The 7 Best Sprint Phones to Buy in 2018

Shop for the top phones available on Sprint's network

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Apple: iPhone Xs at Sprint, "Amazingly fast speeds and an amped-up neural engine for improved AI performance."
  • Runner-Up, Best Apple: iPhone X at Sprint, "Once you switch over to the X, you’ll cringe when you’re forced to babysit your friend’s older model."
  • Best Samsung: Galaxy Note9 at Sprint, "Interacting with apps and functions on such an oversized screen is pretty satisfying." 
  • Runner-Up, Best Samsung: Galaxy S9 at Sprint, "With autofocus and digital zoom up to 8x on board, capturing images is as easy as point and shoot."
  • Best Unlocked: Google Pixel 3 at Google, "Its 12.2-megapixel camera is one of the best (if not the best) on the market."
  • Best for Audio: LG V30+ at Sprint, "LG builds in a "quad-DAC" (digital-to-analog converter) to make music sound richer and warmer."
  • Best Large Screen: iPhone Xs Max at Sprint, "With a real focus on AI, you’ll see a noticeable difference in FaceID and camera performance."

Our Top Picks

Best Apple: iPhone Xs

iPhone Xs
 Courtesy of Sprint

The iPhone Xs is the latest release from Apple, replacing the iPhone X with an updated flagship. And they’ve made some definite improvements: For starters, the 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display is mesmerizing with 2436 x 1125 resolution (458 ppi) and Apple’s new True Tone technology, which adjusts the screen’s light temperature to compensate for the ambient light around you. The internal chipset is also updated — the new A12 Bionic chip gives you amazingly fast speeds and an amped-up neural engine for improved AI performance. The cameras are also pretty top-notch, offering a rear-facing, 12MP dual-lens system (telephoto and wide-angle) along with a front-facing 7MP selfie system. That’s supported by iOS 12’s latest camera functionality, which has been packed with features like HDR composite exposure layering and portrait mode bokeh blur adjustments during post-processing.

All these updates come in a seriously premium package. The Xs Max has a glass front and back, stainless steel sides and your choice of three colors — silver, space gray, and the newest gold. You can choose 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, and all the phones come with IP68 water resistance, meaning you can submerge the devices up to two meters for as long as 30 minutes. The battery seems to have shrunk in capacity this time around, though Apple assures us that more efficient processing and software updates have actually increased the battery life in relation to the older X. 

Runner-Up, Best Apple: iPhone X

iPhone X
Courtesy of Sprint

The iPhone X’s nearly bezel-less design is beautiful no doubt, but is nothing new when compared to some of Samsung’s phones. If anything, its 2,436 x 1,125-pixel, 5.8-inch, 458ppi AMOLED screen just makes every other iPhone look dated; once you switch over to the X, you’ll cringe when you’re forced to babysit your friend’s older model.

Where this phone blows us away, though, is with its seven-megapixel front-facing camera. It uses a dot projector to cast invisible dots onto the object before it and then uses an IR camera to trace those dots and create a 3D map of the object. The potential uses for this are exciting, but for now, Apple is mostly touting it for its FaceID, which allows you to unlock your phone using your face, and even pay for things using Apple Pay. There’s no fingerprint scanner, headphone jack or Home button, but you won’t miss those artifacts for long. The phone houses an Apple A11 Bionic processor, which makes it one of the fastest phones you can buy. All in all, the iPhone X is an incredible piece of hardware that leaves us wondering what else Apple has up its sleeve.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to choosing the right iPhone.

Best Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Note9

Samsung Galaxy Note9
 Courtesy of Sprint

The Note was one of the first phones to enter the “phablet” market, and even though you don’t hear that terminology anymore, the Note 9 still behaves a lot like a phone/tablet hybrid. A lot of that is owed to its ability to run a ton of apps and accomplish a ton of tasks right on the device. That is made possible in large part because of the huge 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, with its 2960 x 1440 resolution. Interacting with apps and functions on such an oversized screen is pretty satisfying with the improved S Pen. The Pen still sports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, but it now has added external Bluetooth functionality.

In terms of camera specs, this model sports an 8MP front-facing cam (important for those business video calls) and two systems on the back: a 12MP wide-angle with variable aperture and a 12MP telephoto. It can also take 4K video at up to 60fps, ensuring truly pro quality. Of course, with a 64-bit Octa-Core Processor (speeds up to 2.8GHz) and an ultra-powerful 4,000 mAh battery, the phone can support all kinds of multitasking needs. Pick it up in either Midnight Blue or Lavender Purple, in a 6GB/128GB or 8GB/512GB configuration.

Runner-Up, Best Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9
Courtesy of Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is equipped with a dual aperture, 12-megapixel rear camera that has Super Slo-Mo for capturing video at 960fps, as well as AR Emoji, which turns Galaxy S9 owners into cartoon images of themselves for social sharing. With autofocus and digital zoom up to 8x on board, capturing images is as easy as point and shoot, but a pro mode helps more experienced photographers by adjusting aperture and brightness for better results. Beyond the camera, the Galaxy S9 stands out with its 5.8-inch Quad-HD+ Super AMOLED display and 4GB of RAM that keeps the device running smoothly day after day. The Galaxy S9 is also water-resistant (IP68 rating) to puddles or spills, while 64GB of internal memory can quickly expand to 400GB if you use a microSD card.

See more reviews of our favorite Samsung phones available for purchase.

 

Best Unlocked: Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

Courtesy of Google 

If you’re looking for an unlocked phone that can work on Sprint (as well as other networks), the Google Pixel 3 will surely be up your alley. The Pixel 3 is one of the finest Android phones on the market and it runs the latest and greatest Android Pie software. It has a pleasant form factor with a 5.5-inch OLED screen with durable Gorilla Glass, while its aluminum frame measures a comfortable 5.7 x 2.7 x .3 inches. For battery life, the Pixel 3 should last you a full day with its 2,915 mAh battery. For charging, you’ll have two options — a USB-C port or Qi wireless charging.

If you’re into listening to music or watching movies on your phone, you’ll appreciate the Pixel 3’s dual front speakers. When it comes to photos, the Pixel 3 is simply stunning, and its 12.2-megapixel camera is one of the best (if not the best) on the market. The device comes in three colors (white, black, and pink) as well so it can better suit your personality. All in all, this device will keep just about any Sprint user happy who wants an unlocked phone.

Best for Audio: LG V30+

LG V30
Courtesy of Sprint

The LG V30+ does it all and does it all well. LG’s flagship phone is slim but solid, with a fast Snapdragon 835 processor, fantastic battery life and support for wireless charging. The six-incher is made of glass and aluminum, as are most premium phones these days, and sports a 2,880 x 1,440-pixel OLED screen that pops with color. Did we mention it also has a headphone jack? While many phones are ditching this feature, LG builds in a "quad-DAC" (digital-to-analog converter) to make music sound richer and warmer, assuming you have a quality pair of headphones plugged in. It’s a phone audiophiles will appreciate for sure.

If photography is more your forte, the V30+’s cameras won’t disappoint either. It ups the megapixels from 12 to 16 and increases the lens aperture from f/1.7 to f/1.6 to take crisper photos. It also has a second 13-megapixel wide-angle lens that lets you capture more of every moment.

Check out our guide to the best LG phones.

Best Large Screen: iPhone Xs Max

iPhone Xs Max
Courtesy of Best Buy 

The iPhone Xs Max offers all the same updates as the Xs but with a significantly larger screen. If you’re a fan of large-screen phones, then this is the best option out there right now. The 6.5-inch screen feels basically bezel-less, except for the notch at the top. That notch has actually allowed them to fit a larger screen into a relatively compact footprint — it’s actually the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus but feels much bigger. The Super Retina display offers a resolution of 2688 x 1242 and a density of 458ppi. The larger phone also offers a bigger battery, so if battery life is a priority then this is a pretty good bet.

The insides are basically the same as the Xs, and that's a good thing. The A12 Bionic chip is the fastest Apple has ever made, and with a real focus on AI, you’ll see a noticeable difference in FaceID and camera performance. Those cameras are 12MP telephoto/wide-angle on the back and a 7MP on the front. The software steps up the performance with improved subject prediction, an updated HDR composite exposure layering mode, and even an updated portrait mode in which you can adjust the bokeh after you've taken the photo.

The Xs Max has a premium IP68 build (up to two meters and 30 minutes of water resistance) with a glass front and back and stainless-steel sides. You’ll have the choice of silver, space gray, or gold and an internal storage capacity of 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB. 

Want to keep exploring your options?