Pros / Boost Mobile’s budget plans are a good value.
Cons / Boosts’ unlimited plans have more limitations than its parent company’s plans.
Verdict / If you’re shopping for a limited data plan in an area with good Sprint coverage, Boost Mobile is a good value.
Boost Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers prepaid cell service using Sprint’s network. Because it runs on the weakest of the Big Four networks (the others are Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile), Boost runs into a few limitations, but for the most part it’s a decent option for budget phone plans.
Boost is a good choice if you’re looking to save money on your cell phone bill. Its $35 a month plan is a good value, offering 3GB of 4G LTE, unlimited talk and text, mobile hotspot and unlimited music streaming through services like Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio. You can also add extra data to your plan for $5 per gig. The base plan is $5 more than MetroPCS’s cheapest plan, but simply looking at what the plan offers, Boost is the better value. MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile’s network, however, which is generally faster and better. Still, if you live in an area with good Sprint coverage, Boost is a viable option.
We find it strange that Boost’s top-tier unlimited plan costs almost as much or more than Sprint’s unlimited plan. Boost gives you twice as much hotspot data, but everything else is equal. Both give you HD streaming and unlimited talk, text and data. For an individual, Boost charges $60 a month for its Unlimited Plus plan and Sprint charges $65 for its Unlimited Freedom plan. For four lines, Boost costs $180 while Sprint costs $160. Unless you’re planning on using all of that 20GB of hotspot data per line, we’d recommend sticking with Sprint over Boost for unlimited options.
Boost Mobile’s performance is limited by its reliance on Sprint’s network. Sprint currently has the slowest network of the Big Four carriers in the U.S, according to multiple third-party studies, such as those from RootMetrics, OpenSignal, Ookla and Tom’s Guide. Though the company is working on network improvements, it still hasn’t caught up with the competition. We strongly recommend checking multiple sources for coverage information to make sure you’re getting the performance you need in your area.
Boost Mobile is not the best value if you’re looking for unlimited plans, but we like its $35 option. If Sprint coverage and performance are good in your area, Boost Mobile is a decent choice for a budget cell phone provider.