Can you use a Sprint phone on the Boost Mobile Network?
Best answer: Technically yes, you can but there are a couple of big reasons why you shouldn't. The first reason is the Sprint network is on the way out and the second is that approved Sprint phones are rather old.
- Try the expanded network: Boost Mobile (From $35/month at Boost Mobile)
- Support for the new network with 5G: Galaxy S20 5G ($750 at Microsoft)
Sprint is becoming T-Mobile and it affects Boost
Boost Mobile is one of the most popular MVNOs powered by Sprint or T-Mobile's network and that's where the biggest problems start. Sprint is now owned by T-Mobile, which means many network upgrades are going to become available for Sprint and Boost customers and luckily, progress has been swift. Still, anyone with an older phone that doesn't support this new network will be out of luck.
For the time being it doesn't make sense to buy into the Sprint side of Boost Mobile. Boost is still a good value for many with plans starting out as low as $35 per month for unlimited calling, texting, and 3GB of 4G LTE data. It's also one of the best deals around and even has great add-on services for Mexico and Canada.
A cheap but compatible Sprint network phone can be a good way to hold you over before an upgrade but the Sprint network likely won't see much more expansion or improvement from T-Mobile.
Which phones work on the Sprint network?
The official list is quite sparse with mostly older Android and iPhones present. For example, iPhones from the iPhone 5c to the original SE work while on Android, compatibility goes up to the Galaxy S6 for Samsung phones.
Some people have reported success activating newer Sprint phones on Boost by either finding a willing employee or just by signing in but there is no guarantee this process will continue to work and you likely won't have complete access to all of your plan features.
Not all services are guaranteed to work
Eligible Sprint phones that are used on Boost are confirmed to support voice, text, and data services, but Boost can't guarantee anything beyond this. MMS (picture and video text messages) should work, but since Boost doesn't directly sell Sprint phones, you're taking the risk of any features beyond basic calling, SMS, and data not working.
Take your phone to a Boost Mobile store
If you've confirmed your phone is compatible, your next step is to take it to your local Boost Mobile store. You can search for stores in your area on Boost's website, and once you've found the one you want to go to, take your Sprint phone there and tell whoever's working that you'd like to activate it on Boost.
What's important to note here is that other retail stores that sell Boost phones, such as Walmart and Best Buy, won't be able to help you out.
Start from or migrate to the expanded network
Boost Mobile has been a great value for years but thanks to the T-Mobile network, it has even better coverage at the same price.
Fully featured with support for the new network
The Galaxy S20 has some of the best 4G and 5G compatibility on any network and is approved to work on Boost's expanded network.
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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.