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Everything you need to know about Sprint

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Allconnect

Jul 27, 2020 — 7 min read

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  • Sprint has the most affordable single line pricing of all major carriers
  • You’ll enjoy strong text and data performance, but Sprint doesn’t have the strongest call reception coverage
  • Hulu is included with top tier unlimited plans
  • Access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, the largest nationwide 5G platform
  • Sprint doesn’t have as many cellphone deals as competitors

Sprint mobile pricing

Sprint doesn’t offer the lowest prices on devices, but the monthly fees are low and reasonable payment plans for phones are available at all service tiers.   

Sprint had more than 54 million mobile customers before it was acquired by T-Mobile in April 2020. The network remains one of the most competitively-priced providers, with single line costs coming in at just $35 for an Unlimited Kickstart Plan. Their average cost for a single line across all service tiers is just $61, cheaper than AT&T and Verizon by more than $10/mo. 

As with other carriers, Sprint charges more per month as you add additional lines to your plan. However, the price per line also goes down as you include more family members in the mix. Customers can get four lines for as little as $100. Seniors, veterans and active service members can also enjoy special pricing.

Sprint pricing is a little inconsistent when you start adding lines, so customers should choose a single line plan carefully if they may be adding lines later. The Unlimited Kickstart plan, for instance, is the cheapest plan at one line ($35) but among the more expensive plans with four lines ($140). Meanwhile, the Unlimited Plus plan only increases from $70 to $140 when you go from one to four lines. That being said, the average cost across all plans for four lines is just $35/line, cheaper than Verizon at $45/line and AT&T at $42/line. 

Sprint promotions and deals

Sprint offers free Hulu with all unlimited plans, as well as Amazon prime and six months of Tidal for top tier service, but call reception is not as wide as other carriers. 

Free phones when you switch

For customers who sign up for new service, one free phone per line is available (up to four lines). Phones currently available for this deal are the iPhone 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S10+. Free phones are contingent upon an 18-month lease agreement, and if you cancel early you will be responsible for the remaining cost of the phone. Still, it’s a great deal if you’re ready to commit to Sprint. 

Discounts to shop online

Sprint is encouraging people to shop online, versus going into a store to pick out a device. Current promotions include free shipping and a waived activation fee ($30 value).

Lease one, get one

If you and a partner want to share a Sprint bill, you can score a lease one, get one free phone deal for select LG devices. You’re required to pay for two phone lines and sign an 18-month lease, and the “free” phone is granted via credits on your bill. The one snag: If you decide to end your contract early, you’ll have to pony up the remaining balance on your phone’s value. Currently available for this deal are the LG V60 and LG ThinQ, both of which operate on the T-Mobile 5G network.

Free streaming services

Sprint offers a bevy of streaming options when you sign up for new service or upgrade to a new unlimited plan. All unlimited plan users get ad-supported Hulu for free, and Unlimited Plus customers can add six months of free Tidal music streaming. Unlimited Premium customers also receive access to Amazon Prime, which offers movie, music and TV streaming (plus all those free shipping perks you love). 

Apple TV+ with iPhone purchase

When you buy an iPhone from Sprint, you get one free year of Apple TV+. This gives you access to shows and movies you won’t find anywhere else. Watch on the free phone app or stream to your Apple TV or other compatible device. 

How do Sprint’s cellphone prices compare?

Like many other carriers, Sprint offers you affordable monthly payments on phones or a single one-time payment option. You can often get a discount to pay over time. For instance, an Apple iPhone 11 is $699.99 up front, or $525.06 if paid in installments over 18 months. 

If you choose to pay upfront instead of monthly installments, the price of your device will be about average with other carriers — with the exception of AT&T, which offers steeper discounts on many phones. On the plus side, Sprint offers some LG and Samsung devices you can’t find at all with other providers. 

Sprint’s average phone price is $820, significantly more expensive than the average of $721 across all major carriers.

If you care about access to 5G devices, Sprint is the place to start. Get the best deal by taking advantage of an installment plan. 

Sprint mobile coverage and speed

With access to T-Mobile’s 5G network as of 2020, Sprint has expanded its coverage, though it has historically ranked last in speed on its regular network.

SourceVerizonAT&TSprintT-Mobile
RootMetrics Overall Performance94.893.286.786.9
OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience9.79.38.28.7
Consumer Reports Data ScoreGoodFairFairVery good
Consumer Reports Reception ScoreGoodPoorPoorGood

Sprint thrives in its text performance and network reliability, where it has beat out T-Mobile (though it admittedly fell short of Verizon and AT&T) in RootMetrics’ RootScore Awards. One place where Sprint is making gains is in video performance. According to OpenSignal,  Sprint saw a 16.8% jump from a Fair ranking of 47.5 (out of 100) in July 2019 to a Good ranking of 55.5 points in the new OpenSignal report six months later. 

Customers in the Southwest will enjoy the best cell performance, according to a J.D. Power survey. In other regions, the carrier has more than the average number of reported issues per 100 mobile devices.  

On the positive side, Consumer Reports surveys of actual customers put Sprint in the Fair category for data. This score relies on customer self reporting, whereas other reporting uses technical data to determine the shape of the network. 

How is Sprint’s 5G network?

Sprint’s 5G network has been combined with T-Mobile’s network, and OpenSignal expects both customers to see improved speeds. 

Sprint uses mid-band 5G spectrum cable, which is superior to the low-band cables companies like AT&T deploy. The Sprint mid-band spectrum delivers speeds of 114.2 Mbps faster than the typical benchmarks for a single 5G band.

How does Sprint compare to other wireless providers?

Sprint is generally the most affordable carrier in terms of monthly plans, but you won’t find as many freebie device deals as you might with AT&T.  

You may save a lot of money in the long run by going with Sprint, making it a top option for mobile customers who are on a budget. If you want the top speeds and robust coverage, a carrier like Verizon may provide the broader service that you seek. 

Sprint is also a good network for people who want four lines for their family, as the average cost per line is cheaper than AT&T and Verizon by $7 and $10, respectively. Even the single line coverage is an average of $19 cheaper per month than Verizon. 

The carrier has earned a customer satisfaction score of 70/100 from the ACSI, which is just below the benchmark average for mobile carriers. 

Customers who are keen on cutting the cord will be really happy with Sprint, earning free access to Hulu and Amazon Prime with a top tier unlimited plan. You’ll be getting a whole lot of bang for your buck when compared to other carriers who might offer one free streaming option

VerizonAT&TSprintT-Mobile
ACSI customer satisfaction score74/10074/10070/10075/100
Consumer Reports customer support scoreFairPoorFairVery good
J.D. Power customer care score817/1000793/1000754/1000848/1000

Sprint customer service

If you’re someone who wants to keep in regular contact with your mobile provider, Sprint offers many ways to keep in touch. The carrier is available online and via phone. 

Sprint mobile FAQs

Can I get a free phone from Sprint?

Sprint doesn’t offer as many free phone deals as carriers like Verizon or AT&T, but you can get a free phone if you’re not picky. Fortunately, the phones offered for free tend to be the latest models from popular manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. 

Does Sprint have add-on services?

Yes. You can add everything from streaming services to security apps to your monthly Sprint services. Popular options include visual voicemail, Wi-Fi calling and Tidal music streaming. 

Can you keep your phone number and switch to Sprint?

Yes. As long as your number is compatible with Sprint, you can port your existing mobile number to your new Sprint account. 

Can I trade in my phone with Sprint?

Sprint allows you to trade in approved smart devices with credit toward your new device. If you have an older device, you won’t earn as much credit as if you turn in a more recent model. 

Should you switch to Sprint?

Sprint is a good option for people who have a modest monthly budget available for mobile services, especially if they’re able to take advantage of multi-line discounts. With only a fair reception rating, it might be a better choice for people who live in urban areas with plenty of access to cell towers. 

With the union of T-Mobile and Sprint, customers may expect an improvement in the quality of service moving forward. Sprint also has a superior 5G spectrum to many of its competitors. If you’re all in on 5G, Sprint may rise to the top of your carrier list.

By Lara Vukelich