通过Wi-Fi打电话的智能手机 英语科技新闻

jo19870724 于2013-12-15发布 l 已有人浏览
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What if you could get a top-tier, current-model smartphone with all the bells and whistles, and pay between $5 and $40 a month for unlimited voice, text and data? And there's no contract required.

Well, you can if you sign up with an innovative carrier called Republic Wireless. Republic's secret is it modifies brand-name phones so they place voice calls and send texts over Wi-Fi instead of more expensive cellular networks. That lets the company charge less per month and forgo contracts. And now it offers a top-tier phone, the Moto X from Motorola.
现在如果你与一家叫Republic的创新运营商签约,就可以享受到这些。Republic的秘诀是,他们对品牌手机进行了改装,从而让通话和短信都基于Wi-Fi,绕开了资费较贵的手机网络。这样一来,Repubilc就可以降低每月资费,而且无需合约限制。现在他们提供了一款摩托罗拉(Motorola)的旗舰手机Moto X。

When Wi-Fi is absent or too weak, Republic's phones switch to Sprint's cellular network for calling and texting. Cellular calls and texts don't cost extra. If you start a call via Wi-Fi and keep talking as you leave Wi-Fi range, the call switches over to cellular.

Most other smartphones can make Wi-Fi calls, but these typically require an app. Republic modifies the phone's main dialer and texting functions to work over Wi-Fi whenever possible. You don't have to do anything special to initiate a Wi-Fi call or text.
虽然多数其他智能手机都可以通过Wi-Fi打电话,但它们通常需要安装应用。Repubilc对Moto X的电话和短信功能进行了改装,只要有Wi-Fi就启动使用。你不需要任何特殊设置就可以通过Wi-Fi打电话或发短信。

Republic has been in business about a year, but its first offering had several drawbacks. First, it worked only with a clunky, limited phone, the Motorola Defy XT, which had skimpy memory, a small, low-res screen and only the older 3G cellular data network. Second, call quality over Wi-Fi was iffy, with audible echoes and some clipped words. Third, the handover between Wi-Fi and cellular was clumsy. The phone had to hang up the Wi-Fi call and redial over cellular.
Republic已经运营了约一年时间,但其首项业务存在几大缺陷。首先,他们当时服务只有一款笨重机型摩托罗拉Defy XT,这款手机存储空间不足,屏幕又小,分辨率低,而且只支持较老的3G手机网络。其次,通过Wi-fi打电话并不稳定,经常有杂音和中断。再次,Wi-fi与手机网络之间切换也有问题。这款手机必须先挂断Wi-Fi通话,然后用手机网络重拨。

Now, all that has changed. I've been testing Republic's latest, improved service on the Moto X, and it has solved all three problems. There are still a couple of drawbacks, but I can recommend it as an option for people who want to save on monthly bills and don't mind being limited to a choice of a single modern Android phone.
但现在一切都改变了。我一直在测试Repubile最新的基于Moto X改进后的服务,上述三个问题都得到了解决。虽然还是存在一些缺陷,但我已经可以将其作为一个选择进行推荐,适合给那些想每个月省话费又不介意只有一款安卓(Android)手机选择的人们。

The first improvement is the Moto X, which came out in August. The Google-owned handset maker's premier model has a vivid, 4.7-inch screen, fast 4G LTE data capability and 16 gigabytes of memory.
第一项改进就是使用了8月份发布的手机Moto X。这款谷歌(Google)子公司的旗舰产品拥有色彩鲜明的4.7英寸(约合12厘米)显示屏,支持4G LTE数据网络以及拥有16GB的内存。

Second, I found call quality over Wi-Fi to be very good. I heard no echoes or clipped words, and everyone with whom I tested it said the Wi-Fi and cellular calls were indistinguishable.

Third, handing off calls between Wi-Fi and cellular networks is now truly seamless. Neither I nor the people with whom I was speaking could detect the millisecond pause when I left Wi-Fi range and the calls switched to Sprint.

I used Republic's modified Moto X in my home, in several Starbucks shops and in a few other public Wi-Fi locations. All of the calls worked fine, as did the handover as I kept talking while walking out of Wi-Fi range. My only glitch came at one of the Starbucks, where the phone had trouble with the Wi-Fi and it took several tries to connect.
我在家里、几个星巴克(Starbucks)门店以及一些其他公共Wi-Fi场所使用了Republic这款改装后的Moto X。所有通话都运行顺畅,我在通话过程中走出Wi-Fi区域的网络切换也是如此。我只在一个星巴克店遇到了问题,手机连接Wi-Fi有点问题,当时试了几次才连上。

Battery life was decent: The phone lasted a full day on a single charge.

Republic charges $299 for this Wi-Fi-centric Moto X. That's much more than what traditional carriers charge with a contract. AT&T sells the same phone for $50 with a two-year contract.
Republic为这款基于Wi-Fi的Moto X定价299美元(约合人民币1,824元)。这个价格比普通运营商的合约机价格高出不少。这款机型在AT&T的两年合约价是50美元(约合人民币305元)。

But Republic's price is considerably less than the no-contract price carriers offer. Without a contract commitment, Sprint charges $550 for the Moto X.
但Republic的价格也比运营商的裸机价格要低很多。Sprint卖的Moto X裸机价是550美元(约合人民币3,355元)。

If you're willing to pay more upfront, your monthly fees are much lower with Republic. The upstart carrier offers four service plans for the Moto X. The first is just $5 a month, for unlimited calls, text and data over Wi-Fi only. Under this plan, the phone can't be used out of Wi-Fi coverage. The next plan, for $10 a month, gives you unlimited talk and text on both Wi-Fi and Sprint cellular, but only data on Wi-Fi, not cellular.
如果你愿意一开始支付更多,那以后给Republic的月资费就更低。这家新晋运营商为Moto X提供四种服务套餐。第一种是每月5美元(约合人民币31元),无限通话、短信与上网,但只能通过Wi-Fi。选择这个套餐的话,手机离开Wi-Fi覆盖区域就不能使用了。第二种套餐是每月10美元(约合人民币61元),可以在Wi-Fi与手机网络下进行无限通话与短信,但只能通过Wi-Fi上网。

The third, and most popular, plan, costs $25 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data on both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular. Finally, for $40 a month, you get unlimited talk, text, and data on both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE cellular.
第三种也是最受欢迎的套餐是每月25美元(约合人民币153元),可以在Wi-Fi与3G网络下进行无限通话、短信与上网。最后一个套餐是每月40美元(约合人民币244元),可以在Wi-Fi与4G LTE网络下无限通话、短信与上网。

Over time, these lower monthly fees can more than offset the higher cost of the phone. Sprint says unlimited talk, text and data on its network is at least $80 a month for the unsubsidized Moto X.
随着时间的推移,这些较低资费带来的实惠会抵消掉购买手机时的较高价格。Sprint表示,如果是Moto X裸机要入其网络享受无限通话、短信与数据的话,每月资费至少是80美元(约合人民币488元)。

And Republic offers another cool feature: Twice a month, you can change plans right on the phone and the new fees will be pro-rated for the remaining days in the month. So if you opted for the $5 Wi-Fi-only plan, but you now need cellular coverage, you could switch on the fly to a cellular plan.

Republic is also planning to offer a feature that lets you change your phone number, via its app on the phone.

For the increasing number of people who are in Wi-Fi coverage most of the day, Republic Wireless might well make sense.

Republic says it errs on the side of caution when placing calls. It will use cellular, which costs it more, if it judges the available Wi-Fi to be too unreliable for a good call. And it doesn't try to switch you back to Wi-Fi if you start a call on cellular.

So what are the drawbacks? For one thing, you can't order the Moto X in colors, as you can with other carriers. And the Republic's Moto X can't be switched to other carriers, even Sprint, because it has been modified.
好了,那选择Republic的服务有什么缺点呢?其中之一是,你不能像在其他运营商那里可以选择Moto X的颜色。而且Republic的Moto X不能用到其他运营商网络,即便是Sprint也一样,因为这款手机已经经过了改装。

Also, Republic has very limited customer service and relies mainly on its users to help other customers through online forums.

Overall, however, Republic is offering a clever, modern service on a good smartphone, and is showing that Wi-Fi calls can be as good as cellular ones.

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