Sprint vs Verizon – Which Is Best?
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Competition between Sprint and Verizon is heating up, but that increasing competition can make choosing a plan more than a bit challenging. Sprint and Verizon have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to plans, price and coverage.
Sprint has almost full coverage along the east coast, south and in the midwest , excepting many valleys and remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains. Sprint covers less area west of the Continental Divide. There are major Sprint dead zones in Colorado, Idaho and much of the Pacific Northwest. They offer only sporadic coverage in Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and Alaska. Sprint has affordable roaming packages, so if they do not have a good signal they can piggyback on another signal and you get charged less than with other major carriers. Sprint has prime urban coverage and along major highways, as well as in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
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Verizon is the largest cell phone provider in the USA and thus has the best coverage. While their coverage map is certainly not complete — they also have large dead zones in the various eastern and western mountainous zones — they offer adequate coverage in all of the western states including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho. They have the best coverage in Oregon and Washington, though their Nevada coverage is also lacking outside urban areas. Verizon has the best coverage in Alaska and also covers the urban centers of Canada as well. Verizon’s roaming is on par with Sprint, but it can be more expensive. Competitive calling plans might offset any roaming problems you may encounter.
Verizon has a few different options for those who want to buy a phone on a two-year contract. With Verizon, you’d pay a $40 fee that gives your smartphone access to Verizon’s network (this is standard across carriers) and pricing for data depends on how many gigabytes you need per month. While Sprint’s data prices are the cheapest, but like Verizon it caters toward those who opt for its early upgrade plan. The good news is that if you want to buy a subsidized phone on a two-year contract, the regular pricing brackets for data are a bit cheaper than Verizon.
If you are currently a Sprint customer, here’s what you can get. The Sprint Family Share plan used to come in two distinct flavors: one with a two-year contract and one without. Last August, Sprint eliminate two-year contracts by January of 2017, the two-year contract option was no longer available to new customers.
Verizon used to offer two plans: the More Everything Plan with a two-year contract, and the More Everything Plan with Edge, which used a device installment payment plan. Last August 2015, Verizon eliminated the two-year contract option for new customers and revamped its prices for the no-contract plans. Existing Verizon customers can keep their old plans — for now — or move to the new plan.
Sprint’s network is a little more limited than Verizon’s, but those in or near cities shouldn’t have any problems with it. Currently Sprint is offering customers its “Family Share Pack,” which is the same idea as the shared plans on Verizon. Not only that, but the company is offering customers a deal to cut their monthly charges in half if they switch from Verizon, as long as customers bring their own phone.
Verizon is the most polarizing player of the big four, offering the largest network, which is perfect for those in rural areas. But, and it’s a big but, it’s also one of the most expensive. Many Verizon customers subscribe simply because they don’t have any choice due to limited network availability, so the first thing to do is check each carrier to see if service is available in your area. Then it’s time to compare the options.
Finding the best phone carrier whether Sprint or Verizon doesn’t have to make you want to pull your hair out. Start your search by asking friends, family and neighbors how they like their service. Ask them how much they pay (if they don’t mind sharing) and what their plan includes as well as the performance. If you’re close to them, ask if you can take a couple minutes to surf the web on their phone or download an app. First hand experience with the service will always beat out hearsay. Then, when you’ve narrowed down your search, come back here and check out the pros and cons for each company to see which is the best fit for you and your needs.