Boost Mobile is a prepaid provider that offers some of the cheapest cell phone plans of any company. Its device selection consists primarily of feature phones, but there are many off-brand Android options, last-generation iPhones and even the Galaxy S5 if you have the cash. It doesn't offer payment plans on any of its phones, but you can buy used for bigger savings. Boost might not be able to directly compete with the big cell phone carriers, but it offers enough to turn heads.

If your family's on a budget, going with Boost Mobile could save you a lot of money. The company's main plan for smartphones costs $45. For that, you get unlimited talk, text, 411 directory assistance and all the extra features you'd expect from a solid phone, plus an impressive 5GB of high-speed data. If you go over that 5GB limit, you'll still have access to the web; you'll merely be throttled down to 2G speeds.

Picking the right cell phone provider isn't just about price, of course, and when compared to the top cell phone companies, Boost's coverage is lacking. Like many other prepaid providers, it operates on the nationwide Sprint network. While it may offer lots of coverage, it's the weakest of the four major carriers' networks. Coverage in major cities around the country can be spotty, prone to low-signal warnings and dropped calls. This might not be a factor in your area, so as with any provider, you'll want to check the specific coverage in your town.

Most of the phones you can buy through Boost are, unfortunately, last-generation models. While this makes them substantially more affordable – you have to pay the full retail price of the phone up front – it might turn you off if you're a fan of the latest and greatest technology. The sole exception is the Samsung Galaxy S5, but it's also the exception in terms of price.

Boost Mobile Summary:
6.4/10

Boost Mobile is among the most affordable cell phone providers we've reviewed. Its feature list can go head-to-head with the major carriers, for prices far below the national average. You won't have the same degree of choice as other providers when it comes to picking your phone, and its coverage can be spotty in some areas. However, when it comes to bang for the buck, it's hard to argue with Boost's prices.

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Boost Mobile

Pros
Boost Mobile's rates for unlimited talk, text and data are among the cheapest available.

Cons
The company's aging phone selection can be disappointing to smartphone lovers, while its use of the Sprint network leaves some cities with spotty reception.

The Verdict
: 6.4/10

While Boost Mobile may not have the phones or network coverage to contend with big carriers, if you're watching your budget, it's an excellent option.