Sprint Cell Phone Plans Review 2020

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 unlimited plans
Tons of perks
Less reliable coverage in rural areas
Recent Updates: 2 weeks ago
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sprint and other major providers, like AT&T, have agreed to the FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. The following actions will take place for all carriers for at least the next 60 days:

  • Waiving overages and data caps.
  • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
  • We appreciate these companies stepping forward to help out customers in this crisis.

    Sprint may be one of the “Big Four” in the mobile industry, but in many ways it acts like a budget carrier. The company’s prices trend lower than other major players, it offers free international coverage, and its phone deals are on-the-hook! (Sorry about that one).

    Of course, there’s a catch. Sprint’s coverage map reveals some gaping holes, especially in rural areas. We’re hoping that those holes will be patched with the upcoming Sprint/T-Mobile merger, but the jury is still out on that one (seriously).1

    Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about Sprint before you decide to sign up (or not).

    Deals

    Looking for a deal on your next phone?

    Sprint currently has deals on both iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. Check out our cell phone deals page to see how much you can save.

    Sprint unlimited plans

    It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of texts, calls, and data for just one low price.

    Sprint unlimited plans

    Pros

    • Affordable plans
    • Tons of unthrottled data
    • Great perks

    Cons

    • Lower streaming and gaming quality on cheaper plans
    • Less-than-optimal rural coverage

    What we like

    Sprint’s biggest selling point is its plan prices—especially for unlimited text and data. If you live in an area where Sprint offers good coverage (say, a city), then it’s a great way to get an A-level plan for B-level pricing.

    Sprint’s plan structure is simple: pretty much every single plan that the company offers comes with unlimited text, calls, and data. (Yes, you read that right.) The more expensive plans offer better streaming quality, more hotspot data, and other perks.

    Plenty of plan options

    When you put Sprint’s plans under a microscope, you start to notice that there are some differences in what they offer.

    For example, the Unlimited Kickstart plan will only get you video streams up to 480p (that episode of The Mandalorian might look a bit grainy) and gaming streams up to 2 Mbps (your PUBG Mobile streak might be ruined by latency).

    But if you opt for the more expensive Unlimited Plus plan, then you’ll get HD-quality video streaming, 50 GB of mobile hotspot data, and free subscriptions to Hulu and Tidal so that you can enjoy your data to the fullest.

    With the Unlimited Plus plan, you’ll also get unlimited talk, text, and 10 GB of data in Mexico and Canada. (If you travel a lot, then you might want to check out these other plans too.)

    Light Bulb icon
    Looking to get out of that activation fee?
    Sprint is running a pretty decent deal for new customers. When you sign up, you get free shipping (if you’re purchasing/leasing a new device), and they’ll waive your activation fee (though we wish they didn’t have one in the first place)!

    50 GB of unthrottled data

    While Sprint’s unlimited plans are just that, unlimited, it does say it can throttle your speeds if you use too much. That’s standard among cellular providers. But what’s not so standard is that Sprint gives you a full 50 GB of data before throttling. (That’s about the equivalent of streaming 16 HD movies!)

    If 50 GB still isn’t enough for you, then you might want to look at Verizon’s Get More Unlimited plan, which will give you 75 GB (!) of unthrottled data for $90 a month.

    The Unlimited Kickstart Plan

    Okay, we’ll just come out and say it. We think that Unlimited Kickstart is one of the best plans available from any provider. Sure, it won’t give you the best coverage or highest speeds. But you simply can’t argue with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $35 a month.

    What we don’t like

    Don’t make us say it again.

    Okay fine, we’ll say it again: Sprint’s coverage is not as good as other major carriers, especially in rural areas. While this won’t be a huge problem for most people, it will definitely be a deal breaker for others.

    No prepaid plans

    Sprint has been phasing out its prepaid plan options. If you’ve already got a prepaid plan, you should be able to keep it. But if you’re a new customer looking for prepaid, you should just head on over to the Sprint-owned Boost Mobile, which has dirt-cheap prepaid plans.

    How do Sprint’s unlimited plans compare?

    Okay, Sprint talks a big game about how cheap it is compared to other wireless providers. But let’s compare unlimited plans so you can see how much moolah you’ll actually save.

    Unlimited plans comparison

    As you can tell, Sprint is considerably cheaper than its competition. 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 homesteaders of the world, you might want to consider one of the other three major carriers.

    Sprint family plans

    Unlimited data for the whole family, from your great-aunt Bertha to your second cousin Jared.

    Pros

    • Awesome prices
    • Tons of data
    • Cool perks

    Cons

    • Poor coverage in rural areas

    What we like

    Of all the major carriers, Sprint has the cheapest family plans. No surprise there. But what is surprising is just how robust these plans can be.

    Tons of data

    Even Sprint’s cheapest family plans come with unlimited data. After 50 GB, that data may be throttled, but that should still be enough for everyone in the family to stream Spotify to their heart’s content.

    If you opt for the fancier (*cough* pricier *cough*) Unlimited Premium plan, then you’ll get 100 GB of shared data before you see any slowdowns.

    Freebies

    Just like Sprint’s regular unlimited plans, some of these family plans come with enticing perks. Would you like free subscriptions to Tidal, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Lookout? Why yes, we would, thank you very much!

    Deals

    Want to save even more on your family plan?

    Yes, you do. So check for promotional Sprints Plans deals from Sprint. The company is running one right now that will save you $20 a month on your 3rd, 4th, and 5th lines when you sign up for Unlimited Plus, making it about the same price as the Unlimited Basic plan!

    What we don’t like

    We’ll give you one guess . . . yep, you got it: coverage.

    Sure, you might be fine with having poor coverage in Idaho. But what does your uncle, who’s been building a sheep farm up there, think about that?

    How do Sprint’s family plans compare?

    Sprint family plans comparison

    For once, Sprint’s plans aren’t the cheapest of the Big Four. But that’s because even Sprint’s lowest level family plans offer unlimited data. When compared to AT&T’s 10 GB or Verizon’s 8 GB, that unlimited data sounds pretty good—especially if you’ll be splitting it four or five ways!

    Sprint special features

    International coverage

    Sprint’s coverage in rural Utah might not be that good, but if you hop on over to Spain, then you’ll be in luck. Even with the company’s cheapest plans, you’ll get free texting and data use in most countries—although your speeds will only be around 2G.

    You’ll still have to pay for voice calls, unless you’re roaming in Canada or Mexico, in which case you’ll get unlimited talk and text, plus at least 5 GB of 4G LTE data.

    Discounts for everyone

    Well, maybe not everyone. But Sprint does offer discounted plans to seniors, military service members (active and veterans), AAA members, AAdvantage members, credit union members, and Walgreens Rewards members.

    Free Hulu, Tidal, and Amazon Prime

    All of Sprint’s unlimited plans come with a free Hulu Limited Commercials plan that would normally set you back $5.99 per month.

    The Unlimited Plus plan also gives you a free Tidal music account and a 50 GB LTE hotspot.

    Go with the Unlimited Premium plan and you’ll get Hulu, Tidal, Lookout (mobile security service), Amazon Prime, and a 100 GB LTE hotspot.

    The perks just got real, folks!

    Sprint cell phones and devices

    Can’t download the newest version of Candy Crush Saga on your old clunker? Sprint can help you upgrade.

    Looking to upgrade to a fancier texting/camera/gaming machine? You’ll find (almost) all the most popular phones at Sprint, including iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. Here’s a look at some of the models that are available.

    Which top phones does Sprint have?

    iPhone:

    • iPhone 11 Pro Max
    • iPhone 11
    • iPhone X
    • iPhone XS
    • iPhone XR
    • iPhone 8/8 Plus
    • iPhone 7/7 Plus

    Samsung: 

    • Galaxy Note10+
    • Galaxy S10/S10+
    • Galaxy S9/S9+
    • Galaxy S8/S8+

    Google: 

    • Pixel 4
    • Pixel 4 XL
    • Pixel 3

    This is not a complete list of devices available from Sprint, but you can check the current phones and their prices on Sprint’s website.

    How good is Sprint’s coverage?

    Sprint Coverage Map

    Source: Sprint.com

    Main takeaway on coverage

    We’ve talked a lot about how Sprint’s coverage doesn’t stack up against the competition. For example, OpenSignal’s latest Mobile Network Experience Report found that Sprint only had 4G availability 89.5% of the time (compared to Verizon’s 94.8%).2

    But the good news is that Sprint is working on it. The latest report from RootMetrics found that the company’s network had improved significantly in 2019.3 We hope that trend continues.

    To learn more about how Sprint’s network compares to the rest of the big four, check out our full mobile coverage review.

    How will the Sprint/T-Mobile merger affect Sprint customers?

    You may have heard that Sprint plans to merge with T-Mobile to create a new, massive company (“with our powers combined . . .”) in the mobile industry. If the deal can clear a few last-minute hurdles,1 then the process could begin this year.

    While we’re a bit worried that a huge merger like this could hurt the industry overall, it isn’t necessarily bad news for individual Sprint customers.

    Sure, prices could go up, but that probably won’t happen in the short term. Meanwhile, experts predict that customers from both companies will see better coverage, increased speeds, and faster 5G rollout.

    So while some customers will surely decide to jump ship to Verizon, AT&T, or one of the many prepaid companies out there, we think it may be worth weathering the storm.

    Sprint customer service

    Sprint is eager to please, but its customers aren’t always convinced.

    No one can say Sprint isn’t trying. When you visit its website, you’ll see a little chat window pop up to ask you if you need help. If you tag the company on Twitter, then you’re likely to get a quick response. But clearly, it’s not enough.

    In the latest Wireless Service and Cellular Telephone Report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Sprint comes in dead last, with a score of 65 (out of 100).4 *Sigh*

    But there may be a bright light in the future for Sprint customers, and that bright light is T-Mobile. If the two companies go ahead with their planned merger, Sprint will be absorbed by the company that got the highest (76 out of 100) rating in ACSI’s report.

    Does Sprint have overage charges or hidden fees?

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

    You know what else is normal for major carriers? An activation fee. Sprint will charge you $30 per line when you sign up.

    Don’t want to pay the fee? (Of course you don’t want to pay the fee.) Sprint will often run promotional deals that waive activation fees when you sign up online.

    Recap

    Sprint may not be the best mobile carrier for everyone, but it does offer some unbeatable prices that frugal customers won’t be able to ignore. Here’s a quick recap of the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Unlimited plans: Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart plan is the cheapest unlimited plan from a major mobile carrier. Actually, Sprint’s prices trend lower than the competition across the board. Just watch out for slower speeds and data throttling on the lower-tiered plans.

    Family plans: Sprint’s strength is, once again, its low prices. No company offers a cheaper way to share unlimited talk, text, and data with your family.
    Network performance: Sprint’s low prices make more sense when you look at its coverage map. There are some big holes in places like New Mexico and Nevada.

    Customer service: Sprint’s customer service is about as spotty as its network coverage in western Wyoming—and that’s not a compliment.

    Sprint’s quality really comes down to one factor: does it have good service in your area or not? If it does, then you might want to take advantage of its low prices and great perks. If it doesn’t, then do yourself a favor and go with another carrier.

    FAQs

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

    Yes. You can 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?

    Most of 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, so just check plan prices before you go.

    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.

    Additional contributors

    Tyler Abbott

    • 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!