What you need to know
- Verizon is giving potential customers a 30 day trial of its network on eSIM-compatible phones with Verizon Test Drive.
- Verizon Test Drive works on iPhone and Android devices with an open eSIM slot.
- Verizon Test Drive includes 5G with UWB and 100GB of premium data.
Verizon Wireless has launched Verizon Test Drive, a 30-day trial of its network using eSIM. If you have an unlocked phone with at least one open eSIM slot, you can try out Verizon's 5G network, including 5G and 100GB of premium data, for 30 days with no credit check or commitment. This trial plan also includes unlimited talk and text, and streaming is limited to 480p unless you're connected to UWB 5G.
Speaking of 5G, Verizon includes access to its entire 5G network in this trial, including Ultra Wideband (UWB) 5G. UWB 5G uses C-band and mmWave spectrum to deliver data speeds much higher than LTE or nationwide 5G.
In order to get this trial, you'll need to download the My Verizon app from Apple App Store on iPhone or Google Play Store on Android before signing up in-app. T-Mobile launched a similar trial a couple of months ago with Network Pass, and several prepaid carriers offer trials, such as Visible and Mint Mobile. Verizon's trial can be a helpful tool for those that aren't getting the network performance they expect on their current carrier but don't want to get wrapped up in a new plan until they'll know it works for sure.
If you want to use Verizon Test Drive, you'll need an unlocked phone with support for eSIM. If you use eSIM on your current carrier, you may not have an open slot to use for the trial.
- Apple iPhone XR, XS XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 12 series, 13 series, and SE
- Google Pixel 4/4a, 5/5a, 6 series, and Pixel 7 series
- Samsung Galaxy Flip/Fold 3 and 4, Note 20 series, S21 series, S22 series
Keep in mind that your phone will need to be updated to at least Android 11 on the Galaxy Note 20 and Android 12 on the S21 series. To experience the full 5G network, you'll need to be covered by Verizon UWB 5G and have a phone that supports it. Luckily, many of the phones Verizon lists as compatible at least partially support UWB.
Verizon also notes that your phone will need to be unlocked in order to try out the network. If you're still paying for your device with another carrier, your phone is locked. Once you pay it off, it can be unlocked, although some carriers require you to request the unlock even after you've paid it off. A quick call to customer service should get that sorted.
While Verizon's plan pricing tends to be higher than its competitors, it currently offers some solid deals for new customers and multi-line customers looking to switch. Verizon Welcome Unlimited, for example, is just $30 per line with four lines though it doesn't get UWB 5G or premium data.
Verizon Test Drive lines up fairly closely with the service you would get from a plan like Verizon 5G Play More, one of our best cell phone plans, though the trial comes with 100GB of premium data while 5G Play More only comes with 50GB.
Buy it unlocked and bring it to any carrier
One of the toughest parts about changing carriers is making sure you can bring your phone. If you buy it from the carrier, that's a lot harder. Google's Pixel 7 is cheap enough that many people can buy it unlocked but powerful enough to compete with some of the best phones out there. The Pixel 7 also has one of the best cameras ever fitted to a phone.
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When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.