Visible vs. Verizon prepaid: Which carrier should you get?
Both carriers are run by Verizon, but who rises to the top?
Unlimited for less
Visible is a prepaid carrier owned by Verizon that offers two simple plans with unlimited data. While Verizon's plans have continued to get more complicated, Visible is a breath of fresh air with the basics you need for an agreeable price. If you find you need more features Visible Plus levels up the international features and comes with faster premium data.
- Unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data
- Unlimited hotspot (5Mbps)
- Verizon LTE and 5G network
- Taxes and fees are included
- Premium data available
- Ultra Wideband performance is limited on the cheaper plan
- Fewer compatible phones
- No roaming or 3G service
Even more options
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 customers with discounts. Verizon Prepaid also works with a wider variety of phones making it easier to keep you phone.
- Verizon LTE and 5G with roaming
- Loyalty discounts are available
- Unlimited talk and text
- Unlimited plans include data in Mexico and Canada
- Ultra Wideband 5G limited to the top plan
- Expensive for large data plans
- Some plans lack hotspot
Visible's current plan layout ditches the old Party Pay hoops customers had to jump through in favor of two simple plans with unlimited data. All Visible customers get unlimited data with access to Verizon 5G, unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps, and Spam protection. If you want a few extras such as international calling, texting, or even roaming in Mexico or Canada, Visible Plus is going to be a better fit. Visible also includes taxes and fees in the sticker price so what you see is what you pay.
Verizon Prepaid, on the other hand, sticks to a more traditional plan layout with five plans ranging from just talk and text to unlimited data with Ultra Wideband. Verizon Prepaid's main draw is its loyalty discounts which can bring your bill down over time with maximum savings after nine months. While its top plan isn't far off Visible+ in terms of features, even with loyalty discounts, it's still significantly more expensive.
- MVNO deals: Mint Mobile | Visible | Boost | Tello | Cricket
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Who needs unlimited data?
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Most of us don't need unlimited data, but it can be nice not to think about usage. Visible's cheapest plan is hard to beat at just $25 per month with unlimited data but with low-priority data giving way to slightly better coverage on Verizon Prepaid, there may still be a reason to skip Visible. Still, the Visible Plus plan makes the prepaid carrier much more competitive with Verizon Prepaid's top plan while still coming in cheaper. Even with Verizon's loyalty and autopay discounts, Visible comes out on top.
It might be worth it for you to determine how much data you actually need to make the best decision. You can usually do this by signing into your carrier's user portal and checking out the usage history. If that sounds like too much work or you know for a fact that you need more data than most people, Visible once again becomes the better value option.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Visible||Verizon Prepaid|
|Network||Verizon Wireless||Verizon Wireless|
|Ultra Wideband 5G||Visible Plus only||Unlimited Plus only|
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. Many video streaming services also offer downloads, so with some patience, you can still watch HD videos.
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Is the coverage really the same?
Coverage is going to be the same for most people. Visible, however, doesn't have access to Verizon's roaming partners, so in some rural areas, Visible may struggle. Still, Visible has 5G access including Ultra Wideband 5G, which all but the most expensive Verizon Prepaid plan lacks.
One of the main features of the upgrade Visible Plus plan is access to Verizon Ultra Wideband 5G with premium data. This means that in an area with C-band or mmWave coverage, Visible Plus can be significantly faster than the base plan. One odd thing to note is that phones on the base Visible plan seem to still connect to Ultra Wideband towers with a speed cap in place according to some user reports.
Verizon Prepaid will be a bit stronger moving into rural areas but that strength won't mean much to the many people in suburban and urban areas. Verizon prepaid has access to Verizon's slower, but more widely available, Nationwide 5G network on all plans so at least you'll get some 5G if you've got a compatible phone.
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Visible's plans
Visible has made a few recent changes to its plans offering some improved features as well as more straightforward savings options. The base Visible plan is similar to the old Visible plan that we used in our Visible review with basic unlimited data and unlimited mobile hotspot usage. Starting at just $25 per month, there is no need to sign up with any special parties or codes to get Visible's best pricing.
Visible Plus takes things up a notch with a blast of Premium data and full access to Ultra Wideband 5G. Starting at $35 per month, you get 50GB of premium data as well as some international perks. Both plans come with unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada but Visible Plus adds roaming to the mix. Visible Plus also allows international calling to 30+ countries and texting to 200+ countries.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Visible||Visible+|
|Data||Unlimited||Unlimited (50GB premium)|
|5G access||Nationwide||Nationwide and Ultra Wideband|
|Hotspot data||Unlimited (5Mbps)||Unlimited (5Mbps)|
|Price||$25 per month||$35 per month|
While Visible's new plans have somewhat robbed the carrier of its previous simplicity, Verizon has managed to create yet another one of the best unlimited plans you can get. Visible Plus adds in some of the main things the old Visible plan was missing though it must be noted that not everything was a pure upgrade. The old Visible plan came with 5G connectivity with a 200Mbps cap whereas the current cheaper plan will be much slower on 5G. Even so, Visible's new speeds should be more than enough for most people.
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid plans
Verizon Prepaid has four main plans starting with just a talk and text plan. From there you can move up to 15GB of data, or one of two unlimited plans. All plans are eligible for an 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 Plus plan, you'll get 10GB of 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide hotspot data or unlimited hotspot data on the 5G Ultra Wideband network. Unlimited Plus is the only Verizon Prepaid plan that comes with Verizon's fast C-band or mmWave 5G support.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Talk and text only||15GB||Unlimited||Unlimited Plus|
|Talk and text||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Unlimited 2G data||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A|
|High-speed data||None||15GB||Unlimited||Unlimited (50GB premium)|
|Calls to Mexico and Canada||$5||Included||Included||Included|
|Usage in Mexico and Canada||$5/day||$5/day||Included||Included|
|Price after 1 month||$30 with autopay||$35 with auto pay||$50 with auto pay||$60 with auto pay|
Unlike older Verizon Prepaid plans, there are no multi-line discounts 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.
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.
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which phones work?
First things first, Visible is compatible with most iPhones that came out after the iPhone 6. On the Android front, things are a bit more complicated. Visible only works with phones that support LTE and voice over LTE (VoLTE), so 3G phones and older LTE phones will not work.
Luckily, Visible has whitelisted some of the most popular Android phones including phones like the Galaxy S23 series and Pixel 7 series. The best way to see if your phone will work is with Visible's official BYOD tool.
Verizon Prepaid is stronger when it comes to compatible phones with many of the best Android phones working with the carrier. You can check your IMEI as well to know for sure. Naturally, the device will need to be compatible with Verizon's network which can be determined with the carrier's Verizon Prepaid's BYOD tool.
Verizon Prepaid sells a wide range of phones, from high-end flagships to affordable smartphones. Verizon Prepaid also carries a few flip phones if you're looking for something simple.
One thing to note is that Verizon Prepaid makes you pay for the entire cost of the phone upfront. If you need a payment plan, you may be able to find one with the phone manufacturer directly. The Galaxy S23, for example, is eligible for a payment plan if purchased directly from Samsung. Some credit cards also allow for payment plans on large purchases.
Visible's selection of phones is more limited, but still has a solid range of options including the Galaxy S22 series and Pixel 7 series of phones. There are no basic phones, but you can find a cheap Android phone that works with the service. Visible also offers financing through Affirm, depending on your credit.
Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which should you get?
Verizon Prepaid struggles to match Visible's value when it comes to simple domestic service. Verizon Prepaid's loyalty discounts take months to kick in, requiring you to pay more for the first few months and making the process of trying out a new carrier all the more annoying. Verizon Prepaid has an advantage in rural coverage and international usage, but won't be worth the extra cost to many.
While Verizon Prepaid has a wider range of plans, most people will be happy with Visible's focus on talk, text, and unlimited data. While the base Visible plan will be plenty for many users, it's nice that the prepaid carrier has opted to offer a faster option for those that want it. Visible is without a doubt the best prepaid option from Verizon and really goes to show how a simple plan, clear pricing, and good service can be a winning combination. Hopefully, Verizon learns from its success with Visible and can take steps to make its own plans a better value before T-Mobile finishes eating its lunch.
Simple and unlimited
Visible gives you unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data on two plans. If you just need the basics, the base Visible plan is one of the best values in prepaid with the Visible Plus plan acting as a great upgrade path for those in need of a bit more speed.
More plans and more phones
Whether you just need talk and text or lots of data, Verizon Prepaid has a plan. Verizon Prepaid's loyalty savings can help keep your prices down after a few months with a large variety of plans that can be cheaper for lighter users.
- MVNO deals: Mint Mobile | Visible | Boost | Tello | Cricket
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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.
- Patrick FarmerStaff Writer