Sprint: 7 Things to Know Before You Switch

This is what you need to know before you switch to Sprint from AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon. Sprint improved from two or three years ago, but there are still catches that you need to know.

Sprint commercials play up that they are catching up to Verizon in coverage and network performance with the “Can You Hear Me Now?” guy and lower prices.

Are Sprint’s prices and lease plans too good to be true? This is what you need to know before you switch to Sprint from any other carrier.

Sprint Plans & Options

What you need to know before you switch to Sprint.

What you need to know before you switch to Sprint.

Sprint currently offers three types of plans. You can choose a single line plan, a family plan or an unlimited plan. Or at least that’s what it looks like when you start comparing. And then you see that Sprint only really has one plan anymore.

You can get the Unlimited, with some throttling during congestion and limited hotspot use, plan as a single line or as a family line.

A single line of the Unlimited Freedom plan on Sprint is $60 a month for service. The second line is $40 a month and additional lines are $30 each. There are specials that can drop the price of the first line to $50 a month and the price of the second line to $30 a month, with additional lines at $20 a month when promotions are active. This deal only lasts through June 30, 2018. After the deal is over you will see every line increase by $10 a month, and you’ll still have months of phone payments to make before you can leave Sprint.

While there is really only one Sprint plan, there are a wide range of Sprint prices.

While there is really only one Sprint plan, there are a wide range of Sprint prices.

There are specials that can drop the price of the first line to $50 a month and the price of the second line to $30 a month, with additional lines at $20 a month when promotions are active. This deal only lasts through June 30, 2018. After the deal is over you will see every line increase by $10 a month, and you’ll still have months of phone payments to make before you can leave Sprint. You need to use Auto Pay to get these prices.

If you go up to four lines, you can get each line for $30 a month, but you need to go with four lines to get this pricing.

You’ll need to pay for your phone, which you can buy outright, or you can pay for with a monthly payment plan. There are also Leasing options and Galaxy Forever options to consider if your head isn’t already spinning.

Sprint Coverage: What’s 1%

Sprint likes to boast that there is only a 1% difference between Sprint and Verizon when it comes to network reliability.

There are some important catches to that claim. First off, it’s only in the top 106 markets. If you live outside these areas, get ready for a bigger disparity between Sprint and any other major carrier in the U.S.

This also doesn’t include the face that you cannot talk on your phone and use the internet at the same time on Sprint. Yeah, in 2017.

Sprint Doesn’t Let You Talk & Use the Internet at the Same Time

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all let you talk on a phone and use the internet at the same time. This means you can be on a call, look up an address or link and then send it as an iMessage to someone or answer a call while using your phone as a hotspot.

Sprint does not support simultaneous voice and data. In 2017 you cannot talk and use your phone’s internet connection at the same time.

If you ever find yourself doing this on your current carrier imagine the need to hang up, call an Uber or lyft or send an iMessage and then call someone back. Now repeat this process every other day and you can see just how ridiculous this is.

Sprint Leasing, Galaxy Forever & iPhone Forever

Sprint will lease you an iPhone or a Galaxy S8 that you can upgrade after you make 12 payments. Unlike installments, Sprint owns the iPhone or Galaxy device you are using. You have the option to make a payment at the end of the term and buy it, but otherwise, Sprint owns the device.

You can decide if you want to go this route, or if you prefer to make installment payments and if you decide you want to pay $5 a month for an early upgrade option. It’s going to be a personal call, but make sure you crunch the numbers because Sprint’s plans appear to be designed ton confuse the customer.

Sprint Speed Tests

The speed of the Sprint network will vary based on your location, including your proximity to towers. In some areas, Sprint speeds are going to beat the competitors, and in others, you’ll see Verizon on top. It also depends on connectivity to Sprint LTE Plus or to Verizon LTE Advanced networks.

The best thing to do is find someone local to you who uses Sprint and find out how their coverage is and how speeds are for their phones.

Sprint Doesn’t Reduce Video Quality

T-Mobile will reduce the video quality on some plans and AT&T offers a Stream Saver to reduce video quality. Both of these options allow you to use less data, but it also means you won’t be watching in HD.

Sprint does not offer this or force this on you with an unlimited plan. You get up to 1080P streaming for video, up to 1.5mbps for music and up to 8mbps for gaming.

That said, if there is network congestion, you will see data throttling on Sprint, and the wording leave it open to happening even when you aren’t over a magical limit of 23GB per billing period that Sprint outlines.

Sprint Personal Hotspot & Tethering

With the Sprint Unlimited plan, you get 10GB of hotspot data use per line. This is in line with what other carriers are offering.

Once you use 10GB of mobile data in a billing period the speed is reduced to 2G speeds. That is also similar to the options from other carriers.

Using a 2G internet connection tethered to a laptop or iPad for anything but the most basic services will be rough, so check how much data you use before you switch. You will see similar limitations at other carriers.