Best Phones for Visible Android Central 2021
When it first launched in May 2018, Visible made a big mark on the carrier space since $40/month for unlimited everything on Verizon sounds too good to be true. One of the few drawbacks to the service is that Visible only works with a small selection of Android phones, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to be an Android user and get the most out of what the carrier has to offer. Here are the best Android phones that work with Visible, including the Google Pixel 4a!
- Best Overall Visible Phone: Google Pixel 4a
- Best Alternative Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy S20
- Best Mid-Ranger Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy A51
- Best Visible Phone Battery Life: Moto G Power (2020)
- Best Visible Phone Camera: Google Pixel 4a 5G
- Best Premium Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Best Overall Visible Phone: Google Pixel 4a
Looking back at 2020, one phone that stands out as one of the year's top highlights is the Pixel 4a. It's the second mid-range phone that Google has released under its Pixel brand, and once again, the result is one heck of an Android phone.
Without a doubt, the aspect of the Pixel 4a that shines the most is its rear camera. The 12.2-megapixel sensor, paired with Google's near-magical levels of post-processing, result in it being impossible to take a bad picture with the Pixel 4a. Photos are crisp, colorful, and low-light photography is a breeze.
Outside of the camera, the Pixel 4a also benefits from a solid AMOLED display, reliable performance, and a 3.5mm headphone jack — something that's become a rarity on most phones in 2021. We also love the inclusion of NFC for Google Pay and the snappy rear fingerprint sensor — both of which help make up for the lack of wireless charging.
Lastly, since this is a Pixel phone, the 4a is first-in-line for software updates and security patches as they're released. It's already running Android 11 and will keep getting updates through mid-2023.
- Fantastic camera
- AMOLED display
- Reliable performance
- Fast fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- No wireless charging
- No official IP rating for water resistance
- Plastic construction
Best Alternative Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy S20
The Pixel 4a is the phone we'd recommend most people get, given its balance of features and specs for its low price. However, should you find yourself in a position where you can spend a bit more money, we'd urge you to consider splurging for the Galaxy S20.
Samsung's Galaxy S20 is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but considering everything it brings to the table, we think it's worth the price. That all starts with the display, a 120Hz Super AMOLED panel with a crisp Quad HD+ resolution. It's buttery smooth, the colors are vibrant, and the 6.2-inch screen size is surprisingly easy to use with one hand. Around the back, you're treated to a trio of rear cameras that take gorgeous photos.
Also offered is a large 4,000 mAh battery for reliable endurance, Qualcomm's ultra-fast Snapdragon 865 processor, 128GB of expandable storage, and a gorgeous glass/metal design. Samsung released the successor to the Galaxy S20 — the Galaxy S21 — in January 2021, but the device is not available directly from Visible.
- 120Hz AMOLED display is outstanding
- Relatively compact size
- Excellent rear cameras
- Flagship performance
- Surprisingly large battery
- No headphone jack
- High price tag
Best Mid-Ranger Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy A51
If you like to get a lot of bang-for-your-buck, mid-range phones are tough to argue with. They tend to offer a wonderful combination of features and value, and in regards to phones that work with Visible, the mid-ranger that we recommend is the Samsung Galaxy A51.
The Galaxy A51 isn't a perfect phone, with its sluggish processor and so-so camera performance being the biggest drawbacks. If those things don't bother you, however, the rest of the experience is pretty great! The A51 has a large 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, along with a Full HD+ resolution. The design is also quite nice, featuring slim bezels, a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera, and a back design that has a pretty unique pattern.
Rounding out the A51 is its 4,000 mAh battery, 128GB of storage for all of your apps/games, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. For the price Samsung's asking for the phone, it's a pretty great deal.
- Large AMOLED display with slim bezels
- Beautiful design
- Huge 4,000 mAh battery
- Still has a 3.5mm headphone jack
- Comes with 128GB of storage
- Iffy performance
- Disappointing cameras
Best Visible Phone Battery Life: Moto G Power (2020)
Far too many smartphones are plagued with ho-hum battery life, but the Moto G Power (2020) certainly isn't one of them. Outfitted with a 5,000 mAh battery, the Moto G Power (2020) is rated to get up to three days of regular use on a single charge — making it one of the battery champs of the entire smartphone market.
Compared to most handsets that are good for about a day's worth of use and nothing beyond that, being able to get well over two on the Moto G Power (2020) is quite the achievement. When it does come time to charge up, the Moto G Power (2020) uses its 15W TurboPower charger for decent refuel times.
Battery life is obviously the main draw to the G7 Power, but that's not all it has going for it. There's also a large 6.2-inch display (though it's capped at a 720p resolution), a Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor, and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 512GB.
So long as you can get over the mediocre cameras and Motorola's poor track record for software updates, the Moto G Power (2020) is a great buy. Note that Motorola released the Moto G Power (2021) in January, but due to some relative downgrades from this model, we still recommend the 2020 version. Additionally, the Moto G Power (2021) is not yet available for sale directly from Visible.
- Three days of battery on one charge
- Modern design
- Large display
- Alexa built-in
- Expandable storage
- Mediocre cameras
- 1080 screen resolution
- Motorola has a bad track record for updates
Best Visible Phone Camera: Google Pixel 4a 5G
Still priced as one of the best budget Android phones, the Pixel 4a 5G slots nicely in-between the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5. It is the Pixel 4a XL for all intents and purposes, as the two phones share much in common. From design language to software and performance, you won't notice a dramatically different experience between the two. Of course, at 6.2 inches, the Pixel 4a 5G's display is measurably larger than the 5.8-inch display on the Pixel 4a, but there are a few other important upgrades that you might want to take note of.
The Pixel 4a 5G has an additional ultra-wide-angle camera that the smaller 4a does not, and it also features a slightly upgraded Snapdragon 765G processor. While you won't necessarily notice any speed or performance differences when comparing the Pixel 4a 5G vs. the Pixel 4a, the larger phone is a bit more future-proof with that 5G radio built-in. Additionally, because it's a larger phone, it has a larger battery.
Like its smaller sibling, the Pixel 4a 5G does not support Qi wireless charging, nor does it carry an official IP rating for water or dust resistance. But its camera experience is basically identical to the more expensive Pixel 5, though it comes at a cost savings of several hundred dollars.
- One of the best camera setups currently available
- Clean and smooth software
- Fast rear fingerprint sensor
- Years of guaranteed updates
- No IP rating
- No wireless charging
Best Premium Visible Phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The regular Galaxy S20 is arguably the best purchase you can make from Visible in early 2021 if you're interested in a Samsung flagship. Still, if you want a larger version of it with a more technically-impressive camera, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is definitely worth checking out.
You're getting a downright huge 6.9-inch Super AMOLED display, and just like the regular S20, you still get a Quad HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate for buttery smooth animations. Powering all of that is Qualcomm's incredible Snapdragon 865 processor, along with 12GB of RAM. On the battery side of things, you're treated to a 5,000 mAh unit. There are a total of four cameras on the back of the S20 Ultra, and they're very, very good. Where it stands out over the regular S20 is the Space Zoom feature, which allows you to zoom all the way up to 100x.
The size, weight, and price of the Galaxy S20 Ultra make it a difficult phone to hold for some folks, but as far as premium Android experiences go, this is one of the best. Note that Samsung did release a newer Galaxy S21 Ultra (which we loved) in January 2021, but the device is not yet available directly from Visible.
- Massive 6.9-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Excellent build quality
- Blazing-fast performance
- Very capable rear cameras
- Can zoom up to 100x
- Too big for some people
- Doesn't have a headphone jack
- It's just so expensive
The Pixel 4a has gotten a lot of praise from many of us here at AC, and it'll continue to do so. Google crafted something special with this phone, and any chance we have to recommend it, we do just that.
From the cameras, display, software, and more, the Pixel 4a is the epitome of what all affordable/mid-range phones should be. It's enjoyable to use, doesn't make any serious cutbacks, and comes in at a fantastic price. If that sounds like a combo you're interested in, pick up the Pixel 4a. You'll be glad you did.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's Senior Editor Editor. He loves talking about all things tech, especially when it comes to Android phones. He has a drawer full of them that continues to grow and spends way too much time at Starbucks. Have a tip? Send an email to email@example.com or hit him up on Twitter @JoeMaring1
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
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