Coverage and Quality
Sprint’s network coverage is adequate, but not great. You won’t get the top-of-the-line connection you can expect from some of the nation’s larger carriers. Moreover, Sprint has a bad reputation for dropping more calls than other providers, and at times offering unacceptably slow levels of connectivity speed.
All that being said, its network is still better than others. For starters, you will get service in some of the more rural areas of the country. Sprint also claims that empirical evidence shows its network is only one percent less reliable than some competitors. In addition, its ability to provide affordable 3G data speeds while abroad is one of the best cell phone plan deals for anyone who travels.
Sprint’s best cell phone plans are its family unlimited plan options, which are consistently cheaper than its competition, and can save you as much as $30/mo versus the nation’s other leading carriers. You can get two lines for $100/mo, and can add additional lines for the cost of $30/line up to a maximum of five lines.
If you are looking for a shared family data plan, you can get 6GB for $45/mo, 12GB for $60/mo, 24GB for $80/mo, or 40GB for $100/mo.
There are no fees charged for going over your plan’s data limit. However, your speeds will be slowed once you exceed your threshold. However, you can pay $15/GB to eliminate these restrictions and continue streaming data at full speed. When it comes to roaming, there are no fees but Sprint can terminate your service if you use more than 800 voice minutes, or a majority of the kilobytes on your data plan while roaming within the United States.
Sprint charges $30 as a line activation fee, which is buried in the fine print because it’s higher than the industry standard. In addition, there is a monthly fee for connecting to the Sprint network, which ranges between $10/mo and $45/mo depending on the device.
When it comes to ending a two-year contract early, the fee for customers with “advanced devices” (smartphones, netbooks, and notebooks) will be charged up to $350. For customers with any other device, the fee can be has high as $200.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a large selection of high-range, mid-range, and discount phones available. If you want the latest and greatest, you can get an iPhone 7 Plus for $32/09/mo, or the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for $28.96/mo.
For something a little flashy but at a lower price point, the LG G5 goes for $14.36/mo. If you don’t mind getting a pre-owned phone, a use iPhone 6S Plus goes for $14.59/mo.
If all you are looking for is something that works, there are several options at $10/mo or less, including an LG Tribute HD that will only set you back $5/mo.
Available Plans (including price)
For a single phone line, Sprint offers unlimited talk, text, and data as well as a 10GB mobile hotspot for $60.
Support options are not quite as robust as elsewhere, but all the basics are still covered. There is a FAQ sections, as well as community message boards that will help you get answers to the most commonly asked questions, as well as chat and phone options if you want to speak with a customer service representative.
Sprint is a middle of the road carrier for anyone looking for a good balance between cost and service. While it’s true that the family plans are some of the cheapest cell phone plans available, there is a tradeoff with network coverage and reliability. But then again, Sprint’s claim that it’s service is only 1% less reliable across the top one-hundred markets may mean that its reputation is more indicative of a sample bias towards dissatisfied customers than anything else.