Although their business fortunes have not been stellar lately, Sprint is still one of the big four wireless carriers in the U.S. With their aggressive pricing on plans and claims of a vastly improved network experience and coverage, you may be tempted to give them a try.
If you join Sprint and have to pick up a new phone in the process, we put together this list of some of the best phones available through Sprint.
Samsung Galaxy S8
At the present time, Samsung is once again flying on top of the phone market with their new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ devices. With minimal bezels, curved edge screens and all metal and glass bodies, Samsung may have even succeeded where few thought it was possible – out designing Apple. The devices have critics and reviewers singing their praises and it is on more than looks alone. Samsung managed to pack in top of the line hardware so performance matches looks.
The Galaxy S8 comes equipped with a 5.8-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen with curved edges on both side and constructed out of Gorilla Glass 5 at an 18.5:9 ratio. Powering that is a Snapdragon 835 processor matched with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for extra storage capacity. Samsung included a 12MP rear camera capable of some excellent shots, an 8MP front camera, a fingerprint scanner, a USB-C port and a 3,000mAh battery. The only difference in the larger Galaxy S8+ is the 6.2-inch screen and a 3,500mAh battery. Both devices are running Android 7.0 Nougat and Samsung’s toned down user interface.
For now, there is not much else that can beat the Galaxy S8 devices, especially when considered as a whole device.
Probably the closest competitor in the market right now compared to the Galaxy S8 devices is LG’s entry in the flagship tier, the LG G6. Although it is powered by last year’s Snapdragon 821, LG managed to do quite a bit of tweaking to keep the performance up to par with other devices hitting the market with the newer Snapdragon 835. LG is also at the forefront of the market when it comes to minimizing bezels and maximizing the screen and they manage to do it without curved edges. Outside of that, the LG G6 is another well-design, all metal and glass phone.
The G6 comes equipped with a 5.7-inch Quad HD+ IPS LCD display made out of Gorilla Glass 3, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. LG provides a dual camera setup on the rear made up of two 13MP camera lenses, a 5MP front camera, a 3,300mAh battery, wireless charging, and a USB-C port. All of this runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.
Like Samsung, LG spent some time minimizing the intrusive nature of their own user interface that sits on top of Android to help the operating system shine through and augmenting it when possible. Buyers may also like the fact that the LG G6 does not carry the hefty price tag of the Samsung devices, making it worthy of consideration.
With their position in the market Sprint may not have the pull with manufacturers to create whole lines of carrier exclusive devices like Verizon’s Droid line. However, they did snag a deal with HTC to be the only carrier offering the HTC U11 for a limited time. The HTC U11 is that company’s entry into the flagship level market. Like the entries from Samsung and LG, the HTC U11 is all glass and metal with nicely rounded edges for a sleek looking phone.
Inside the device, buyers will find a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage or a 6GB/128GB combo. The display is a 5.5-inch Quad HD Super LCD screen made out of Gorilla Glass 5. The HTC U11 gets a 12MP rear camera and a whopping 16MP front-facing camera. Powering all of this is a 3,000mAh battery. The HTC U11 comes with Android 7.1 Nougat installed.
Outside of the hardware, HTC also included a new, unique feature called Edge Sense. With Edge Sense, HTC included sensors in the frame of the device that respond to squeezes from a user. Actions are configurable so users can go for a long squeeze or short squeeze and assign different apps or functions. The jury is still out on whether this is a useful additional or cheesy gimmick, but it is certainly different and unique.
LG Stylo 3
Outside of the current generations of flagship devices, offerings from Sprint tend to drop off a bit to an assortment of budget- and mid-tier devices. One that users may find interesting, especially if they are a fan of stylus-equipped phones, is the LG Stylo 3. Samsung has ruled the stylus market with their Galaxy Note series of hones, but missed a beat with last year’s Galaxy Note 7. If you want something current, the LG Stylo 3 is really your only choice.
The LG Stylo 3 comes equipped with a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display running at 1280 x 720 resolution. This is powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage backed by a microSD slot, a 13MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 3,200 mAh battery. The LG Stylo 3 runs Android 7.0 Nougat.
Granted, the hardware is not going to “wow” many buyers, but the included stylus and functions built to work with it could be a drawing point for some buyers.
ZTE Max XL
Our final choice is another Sprint exclusive, this time a device in the budget category. For buyers who want to go big and avoid the hefty price tags that come with the flagship level devices, the ZTE Max XL could be the ticket.
The ZTE Max XL is equipped with a 6.0-inch full HD IPS LCD display running at 1920 x 1080 resolution. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor along with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with additional capacity available via a microSD card slot. Other hardware includes a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, a USB-C port and a whopping 3,990mAh battery. The ZTE Max XL runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box.
The ZTE Max XL is not going to outperform the flagship devices that are available. However, you do get a full HD display, and a large one at that, in a budget phone. To get full HD at the price point where the ZTE Max XL sits is definitely something to consider for buyers who are more interested in preserving their bank accounts rather than having the latest, greatest, most powerful device on the market.
Those are our picks for the best phones you can buy from Sprint right now. Do you think we missed on any of these or overlooked something else available from Sprint’s portfolio? If so, let us know in the comments.