Sprint Framily Smartphone Plan Review
Sprint is playing catch up to the other 3 major wireless companies. The Framily Plan is an interesting Smartphone plan that can save you a ton of money. They merged with SoftBank of Japan in the middle of 2013 and are going through a metamorphoses, which includes this new promotion. The Framily Plan started in January of 2014 and is slated to expire 6/12/2014
In 2015 Sprint added a lease plan where you can pay $15 a month to get an entry level iPhone. At the end of 22 months, you have to return the phone or pay for it.
Important: As with any mobile wireless plan, you need to ensure you have coverage where you need it. Home, work, play, you need signal otherwise it does not matter what the price is. Check and compare coverage using Open Signal.
No Contract Smartphone Plan Alternative
Traditionally, smartphone buyers were able to purchase the latest smartphone at a significant discount, often at $199, when they committed to a new 2 year plan with a major wireless carrier like, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. Times have changed. There are many more options available to smartphone owners.
Consumers can choose no contract smartphone plans or traditional smartphone plan from one of the 4 major carriers. In a previous article, Find the Best No-Contract Smartphone Plans we examined the best way to save money: No contract smartphone plans, in this article we will examine the more traditional smartphone plan and help you pick the best one. The average consumer spends almost $150 on wireless each and every month. Families spend even more. We cannot do anything about the high cost of wireless taxes that are added onto your bill, but we can save you a significant amount of money. It is surprising that only 1-2% of subscribers switch to other carriers every year.
Some large companies have negotiated discounts with the large cell phone carriers. All you need is a company email address to obtain this discount. Check with your HR Department to see if your company qualifies. As an example, here is the AT&T Wireless Employee Discount page.
Monthly Wireless Data Usage
If you are a current smartphone user, check your bill to see how much data you use every month. Your new plan can be sized to your current usage patterns. According to Nielsen, the average person used 733MB of data in early 2013. Most people paid for a lot more, approximately 2GB. Over 1/3 of users used 50% or less of their data plan’s allotment. The wireless carriers force you to select data plans with specific limits, making it easy to over buy. (If you need 600MB, they might force you to purchase 1000MB) Keep in mind that most people are connected to Wi-Fi to perform data intensive operations.
If you are new to smartphones, consider these guidelines on monthly usage:
- Email, Social Networking, News, Web Browsing – 1GB per month
- Plus music streaming or downloading, sharing photos, download apps – 3GB per month
- Plus movies, video streaming – Unlimited per month
These are some rough figures to help you select the appropriate plan. Keep in mind that most unlimited plans slow down your data transfers to a snail’s pace, after you pass a preset limit.
Not every phone will be available on every network. You need to decide on the handset that you will be using. The first choice is Android or iOS, after that, most wireless carriers have the same popular smartphones. Shoppers need to understand that they will be stuck with the smartphone for 2 years. Saving $50 or $100 over a 2 year span, and getting stuck with an inferior phone is not very wise.
The major wireless companies attract shoppers with their promises of the latest smartphone for $199 or less. Instead of making consumers pay the full price of a smartphone up front ($400 - $800), they give the shopper a discount and make them pay more each month. You are making a 2 year commitment when you accept this initial discount. If you break the agreement, you will have to pay a hefty early termination fee. You can purchase the phone up front, but few people opt for this expensive arrangement.
Many carriers will charge a one time activation fee when you purchase a new smartphone. Look for sales where they waive this activation fee. Sales tax is charged at the time of sale based on the full price of the smartphone, not its actual selling price.
Does the carrier allow you to bring your own phone? Most of the ones that allow you to do this support GSM technology that is used by the AT&T and T-Mobile wireless networks. Those which run on Sprint or Verizon networks usually require you to buy a new smartphone. Consider this before you buy an unlocked or used phone off eBay or Craigslist.
Does the company have a good record of rolling out the latest and greatest hardware? After you finish your 2 year commitment, there will surely be a new phone that you lust for. Is there a good trade in policy or sell back program?
The wireless companies are good selling you insurance on your smartphone. Because these mobile devices get damaged or lost frequently, they can charge from $7 to $10 a month based on your fear. A third party like SquareTrade will sell you an insurance policy for less. Only go this route if you have a history of mishaps with your smartphone.
Sprint is one of the underdogs in the smartphone race. In a recent comparison they ranked last among the major carriers. They are in the middle of being acquired, which should help them in the future. They market an Unlimited plan with no mention of throttling, but you will have to watch out for their off-network roaming usage limits. The off-network roaming usage allotment is small and can easily be used up in a few days. has several different plans making it very confusing to navigate their website. It is hard to recommend . Look at Boost Mobile, their prepaid division instead, if you must use their network. T-Mobile is priced in the same ballpark, and much more liked.
Sprint Framily Plan
They have a new Framily Plan where each additional line of service up to 10 lines, gets a lower price. If you're an existing Sprint customer and eligible for an upgrade, you can switch over to the Framily Plan. If you are not eligible, you pay an extra $15/mo/line until you are upgrade eligible.
- Up to 10 friends, families, or employees
- Unlimited talk, text, and 1GB data
- Separate bills - individuals are liable for their own bills only
- As low as $25/mo per line
- $36/line activation fee
- No annual service contract
- No early termination fee
- Each line can be customized with additional data
- Each Framily group will have its own unique Framily ID
- You can use a Sprint certified device (excludes Assurance Wireless, Boost and Virgin Mobile)
- You need to visit a Sprint store to set up a Framily ID.
- Groups cannot merge
- You can buy Smartphones with no money down
The monthly rate changes depending on how many people you have linked together. The price will go up as people drop out of the Framily, locking you in!
- $55/mo for 1 person
- $50/mo for 2 persons
- $45/mo for 3 persons
- $40/mo for 4 persons
- $35/mo for 5 persons
- $30/mo for 6 persons
- $25/mo for 7 - 10 persons
One Gigabyte of data is not very much. Add $10/month per line to get 3GB’s of data, add $20/month a line to get unlimited data and annual upgrade.
*We do not recommend getting shared data plans with less than 1GB-2GB per line as overages will occur more often.
Coverage - Fair to very good depending on your area. Check their coverage maps
Smartphone Selection – Very Good. From iPhones, Samsung Galaxy Note III, Galaxy S4 through basic Android smartphones.
Bring your device - You need to buy a phone or mobile hotspot from Sprint. Other GSM phones will not work. Some used Smartphones from eBay may work if they are not banned.
Sprint Framily is best when:
- You can assemble a group of 7 - 10 people
- All people in your Framily must have good Sprint coverage
- You can accept the limited Smartphone Selection
In conclusion, the consumer has a lot of control over cost with every Smartphone plan. You can switch carriers or Smartphones almost at any time. Review the details above + select the one that fits your needs. We recommend you take the time to understand your situation and pick the one best for you. Take Price, Coverage, Smartphone Selection, and monthly Bandwidth Allotment into consideration.
What do you think of the Sprint Framily Plan? Would you switch to it?