Sprint relaunched Sprint As You Go in 2014 as Sprint Prepaid. Eventually Sprint Prepaid phones and airtime cards became available at national retailers, including Best Buy and Target, and also online from the Sprint Prepaid site. Sprint Prepaid plans always seemed to offer less value than those of its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile stablemates. I doubt many Sprint Prepaid phones were ever sold or activated.
Early last year it looked Sprint Prepaid was being shut down. It disappeared from national retail and most Sprint stores and the Sprint Prepaid website seemed to be closing out the phones at bargain prices.
To my surprise, new plans and new phones showed up on the Sprint Prepaid site yesterday. The new plan lineup is:
- $45/month ($40 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 3 GB at high speeds.
- $55/month ($50 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 5 GB at high speeds.
- $65/month ($60 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and unlimited high speed data. In common with other carrier's unlimited plans, the unlimited data has some limits: video streaming is degraded to 480p resolution, audio streaming is restricted to 500 Kbps, online gaming data is throttled to 2 Mbps, and hotspot, VPN and P2P data are throttled to 128 Kbps after the first 5 GB.
For comparison, here's the old Sprint Prepaid lineup:
- $35/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 1 GB at high speeds
- $45/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 3 GB at high speeds
- $55/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 6 GB at high speeds
Sprint Prepaid's phone lineup includes a couple of Sprint's newest entry level phones, but no iPhones or
Android flagships. Currently available phones and prices are:
- Alcatel ONETOUCH Retro flip phone $14.99
- Samsung Galaxy Core Prime LTE Android phone $49.99
- LG Tribute HD LTE Android phone $60.00
- Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge LTE Android phone $84.00
- LG X Power LTE Android phone $108.00
- LG Stylo 2 LTE Android phone $120.00
All in all, the new Sprint Prepaid seems as lackluster as the old. I suspect that it's been revived to serve its original purpose as something for Sprint stores to offer to to credit challenged customers. In fact one of the selling points for Sprint Prepaid is that customers who make 12 consecutive, on-time monthly payments can transfer to postpaid.
Source: Sprint Prepaid via PrepaidMobilePhoneReviews