Cutomizable and cheap

Tello

Tello logo

Unlimited and simple

Visible

Visible logo

Tello uses T-Mobile's network to offer several prepaid plans that let customers save money by paying for only what they need. You have the option of building your own plan starting as low as $5 per month or picking a plan that includes 1GB up to unlimited data and comes with unlimited talk, text, and free mobile hotspot.

From $5 at Tello

Pros

  • Multiple plans to choose from
  • Inexpensive single line
  • T-Mobile's 4G LTE and 5G network
  • Free calls to Mexico, Canada, China, and Romania
  • Free mobile hotspot

Cons

  • 25GB data cap on unlimited plan
  • No roaming

Visible is a plan that's perfect for heavy data users that want Verizon coverage. This prepaid plan doesn't include hidden contracts or fees and comes with nearly unlimited everything, including data, text, talk, and mobile hotspot. To top things off, you can save even more by signing up for Party Pay discounts.

$40 at Visible

Pros

  • Verizon 4G LTE and 5G network
  • One simple plan
  • Free mobile hotspot (5Mbps)
  • Free calls to Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands
  • Party Pay discount

Cons

  • Data may slow during congestion
  • No roaming
  • No international add-ons

Both Tello and Visible are two of the best cell phone plans available today. While both carriers actually have many similarities, the most striking difference between them is the network they use. Tello uses T-Mobile while Verizon uses Verizon to offer 4G LTE and 5G across the country. You can decide which one of these prepaid carriers is right for you, depending on the coverage you get. Another factor to consider is whether you need an unlimited plan and could benefit from multi-line discounts on Visible. If you prefer to customize your plan and avoid spending money on data, you don't need Tello.

Tello vs. Visible: How do these carriers compare?

Tello and Visible both offer unlimited plans at an affordable price and are great options if you're able to sign up for a prepaid plan. Tello offers service on T-Mobile's network while Visible uses Verizon, and both carriers offer plans at a much lower price than you would get if you signed up directly with T-Mobile or Verizon. For about $40 per month with either Tello or Visible, you can get a plan with unlimited talk, text, and data, free mobile hotspot, and international calling to a few select countries. While Visible offers one unlimited plan only, Tello gives you the option to either build your own plan or purchase a premade data plan that fits your needs.

Tello Visible
Network T-Mobile Verizon
5G Included Included
Hotspot data Included Included (5Mbps)
Minimum term 1 month 1 month
Maximum term 1 month 1 month
Minimum data No data Unlimited
Maximum data Unlimited (25GB) Unlimited
Multi-line discounts No Yes (Party Pay)

With both Tello and Visible, no contract is required, and you can cancel anytime. If you find that you need more or fewer data with Tello, you can also make those changes at any time. But keep in mind that Visible includes all taxes and fees in the $40 per month fee, unlike Tello. It also offers a multi-line discount which can be a great way to save money if you know a few people interested in Visible.

Tello vs. Visible: Tello's plans

Tello website on a Galaxy S8Source: Joe Maring / Android Central

Tello has some of the cheapest cell phone plans out there today, starting as low as $5 per month. This prepaid carrier has a plan for everyone and lets you either build your own plan or pick from ready-made options, including a 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, and unlimited option. If you find that you don't need many minutes but use an average amount of data, a 4GB plan with 100 minutes will only cost $16 per month. Unfortunately, taxes and fees aren't included, but it's still a worthy deal.

Tello plan samplesSource: Tello

Each Tello plan comes with free mobile hotspot, and its unlimited plan for $39 per month includes unlimited talk and text. As long as you purchase minutes, text is free. Thankfully you don't need a contract and can cancel or make changes to your plan at any point. If you want the unlimited plan, keep in mind that once you've consumed 25GB of data, you'll see slower 2G speeds. But for the most part, most people won't reach this amount.

Unlike core T-Mobile plans, Tello doesn't offer any international roaming. This means that you'll need to purchase a new SIM card if you plan to travel abroad. You are, however, able to call a few countries abroad, which include Canada, Mexico, China, and Romania. If you need to call another destination, you're able to do so via Pay As You Go as long as you purchase credits. Most calls start at less than a cent per minute, but rates can vary.

Though Tello may not have all the perks or international features of another cell phone plan, it can offer inexpensive service on a fantastic network. But before signing up, you should double-check your coverage. With several plan options, Tello makes it easy to pick a plan that is a good fit and won't lure you into paying for more data than you need. Building your own plan can also be a great way to save money down the line.

Tello vs. Visible: Visible's plans

Visible is a prepaid carrier on Verizon's network and offers one unlimited plan at $40 per month. Though your data might slow down during times of congestion, it's still a much lower price than what you would pay with Verizon. Along with unlimited data, talk, and text, you'll get unlimited mobile hotspot at 5Mbps and free calls to Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

VisibleplansSource: Visible

Even though $40 per month is already a pretty good deal, Visible offers a way to reduce your monthly bill even further via Party Pay. If you can find up to four people to join one party, each bill is discounted to $25 per month. It's not ideal for a family plan since each account pays separately, but it is something to consider.

One caveat with Visible is that it offers no roaming, whether that be domestically or internationally. If you plan on traveling outside of your coverage area, make sure that occasional spotty service won't be too much of an issue. Visible doesn't have access to Verizon's 3G towers, nor does it let you roam while traveling abroad. All that being said, it's still an excellent plan for a heavy data user who wants great Verizon coverage without being overcharged.

Tello vs. Visible: Which phones will work?

Visible R2 ZTESource: Android Central

Before signing up with either carrier, you should decide whether you plan to bring your own device or purchase a new one. If you want to bring your own device, you should make sure it's unlocked, supports VoLTE, and is compatible with the respective network.

For Visible, you can head to a compatibility checker on its website to verify whether your unlocked device will work on its network by typing in your IMEI number. You can also see this list of all the iPhone and Android phones that are compatible with Visible. If you're hoping to purchase a new phone through Visible, you can easily do so on its website as well. These are some of the best phones for Visible to consider, and include the Google Pixel 4a and the Samsung Galaxy S20.

If you want to bring your device to Tello, you can also do so as long as it's a GSM device that supports VoLTE and is compatible with the T-Mobile network. You can check online for compatibility by typing in your IMEI number. If you're looking to buy a device from Tello, the selection isn't quite as large as Visible's, but you'll still be able to get your hands on some popular Apple and Android models.

Tello vs. Visible: Which should you get?

If you're looking to save money and find that you don't actually use that much data, then Tello is the better choice for you. A plan with 4GB of data and unlimited talk and text will cost you only $19 per month. You can also build your own plan with the amount of data or minutes that works for you starting as low as $5 per month.

If you're someone that consumes lots of data and gets great Verizon coverage, Visible offers better value. There's no data cap on the unlimited plan, unlike Tello, meaning that you won't have to ever worry about streaming too much. Also, if you're able to sign up for Party Pay, you'll be able to save even more on your monthly bill.

Less is more

Tello logo

Tello

Build your own plan to save

Tello offers some of the cheapest plans, and you can even build your own to meet your data needs. It's a great way to save without sacrificing T-Mobile coverage.

Endless data

Visible logo

Visible

No limits

Visible's plan comes with unlimited talk, text, data, and hotspot data on Verizon's network, without any data caps. You can save further by signing up for Party Pay.

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