Visible vs. Google Fi Wireless: Which carrier should you subscribe to?

Comparing Visible vs. Google Fi is no simple task, since both Mobile Virtual Network Operators offer some great plans. Google Fi's coverage isn't the best fit for everyone but with T-Mobile's growing network and expansive 5G coverage, it'll keep on getting better. Google Fi also stands out on international roaming, being the best carrier for those who travel abroad. On the other hand, Visible is a strong choice that gives you access to Verizon's reliable domestic network. You also get unlimited data, hotspot use, and blocking of spam and robocalls.

Visible vs. Google Fi: Get the right network

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The biggest difference between these two prepaid carriers is the network. Visible is one of the best MVNOs that uses Verizon's network. It uses this network to great effect, with LTE and 5G support on selected devices. That said, Visible has no support for 3G or roaming, so you won't have a fallback option if you're in an area with spotty Verizon coverage. Luckily, Verizon's LTE network is one of the strongest in the nation, with great density and reliability. Long story short, Verizon (and by extension, Visible) most likely has you covered.

Visible speed test on LTE

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Google Fi Wireless takes a different approach and gives you three plans to pick from. Smartphones specifically designed for Google Fi can fully utilize the T-Mobile LTE and 5G networks, choosing whichever is best in an area. If you bring in your own unlocked GSM phone to Google Fi, you will connect with just the T-Mobile network.

Both networks now include 5G coverage. While T-Mobile still reigns supreme as a leader in 5G, Verizon's C-band 5G network has been making rapid progress in terms of expansion into suburban and rural areas.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleGoogle Fi
NetworkVerizon WirelessT-Mobile
Unlimited dataUnlimitedSpeeds reduced after 50GB (on highest plan)
5G includedYesYes
Hotspot usageYes (5Mbps)Yes (Shared)

Google Fi's plans

Google Fi SIM card

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Google Fi Wireless has three plans, with the major distinction being the amount of data you get and international features. The entry-level Flexible plan costs $20 per month for unlimited calling and texting. Beyond that, high-speed data is $10 per GB, which includes a mobile hotspot. Data is added as needed automatically until you hit the 'Bill Protection' threshold.

Bill Protection on Google Fi is a feature that stops charging the standard data rate at 6GB of usage, and nothing changes unless you hit 15GB. After 15GB of use your data is throttled, but you can add high-speed data at, you guessed it, $10 for 1GB.

Google Fi also has two unlimited plans that come with 35GB or 50GB of high-speed data. After you use up your data, the speeds will be reduced until the next billing period. The cheaper Simply Unlimited plan comes in at $50 per month for a single line and includes 5GB of hotspot data.

If you want all of the perks of the Flexible plan with more data, Unlimited Plus comes with 50GB of data and adds unlimited hotspot tethering. You can also order a data-only SIM to put in another device. You get 100GB of Google One cloud storage, one year of YouTube Premium, and free calling to more than 50 countries. All three plans also come with free calls to Mexico and Canada.

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Header Cell - Column 0 FlexibleSimply UnlimitedUnlimited Plus
Data$10/GB (up to 15GB)35GB high-speed50GB high-speed
Mobile hotspotShared5GBUnlimited
International data$10/GB in 200+ destinationsNoneFree in 200+ destinations
International callingFree to Mexico and CanadaFree to Mexico and CanadaFree to over 50 countries
Base cost (1 line)$20$50$65

For each of these plans, you can bring up to six additional lines with shared data and plan savings available on up to four lines.

Visible's plans

Visible has long been known for having a single simple plan, but the carrier recently expanded its offering with two unlimited plans. The cheaper Visible plan is the most similar to the old plan, with unlimited talk, text, data, and hotspot data at 5Mbps. Its speed and service will look very similar to the old Visible plan we tested in our Visible review. You also get calls to Mexico and Canada.

Access to 5G is there, though you won't get access to the network's full speeds. Even so, it's plenty fast for just about anything you do on a phone, so if you're looking for ways to save, this is a good plan to start with.

Visible Plus takes things up a notch with 50GB of premium data, faster 5G access, as well as more robust international features. Visible Plus users can call 30+ countries for free and text 200+ countries too. This plan also gets unlimited talk, text, and data while roaming in Mexico and Canada.

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Visible's plans
Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVisible Plus
DataUnlimitedUnlimited (50GB premium)
5G accessNationwideNationwide and Ultra-Wideband
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)Unlimited (5Mbps)
Spam & Robocall protectionYesYes
Price$25 per month$45 per month ($35 for a limited time)

If you're on the old Visible plan and are thinking about which new plan to switch to, the best choice will really depend on your personal experience with the carrier. Both plans will see a slight uplift in their responsiveness, thanks to a shift to Verizon core resulting in better pings for many people. Visible Plus may be worth it if you live in a congested area and have often noticed speeds not keeping up in peak times.

Phone support

Visible app on phone

(Image credit: Visible)

Google Fi Wireless supports most unlocked phones utilizing T-Mobile's GSM network. If you're ready for a new phone, you can buy one from Google Fi that will work with the carrier's network switching. Alternatively, you can bring one of the best Android phones unlocked if you have solid T-Mobile coverage.

Visible's phone support is more limited due to Visible's nature as an all-digital carrier requiring phones to support Verizon's VoLTE network. The device list is growing and includes the most popular Android phones, such as the Galaxy S23 series and the Pixel 8 series. Most recent iPhones are supported as well.

Needless to say, a smartphone on Visible will need to be compatible with Verizon's LTE network. Visible will guide you through checking your phone's IMEI before you pay for the service. If you're ready for a new phone, you can buy one directly from Visible or even swap an old Android for a new one with Visible Swap.

Visible vs. Google Fi: Which MVNO carrier is best?

Google Fi is a top choice for many users, especially those with multiple lines. It also has solid phone compatibility which makes it easy for just about anyone to switch. The unique international roaming features won't make sense for many, but for the right user(s), they're unmatched.

For most users, especially those who only need one line, Visible is still the better choice. Even compared to Google Fi's multi-line plan discounts, Visible has one of the cheapest plans around. Its growing phone support makes it an excellent carrier for just about anyone with a new smartphone.

Samuel Contreras

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.

With contributions from