T-Mobile vs. Sprint Review 2020

Now might be a good time to hop on one of these networks.
Best overall
Fast data speeds
More expensive data plans
Best for budget
Super cheap pricing plans
Less reliable coverage

We all know that the massive T-Mobile and Sprint merger is well on its way, which is why now might be the perfect time to hop on one of these carriers. If we had to guess, we’d assume that the merger will result in higher wireless prices with greater coverage.

Okay, so hear us out.

What if you were to sign up for Sprint or T-Mobile before the merger happens? There’s certainly a chance your cheaper cell phone plan could be grandfathered in post-merger. Big brands like T-Mobile and Sprint gotta stay loyal to their customers, right? (We can’t promise anything, but we can dream.)

T-Mobile and Sprint wireless plans overview

We’ll dig into the granular details of unlimited plans, prices, and perks, but take a look at the breakdown of the plans between the two networks first. It’s organized by price, and you can probably guess which provider offers cheaper plans. (It’s Sprint. Definitely Sprint.)

Sprint vs. T-Mobile unlimited plans

Sprint costs less, but T-Mobile offers better coverage and speeds.

Sprint unlimited plans

T-Mobile unlimited plans

Sprint vs. T-Mobile unlimited pricing

Time to decide between price and reliability.

There’s a clear line in the sand between T-Mobile and Sprint networks, and it happens right around the $50 mark. Sprint specializes in low-cost prices with the catch that you get a less reliable network.

T-Mobile, on the other hand, is an upper-tier wireless provider that will cost you more every month but returns the favor with fast data speeds and stronger coverage.

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What does Magenta mean?
Magenta is T-Mobile’s fancy name for plans that include more hotspot data (additional 10 GB for Magenta and 20 GB for Magenta Plus) and more international data. No matter which T-Mobile unlimited plan you choose, you get 50 GB of unthrottled hotspot data.
Woman Working Via Hotspot

With T-Mobile’s hotspot data, you can work on the go without worrying about lousy Wi-Fi.

The advantage goes to Sprint when it comes to unlimited pricing. You can’t beat Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart plan. Seriously, an unlimited data plan for $25 a month is an absolute steal. It’s only available for users switching over to Sprint for the first time, but if that’s you, you should jump on that ASAP. Your price should stay the same even after the promotion ends.

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How will pricing change after the Sprint and T-Mobile merger?
We can only speculate at this point, but it feels safe to assume most prices will be higher than what Sprint currently offers. Hopefully, if you opt into a cheap Sprint plan now, your contract will stay the same even after the merger.

Sprint vs. T-Mobile Unlimited data

T-Mobile does more with its unlimited data options.

There’s really no competition when it comes to unlimited data speeds between Sprint and T-Mobile. T-Mobile is like Michael Jordan and the ’90s Chicago Bulls, and Sprint is like those ’90s Utah Jazz teams. In other words, T-Mobile always wins with faster speeds and more reliable coverage.

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About that analogy. . .
It simultaneously informs you that T-Mobile offers much faster data speeds1 and pokes fun at my editor. Thanks for your patience.

*Editor’s note: Jordan pushed off.

You can expect an average download speed of 21.1 Mbps with T-Mobile, which nearly doubles Sprint’s average download speed of 13.9 Mbps.1 Translation: your internet experience will feel much smoother on T-Mobile’s network compared to Sprint’s.

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How many Mbps do I use in a given moment?
To stream a basic video on Instagram or YouTube, it’ll cost you around 8–10 Mbps. How quickly you get that data depends on your network. T-Mobile will get you that data (read: your video) more quickly.

The advantage easily goes to T-Mobile for data speeds.

If you hate that feeling of waiting for something to load on your cell phone, then Sprint might cause a few headaches. Your data speeds should feel consistently responsive on the T-Mobile network.

What about data caps?

Both Sprint and T-Mobile cap their data at 50 GB for unlimited plans. This means that once you exceed 50 GB of data in a given month, your data may start to slow down. For what it’s worth, you probably won’t come close to using 50 GB of data in a single month, unless you literally never stop streaming and, honestly, no shame if you do.

Sprint vs. T-Mobile Unlimited coverage

T-Mobile offers much more reliable coverage.

Coverage suddenly becomes a big deal when you’re stranded on the side of the road with no signal and can’t get a text out. It’s also annoying when you capture a perfect moment and you can’t upload it to your Instagram story.

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Warning for Sprint fans!
Coverage is where Sprint suddenly starts to look much less appetizing. Especially if you live in Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas. (Most of the West, really.)

Let’s take a look at the coverage maps and see how Sprint and T-Mobile compare.

Sprint network coverage

Sprint Coverage Map

Source: WhistleOut

T-Mobile network coverage

Source: WhistleOut
Yeah, it’s really not even close between Sprint and T-Mobile. You’ll run into plenty of dead spots with Sprint basically anywhere you go that isn’t back east or somewhere along the west coast. It all depends on whether you’re lucky enough to live in an area with Sprint coverage or not. Otherwise, you might struggle to send a basic text in certain areas.

For T-Mobile, you should enjoy dependable cell service basically everywhere you go. Thus, you guessed it, T-Mobile wins the day when it comes to coverage.

T-Mobile vs. Sprint phones

T-Mobile and Sprint offer basically all the same phones at the same prices.

Which top phones do T-Mobile and Sprint have?
MakeT-MobileSprint
iPhonePhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS MaxiPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
SamsungAndroid Galaxy S10+, Android Galaxy Note10, Android Galaxy S10 5GAndroid Galaxy S10+, Android Galaxy Note10, Android Galaxy S10 5G
GooglePixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XLPixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3
Learn moreView PhonesView Phones

The main exception here is that Sprint offers more Google Pixel phones than T-Mobile does currently. Either way, you can get the newest Google Pixel phones with T-Mobile or Sprint, but if you want an older model from a few years ago, you’ll have better luck with Sprint.

Google Pixel

Sprint offers Google Pixel phones like this one.

Both T-Mobile and Sprint offer essentially every new cell phone device you would want, but we gotta give the edge to Sprint for offering more Google Pixel support.

Sprint vs. T-Mobile perks

T-Mobile’s perks may be better, but Sprint may be best for Hulu fans.

T-Mobile and Sprint both offer extra perks in two main areas: streaming services and international travel. T-Mobile just does it, well, better.

T-Mobile perks

  • Netflix subscription with two or more T-Mobile Magenta lines
  • Deals like trips and vouchers through the T-Mobile Tuesdays app
  • One hour of in-flight GoGo® Wi-Fi on eligible flights (or unlimited with T-Mobile Magenta Plus)
  • In-flight texting
  • Unlimited texting and data in most countries
Woman using WiFi on flight

Some T-Mobile plans give you free in-flight Wi-Fi.

Sprint perks

  • Hulu Limited Commercials subscription (restricted to streaming on Sprint devices)
  • Unlimited data and texting in most countries
  • Services from Tidal (music app) and Lookout (mobile security app)—only with the Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Premium plans

Recap

For most people, T-Mobile is the best option. But Sprint is still a good choice if you want the lowest possible monthly price and you live somewhere where Sprint has decent service.

For most people, T-Mobile is the best option. But Sprint is still a good choice if you want the lowest possible monthly plan price and you live somewhere where Sprint has decent service.

When should you pick Sprint or T-Mobile?

  • Budgeters: Pick Sprint. It has lower plan prices. However, T-Mobile’s prices already include taxes, fees, and surcharges, and it sometimes offers cell phone deals.
  • Travelers: Pick T-Mobile. Both Sprint and T-Mobile give you unlimited text and data in most countries. But T-Mobile sweetens the deal with free in-flight texting and Wi-Fi.
  • Data hogs: Pick T-Mobile. Sprint’s Unlimited plans give you 23 GB of 4G LTE data per month, but that can’t compare to T-Mobile’s Magenta plan’s generous 50 GB allotment.
  • Country dwellers: Pick T-Mobile. Neither T-Mobile nor Sprint cover all rural areas in the country, but T-Mobile’s is better than Sprint’s overal
  • Speed lovers: Pick T-Mobile. T-Mobile consistently has higher and more reliable data speeds than Sprint, countrywide.
  • Anarchy Bunker✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Minor correction. You can watch Hulu on your PC using your Sprint login. It’s a Hulu account. It is not limited to streaming only on your phone. You’re welcome.