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Visible vs. Verizon prepaid: Which carrier should you get?

Visible SIM card next to Pixel 3a
Visible SIM card next to Pixel 3a (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Visible

Visible logo

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Visible offers a great unlimited option for smartphone users covered by the Verizon LTE and 5G network, which is most people. With a simple flat rate, this is a great option for heavy and light data users alike.

Visible

Unlimited for less

Unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data
Unlimited hotspot (5Mbps)
Verizon LTE and Nationwide 5G
Lower unlimited price
Party Pay savings
No international service
Fewer available phones
No roaming or 3G service

Verizon Prepaid

Verizon logo

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Verizon Prepaid offers some excellent options for a wide range of people, whether they just need to talk and text or want data for streaming. Plus, a loyalty discount for three and nine consecutive months of service rewards responsible customers.

Verizon Prepaid

Even more options

Verizon Nationwide 5G, LTE, 3G, and roaming
Loyalty discount rewards after consistent payments
Mexico and Canada calling available
Unlimited talk and text
Unlimited plans include data in Mexico and Canada
Lower tier unlimited plan hotspot costs extra
Expensive for large data plans
Autopay required for lower prices

Visible's plan feels much more like one designed for modern smartphones. It's fitting for people who don't want to find Wi-Fi whenever they need to download something. With unlimited everything, Visible customers can forget all about data usage. For people that need better coverage in rural areas or just don't need much data, Verizon Prepaid's 5GB plan is a solid option.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Technically, no one needs unlimited

Most of us don't need unlimited data, but it can be nice not to think about usage. If you don't want unlimited data and don't use more than 5GB in a month, then there is room to save some money with Verizon Prepaid, and you'll even have slightly better coverage. It might be worth it for you to determine how much data you need to make the best decision. If that sounds like too much work or you know for a fact that you need more data than that, Visible once again becomes the better value option.

VisibleVerizon Prepaid
NetworkVerizon WirelessVerizon Wireless
5GNationwide (sub-6)Nationwide (sub-6) and Ultra Wideband (top unlimited plan)
LTEYesYes
3GNoYes
RoamingNoYes
International serviceNoAvailable

Streamers should keep in mind that both carriers restrict video streaming quality to 480p. This is fine for many people, but if you watch a lot of gaming content, you might be more sensitive to the lack of a 720p 60 FPS option on YouTube. YouTube Premium users will still be able to download videos to watch later in full quality, however.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Is the coverage really the same?

Visible speed test

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Coverage is going to be the same for most people. Visible, however, doesn't have access to Verizon's 3G network or roaming partners, so Verizon relies on these other services in areas where Visible is left with nothing. Be sure to check out Visible's coverage map (opens in new tab) to make sure you're covered.

Verizon Prepaid gets the entire massive network, which can be a great perk to someone who drives a lot or spends time in rural areas. You should still take a look at Verizon's coverage map (opens in new tab). Verizon Prepaid also has access to international service with Verizon's TravelPass costing $5 or $10 per day depending on the destinations where you need service. Calling to other countries is also available for $5 or $15 per month, depending on which destinations you intend to call.

Both plans get access to Verizon's new Nationwide 5G network coverage if you have a compatible device. Don't expect speeds to be too much faster than LTE for everyday use, at least not yet, but it's nice to know the plans are ready for the next generation of wireless. Verizon's Nationwide 5G network uses relatively small low-band frequencies for this network, so for the time being, speeds are potentially much faster than the LTE network. But it's still not worth buying a new phone to experience it, at least for now.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Visible's plan

Visible's plan is all about simplicity. $40 per month for each line grants you unlimited LTE and 5G data alongside unlimited calling and texting on Verizon's network. With Visible's only plan, you also get calls to Mexico and Canada included. But if you're looking for international roaming options, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Through Party Pay, you can save even more money by taking advantage of multiple lines in one "party." If you have two, three, or four lines, your cost per line comes down to $35, $30, and $25, respectively. Because each account is responsible for their individual bill at the end of the month, Party Pay is a great way to save among families, friends, and even roommates.

All Visible customers get access to an unlimited mobile hotspot limited at 5Mbps. While this won't be great for HD video streaming, if you're browsing on a notebook computer or a tablet, it's more than adequate. Unfortunately, there is no upgrade available, so this is as good as it gets.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid plans

Verizon Prepaid comes in four sizes, starting at talk and text only, 5GB of data, 15GB of data, and two unlimited data plans. All plans are eligible for a $5 auto pay discount which is factored into the displayed prices. Of the data plans, the cheaper unlimited plan doesn't come with mobile hotspot data though 10GB is available for $5 per month. If you opt for the top-tier unlimited plan, you'll get 10GB of 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide hotspot data or unlimited hotspot data on the 5G Ultra Wideband network.

Talk & text only5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
High-speed dataNone5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
HotspotNoneSharedShared$5 for 10GBUnlimited (5G Ultra Wideband)
10GB (4G LTE and 5G Nationwide)
Calls to Mexico and Canada$5$5IncludedIncludedIncluded
Usage in Mexico and Canada$5/day$5/day$5/dayIncludedIncluded
Price$30 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$45 with auto pay$60 with auto pay$70 with auto pay
Price after 3 months$30 with auto pay$30 with auto pay$40 with auto pay$55 with auto pay$65 with auto pay
Price after 9 months$30 with auto pay$25 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$50 with auto pay$60 with auto pay

Google Pixel 4 XL

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Unlike older Verizon Prepaid plans, there is no longer a multi-line discount available. There is, however, a loyalty discount that rewards customers for sticking with Verizon Prepaid for multiple months. This only applies to the data plans. You can save $5 per month after three on-time consecutive payments. After nine months, the discount increases to $10 per month. This is a nice bonus for long-term customers, but this offer is a bit lackluster if you're looking for short-term savings.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which phones work?

First thing's first, Visible is compatible with most iPhones that came out after the iPhone 6. On the Android front, things are a bit more complicated. Since Visible doesn't use the 3G network, Verizon's legacy voice network isn't available. All phones on Visible must support VoIP on the Verizon network. Still, that leaves quite a few Android phones compatible with Visible to choose from. You should still stop by Visible's compatibility checker to be sure your phone will work.

Visible R2 ZTE

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Verizon Prepaid knocks it out of the park here with a wider variety of phones for sale as well as a stronger list of supported devices that can be brought in. Pretty much any of the best Android phones you can buy will work on Verizon. You can check your IMEI as well to know for sure. The device will need to be compatible with Verizon's network, and if you want 5G, it will need band n5 support. The easiest way to find out is with the BYOD tool on its website.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which should you get?

There's no doubt that a light user can save money by going with Verizon Prepaid. There's also the fact that international services are available on Verizon Prepaid while Visible doesn't have any. Even with Verizon Prepaid's loyalty discounts, prices are higher than Visible unless you need less than 5GB per month. If you're a heavy data user that wants to forget about gigabytes and intends to keep international communication to online apps, Visible is the best option.

Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest smart home tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she's not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she's in her kitchen trying to make it herself.