myself the same thing. Otherwise, I forget to keep it close by. Parents want their kids to be able to roam the neighborhood feeling safe. If for any reason they don’t feel safe, parents are just a simple click away. My son and I have been testing it in all sorts of different places. What I discovered is that a mobile charger is definitely needed if we are gone for longer than a day.


After using the Relay for a week my 7 year old is completely sold on it. I think he would have enjoyed it at 3 years as well. I showed him a Qwerty feature phone from a different company and his remarks were “I like the Relay more, it is uncomplicated.” I was halfway curious about a Relay for myself as well since I originally wanted a supercheap phone without bells and whistles. However, for now I’ll stick with TracFone, while I dislike the smartphone I have to use with it to maintain a low monthly rate (15$ mo) I am able to make calls occasionally and receive texts from family. What would be a slam dunk sale for me would be if the Relay allowed outbound and inbound calls and a voice mailbox. Honestly I could live without text messaging and the family members that do text me could just call me if they weren’t so lazy, lol. I’ll put that up for a vote in another thread but I just wanted to chime in on how the marketing of Relay for kids works well for young ones but I can’t really see it’s usability for myself with its current functionality.


Hi all, I’d like to share another successful use-case for Relays…

My father is age 85 and in declining physical health. He can no longer walk, is mostly bedridden, and has lost most motor control of his hands and fingers. While he is mentally sharp, he can barely reach or dial a bedside telephone, and he often misses incoming calls because he moves so slow. Using a smartphone is out of the question.

When I first saw the announcement for Relays, everything was targeted to kids, but I was struck by a different possibility for the single talk button. I hoped that my father had enough motor control left to use a Relay, and could use it to talk with my mother (his caregiver). I immediately ordered a pair.

They are an incredible success. After several months of using the Relays, both my parents totally love them.

My father keeps his Relay by his side day and night. He holds it in both hands, and he can reliably push and hold the talk button while he speaks. It still takes him a long minute to respond to an incoming call, but we all know to wait.

The Relays have enabled my father to easily talk with my mother any time he needs or wants something.

The Relays have freed my mother to go out casually shopping and to have lunch with friends. She checks in with my father conveniently and often, and no longer needs to rush out and back to tend to him.

My parents also use the Relays to communicate from one room to another inside the house. They even use them to talk between bedrooms in the night, while air conditioners are blowing loudly.

The Relays are providing reliable convenient communications for my parents, from any location, day and night. The Relays have made my parents’ lives much less stressful, and I worry less knowing they are always in touch. The Relays are a total success for us. Many thanks!


Thank you for sharing!! This is why we do what we do, thinking of new ways to keep people connected. Understanding how our members use Relay is so important as we continue to grow. This brightened my day and love that Relay has helped your parents in such a meaningful and impactful way!


Hello @Vivi. I’ve been a Republic Wireless customer for over 3 years. Their unlimited talk and text plan (no cellular data) starts at $15/mo + taxes and fees (which for me is around $3.50). I pay around $23.50/mo with then for unlimited tax and text & 1gb of cellular data.

I thought you might at least like to know about that option especially since your family already has a Republic Wireless Relay.