Best Sprint Android phones (December 2015)

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Are you a Sprint customer looking for your next smartphone? We understand it can be frustrating to look through the gigantic list of phones, so we’re here to help. Sprint has a wide selection of top-tier, mid-range and budget-friendly Android phone options, so we’ll help you decide which one is best suited for your lifestyle.

The categories for the best phones are based on price range, split up into three tiers: best phones above $200, under $200 and under $50. Unlike the other three major carriers, Sprint has yet to ditch two-year contracts, so that’s what these prices reflect. It should be noted that Sprint does sell phones without contracts, though for some reason, they’re really expensive if you buy through the carrier. If you want to buy your smartphone off-contract and bring it to Sprint, we’ll be happy to let you know where you can buy your phone at a cheaper price. So without any further ado, let’s dive right in!

Editor’s note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Update, December 2015: This month the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 dropped in price, moving both of these flagships to the “under $200” category. The newly-released HTC One A9 was also added to this tier. In their place we added the Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+. HTC’s One M9 and LG’s G Flex 2 have also both dropped in price to free on contract, so both of these phones moved down a tier. We also added in a few suggestions if you’d like to go off-contract.

Best phones above $200

#1 – Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

With the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung has finally delivered a truly premium Galaxy S experience, melding a glass front and back with a metal frame. Most tech journalists and even everyday tech enthusiasts agree that the redesign is a welcome one. Of course, Samsung’s new look isn’t without sacrifice, ditching Samsung staples like a removable back and battery. The microSD slot is also absent on the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Another major change for the Galaxy S6 Edge is the processing package, with Samsung electing to leave behind Qualcomm, solely offering up its Exynos 7420 processor, paired with 3GB RAM. And finally, the software has also been scaled back a bit with the latest iteration of the Galaxy S. The S6 Edge does offer up a few small software features when it comes to the edge display, though we’d recommend going with the S6 proper (listed below) if you can live without them.

You can purchase the Galaxy S6 Edge from Sprint starting at $249.99 with a two-year contract, or for $29.96 per month with an installment plan. If you’re looking for an off-contract option, Amazon has what you’re looking for.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options (non-expandable)
  • 16MP rear camera with OIS
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 90 degree wide angle lens
  • Non-removable 2,600mAh battery
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138 grams
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with Touchwiz

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Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


#2 – Samsung Galaxy Note 5

It’s hard denying that Samsung has always been the king of large-screened smartphones, and that still holds true today. With its crystal clear 5.7-inch display, powerful Exynos 7420 CPU and killer 16MP rear-facing camera, the Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best Android phones available on the market right now.

It’s an all-around solid device, boasting an all-glass chassis that’s similar to that of the Galaxy S6. It comes with an improved S Pen and some great multitasking features that will make it easy to get work done. The software is much more clean and simple than we’ve seen from the company in the past, too.

With all of that said, though, this device doesn’t come without its caveats. Samsung’s decision to omit the microSD card slot and removable battery has been a controversial one over the past few weeks, especially among Samsung die-hards. Even with these notable omissions, the Note 5 can still be considered one of the best out there.

You can purchase the Galaxy Note 5 from Sprint starting at $249.99 with a two-year contract, or for $30.80 per month with an installment plan. We’ve also attached an Amazon link below if you’re interested in buying off-contract.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 16MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm, 171g
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


#3 – Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Launched alongside the Galaxy Note 5 at IFA 2015, Samsung announced a new phablet for the Android space called the Galaxy S6 Edge+. If you’re a fan of the Galaxy S6 Edge (listed above) but would like a larger screen, this is the device for you.

If features all of the same specs as the Note 5 – an Exynos 7420 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 16MP rear camera, a big 3000mAh battery and a massive 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. This device doesn’t come with an S Pen, though. Instead, the S6 Edge+ features a display that curves on the left and right sides, leaving room for a few edge-based software features for quick access to contacts, favorite apps and more.

Don’t get us wrong, this is a great device. It might be a tad pricey for some users, though, which is why it’s achieved the number three spot on our list. Check out the review below to get a better look at what this device can do.

You can purchase the Galaxy S6 Edge+ from Sprint starting at $349.99 with a two-year contract, or for $33.92 per month with an installment plan. We realize this might be a bit too expensive for some, so we’d recommend purchasing it off-contract and bringing it to the carrier instead. We’ve attached an Amazon link below if you’re interested.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 16MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm, 153g
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


Best phones under $200

#1 – Samsung Galaxy S6

Save for a slightly smaller battery and a completely flat display, the S6 and the S6 Edge are the same device. It features the powerful Exynos 7420 processor, an impressive 16MP rear-facing camera and a crystal clear 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display.

Although Samsung decided to forgo the removable battery and microSD card slot this time around, we’d wager to say that the much-improved build quality with the S6 is a pretty decent trade off. Basically, if you can get past these two caveats and don’t mind Samsung’s Touchwiz software overlay, the Galaxy S6 is the best smartphone you can buy from U.S. Cellular.

You can purchase the Galaxy S6 from Sprint starting at $149.99 with a two-year contract, or for $24.34 per month with an installment plan. You can also buy it off-contract from Amazon for about $500.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options (non-expandable)
  • 16MP rear camera with OIS
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 90 degree wide angle lens
  • Non-removable 2,550mAh battery
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138 grams
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with Touchwiz

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


#2 – LG G4

The LG G4 enters the market promising pristine performance, a design that will have any crowd turning heads, insane battery life and customization like we no longer see in modern smartphones. In an industry where most manufacturers sacrifice battery life for thinness, LG manages to stand out from the crowd by offering a massive 3000mAh battery. It also happens to be removable, so you can easily swap batteries at will. Furthermore, it supports expandable memory, which also happens to be a feature under risk of extinction.

Oh, and this phone looks good! You can switch your back plates, but I am sure you won’t want to once you put that genuine leather back in there. Add in the fact that the phone comes with one of the best smartphone cameras in the market and you have a true winner. It does have some slight issues that need fixing, though, which is really why it didn’t make it higher up the list. Of course, you can read our LG G4 review to see what this phone is all about before you fork out your hard-earned cash.

You can purchase the LG G4 from Sprint starting at $199.99 with a two-year contract, or for $26.25 per month with an installment plan. You can also find it on Amazon for a little over $400 without a contract.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD Quantum Dot display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Hexa-core 2xCortex A57+ 4xCortex A53 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear-facing cam with f/1.8 aperture, 8 MP front-facing cam
  • Removable 3000 mAh battery
  • 149.8 x 76.2 x 6.3-9.8 mm, 155g
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


#3 – HTC One A9

HTC is doing something different, yet oddly familiar with the One A9. Straying away from the all-too-familiar design of the One M series, the HTC One A9 more closely resembles Apple’s latest iPhones rather than past HTC flagships. Still, the design is beautiful – it has an all-metal build that feels great in the hand and looks superb.

Under the hood, the One A9 sports a Snapdragon 617 processor, 2 or 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion up to 200 additional gigabytes. It also has one of the best cameras HTC has ever produced, and comes with a surprisingly long lasting 2150mAh battery. HTC is also committed to quick software updates with this phone. The Taiwanese company is actually promising software updates for the unlocked model within 15 days of Google’s first push to Nexus devices. Not bad, right?

The HTC One A9 is available from Sprint for $199.99 with a two-year contract, or for $29.00 per month with an installment plan. You can also purchase the unlocked One A9 from HTC directly for $499.99.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2/3GB of RAM (depending on storage option)
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 13MP rear-facing camera with OIS, 4MP UltraPixel front-facing camera
  • Non-removable 2150mAh battery
  • 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm, 143g
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from HTC


Best phones under $50

#1 – HTC One M9

The HTC One M9 is a really good phone. It’s one of the most beautifully-crafted Android devices out there, and boasts some killer audio and software features as well. It doesn’t stray too far away from the One M7 or One M8, but that’s perfectly fine for most people. It features a very nice 5.0-inch Full HD display, a powerful Snapdragon 810 processor and plenty of storage space for all of your games, photos and videos. It may not have the best camera around, but it’s certainly good enough for the average user.

The HTC One M9 is available now from Sprint for free on-contract, or for $29.50 per month with an installment plan. Amazon also sells unlocked models for just around $300 if you’re interested in going off-contract.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch Super LCD3 display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 20MP rear-facing camera, 4MP UltraPixel front-facing camera
  • Non-removable 2840mAh battery
  • 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6mm, 157g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop (Marshmallow update coming down the pipeline)

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


#2 – LG G Flex 2

The LG G Flex lineup probably originated as a mere experiment, just to see how far LG could take the flexible display, but the idea hit the audience enough for LG to decide to make a successor. The LG G Flex 2 enters the market as a much more refined and polished version of its predecessor.

This time around LG wasn’t just trying to show off; they went all out and created a perfectly good handset we would recommend to many of you. The phone comes with great specs. In fact, it was among the first to feature that powerful Snapdragon 810 processor.

Specs are not everything, though. This phone is unique in that it is more curved than any other smartphone out there. In fact, it can literally flex… to a certain point. Just please don’t do it on purpose, as we have seen people push it past its limits and it’s not a fun time. The device also comes with the iconic LG back buttons and all the software features you can expect from the Korean manufacturer, including Knock On.

You can get the LG G Flex 2 from Sprint for free with a two-year contract, or for $10.00 per month with an installment plan. You can also buy it off-contract from Amazon for only a few hundred dollars.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch P-OLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 13MP rear cam, 2.1MP front cam
  • Removable 3000mAh battery
  • 149.1 x 75.3 x 9.4 mm, 152g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Sprint
Buy now from Amazon


Going off-contract?

If you’re not keen on spending $600+ on one of the off-contract smartphones listed above, there are certainly some other smartphones out there that are worth your hard-earned money. The top two off-contract smartphones that we’d recommend can’t be purchased from any carrier, which is why they didn’t make our initial list. So if you’re looking for a great off-contract smartphone, you can go wrong with the Nexus 6P or Motorola Moto X Pure Edition.

Nexus 6P

As the successor to last year’s Motorola Nexus 6, Google recently unveiled the Huawei-made Nexus 6P. This device is the higher-end of the two Nexus phones announced at Google’s event, and that’s incredibly apparent when looking at the spec sheet.

It comes with a big 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a giant 3450mAh battery and an impressive 12MP rear-facing camera. Want to get your hands on one? The Nexus 6P is pretty cheap, considering the specs and build quality. You can purchase it from the Google Store starting at just $499!

This is really one of the best Android handsets we’ve ever seen. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend and aren’t keen on the best from Samsung or LG, get the Nexus 6P.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 12MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera
  • Non-removable 3450mAh battery
  • 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, 178g
  • Aluminum, Graphite, Frost
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store – $499
Buy now from Amazon – $590


Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (Moto X Style)

With the original Moto X, Motorola proved you don’t need to have the latest specs to get a great user experience. With the second generation, the Lenovo-owned company took no chances and double-downed on the spec side as well, packing the new Moto X (2014) with a dense 5.2-inch AMOLED screen, a beefy processor, and a capable 13MP camera. But with the Moto X Style, Motorola reaches the perfect balance between performance, simplicity, price and… well, style.

By Style we are mostly referring customization capabilities, a factor which has been an integral part of the Moto X experience since day one. Customers can use Moto Maker to manipulate their devices’ aesthetics to their will. You can change the color of the metal areas, engrave the back and even choose from a plethora of back options, including materials leather, wood, rubber and other materials.

The device is not a bad contender in terms of hardware, either. The larger screen puts the phone up with contenders like the OnePlus 2, Nexus 6, LG G4 and the Galaxy Note series. It may not sport the “best” processor in the market, but the Snapdragon 808 is pretty close to the 810, and Motorola has proven time and again they can make a super fast phone without the greatest chipset.

It’s worth noting that the phone will be sold in most markets under the Style branding, though in the United States it will be sold as the Moto X Pure Edition, an unlocked model that will play nice with all U.S. carriers. You can purchase the Moto X Pure Edition from Motorola or Amazon for only $399.99.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch display with QHD 2560x1440p resolution
  • 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 21MP rear cam, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm, 179g
  • Customizable via Moto Maker
  • Water resistant
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Motorola – $399
Buy now from Amazon – $399


How did you like our list? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

Next: Best Android smartphones of 2015

By | 2015-12-11T01:00:09+00:00 December 11th, 2015|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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