Relay Review: An LTE Walkie-Talkie For Kids (Of All Ages)

In a world of smartphones that do everything, it’s refreshing to try a gadget that does … one thing. Relay is an LTE Walkie-Talkie from Republic Wireless designed to keep your kids in contact with you (and each other) without forcing them into the same crippling smartphone addiction that’s slowly sucking the life from all of us grown-ups. But every major wireless carrier has had significant challenges making push-to-talk over data networks function properly – so how much reliability do you sacrifice with Relay versus a traditional cellphone? Find out in MrMobile’s Relay review, then be sure to check out Modern Dad’s and Android Central’s Relay reviews in the links below!


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MrMobile’s Relay Walkie-Talkie Review was produced following one week with a pair of Relay review units provided by Republic Wireless. The devices were running pre-release software and were tested on Republic Wireless (via the Sprint network) in Greater Boston, MA.

Pursuant to my input concerning service reliability, Republic provided the following feedback about Relay:

“Our latest software build is 1.2 (112) which has some improvements to the resiliency of LTE on CDMA […] We’ve had a small % of customers needing a SIM swap but it has helped almost all of them. The swap is simple [from] a customer perspective, just remove existing SIM and insert new SIM and reboot. We have some algorithms that help us evaluate coverage both based on the vector data we get from the carriers and on real customer experience (eg. if a customer in the same area has requested a swap previously). These data drive future considerations for the coverage we give customers.”


Relay Walkie-Talkie by Republic Wireless [RelayGo]:


Relay Walkie-Talkie Hands-On [Android Central]:

Inside Relay, the Anti-Smartphone for Kids [PCMag]:


“Miami Beach” by Mattijs Miller, available at Premium Beat:

“True Persistence” by Cymatix, available at Premium Beat:



This post may contain affiliate links. See Mobile Nations’ disclosure policy for more details:


Fiifi Addo says:

How often do you hear someone who comes from Maryland at all?

Jewish Person says:

Better than iPhone with that headphone jack and it actually works.

GreyBlackWolf says:

I think the batteries would be fine for what I see these geared for: Emergency. If my kid is at school, with a friend, what ever. I can give them a little more rope without having to give them the keys to the dysfunctional kingdome that is the internet. If it were on att, id get it.

Debanjan Rakshit says:

Love the device

pisse3000 says:

They would love this in Germany. They’re big into p2t there for some reason.

Ryan Toomey says:

What about old fashioned walkie-talkies? I had a lot of fun with those when I was a kid. Those are ALOT cheaper and do not require a subscription fee. Since they are analog and do not depend on any infrastructure like a cellular network, they are more reliable than this (as long as you are within a couple miles).

Uros Sretenovic says:

Why you can buy smartphone cheaper

Rishi Satapathy says:

Don’t know how you’re using that key 2 as your primary smartphone!

Louis Londono says:

I still think that this generation is better suited to a cheap dumbphoje for parent comfort. Also basically everyone needs a smartphone in this year regardless of age.

Everything Cool says:

old phones are better

aeriose says:

If you want something for your kids to contact you or the police and find their location at all times, just pay $5 a month for the verizon smartwatch thing. My cousin has it and it seems to work way better than this “one click” device. He can call his parents, send them messages, they can see his location, and he won’t lose it since its on his wrist. This is just a dumb implementation of a product that will get lost within 5 minutes and serves no real function to kids.

Abe says:

just get the kid a flip phone

Kenneth Cruz says:

Key2 FTW!

martin swift says:

Sounds like a dope idea that needs fine tuning..

Brandon Miniman says:

What a cool product.

Rad Tube says:

Like if kids haven’t got phones yet

I’m 11 and I have a phone though it’s an s5

Rajesh Dwarika says:

So I gotta get a sim card with unlimited data.

MrMobile [Michael Fisher] says:

EDIT: Aaaaaaand, forgot a pretty massive detail. Monthly cost for maintenance is $6.99 per Relay per month. Sorry for the omission, all! Don’t edit videos while tired.

Nicholas Ryan says:

I wonder if we can get better PPT networks with 5G, because that’s designed to have low latency. Also I wonder if trying to work with T-Mobile and Sprint on their 1x HD Voice / VoLTE ( I only say slash VoLTE, because Sprint doesn’t have SvLTE/ VoLTE) would make a more reliable faster close to low latency connection for those relays. I Mean i know that VoLTE is a call connection, and it’s designed to be a Walkie Talkie connection. But it would still would be awesome to see it work.

Chaitanya Singh says:

I don’t think this’ll be a game changer because smartphones offer much more value for money rn keeping in mind this is a subscription based model

David Hrzenjak says:

What about the light phone

Kreg Steppe says:

Back in the day, Nextel was great. The walkie Talkie part worked really well.

adna ivan says:

i’m laughing over and over watching this geeky gadget LOL. absolutely awesome

Kevin Davis says:

Thanks for reviewing these. I’ll check back in on them after they have had some time to mature, as long as my son hasn’t grown into a regular cell phone by then.

I’m also put off by seemingly lacking any means of contacting emergency services from these devices like you can with any cell phone from a Moto E to a Pixel, even without any cell service.

looney2nes says:

I dunno. Cool idea but if I wanted to keep my kids connected without the distraction of a smartphone, I’d just get them a flip phone.

Alexander McColl says:

Wooahhhhhhh tracks location all the time in real time? Disgusting. Any parent who thinks this is good parenting should take a good hard look at themselves and their commitment to individual freedom and the process of becoming an adult.

Dr. Jé says:

I miss my i930

Furqan Siddiqui says:

Feels soo good to see key 2 in every single vdo

AHMAD Husain says:

3:28 *what???*

Pety says:

This seems killer for when your kid’s phone battery dies. This would serve as a great emergency backup!

mike hunt says:

Ya add these to my phone bill for an additional $30 a month

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