07 Oct Technology Review: Rebtel App
As a blogger my iPhone is an item I simply can’t travel without- but data roaming charges can soon add up if I’m not careful. I’m always looking for ways to keep those costs down, and mobile apps are a great way to do this. I’ve tried various apps including Skype, but when I was asked to take a look at a new international calling app called Rebtel, I was intrigued.
Rebtel is a mobile app that allows you to call other Rebtel users for free and make super cheap international calls to everyone else.
Here’s what the description says you get:
• Free Rebtel to Rebtel calls
Invite new friends or call more than 20 million existing Rebtel users for free over Wi-Fi / 3G with crystal clear voice quality.*
• Super cheap rates
Save big on your international calls with our amazing rates
• Keep Talking without using the Internet
If you have poor reception while using Wi-Fi / 3G, use our innovative Keep Talking feature to switch seamlessly to your regular operator network for no extra charge.
• Send low cost international SMS
Send texts to friends and family in more than 150 countries for 60% lower rates than usual.
* Operator charges may apply for the local part of the call and/or your cellular data connection.
So basically if I’m traveling and connect to a Wi-Fi network, I can call other Rebtel users for free and also make international phone calls for a fraction of what it would usually cost me. Sound too good to be true?
I tested Rebtel out and see whether it would be a good app to use when traveling.
The Rebtel App is able for download from Google Play and from the iTunes app store– I have an iPhone 5 so I downloaded the iPhone app. When I downloaded the app I had to create a Rebtel account, which was a fairly simple process. You can sign up through Facebook, or you can enter your details to create the account.
The app itself has an attractive design and I love the user interface. It’s simple, easy to use and more attractive than some of the other communication apps out there. I love the colours and the simple navigation bar to the left.
To the left of the screen there is a menu bar with the option to Invite Friends, search your Contacts, see your Recent calls, dial a number using the Dialpad or send an SMS message. You can also check the rates to see how much your international call will be. You simply enter the number you will be dialling and then tap ‘Get Rate’.
When you open up your address book, any contacts that have Rebtel installed on their phone will have the word “FREE” next to them. If the contact doesn’t have Rebtel but has an international number, a flag will appear next to their name and you will be connected through Rebtel at the per minute rate displayed.
When you invite friends via SMS, email or Facebook you also get $5 for every invitee adding credit. Unfortunately none of my contacts currently have Rebtel stored in their phone, so it would definitely require me to invite more people.
I was given 3 bonus minutes to try my first call, so I called my Mum on her mobile and the sound was of good quality.
It would be nice if I was able to credit my account in the app- instead I have to go to the Rebtel website to put money in the account. That’s the only real downfall I thought this app had. There is also no video calling and it would be nice if there was instant messaging between me and other Rebtel users. Perhaps this will be featured sometime in the future? The app also auto-imported from my Facebook contacts and I couldn’t find a way to get rid of them.
The app is definitely a slick-looking app with fun colours. Being able to call Rebtel for free over Wi-Fi and save up to 98% on international phone calls is pretty incredible and will save me a lot of money on the road….I just need to get more friends using it! I think I would have to do a bit of coaxing to get my friends to install it, but once they have it I can see this app being very useful on the road.