Similar to Verizon Wireless, Sprint offers the Galaxy S4 in white and black with the exception that Sprint's handset lacks the carrier branding that adorns many carrier-specific phones.
Unfortunately, Sprint only offers the 16GB version of the S4, and similar to the Verizon model, only about 9GB of that is free for user data. AT&T still offers the 32GB version of the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 is advertised as a 16GB phone, but after the Android 4.2: Jelly Bean OS, Samsung's TouchWiz software and Sprint's own bloatware, users only have about 9GB of storage to play with. Now, Sprint and Verizon aren't the only ones doing this - every 16GB version of the phone we've encountered has had far less than 16GB available.
What about the microSD storage, you're probably asking? Yes, you can add up to 64GB, but that's only for media, such as pictures, music and videos. Apps cannot be installed to the SD card. In our tests we quickly ran out of space, which is ridiculous.
Like any and every carrier, Sprint pre-loads its phones with a selection of apps from itself and its partners. On our Galaxy S4 review unit, many of the apps couldn't be removed from the device.
Of course Sprint has quite a few apps of its own, and hosts plenty more from Amazon, Flipboard and other partners. Some of these are just shortcuts that don't actually take up any space until you open and install them, making them just eyesores.
Apps like IMDB, Flipboard and the Amazon bundles are the only ones that customers might actually want to use - but it's annoying that they're permanently installed to the phone. We recommend users steer clear of the rest of the bloatware though, and avoid incurring extra charges.
Sprint's call quality and 4G LTE service
Similar to T-Mobile, Sprint has been slowly rolling out their 4G LTE coverage. What this means is that if you, like us, happen to be in a location without 4G LTE coverage, expect lackluster data performance. That said, Sprint does offer unlimited data plans. It's just a shame that, for the vast majority of us, all of that unlimited data can only be enjoyed at a relative snail's pace.
Using our Galaxy S4 to test Sprint's 4G LTE network in San Francisco and Oakland, results were mostly disappointing. We rarely found areas where speeds got as high as the 25 Mbps we expect from LTE service. Instead, they were generally around 1 Mbps. However total dead spots, where we couldn't even make a call, were rare.
While data speeds were typically abysmal, we generally had no trouble placing calls and sending text messages. Voices over the line were clear, and everyone we spoke to reported that we were coming through loud and clear.
As always, signal quality varies wildly depending on where you live. We recommend checking out the coverage maps offered by carriers, and speaking with friends and co-workers about their personal experience with carriers in your area before making a two-year commitment.