Republic Wireless is re-opening its Beta for new customers and switching to a phone that's slightly more modern than the old Optimus S it had been using: the Motorola Defy XT535. As the company explained last April, it's allowing new customers in off its waitlist in "waves," and once invited new customers will be able to purchase the smartphone for $249 — with no contract. The company is also sticking to its $19/month unlimited talk, text, and data model — and apparently will also be sticking with its no-caveats decision to keep the service truly unlimited even if you're using actual airtime instead of its Wi-Fi features for calling.

The Defy XT will be launching on the network with Android 2.3 and its otherwise familiar specs: a 3.7-inch 854 x 540 display, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, and a ruggedized design meant to resist water and dust. When not using Wi-Fi calling and data, it will fall back to Sprint's CDMA network. If you're a current customer with the aforementioned Optimus S in your pocket, you can upgrade to the new handset for $149. If you're not a current customer, this "wave" is still limited to waitlist customers, so you'll have to get it line.