Sprint vs Verizon: How Do They Compare?

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Wireless companies like Sprint and Verizon often battle with each other via advertisements to win the hearts of loyal customers like you and me. You hear claims of how Sprint's network reliability is only within 1 percent of Verizon Wireless.

However, these ads seem to only serve one purpose - to confuse us and make it more difficult to side with a provider.

Is the information we listen to 100 percent accurate? What does it mean by network reliability within 1 percent of Verizon? How fast is the Verizon network, really? It's frustrating when we only have data from the networks to rely on, isn't it? The more information that is spewed and laid out in the fine print, the harder it is to come to a firm conclusion.

Sprint vs Verizon

With that all being said, we're here to help you determine whether Sprint or Verizon is right for you. We will analyze and compare the most important aspects of Verizon and Sprint networks.

We'll touch upon the talk and LTE coverage, customer service, and cell phone plans. Finally, we'll direct you to our cell phone plan comparison tool, which includes data on plans and prices, so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Sprint Overview

Sprint (otherwise known as Sprint Corporation) is the fourth largest mobile network operating in the nation, serving 60.2 million customers as of October 2016. The service offers wireless services through not only its main service but also through various subsidiaries including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. They are known to offer the latest and most popular phones.

Sprint is known for quality, but unfortunately, the service isn't as strong as Verizon's network. While the network may fall a little short of Verizon, the service balances out with more affordable individualized plans and features. In fact, its plans are generally more affordable compared to T-Mobile plans. Some contracts provided by the Sprint network, however, may come with strings attached.

Unfortunately, Sprint also falls a little short in one other area: customer satisfaction. According to the Benchmarks By Company chart by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sprint's ASCI customer satisfaction falls below Verizon Wireless but by only a point. As of 2016, the American Customer Satisfaction Index score was 70, a 1.4 percent positive increase from the previous year.

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How much will Sprint pay you to switch?

If you're considering switching to Sprint, you can rest assured that an early termination fee will not be a pain in the behind. You will not only save 50 percent when moving from select Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile rate plans, but the service will cover your switching fees up to $650 per line (less phone trade-in credit provided) via a Visa Prepaid Card after online registration and new phone activation. Do keep in mind that you will need a new SIM card when you obtain and activate a phone. As a side note, Sprint offers plenty of phones, including the latest Samsung Galaxy phones, so you should be able to find a phone that satiates your needs.

Do keep in mind that you will need a new SIM card when you obtain and activate a phone. As a side note, Sprint offers plenty of phones, including the latest Samsung Galaxy phones, so you should be able to find a phone that satiates your needs.

Related: You can read more about switching to Sprint here.

Verizon Overview

Verizon Wireless, on the other hand, provides the strongest and most reliable network available, which covers 99 percent of the United States. This provider, known to be the number one military employer, has attracted a whopping 142.8 million subscribers as of July 2016. Like Sprint, Verizon offers the most popular smartphones on the market.

Furthermore, the service actually places emphasis on the rural community, featuring the Verizon LTE in Rural America Program. This program allows coverage for 2.7 million rural residents in 169 counties.

However, while the service boasts such extravagant statistics, it also is one of the most expensive services around. Then again, you are paying for high-quality service. This includes great customer service, though the ACSI score is set at 71 for 2016, which is no change compared to the previous year.

How much will Verizon pay to switch?

Verizon will also offer up to $650 in the form of a prepaid card once you trade in your phone.

However, the trade-in must be in good working and cosmetic condition and be worth more than $0.

Furthermore, if you had an outstanding balance for your old device, you'll receive up to $650. However, if you just paid an early termination fee, you'll earn up to $350. Keep in mind that you'll possibly need a new phone after trading, whether it's an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, a Google Pixel, or a different Android device, so you'll need a SIM card to go with your new device.

We do have more details regarding the switch to Verizon here.

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The Plans

When it comes to phone plans, who is the winner: Sprint or Verizon? Sprint is generally much more affordable compared to Verizon unless you consider Verizon's affordable prepay plans.

Sprint's Cell Phone Plans

When it comes to Sprint Wireless' postpaid plans, you will find only one plan: Sprint Unlimited. If you want specified data amounts, you're better off going with Sprint's prepaid service, which is perfect for just about anyone, especially if you want an unlimited prepaid plan rather than postpaid plan.

In the case of Sprint Unlimited, there is sometimes a limited-time deal attached to this particular plan. For instance, you might be able to receive two lines of unlimited data, talk, and text for a good deal, with the third, fourth, and fifth lines being free of charge.

Sprint Unlimited, which is an incredibly affordable plan (even compared to the unlimited T-Mobile plan), allows you HD video streaming at up to 1080p+, HD music streaming at up to 1.5Mbps, and game streaming at up to 8Mbps. In other words, you're receiving all the premium features - yes even high-definition video streaming - included in this without an extra charge.

As the icing on the cake, Sprint also features unlimited 2G data once the 10GB of high-speed data has been exceeded on mobile hotspot. Overall, this plan stacks up against the T-Mobile unlimited plan, which is dubbed T-Mobile ONE. However, this T-Mobile unlimited plan still forces you to upgrade to HD video streaming, music streaming, and more for a certain fee. But while I would love to talk about the competition between T-Mobile and Sprint, I'm focusing on the rivalry between Verizon and Sprint.

Verizon's Cell Phone Plans

Verizon features a number of postpaid and prepaid plans to appeal to a wide variety of consumers. Nearly all of Verizon's cell phone plans come with unlimited talk and text, so it must stand out through its data plans. Unfortunately, it doesn't. The size packages a customer can purchase are between 2GB and Unlimited - labeled by sizes such as small, medium, and large.

However, like Sprint, the new Verizon plan boasts what is known as safety mode, which means you will not be charged overage fees once you exceed the data limit. Instead, you will be facing slower speeds. This applies to all of Verizon's new plans.

Where once, Verizon has been criticized by Engadget for being "woefully outdated," recently Verizon released their unlimited postpaid plan, keeping it on par with all the other major carriers. A bit more about the Verizon Unlimited plan. You'll receive unlimited talk, text, and data, mobile hotspot (up to 10GB of data), and more - all on the Verizon LTE network - for a fee, though if you read the fine print, you may be restricted to slower speeds after 22GB of usage per line.

So when it comes to "Verizon vs. Sprint plans," which is the clear winner here? I would have to give Verizon the point here.

Related: You can compare all unlimited plans here.

sprint vs verizon family plans

Family Plans

Family is important, whether they are blood family or close friends (or both). What's also important is saving money with a carrier's family cell phone plans. Nevertheless, the question you are probably asking at this moment is, "Does Verizon or Sprint provide you with a good family plan for your dollar?" Let's take a look.

Sprint Family Plans

Sprint's Unlimited plan can be applied to families too, which is further described in this article. However, when it comes to prepaid plans, you're able to choose what data amount you want and bundle them together onto a single account to create a family plan. For instance, a child could use unlimited data, one parent 5GB of data, and the other parent 3GB of data. Unfortunately, you can only use this prepaid option for up to five lines, meaning if you have a bigger family or network, you will probably want to switch to another provider or open up another account with Sprint.

Verizon Family Plans

Similar to Sprint, Verizon's family plans, which are delved into further here, are integrated into the new Verizon plans. In other words, you are able to add additional lines to the plans.

However, one can forget that Sprint can offer unlimited text, talk, and data for a small fee per line per month in its prepaid plans. Verizon also does the same, now sporting an unlimited prepaid plan. With that being said, Sprint's family plans are more affordable compared to Verizon's family plans. Due to affordability, Sprint wins in this department.


Coverage is important, to say the least. You need to make sure that your call is reliable in most, if not all, areas. You don't want to have a situation where your call with a potential employer or important figure dropped. So when it comes to Sprint vs. Verizon coverage, which earns the gold star?

Read More: You can compare the coverage among all four providers here.

Verizon Coverage

Verizon is currently the best when it comes to coverage. Verizon's LTE coverage extends to 99 percent of the nation, and as mentioned in Verizon's overview, the service also works with rural communities, even going so far as to implement its LTE in Rural America Program.

Unfortunately, Alaska, some of Maine, Western Virginia, and some of the Western US do not have access to the 4G LTE network. While this is a downside, the network blankets a grand total of 2.4 million square miles.

verizon coverage map

Sprint Coverage

Sprint doesn't have as vast of coverage as Verizon, but the network reliability, according to recent data from Nielsen (and as flaunted on commercials), is within one percent of the competitor. Their coverage is not as great as Verizon's in the western United States, but Sprint does offer international coverage.

sprint coverage map

Customer Service

When concerning Sprint vs Verizon, who should you go with when it comes to customer service and support?

Verizon Customer Service

Verizon's customer service is quality. When you pay for a service, you're also paying for quality customer service, and it shows with Verizon. Overall, Verizon's customer service representatives will provide you with exceptional service through various outlets, including FAQs, forums, social medias, chat box and phone.

Sprint Customer Service

A few years ago, Sprint earned the worst score in customer service, with many of the criticisms citing value, voice, text messaging, and 4G reliability as the main complaints.

However, with time comes improvement for the service. Since then, Sprint has geared up and armed itself with knowledgeable representatives. Unfortunately, it still falls behind the other major carriers, including Verizon.

So which is better in regards to customer service: Verizon or Sprint? Hands down, the award will have to go to Verizon.

Sprint or Verizon: Which Is Better?

Verizon and Sprint are just two of the best cell phone providers in the industry. While Sprint offers solid, affordable plans with incentives, Verizon offers greater network reliability, coverage, and customer service. So when it comes to the war of Sprint vs Verizon, Verizon stands victorious, but you absolutely cannot go wrong with Sprint.

If you wanted to see how Sprint and Verizon compare to the rest of the industry, use our cell phone comparison tool.

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Our ranking system is independent of compensation and reflects our understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

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