Sprint has shown a willingness to improve its offerings, performance, and perks to remain competitive with its 3 biggest rivals: Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. And while Sprint’s coverage still isn’t a match for Verizon or AT&T, it has gotten better over the last few years.
But what makes Sprint stand out and remain relevant are its prices, which are the most affordable of the big 4. That alone can make Sprint worth checking out — especially if you live in a city or a nearby suburb.
So without further ado, here’s our Sprint cell phone plans review. We’ll kick it off with the carrier’s plans and pricing.
Sprint plans + pricing
We’re going to say it again because it’s worth saying: Sprint’s best feature is its prices — even on their unlimited plans. The carrier offers a decent selection of plans with solid features, like high data deprioritization thresholds, good hotspot allotments, international perks, and free streaming subscriptions.
One downfall of Sprint’s plans for some, however, is their lack of prepaid plans for any new customers. That said, let’s take a closer look.
Sprint unlimited plans
|Unlimited Kickstart||Unlimited||480p SD video streaming, Global roaming at 2G speeds||$25/mo.*||View plans|
|Unlimited Basic||Unlimited, slows after 50GB||480p SD video streaming, 500MB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot, Unlimited T&T + 5GB data in Mexico + Canada||$60/mo.*||View plans|
|Unlimited Plus||Unlimited, slows after 50GB||1080p HD video streaming, 50GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot, Unlimited T&T + 10GB data in Mexico + Canada, Hulu + TIDAL subscription||$60/mo. limited time, $70/mo. regular||View plans|
|Unlimited Premium||Unlimited, slows after 100GB||Full HD video streaming, 100GB of 4G LTE hotspot, Unlimited T&T + data in Mexico + Canada, Amazon Prime + Hulu + TIDAL + Lookout subscriptions||$80/mo. limited time, $90/mo. regular||View plans|
|Unlimited 55+**||Unlimited, slows after 23GB||480p video streaming, 3G mobile hotspot, Global roaming in over 200 countries||$50/mo.||View plans|
|Unlimited Military||Unlimited, slows after 50GB||480p video streaming, 500MB 4G LTE mobile hotspot, Hulu subscription||$60/mo.||View plans|
All of Sprint’s unlimited plans offer unlimited talk and text, which is standard for the 4 big carriers. Right off the bat, you should notice that the data threshold is a HUGE 50GB for the Basic and Plus plans, and a massive 100GB for Premium. The Unlimited Kickstart doesn’t explicitly state any data caps; rather, you’ll face deprioritization at any point based on network congestion.
In either case, you definitely won’t have to worry about running out of data with Sprint. For the price, Sprint’s plans are fantastic; the downside, as we’ll discuss in more depth later, is more spotty coverage than the other carriers. There’s a reason AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile cost more.
Unlimited Family plans
*All plans reflect current promotional discounts
Continuing with Sprint’s theme of affordability are the carrier’s family plans. Your first line on Unlimited Basic and Plus start out at $60 (with the current promotion), and your second line is just $40. With the current promotion, your 3rd and 4th lines are 100% free.
You really can’t get a better deal than that.
Sprint prepaid + by-the-gig plans
|Single Line 2GB||2GB full speed||Unlimited T&T, mobile hotspot||$40/mo.||View plans|
Sprint Forward — their prepaid plan — is no longer offered to new customers. Presumably, if you’re a pre-existing customer, you can take advantage of it, but otherwise, it’s not an option. Check out T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T for their prepaid plans.
Sprint offers a free Global Roaming service, which is automatically activated on all eligible plans. It includes free texts, free 2G data roaming, and phone calls starting at about $0.25/minute.
But if you want higher speeds of data, you can upgrade up to 4G* with the 1-day speed data pas for $5; or the 7-day for $25. All of these prices are comparable or better to the other big carriers. If you want to check out details for your destination, you can search cities around the world here.
*Data varies by location
Sprint does charge extra fees. When you get started, you’ll pay a one-time $30 activation fee per new line; although they’re currently waiving this for your 3rd, 4th, and 5th lines, respectively. But you may find other fees on your bill, too.
- Subsidized fee — $25/month/phone
You’ll be charged $25/month/phone if you bought a phone under the terms “2-year agreement” or “instant discount.” This usually happens via 3rd-party purchases and is in addition to your installment payments.
- Line access charge — $15-25/month
If your brought your own device, you’ll get charged this fee. If you bought a new Sprint phone, you won’t.
- Taxes and government fees — 8.74% of your monthly bill minimum
Some states have much higher tax fees than others.
- Account spending limit charge — $7.99
If you don’t sign up for eBill and AutoPay, you’ll be charged this fee.
- AutoPay discount — $5/month, per line
But, by signing up for AutoPay, you get a $5 per month, per line discount on your bill.
Sprint’s performance -- how good is it really?
We’ve mentioned this a few time already, but Sprint’s coverage — or lack thereof — is their biggest downfall. The carrier has never come first for either coverage or speed, despite their map suggesting widespread coverage and the claim that there’s only a 1% difference in speed. Most studies rank them 3rd or 4th out of the big 4; falling behind Verizon and AT&T, Sprint is fairly comparable to T-Mobile for coverage.
That said, Sprint has been improving their network over the last few years, so if you live in a metro area, you just might be in luck. But, if you live in a more rural area, you’ll have much better coverage if you go with Verizon.
Sprint and T-Mobile are look to merge to improve their network. That deal has been approved by New York state authorities, but is pending federal approval. Definitely something to keep an eye out for over the next few years to see if it improves the coverage of both carriers.
Sprint unlimited perks
Sprint offers a good selection of features and perks with their unlimited plans. For example, if you travel internationally, you get free texting and data use of up to 2G speeds. You will have to pay for calling, though — usually about $0.25/minute.
All of Sprint’s unlimited plans come with a free Hulu Limited Commercials plan. Normally, that’s $7.99 a month, so not a bad deal. And if you already have it, Sprint will be saving you 8 bucks. The trade-off is that you need to sign up for it with your phone and you can only access Hulu on your phone or when using your phone as a hotspot.
Starting with the Unlimited Plus plan, you get a free Tidal music account, too and a 15GB LTE hotspot. Unlimited Premium gives you Hulu, Tidal, and Lookout — a mobile security service — as well as Amazon Prime and a 50GB LTE hotspot.
Phones + devices
|Apple||iPhone SE, iPhone 6-8 standard and plus; iPhone XR, iPhone XS, etc.**|
|Samsung||Samsung Galaxy J7, Samsung Galaxy J3, Samsung Galaxy Note8, Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Samsung Galaxy Note9, S10 and S10+, S10E, S8, etc.**|
|LG||LG Rebel 4, LG Premier Pro LTE, etc.**|
|Motorola||Moto G6, Moto E5, etc.*|
Sprint, like the other big carriers, offers nearly all of the most popular Apple and Android phones. But, like AT&T and T-Mobile, Sprint doesn’t offer Google Pixel phones directly — only Verizon has that honor at the moment. But, you can buy an unlocked Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL directly from Google and bring it over to Sprint.
Sprint also offers low-money-down options on certain models, as well as pre-owned options for the budget-conscious.
Sprint isn’t known for great customer service, and in fact, they often rank behind their competitors. That said, the carrier’s agents answer questions promptly and politely over social media and the phone. Responses to chat are timely and informative, and it’s pretty easy to look up information on Sprint’s website — a big part of customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power.
However, customer service in stores will vary, because Sprint is franchised. If you buy a phone at one store in Springfield, you can’t return or exchange it in a store in Madison. The stores need to be owned by the same franchisee, and there’s no way for you to know ahead of time which ones are.
For new customers, you can order a phone or plan by calling (855-993-4686), or by visiting sprint.com. Once you’re a customer, you have a few more options for contacting them:
- Twitter — @Sprint
- Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/sprint
- Phone — Customer service (1-888-211-4727); Shop (855-993-4686)
- Website — https://www.sprint.com/
- Online Chat — Available 24/7 at their Contact Us page
- My Sprint App — Available for iPhone and Android
These methods of contact are pretty standard-issue. Like most other carriers, Chat seems to be the best option for quick responses.
Recap -- is Sprint any Good?
If you live in a metro or suburban area and want a very affordable plan, then Sprint is a great choice.
Sprint has done a great job expanding both coverage and service in its metro areas, but it still lags behind the other big carriers in coverage, speed, and customer service.
But, if you live in a metro or suburban area and want a very affordable plan, then Sprint is a great choice. But if you live in a more rural or smaller city, you’ll be better off going with one of the other carriers. Verizon would be the pick for very rural locations; Total Wireless is the MVNO to pick if you balk at Big Red’s bill.
But that said, there are some really good things going for Sprint. Plans are affordable and easy to understand, with a big data deprioritization threshold, great perks, and the potential for add-ons.
Can I keep my number when switching to Sprint?
Yes, you can keep your current number when you switch to Sprint. Also known as “porting” your number, it’s simple to do. When you sign up, provide Sprint with:
- The name and address of your old carrier account
- Account number of the same
- Account password of the same (if applicable)
- Last 4 digits of your SSN or Tax ID
To check your number’s eligibility, visit Sprint’s page.
Can I buy a phone from Sprint?
Yes. Just like other carriers, you can buy a phone from Sprint. They offer 2 options:
- Pay for it outright; or
- Lease it over 18 months.
If you choose to lease and pick an Apple or Samsung phone, you’ll be eligible to upgrade to the latest model once 12 months have elapsed.
Does Sprint have overage charges?
No. Rather than charge overage fees, once you hit your data allotment for the month, you’ll simply be reduced to 2G speeds. That includes the 2GB plan, as well as your mobile hotspot allowance for the unlimited plans.
In either case, you can set up alerts to trigger when your data usage reaches 75%, 90% and 100% of your allotment.
Can I use my Sprint plan overseas?
Yes. All plans include Global Roaming at 2G speed automatically. Starting with the Unlimited Basic plan, you also get unlimited talk and text and 5GB of data in Mexico and Canada, as well. Unlimited Plus increase data allowance for Mexico and Canada to 10GB; Unlimited Premium to unlimited 4G LTE.