Reviewers and customers alike praise Boost Mobile. It comes in at first place in J.D. Power's survey of over 6,400 prepaid wireless users, and the editors at TopTenReviews.com award Boost Mobile the gold award, citing its cost of service and monthly plans as a deciding factor. In addition, Boost Mobile earns a 4-star rating (out of 5) from editors at PrepaidReviews.com, thanks to its feature-rich plans and walkie-talkie service.
All plans have unlimited minutes. Boost Mobile's plans and fees receive praise from both users and expert reviewers. In the J.D. Power and Associates survey, Boost performs particularly well in the cost of service and offerings categories, and user contributors to Viewpoints.com agree. At TopTenReviews.com, Boost Mobile receives full marks for its monthly plans, which editors consider to be the broadest range of all the prepaid carriers in the review.
All Boost Mobile's monthly plans have unlimited minutes. Talk and text unlimited, at $45 per month, is great for those who don't need a data option in their plan. The regular monthly Unlimited plan offers unlimited talk, text, web, email and 411 for $50 per month, and includes long-distance calls and $2.5 GB of data. The Unlimited Android plan costs $55 and the BlackBerry plan is $60 per month.
For those who use their cell phone only occasionally, Boost mobile offers a daily plan for $2 a day with unlimited talk, text, web, email and 411 -- including Android-powered devices.
An attractive feature of Boost Mobile's fee schedule for all its monthly plans is the reduction of your bill by $5 for every six months of on-time payments, with a maximum reduction of $15. For example, the monthly unlimited plan starts at $50, but after 18 months of on-time payments you'll pay only $35 per month.
Wide coverage, but "patchy." Boost Mobile uses its parent company Sprint's network, which allows for its unique push-to-talk, walkie-talkie feature. While reviewers say domestic coverage is excellent, The New York Times' Bob Tedeschi warns that the Sprint network Boost Mobile uses can be "a bit patchy." Like Virgin Mobile, Boost has dead zones in the western United States and in less populated areas in the east, so "… you would be wise to check with your friends, relatives and websites like DeadCellZones.com and CellReception.com to see how well the company covers your area," Tedeschi writes. Users agree with this assessment: Customers award Boost Mobile an above-average 4 stars overall in J.D. Power and Associates' latest prepaid phone-plan ratings, but the rating drops down to average in the performance and reliability department.
Mixed reviews from users. The extensive survey of 6,400 users conducted by J.D. Power and Associates reviews the cost of service, account management, offerings and initial promotion of nine prepaid carriers. Boost Mobile beats out MetroPCS and TracFone for the top position. However, at PrepaidReviews.com, more than 800 users give Boost Mobile an average of only 2.5 stars out of 5, citing customer service and coverage problems.
Sleek, advanced phones. Most reviewers like Boost Mobile's sleek, advanced phones, although they can be costly; like other prepaid providers, Boost Mobile doesn't discount its handsets the way contract carriers do. The editors of TopTenReviews.com give Boost Mobile a lower score for its phone selection, but recently Boost Mobile has added more advanced Android smartphones to its available choices.
1. J.D. Power and Associates
Review Credibility: Excellent Boost Mobile beats out MetroPCS and TracFone for first place in this 2011 survey of nine non-contract cell phone providers. Editors say that Boost performs particularly well in four of the six categories they reviewed: cost of service, account management, offerings and initial promotion.
Review: 2011 Wireless Non-Contract Customer Satisfaction Index Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, March 31, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Boost Mobile wins the Gold award at TopTenReviews.com's 2012 evaluation of prepaid service plans, beating out Cricket Wireless and Virgin Mobile. Boost Mobile receives full marks for its monthly plans, which editors consider to have the broadest range of options of all the prepaid carriers reviewed. Boost Mobile is a subsidiary of Sprint and operates on its network, so it has excellent domestic coverage. Keep in mind that TopTenReviews.com's evaluation of prepaid cell phone providers is based only on features and doesn't look at how each phone service performs.
Review: 2013 Prepaid Cell Phones Comparisons, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Boost Mobile earns a 4-star rating (out of 5) from editors at PrepaidReviews.com, thanks to its feature-rich plans and walkie-talkie service. However, Boost Mobile averages only 2.5 stars from more than 800 users, some of whom cite customer service and coverage problems.
Review: Boost Mobile Prepaid Cell Phones, Editors of and Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Over 75 user reviewers at Viewpoints.com award Boost Mobile an average score of 62 out of 100. Boost Mobile's plan options receive praise, while its call quality, coverage and customer service receive slightly above-average scores.
Review: Boost Mobile Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair In this older report CNET analyzes nine popular prepaid wireless carriers, including Boost Mobile. Although reviewer Marguerite Reardon doesn't pick a favorite, she says Boost Mobile's "low-cost unlimited plan and good selection of phones … make it a great buy" for anyone who wants to replace a contract plan.
Review: Prepaid Wireless: In Search of the Perfect Bargain, Marguerite Reardon, May 15, 2009