Boost Mobile is a cell phone provider with many great attributes, but it's not the undisputed best at any one thing. As a prepaid provider, for example, it's extremely affordable, with a $35 entry-level plan that's as cheap as anything you'll find – except for a couple of the options higher on our lineup that are just as cheap, and have other features going for them. If you fall into a very specific niche, Boost Mobile is actually a superb option; if you don't, however, it's just another provider.

True, 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 plan isn't just about price, of course, and when comparing coverage across all the best companies, Boost's reach 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. Coverage in major cities around the country can be spotty, prone to low-signal warnings and dropped calls. Of course, this may not be a factor in your area, so as with any provider you'll want to check the specific coverage in your town.

We were actually surprised by the diversity of Android and iOS phones available these days from Boost Mobile, but the selection ends at those two operating systems. Fans of Windows Phones and BlackBerry devices will be disappointed. Fortunately, Boost does carry a wealth of cheap, pre-owned devices, so if you're on a budget you'll still be able to find something.

Boost Mobile Summary:

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.


Boost Mobile

Boost's prices are quite affordable, even for a prepaid provider.

Its device selection is limited to Android and iOS devices – no Windows Phones, BlackBerrys, tablets or mobile hotspots.

The Verdict:

If you crave unlimited talk and text, want to go prepaid, and have a phone that only works on Sprint's network, Boost Mobile is for you. If you don't meet each of those qualifications, though, you're better off with one of the options higher on our lineup.