PROS / Boost Mobile's pricing structure is appreciably cheap, and includes daily plans for those who don't need cellular service very often.
CONS / You can't bring your own phone to the service, even if it works on Sprint's network.
VERDICT / Boost Mobile offers extremely competitive prices and daily usage plans, but the inability to bring your own phone means switching to them will always cost you at least a little extra up front.
Boost Mobile is a prepaid cell phone provider with cheap plans and a huge variety of phones. It used to offer Shrinking Payments, which – given enough on-time monthly payments – reduced your bill to some of the best rates among any cell phone provider. That promotion has since been discontinued, and so Boost is no longer the industry leader it once was. It remains, however, a powerful contender that is well worth consideration if you get good Sprint coverage.
Boost's Data Boost monthly plan comes in three variants, with prices that vary with the amount of high-speed data you want. Spending $35 a month will get you 1GB of 4G LTE downloads, $45 will get you 5GB, and $55 will get you a hefty 10GB. If you don't browse the web and rarely stream music or movies, 1GB should see you through the month without issue. If, however, you're a heavy downloader who loves listening to Spotify or Pandora and watching Netflix movies on the go, expect to spring for the $45 plan.
Contract-based phone providers will always have the advantage over prepaid providers when it comes to phone selection. However, Boost Mobile offers some excellent flagship phones, including the last-generation Apple iPhone and Samsung' Galaxy S5. You won't find any modern HTC phones or the latest Google Nexus device, but there are plenty of older smartphones available.
Keep in mind that whatever phone you buy, you'll have to pay its full, up-front retail cost. Unlike contract carriers, Boost doesn't subsidize the cost of phones, which means the Galaxy S5 costs almost $600, rather than the $200 it would if you bought it on contract from a carrier. And since you can't bring your own phone, you'll have to spend at least something up front for a new device.
Boost Mobile's online offerings are fantastic, and you can complete all of your shopping without ever stepping into a store. Should you prefer to talk with someone in person, however, the company's website has a store locator. Either way, before you buy a phone you can browse the website's FAQs section, and customer service agents are available by email or over the phone.
Boost Mobile offers some of the cheapest prepaid cell phone plans on the market and has a large list of available devices, including brand-new ones like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Given the features you get and the data caps available, its prices are rock-bottom. Were you able to bring your own device, we'd rate it higher in our comparisons; as it is, Boost is a worthy prepaid provider that's well worth consideration, especially if you already have the cash to buy a new phone up front.