Boost Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review 2020

Boost Mobile gives you a lot of hotspot data and unlimited music streaming, but you might not be able to bring your own phone.
boost mobile logo
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Unlimited music streaming on all plans
Generous hotspot data on Unlimited Plus plan
Spotty coverage in rural areas

Overview

If all you want is a prepaid phone plan with a low monthly bill and some data, then Boost Mobile could be the perfect carrier for you. You’ll even get some nice extras, like HD video streaming and unlimited music streaming (as long as you’re using one of Boost’s music partners).

That said, Boost Mobile doesn’t quite make our list of the best prepaid providers. Its Sprint-network service can be spotty, and it has a limited BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program. We’ll talk more about these issues further down in this Boost Mobile review.

Boost Mobile prepaid plans and pricing

Boost Mobile has middle-of-the-pack pricing, but it throws in some nice extras like hotspot data.

Boost Mobile’s pricing is about standard for the prepaid industry. Both its price for 3 GB of data and its unlimited plan pricing are roughly on par with the competition.

As for Boost Mobile’s actual service details, it’s a mixed bag. If you travel around the US a lot and need to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot while you’re waiting in the airport, then Boost is a great choice. It gives way more hotspot data than most prepaid providers, and even more than some of the big-name brands.

Boost Mobile doesn’t offer international roaming, but you can get international coverage for places like Canada and Mexico, plus international texting, through an add-on plan.

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How much data do you actually need?
Do you need 3 GB a month, or should you shell out for that unlimited data plan? Read our handy data guide to understand your data needs better.

On the flip side, Boost Mobile’s Unlimited Gigs plan puts some limits on music streaming and gaming. Its unlimited plans limit music speeds to 500 Kbps and gaming to 2 Mbps. (It’s pretty standard in the industry to have some limits on cheaper unlimited data plans).

You shouldn’t really notice issues with streaming that new album or playing Alto’s Adventure, but Boost Mobile also says it can slow down your speeds “during congestion.” Which means anytime the network gets busy, your streaming can take a hit.

What about unlimited music streaming?

All of Boost Mobile’s plans give you unlimited music streaming, which means no matter how many hours you spend listening to Beyoncé on Spotify, it won’t count toward your data usage.

That’s especially cool if you have the 3 GB plan and you stream music every day on your hour-long commute. Boost’s unlimited music deal frees up high-speed data you can use on other things, like using GPS navigation to find that restaurant your friend recommended.

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Boost Mobile's Music Partners
Boost Mobile gives you unlimited music streaming only through one of its “music partners.” Apple Music listeners, take note: that service is not on the list.
Music partners include:

Pandora
Spotify
iHeartRadio
Napster
8tracks
Slacker Radio

What happens if you go over your data or hotspot limit?

Because all of Boost Mobile’s plans are technically unlimited, there’s no automatic fee for going over a data limit. With the 3 GB plan, your speeds will just go down to a snail’s crawl for the rest of the month.

If you just can’t go without streaming YouTube on the train home and you need more high-speed data before the month ends, you can pay a fee to get more.

Data boost prices for Boost Mobile’s 3 GB plan:

  • 1 GB LTE data – $5/mo.
  • 2 GB LTE data – $10/mo.

Need more than 3 GB every month? You can set up a recurring data boost and just pay the fee for one or two extra gigs every month.

Boost Mobile plan comparison

As we’ve mentioned, Boost isn’t the cheapest prepaid provider out there. But let’s look at some of the raw numbers. Here’s a comparison between Boost’s 3 GB and similar plans from other prepaid carriers.

Boost Mobile 3 GB plan comparison

Boost Mobile Family Plans

Boost offers some discounts when you add lines, but there are cheaper family plans out there. 

You can save a few bucks and the hassle of managing multiple bills by bundling together with your loved ones.

Boost Mobile offers some discounts on family plans. Here’s a look at some of the cheapest options for a 3-line family plan. You can design your own Boost Mobile family plan on Whistle Out’s website to see how much it will cost.

Boost Mobile family plans with 3 lines

These family plans are a great way to save some money if you’re already set on using Boost Mobile. But if you’re shopping around for the best family plan deals from any carrier, we recommend checking out these other plans.

Boost Mobile cell phones and devices

Boost Mobile has the most popular phones in stock, which is good because you might not be able to bring your own device.

Boost Mobile has a pretty good phone selection. You can find the latest iPhone and Samsung models in stock. And that’s a good thing because Boost Mobile does not have the best BYOD program. Here’s a look at some of the most popular phones that Boost Mobile offers.

We recommend just buying a phone from Boost Mobile directly if you can because it makes the whole process easier. But if you love your phone and can’t imagine leaving it, you can check if it’s actually compatible with Boost service.

You’ll notice some pretty weird stipulations when it comes to compatibility. Many popular phones, like the Google Pixel 3, will not work with a Boost SIM card.

How good is Boost Mobile’s performance?

Boost Mobile uses Sprint’s network, which means it doesn’t have the best service (for now).

Any phone on Boost Mobile’s service gets about the same service as any phone on Sprint’s service. That sounds good until you remember Sprint’s service is not the best. Most studies rank it fourth out of the four major wireless companies.1,2

However, since Sprint and T-Mobile have recently merged, it’s possible that Boost will transition to T-Mobile’s network, which is significantly better than Sprint’s network. We’ll keep you posted if Boost’s network gets upgrades to T-Mobile’s network in the near future.

For now, take a look at Sprint’s coverage map to see how robust the network is in your area.

You’ll probably notice those big coverage gaps in places like Idaho and New Mexico. That said, if you live in an area that does have Sprint coverage, then you probably won’t have any issues keeping your phone at full bars.

Boost Mobile customer service

Boost Mobile gives you a bunch of different ways to reach customer service reps. We recommend chat or social media. 

boost mobile twitter

Just like cable providers, cell phone companies don’t have the best reputations for good customer service. But our test interactions with Boost Mobile’s customer service reps went pretty well.

You can call in, live chat someone from Boost’s website, or use social media like Twitter. We say skip calling in if you can—it’s a lot of automated menus and wait times. But Boost Mobile’s social media response to us was fast and helpful. Twitter for the win.

Recap—Is Boost Mobile any good?

Boost Mobile doesn’t top our list of favorite prepaid providers because its BYOD program is limited and its actual phone service isn’t the best out there. But we do like that Boost includes unlimited music streaming on certain platforms, and its customer service was easy to reach. It’s a great option for music-lovers who want a cheap, simple plan.

  • Plans: None of Boost Mobile’s plans will cut off your data or charge you automatic overages. We generally recommend Boost’s 3 GB plan over its unlimited options, unless you want a lot of hotspot data.
  • Performance: Boost Mobile uses Sprint’s network, which isn’t always the best. But Sprint does work pretty well in some areas, so just make sure your area is one of them before you sign on.
  • Customer service: We had positive experiences with Boost Mobile’s customer service team. We recommend reaching out to them through live chat or social media for the fastest and easiest response.
  • Overall: If you want a cheap plan with unlimited music streaming and generous hotspot data allowance, then sign up for Boost Mobile. If you’re picky about your devices or live in a rural area, check out other carriers.

Sources

Additional contributors: 

Mindy Woodall

  • Kayla Williams

    Boost Mobile is the worst provider ever!!! Boost Mobile is the worst cell phone provider period! Even Metro PCS is better which is exactly why I’m switching back to them! I continue to NOT receive calls all day everyday, the services have been faulty from the first day I ever activated a phone with them! Do NOT use Boost! I have a ton of text and email proof of family, friends and clients that have tried to call me several times and the phone never rings on my end!!! I’ve done nothing but waste money with this company and lose money and not be able to receive calls!! The internet on your device nor your hotspot works when your on a call, my my outgoing calls constantly disconnect with the message “signal faded call lost” like I’m in a rural area and I’m not I’m in the very busy and congested city of Phoenix lol so why they’re services are so drastically faulty is beyond me but I’m done. The company will not do anything for you! After a month of complaining, literally from day one of me activating a brand new phone with them this is how they are, ignorant, very incompetent and are only here to take your money while providing deplorable service all around, phone service and customer service!! This company is a joke you will regret it if you use them!! And you’ll never receive calls!!

  • Brandon Scott

    WORST EVER!

  • Richard Norris

    Run away from boost mobile. What they dont tell you us they wont unlock your phone so if you try to take your phone somewhere else then you cant. I call customer service and got nothing but rudeness so i took all the boost phones and started a big bon fire with them and went to a real company ATT