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
Sprint offers low prices and some serious perks—but whether or not you’ll get good service totally depends on where you live.
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Low prices
Generous unlimited plans
Free international coverage (mostly)
No Google Pixel phones in store
Recent Updates: 2 months ago
Information regarding pricing and plans was updated in October 2018.

Sprint is one of the top four cell service providers in the United States, and it’s definitely the lowest priced. But the price doesn’t always make up for its spotty service across the country.

While Sprint’s coverage is not as good 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 provider that gives you full bars (and fast data) in more places.

How Sprint unlimited plan prices compare*

Company1 line2 lines3 lines4 linesLearn more
Sprint$60-$90/mo.$100-$160/mo.$120-$210/mo.**$140-$260/mo.**View plans
Verizon$75-$95/mo.$130-$180/mo.$150-$210/mo.$160-$240/mo.View plans
T-Mobile***$70–$80/mo.$120–$140/mo.$140–$160/mo.$160–$200/mo.View plans
AT&T$70-$80/mo.$125-$150/mo.$145-$170/mo.$160-$190/mo.View plans

Data effective 10/8/18. * Prices include autopay, paperless billing, and multi-line discounts where applicable.
** Sprint currently lets you add lines 3–5 for no additional charge until 6/30/19.
*** T-Mobile prices include taxes and fees.

Sprint cell phone plans and pricing

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, Sprint gives you more for your money than anyone else—especially if you want a family plan. So if you live in an area where Sprint also offers good coverage, then its price makes Sprint a pretty compelling choice.

It’s also easy to understand the way Sprint’s plans work. It offers only one unlimited plan, so you don’t have to choose from 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.

Sprint Unlimited Basic Plan

The Unlimited plan also gives you 10 GB of mobile hotspot data per month. That means when 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.)

Sprint Unlimited plans pricing

Plan name1 line2 lines3 lines4 linesLearn more
Unlimited Basic*$60/mo.$100/mo.$120/mo.**$140/mo.**View plans
Unlimited Plus$70/mo.$120/mo.$150/mo.$180/mo.View plans
Unlimited Premium$90/mo.$160/mo.$210/mo.$260/mo.View plans

* Prices include autopay, paperless billing, and multi-line discounts where applicable.
** Sprint currently lets you add lines 3–5 for no additional charge until 6/30/19.

Info Box icon

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.

Sprint family plan deal

Sprint has a promotion running right now through June 30, 2019 that gives you up to five lines for the price of two. That’s a super impressive deal, especially if you have kids, your kids have phones, and you’re the one paying the phone bill.

There’s one big drawback to that good deal though: after June 30, 2019, you’ll have to pay the full price for all those additional lines.

Sprint Unlimited Basic plan pricing for additional lines:

  • $40 per month for the second line
  • $30 per month for each additional line

For Unlimited Plus, add $10 per line. For Unlimited Premium, add $20 per line on top of the Unlimited Plus price.

Sprint data plans

PlanPriceData amountLearn more
2 GB$40/mo.2 GBView plans

Sprint does offer a 2 GB data plan, although we’re not sure who would actually use it. If you mostly use Wi-Fi and just want a simple plan with a little data and unlimited text, then that’s fine, but we’d still recommend choosing the Sprint Forward 4 GB plan over this one.

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 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 Tidal (music app) and 15 GB LTE hotspot. Go with the Unlimited Premium plan and you’ll get Hulu, Tidal, Lookout (mobile security service), an Amazon Prime membership, and 50 GB LTE hotspot.

The perks just got real, folks!

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 providers, 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.

Sprint phones and devices

Which top phones does Sprint sell?

MakeModelLearn more
iPhoneiPhone 7 / 7 Plus, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, iPhone XSee phones
SamsungGalaxy S8 / S8+, Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S9 / S9+See phones

*Not a complete list

You’ll find (almost) all the most popular phones at Sprint, including iPhones and Samsung Galaxys. Our only real complaint with Sprint 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 or Pixel 2 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.)

Sprint coverage and speed: How does it compare to the rest?

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

sprint coverage map

Sprint never comes in first for coverage1,2 or speed3,4 across the country. Studies almost always rank it third or fourth out of the four major providers. But depending on where you live, it’s not too shabby.

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 some parts of the western United States very well—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, studies5 tend to rank it behind even the other major wireless providers: Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.

Info Box icon

For the record

T-Mobile usually comes out on top in customer satisfaction surveys.

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. Our only complaint was that chat responses were a little slow.

That said, experiences in actual Sprint stores can vary because Sprint stores are franchised. If you buy a phone at one Sprint store, you 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 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.

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 logo

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 providers 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 Sprint just has poor coverage, then Sprint’s cheap cost 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

  • 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”.