The best Sprint phones to buy in 2018

best android phones sprint

This year – yes, like every other year – has brought a flurry of Android smartphones and a good number of them are available on Sprint, one of the biggest carriers in the U.S. We understand that it can get frustrating to go through the entire list of Sprint phones to get what best matches your needs, which is why we’ve done it for you.

Sprint has a wide selection of Android phones that range from high-end, midrange to budget-friendly devices and in this post, we’ve highlighted each of these categories to give you some of the best Sprint phones that money can buy right now.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Galaxy-S9-Plus-images-85

These two go hand-in-hand. They have the same design, specs, features, and whatnot, but they also have a few things that set them apart. For instance, the Galaxy S9+ has a bigger display screen, a bigger battery and a second lens on the main camera, but everything else remains the same as the standard Galaxy S9, as seen below.

Specs
Galaxy S9
  • 5.8-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
Galaxy S9+
  • 6.2-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 SoC
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

Rightfully taking over from the Galaxy S8 pair, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are without a doubt the best there’s on Sprint. Which one you pick depends on several factors. First is the price, where Sprint wants $792 for the S9 or a lease of 18 months for $16.50 per month and $912 outright for the S9+ or an 18-month lease of $21.50 per month. Second is the size preference, third is the battery capacity, and last but not least is the power of the dual-lens camera.

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If you are willing to settle for the second, third or perhaps even fourth best for various reasons known to you, we also have your back. Sprint has something for notch lovers and it’s called LG G7 ThinQ. In terms of specs, you are getting the same raw power, Android OS version, storage, and battery capacity as the Galaxy S9, but the G7 has a bigger display screen and of course, the design language is also different.

LG-G7-ThinQ

Being a 2018 flagship phone, the LG G7 ThinQ also packs flagship extras such as Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, IP68, MIL-STD 810G, wireless charging, face unlock, 3.5mm audio jack and 32-bit Hi-Fi QDAC audio technology, among others. In fact, if you want the best of the audio world, the G7 ThinQ is your guy and to get it, Sprint wants $792 outright or an 18-month lease of $33 per month.

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Given that the LG G7 ThinQ commands the same price as the standard Samsung Galaxy S9, you might still want something cheaper than these two. Well, there’s no better than the 2017 Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. Other than coming in with 2017 hardware specs (and a single-lens camera on the S8+), these two are just about the same devices as their successors, the S9 and S9+.

You’ll be getting devices with second-in-command raw power, cameras, battery life, and despite booting Nougat out of the box, there’s a ready update to Oreo and a guaranteed update to Android P somewhere in 2019. The best part is that you’ll be getting the phones at a bargain price of $672 outright or an 18-month lease of just $14 per month for the S8 and $744 outright for the S8+ or $17 per month for an 18-month lease.

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Best for productivity

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Galaxy-Note-8-

In a few weeks’ time, Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 9, but until then, your best bet for the best Sprint phone for productivity is the Galaxy Note 8. This device shares a lot with the Galaxy S8 and partly the S9+. For instance, the specs on the inside match the S8’s while the dual-lens camera system is also found on the S9+, but the Note 8 is unique in its rightful way.

Specs
  • 6.3-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

The Galaxy Note 8 is the only high-end smartphone that gives you extra interaction using the stylus. Unlike other smartphone accessories that can easily turn into painful experiences, the S Pen on the Note 8 actually adds value by letting you do things like jot down quick notes, draw stuff or even create GIFs on the fly, among others.

One little problem, though. At $960, you might as well be better off with the Galaxy S9+ that has superior hardware specs, on the brighter side, Sprint (via the official Samsung US store) will let you have it on a contract of $40 per month for 24 months. Another great option is the LG V30+ (update timleline), which is undoubtedly a great piece of hardware with yet another scary price tag of $912 outright or an 18-month lease of $19 per month.

lg-v30-plus

For this, you get a 6-inch QHD+ OLED display screen, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, a dual 16MP + 13MP main camera, and a 3300mAh battery unit that is charged via a USB-C port. Although it runs Nougat out of the box, Oreo is already available for download and the device should also receive Android P.

Like the G7 ThinQ, the LG V30+ is also your best bet if looking for the best audio smartphone not only because it still rocks the much-loved 3.5mm audio jack, but also due to the in-built Hi-Fi Streaming with Quad DAC technology.

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Best unlocked

Google Pixel 2
pixel-2-root

The Google Pixel 2 is not sold on Sprint, but it’s compatible with the carrier. There are two variants: a 5-incher with a 2700mAh battery and a 6-incher with a 3520mAh battery. Other than these differences, the two are essentially the same, be it in terms of processing power, storage, camera, or software.

Specs
Pixel 2
  • 5-inch 16:9 FHD OLED display
  • Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 2700mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
Pixel 2 XL
  • 6-inch 18:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB expandable storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3520mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

Like the S8 twins and LG V30+ handsets, though, the Pixel 2 handsets are equipped with 2017 hardware. On the brighter side, you are getting devices with clean software and a promise of timely updates for the next two years. Furthermore, the Pixel 2 is still one of the best, if not the best, in photography despite being several months older than the Galaxy S9 and LG G7 ThinQ.

One downside, though, is that both Google Pixel 2 phones don’t have the 3.5mm audio jack, but you should be getting used to this. Also, since neither of the two is available on Sprint, you’ll have to get your pick from the Google Store at $649 outright for the Pixel 2 ($27.04/month for 24 months) or $749 for the Pixel 2 XL ($31.21/month for 24 months).

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Best midrange

Essential Phone

Essential-PhoneSprint, like other U.S. carriers and basically the U.S. market in general, doesn’t have the midrange options that people outside the U.S. enjoy. On the brighter side, this segment is now occupied by flagship phones from yesteryears, with the Essential Phone high on the list.

Specs
  • 5.71-inch QHD LCD display
  • Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Dual 13MP + 13MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3040mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

The Essential Phone runs Android Nougat out of the box, but it’s already trialing Android P with an expected release date of Q4 2018. Like the Pixel 2, you are getting a clean Android experience with a promise of regular updates and a missing 3.5mm audio jack, but at $500 outright or $20.84 per month for 18 months, you can’t really complain about this.

An alternative for those looking for the second-best Android phone for less is the LG G6. The device has a Snapdragon 821 chipset mated with 4GB RAM and a decent 3300mAh battery unit to keep it alive. Like other 2017 flagship phones, the LG G6 has a water-resistant body, a dual-lens 13MP shooter on the back and recently received an update to Android 8.0 Oreo. Similar to the Essential Phone, the LG G6 can be yours for $480 outright or $20 per month for 18 months.

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Best budget

Motorola Moto G6
Moto-G6-Plus

Like the midrange segment, Sprint users are also starved when it comes to the budget segment. Of course, there are a few good options, but none of them is close to what, say, Indians get in the same segment.

Given that $300 is an amount that many can be willing to part with one-time, though, you might as well look elsewhere for the best budget phone. The phone in question is the Motorola Moto G6, which can be purchased for $250 via the official Motorola U.S. store. Still, you can get financing for the device from as low as $11 per month, which makes it even better.

Specs
  • 5.7-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Snapdragon 450 SoC
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB of storage
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

As you can see, the Moto G6 carries on the identity of the G series by packing awesome specs and features in a modern body and as usual, the software is as clean as you’d want it.

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Samsung Galaxy J7 Refine
Galaxy-J7-Refine

One of the best you can find on Sprint is the recent addition from Samsung – the Galaxy J7 Refine. This is basically the 2018 edition of the J7, but it looks so 2016 in terms of design. You are still getting significant bezels, a front-mounted scanner flanked by hardware buttons for navigation, a 16:9 display aspect ratio with HD resolution and a single-lens camera on the back, among others.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 16:9 HD display
  • Exynos 7884 SoC
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • 13MP main camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

To get your hands on one of these, Sprint wants you to part with $288 outright or $12/month for an 18-month lease.

Alternatively, you can as well go for the Galaxy J3 Achieve (J3 2018) that shares the same design language as the Galaxy J7 Refine, but is smaller and weaker on the specs sheet and price. For just $192 or $8/month for 18 months, the J3 Achieve offers a 5-inch HD display, Exynos 7884 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, an 8MP/5MP camera combination, a 2600mAh removable battery and runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Samsung-Galaxy-J3-Achieve-1

Motorola’s Moto E5 Plus also presents a formidable option in the budget segment with its $288 price tag ($12 per month for 18 months), but like the others in this category, the device won’t wow you in terms of specs and features. The best part of owning a Moto E5 Plus, though, is the battery life you get from the massive 5000mAh unit.

Besides that, the specs on the inside are modest, where you find a 5.99-inch 18:9 HD display screen, a Snapdragon 425 chipset, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 12MP/5MP camera combination, and runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Moto-E5-Plus-1

What if you want something unique for about the same price of the above budget phones? Well, you can’t go past the LG Stylo 4 and all of its stylus glory. No, you won’t get a similar experience and features as what you’d find on the Galaxy Note 8 S Pen, but at just $300, you’ll end up with not only a stylus-based smartphone but also a good piece of hardware that will take you through daily activities without any fuss.

LG-Stylo-4-unlocked

The LG Stylo 4 is not sold directly by Sprint, but there’s an unlocked variant the company says is compatible with all U.S. carriers, Sprint among them.

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Best rugged

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

sprint-samsung-galaxy-s8-activeUnlike previous years where the rugged variant of Samsung Galaxy S phones was exclusive to AT&T, the Galaxy S8 Active was sold through multiple carriers, including Sprint. Simply put, the S8 Active is a ruggedized version of the standard S8. You get the same specs and features in a body that is MIL-STD 810G certified and houses a bigger battery than even the Galaxy S9+.

Specs
  • 5.8-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

To get your hands on the Galaxy S8 Active, you’ll have to shell out $850 outright or $21.42/month for 18 months, but in case you find this figure too high yet you still need a rugged phone, Sprint is also selling the Kyocera DuraForce Pro at half the price of the S8 Active.

kyocera-duraforce-pro-black-1-3x

At $432 outright or $18/month for 18 months, the Kyocera DuraForce Pro gives you a MIL-STD 810G certified body with IP68 dust and water resistance, a 5.84-inch 1080p TFT display screen, a Snapdragon 617 chipset, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 13MP/5MP camera combination, a 3240mAh battery, and runs Android Marshmallow out of the box.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8 Active update news

With this exhaustive list, we hope that you have something that will satisfy your needs or at least made your search for the best Sprint Android phone.

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A fan of all things Android. Not the geeky stuff, but the cool stuff. If not buried deep into the latest trends in technology, you'll find me enjoying a game of football. Real football. Oh, and I'm a staunch Chelsea FC fan.

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