The all-rounder

Google Fi

A big network for less

Visible

Google Fi's simplicity continues to be a sweet spot for the average user. With fast speeds and a hybrid network from three carriers, Google Fi provides an excellent experience. International data is included at the same rate.

From $20/mo. at Google Fi

Pros

  • International coverage
  • Lower starting price
  • Shared network
  • Supports most GSM devices

Cons

  • 2G speeds after 15GB
  • Potentially more expensive

A flat fee and lots of coverage makes Visible an excellent option for a light user that never wants to think about minutes or gigabytes. With a growing list of compatible Android phones, there has never been a better time to try Visible.

$40/mo. At Visible

Pros

  • Straightforward price
  • No extra fees
  • Huge Verizon Wireless LTE network

Cons

  • No international options
  • Videos at 480p

Google Fi can provide a stronger network thanks to supported phones being able to switch between up to three different networks automatically. With coverage available from Sprint, T-Mobile, and US cellular, Fi is excellent for keeping your phone online.

While the price can climb higher, bill protection will keep it at $80 if you use more than 6GB. Fi also supports international usage with no additional charges for data and texting.

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Visible keeps things locked at $40 per month. Having removed their speed limits, Visible is an excellent choice for heavy and light users alike with all of the fees included, taking advantage of the vast Verizon LTE network. A smaller list of supported phones and no support of international roaming can limit its appeal to some users.

Coverage

Before you sign up for any phone service, make sure to check your coverage.

Check your Google Fi coverage here and find out if your phone supports the full network here.

You can check Visible's coverage here and make sure your phone works with the network here

Coverage is always going to be one of the most essential elements to consider when choosing a new carrier and phone. Luckily neither of these carriers has a contract. If it ends up not working out for you, you can try something else.

Google Fi Visible
Network Sprint/T-Mobile/US Cellular Verizon Wireless
Data cap 2G speed at 15 GB Unlimited
Hotspot Yes Yes (5Mbps)
International 200+ countries None
Starting Price $20/mo. $40/mo.
Max Price $80/mo. $40/mo

Just one plan for each

Visible costs $40 for one month of service. That's it. Fees are included, and since the service doesn't have any overages or add-ons, that won't change. This is an excellent fit for a ton of people that don't plan to travel out of the US and have strong Verizon LTE signal wherever they need to go. It's as simple as cell phone plans get.

Google Fi has a bit more going on, but it all starts at just $20 per month for unlimited talk and text in the US. From there data charges at $10 for 1GB of data and you'll get money taken off for the data you don't use. You can estimate your plan here.

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. At 15GB your data speeds are slowed down, but you can add new high-speed data at, you guessed it, $10 for 1GB. The maximum you'll pay without adding data is $80 per month, plus fees.

If you plan to travel internationally, then there is no contest. Google Fi is the king of international service offering the same data rates in 200+ countries. SMS texts are free, and calling is billed by the minute depending on the country. Typically, they are around $0.20 per minute.

What phone options are there?

Google Fi supports most unlocked phones utilizing T-Mobile's GSM network. There are, however, some phones that support the entire network, including switching to Sprint or US Cellular if the connection is stronger. Check the compatibility web page to see how the phones stack up. You can even have a data-only SIM card to put in another device if you like to carry a tablet or an extra phone.

Visible supports more devices all the time and even sells some of the newer ones. In fact the recently released and reviewed Visible R2 is available and may be part of a good budget package for someone that doesn't need a ton of speed. Needless to say, a phone on Visible will need to support Verizon's LTE network. Check your device to see if it works on Visible here.

What kinds of speeds are available

Visible is an excellent option for a lot of people. The concept of a flat rate with no surprises and no service interruptions is a great concept and one that will work for most people that have great Verizon coverage. Videos only stream at 480p, which will be fine for many users, but a lot of people with larger smartphones may want to have HD as an option.

The idea of an unlimited hotspot is great, but at 5Mbps, it may not be good enough for work such as video conferencing or connecting to a remote computer. Still, having the feature included is an incredible value.

Google Fi, on the other hand, lets you go as fast as the network can provide. With up to three available networks, this can mean faster downloads and HD video streaming. The place where Google Fi falls behind is that you have to keep an eye on your usage. If you are a heavier user with multiple devices, you can get a data-only SIM card that shares your data and doesn't require another line.

Knowing that you will have to pay for every bit of data you use can lead to you not utilizing your LTE connection like you could with Visible. Still, utilizing free Wi-Fi and data-saving features can still lead to cost savings if you are a lighter user.

So what should you get?

Visible is an excellent bargain if you have a compatible phone or are willing to buy one through Visible. For the majority of customers, Visible will have all of the coverage and features you need to stay connected. If you are after simplicity and consistency, there's no better option.

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Google Fi is the way to go for people that care more about speed and flexibility. It's thanks to the wide range of phones supported, with a surprising number of phones being compatible with network switching and the faster speeds available. If you utilize data-saving features and Wi-Fi hotspots, there's room to save money, and there are still plenty of options for an enthusiast.

The all-rounder

Google Fi

Plenty of headroom

Pay for what you use, and that's it. Save money by utilizing Wi-Fi and have plenty of speed for when you want it even when traveling internationally.

A big network for less

Visible

Never worry about gigabytes again

Visible is as simple as possible. It offers good speeds for browsing and streaming and no surprise fees, accessing Verizon's LTE coverage with no contract.

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