Not everybody needs the latest bleeding edge device. In fact, I know more than a few people who still use dumb phones for their cost and convenience (including my own mom). Sometimes it's a case of "don't want to relearn how to use a phone", but more often than not, it's the cost of upgrading to a smartphone that prevents people from upgrading. Republic Wireless is aimed at casual smartphone users who are more apt to use their smartphone to make calls at home or within the perimeter of the a wi-fi network...The Hybrid Calling system offloads data, voice, and texting from cellular over to wi-fi, allowing the service to just charge you $19/month without a darn contract. And so far with out review unit, the handoff is seamless (just note once you're on wi-fi on a call, you must remain so or the call will drop). When you're away from wi-fi, you're free to unlimited data and voice over Sprint's network.
What's the catch? You only have one choice of phones, the 3.7" Motorola DEFY XT, an Android 2.3.7 OS powered handset. But if you don't care about Ice Cream Sandwiches or Jelly Bean mumbo-jumbo, this could be an ideal and affordable solution to ease into smartphone use at a very nice price.