Sprint Cell Phone Plans Review

Sprint offers low prices and some serious perks—but whether or not you’ll get good service totally depends on where you live.
sprint logo
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Affordable family plans
Generous unlimited plans
Free international coverage (mostly)
Less reliable coverage in rural areas

During Super Bowl LIII, Sprint aired a somewhat creepy ad about robots laughing at a human person. The ad claims that you can pay half as much with Sprint for less than a 1% difference in network reliability.1 That’s quite the claim, creepy robot.

Sprint is one of the top-four cell phone service carriers in the United States, and it’s definitely the most affordable. But the price doesn’t always make up for spotty service across the country.

While Sprint’s coverage isn’t quite the same as what you’d get from Verizon or AT&T, it has gotten much better in the last few years. But unless you live in a major city or suburb, we still recommend choosing a different provider—one that’ll give you full bars (and fast data) in more places.

Sprint unlimited plans

Compared to other major providers, Sprint’s plans are about as cheap as it gets.

Sprint’s biggest selling point is its plan prices—even for unlimited text and data.

If you live in an area where Sprint also offers good coverage (say, a city), then its pricing makes Sprint a pretty compelling choice for bargain shoppers.

It’s also easy to understand the way Sprint’s plans work. Sprint offers only one unlimited plan, so you don’t have to choose between multiple options. If you prefer a prepaid plan, Sprint still gives you a prepaid option with unlimited text and data, or a slightly cheaper prepaid plan with a data cap.

Let’s say you wanted to get a new Samsung Galaxy 9 with your new unlimited Sprint plan. Keep in mind that these prices will be roughly the same with any flagship phone. Here are your options:

The Unlimited plan also gives you 10 GB of mobile hotspot data per month. That means if your Wi-Fi goes down in the middle of a super important project, you can use your phone’s network to power your laptop’s internet connection.

Plus, Sprint gives you HD video streaming even when you’re off Wi-Fi. (Many providers stream at 480p by default and require a higher-tier plan for HD.)

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Data caps and speed throttling
While Sprint’s unlimited plans are just that, unlimited, it does say it can throttle your speeds if you use more than 23 GB of data per month. That’s actually pretty good and gives you a little more data than Verizon or AT&T, although T-Mobile gives you a generous 50 GB before it threatens to reduce your speeds.

How do Sprint unlimited plans compare to the competition?

Okay, Sprint talks a big game about how cheap it is compared to other wireless providers. So let’s compare unlimited plans.

As you can tell, Sprint ends up being cheaper than most of the other carriers out there. Before you get too excited, remember that the cheap price comes at a cost: spotty service. If you live near a big city, then you’re in luck, friend—but rural farmers of the world, you might want to consider one of the other three major carriers.

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Looking for international coverage?
If you’ve got any penpals abroad that you want to stay in contact with, you’ll want to check out how the best international plans shake out across wireless providers.

Sprint family plans

This is where Sprint really shines.

If you have a family of phone users and you’re looking for a bargain, you should strongly consider Sprint. You get more data for a much cheaper price. Just make sure your kids understand that the coverage won’t be quite as good.

Heck, just make ‘em watch The Blair Witch Project and remind them they probably wouldn’t have cell phone coverage in that scenario. (We’ll take our parent of the year awards now, please.)

Let’s take a look at how Sprint’s family plans compare to other wireless family plans (like Verizon’s plans).

Sprint firmly positions itself on the more affordable end of the wireless spectrum. You can get cheaper family deals with Sprint than you can with Verizon and AT&T. Heck, you can get unlimited data for your family plan for a more affordable price than some Verizon plans with limited data.

It’s the same trade-off you’ll always find with Sprint: affordable prices, spottier service. It’ll all come down to where you and your family live. If you’re confident you’ll get all the service you need in your area, you can get away with a cheap family wireless bill.

Sprint Prepaid plans

Sprint prepaid plans are a little hazy right now. On its website, Sprint says its prepaid plans aren’t available to new customers. Uncool. But if you’re a long-term Sprint customer you can presumably opt for a prepaid wireless plan.

If you’re looking to start a fresh prepaid plan on a new carrier, you’ll want to check out Metro by T-Mobile. Those guys have some of the best prepaid deals out there.

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Looking for a super cheap Sprint plan?
Sprint does offer a 2 GB data plan—so if you mostly use Wi-Fi and just want a simple plan with little data and unlimited text, then this is the plan for you.

Sprint special features

If you travel a lot, then Sprint’s unlimited plans are a pretty good deal for international text and data. You get free texting and data use in most countries—although your speeds will only be around 2G. You’ll also still have to pay voice calls. Still, free text and data overseas is a big perk.

We personally tested out the international text and data feature in a few different parts of Japan. Our speeds weren’t exactly lightning-fast, but coverage was pretty good and we didn’t have many issues with apps and web pages loading.

Free Hulu Limited Commercials plan and other impressive services

Sprint’s unlimited plans come with a free Hulu Limited Commercials plan. That Hulu plan is normally $7.99 per month, and if you already have it, then Sprint can save you that eight bucks.

The only drawback is you have to sign up on your phone (at hulu.com/sprint), and you can access Hulu only either on your phone or while using your phone as a hotspot.

The Unlimited Plus plan gives you a free Tidal music account and a 15 GB LTE hotspot. Go with the Unlimited Premium plan and you’ll get Hulu, Tidal, Lookout (mobile security service), Amazon Prime, and a 50 GB LTE hotspot.

The perks just got real, folks!

Sprint cell phones and devices

Which top phones does Sprint sell?

You’ll find (almost) all the most popular phones at Sprint, including iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Our only real complaint with Sprint’s phone offerings is that it doesn’t offer Google Pixel phones in store.

If you really want a Pixel but also want Sprint, you can buy an unlocked Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL directly from Google and take it into a Sprint store to get a Sprint UICC card for it. (A UICC card is like a newer version of a SIM card.)

Which top phones does Sprint have?

iPhone

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus

Samsung

  • Galaxy S9/S9+
  • Galaxy S8/S8+

*not a complete list

How good is Sprint performance?

Compared to the other three major mobile service providers, Sprint coverage and speed rank pretty low. It generally comes in third or fourth.

Sprint never comes in first for coverage2,3 or speed4,5 across the country. Studies almost always rank it third or fourth out of the four major providers. But if you live in a place with solid cell phone coverage, you’re in luck, friend.

In the last few years, Sprint has improved its network, so it definitely works better in metro areas than it used to. That said, it doesn’t cover rural areas very well, like some parts of the western United States—especially low-population states like Wyoming and Montana.

Sprint customer service

Like most cell carriers, Sprint has some work to do when it comes to customer service.

Sprint isn’t known for having amazing customer service. In fact, studies tend to rank it behind even the other major wireless carriers: Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.6

In our own interactions with Sprint’s customer service, we’ve had a positive experience overall. We got quick responses from Sprint via Twitter, and when we talked with one of its chat representatives, they gave us helpful answers about data throttling (yes, it happens) . Our only complaint was that chat responses were a little slow. (Hurry up, Brad!)

That said, experiences in actual Sprint stores can vary because Sprint stores are franchised. If you buy a phone at one Sprint store, you just can’t take it to any other Sprint store for a return or exchange. The stores have to be owned by the same franchise to work together, and there’s no way for consumers to know ahead of time whether or not they are.

If you buy a phone at one Sprint store, you can’t take it to any other Sprint store for a return or exchange.

In the future, we’d like to see Sprint improve its chat response times and let customers access the same services in any Sprint store they walk into.
Does Sprint have overage charges or hidden fees?

Sprint charges government taxes and a couple of surcharges on every monthly bill. That’s pretty normal for a major provider.

When you sign up for Sprint, you’ll also have to pay a $30 activation fee per line. That’s also pretty normal for major carrier, and it’s lower than AT&T’s $45 activation fee.

Don’t want to pay the fee?

Sprint waives it if you sign up for your plan and buy your phone online.

Recap—Is Sprint good?

Sprint’s prices are lower than many other big-name providers. As for everything else, there’s room for improvement.

Sprint’s done a pretty good job of expanding its coverage and speeding up its service in metro areas over the past few years, but it still ranks behind other major carriers for coverage, speed, and customer service.

If you want a cheap cell carrier with decent service—and you live in a metro or suburban area—then Sprint is a pretty good choice. But if you live in a rural area, or somewhere else Sprint just has poor coverage, then Sprint’s affordability might not be worth the frustration of spotty service.

  • Plans: Sprint’s plans are affordable and easy to understand. Its Unlimited plans are a pretty good deal, especially considering it has free international text and data. And depending on your plan, you get a boatload of free service add-ons.
  • Coverage: Sprint definitely falls behind Verizon and AT&T when it comes to coverage, but it’s comparable to T-Mobile.
  • Speed: Sprint ranks dead last against other providers when it comes to speed.
  • Customer service: Sprint has some major work to do on its overall customer service scores, but our own interactions with it were fine.

Overall: Sprint is affordable and has some winning perks, but whether it’s worth it depends entirely on where you live and if Sprint has good service in your area.

FAQs

Q: I already own a phone—can I still sign up for Sprint?

Yes. You can most likely transfer your existing phone over to Sprint service as long as it’s unlocked from your previous carrier.

Q: Can you make international calls with Sprint?

Yes, although Sprint’s free international coverage only includes text and data—not calls. If you want to make international calls, you’ll likely need to add international calling to your current plan. Exact rates depend on which country you want to call. You can check plan prices here.

Q: Can I keep my phone number?

Yes, Sprint allows you to transfer your phone number over from another carrier. You just have to provide some information during the checkout process, like your address and your old account number.

Q: Can I transfer my contacts to my new phone?

Yes, you can use a cloud storage service like Google Contacts or iCloud to save your contact information in your current phone and download it onto your new device.

Sources

1. OpenSignal, “Sprint Coverage Map
2. RootMetrics, “Sprint Coverage Map
3. OpenSignal, “Speed Rankings
4. RootMetrics, “Speed Rankings
5. J.D. Power, “2018 Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study

Additional contributors

Mindy Woodall

  • Caught Ya

    I just left Sprint after nearly two decades of loyalty. Be vigilant and ask how much the plan is AFTER the promotion ends, and remember it is not a “contract” (with exception of any phones you purchase) they can change the pricing at will and do. In my case I was never even told the pricing I was getting was promotional, when I got a bill for two phones that was almost double what it had been they told me the “promotional pricing ended”. I still had nine months left to pay off the phones, and would be immediately charged for the phones if I didn’t stay in the “promo plan”……. BYE SPRINT. In nearly 2 decades I had NEVER had something so SHADY pulled on me.

    • Jim

      I have had the SAME experinece. Agent never told me the plan was for a limited time. When time expired, my plan cost went up 35%. Be VERY CAREFUL with Sprint. DECITFUL DECITFUL DECITFUL. I called Sprint on this and they basically said “too bad”.

  • L. Stevens

    SCAM. Too many things to list so I’ll start with the last thing to wrap it up. So upon exiting the sprint service, we were notified that there were a reconnection fee charge for being late paying the bill. Well what’s wrong with that? 🤔 Well… it’s a prepaid phone 😪 … run now while you can. And here’s some more. We bought the iPhone 10 cash out no loan. Not only did we have to wait a YEAR 👀 to get it unlocked, but the 🤬 has the nerves to ask why we want the phone unlocked(scue my language) … Uhh, well… 🤔☝🏽…Maybe because we paid for it a year ago. Yeah. That’s it. …Smh just go to Cricket. No seriously. Go to Cricket.

  • Teresa Prince-Conner

    If you live in Menifee and are considering switching to Sprint reconsider! First of all if you live near Canyon Lake- in Audie Murphy, or anywhere between the 215 and I15 freeway service is non-existent. Magic Jack won’t help, because Their cell tower in the area is unserviceable. This came straight from the store manager after we signed up and surrendered our phones to get their promo. Once we discovered that our business calls were not being received, we had no internet/ data available anywhere we went between Menifee and Orange county and down to Rancho Bernardo. We contacted them about canceling our account. They told us we could do this but we couldn’t get our phones back. They went on to tell us that the Value they quoted for our phones when we signed up was not the amount we would be getting back for our phones . I had an Iphone 7plus 128, my husbands phone was a 6 plus, and we had an Ipone SE in rose quartz new in the box. Today , I was told they are only giving us $20 for the SE, $70 for our 6plus , and 150 for our 7plus with upgraded memory 128. When we signed up we were told we would get fair Market Value for them if we needed to cancel our service- but when it came down to it , they tell you they are only obligated to buy back Value- which they determined and did not disclose up front. This is a form of fraud . Once questioned , they make several promises to get you to bring your new phones back and return them. This becomes necessary as a Sprint Iphone has a chip in it that does not allow the phone to access other providers towers. So Verizon will not buy out your contract . At&t will not buy your contract , spectrum won’t buy out your contract and Tmobile requires you wait three months to buy out your contract which means if you paid anything down on your phone you would not be able to get that refunded. And if your Sprint phone didn’t work with Tmobile or Verizon , you would now have a useless phone that you owe full price for that would be due immediately with no credit applied for the phones you traded in.
    This policy was changed recently- be careful and make them hand you a contract before you sign their little black screen. The contract never matches what the sales person tells you.
    Customer service with Sprint is a nightmare- they keep you on the phone for hours. The representatives are not trained to know what is in the contracts and what can be done to resolve issues. So, they make it up along the way. In my case the first supervisor promised to get our phones back or to make a satisfactory accommodation if we went back to the store @ 4:00 on a busy Saturday for an appointment. She stated she would be available by phone for this appointment- but of course she was not and the store had no knowledge of the appointment. While we were at the store we contacted customer care as the lead at the store would not discuss the issues with us at all. This time we reached Robert Mathews who also claimed to be a supervisor. Robert told us if we signed up for another carrier and ported out our phones they would give us $100 more per phone than what the representative at the store had told us the day before – and they would wipe out the bill and return what we paid. When we tried to do this the following day, we were locked out of the account- the store was locked out of the account – and they refused to take our phones back on the last day of our customer satisfaction period. We photographed , time stamped and got the reps name and info when this happened and were able to speak with the store manager “Amber” who was quite helpful the next day. However- Sprint had blocked her ability to do refunds directly back to our card. They also only allowed for a partial refund of just the one device- I have not received anything as of yet for the Value of the three phones they essentially stole from us. To get new service that actually functions in our area we had to pay full price for the devices. Sprint won’t even send you a used phone back which renders you ineligible for the promotions offered by other companies. Then Sprint refurbishes your phone if needed and sells them for a profit – it seems that if they can’t keep their customers do to faulty towers and outdated equipment- They make money from buying phones for less than market Value and reselling them for retail value. This is not a company that honors their promises. They don’t stand behind what their representatives tell their clients . Robert Mathews made us a promise- he is a supervisor- and Carole at Sprints corporate office has informed me they have no intention of honoring his promises. In fact she told me that her employees were poorly trained and that was an internal matter and had nothing to do with me. Carole also informed me that if I wrote the CEO he would never see our letter as it would come to her or Jennifer first. She spent a while trying to shame me about not reading a contract that was never shown to us at the store. Then , she went on to say- well they email it to you! (In a way that takes it directly to your span folder.) Through the course of our time with Sprint I was lied to by our first point of contact- again by the first supervisor I spoke to, a third time by the second supervisor I spoke to- and when we visited the store regarding our disappointment with the service for our Saturday appointment we were disregarded from the blond lead who claimed to be the manager, and when we left the store with the situation unresolved she danced a little jig as if she was excited about getting away with ripping us off. This is not acceptable! I will be contacting consumers protection. It is fraud when a company knows they can not provide adequate service in an area you live in and represents it as good service. When this failure to disclose along with failing to disclose what you are being paid for your phones in a clear and easily accessible manner has occurred a fraud has been committed. It is not ethical to continue to sell this product in an area in which they can not provide the service they are offering even if they make a claim that there is no guarantee of service written somewhere on their website that you may never find. If you live in Menifee or in California- and your business or personal life requires you to be able to make and receive calls and access your data plan- Sprint isn’t the company for you. I lost quite a but of money as a result of this switch and my family missed important business calls that have caused us further financial damage. Don’t make the same mistake we did! If you are considering Sprint at all, Run – don’t walk to any other provider!

  • Anonymous

    I was with Sprint for about a year and I must post this review because it has been the worst phone company I have ever been with…on top of losing signal in many areas I was also continuously being over charged and was still charged even after I switched over to another phone company because I was unable to use my cell phone for a month since it completely stopped working. Customer service wasn’t helpful either they just kept trying to persuade me to upgrade and pay more.

  • Carrie

    I’ve been sprint for six years I had nothing but problems in the last four months they had charged me three times for a cell phone I already paid for they never admit their mistakes and all they do is overcharge people is by far the worst service I’ve ever had worst customer service I went into the Sprint store at 10:00 AM Walked out of there at 1 o’clock because they still cannot figure out my bill And y I was charge 3 time for a phone that I paid off I took pictures prior to the month had the proof and what they did was charge me additional $400 for the phone on top of the 199 Plus I paid the phone off through out the 18 mth. Do not change to sprint it one lie after another.

  • Chris Vessels

    I got rid of my sprint phone 4 months ago. I called sprint and payed everything that was owed on my account and closed it. Now 4 months later I have a debt collector calling me saying I owe sprint $300. According to sprint my account never closed out so they just kept billing me for a phone that I no longer had or used. Their customer service has no interest in working it out the only response I get is how would you like to pay the $300.

  • Pl4218253

    Sprint sucks! Went on vacation & had no service the whole time! The entire time I leased my phone on sprints unlimited plan my bill just kept going up for no reason! I barely used the internet bc I was always on wifi & never bought anything or used anything that cost money so how is that possible?! & to top it off after I paid off my lease to switch to Verizon which is wayyy better by the way, I still had a final bill from Sprint. So since I still had a new Verizon bill due I asked sprint if I could make smaller payments on the bill every month to avoid the bill from going to collections. They said Yes as long as I make some sort of payment it would not go to collections so then a week after I pay $40 towards the $130 bill I get an email saying the remainder is scheduled to be sent to collections in 7 days if not paid in full! So they just lied to me! Luckily I saw it & just bit the bullet & paid the remainder but had it gone to collections & ruined my credit this could’ve been a way bigger problem!! Never again Will I go with sprint or ever recommend! Also even if you pay off your lease on the phone they still charge you the same amount to “rent” the phone from them unless you choose the buyout option!