Visible vs. Verizon: Which carrier should you get?

It might seem odd to compare Visible vs. Verizon in the first place, since both carriers are owned and operated by the same brand. However, there are differences. Visible stays focused on nailing the basics that smartphone users care about most, with two simple and straightforward plans. On the other hand, Verizon Wireless offers a wide range of plans catering precisely to the needs of just about everyone out there, even though it gets a bit more expensive in the process.

Visible's approach of giving you everything means that you will never have to wonder if you have enough data or minutes. Instead, it's the overall coverage and its quality that you'll have to think about.

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Verizon customers are a higher priority

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A Visible speed test underway on LTE

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Since Verizon owns Visible, you'll ultimately be a Verizon customer no matter which of the two you end up choosing. The difference really comes down to priority.

Verizon's plans mostly have higher-priority data, but with Visible's newer and better Visible+ plan, the prepaid carrier can now compete quite well on network quality. Visible still offers a cheaper plan with lower-priority data, and while it doesn't directly throttle speeds, you might notice slower speeds in congested areas. This plan is a lot like the old plan that we tested in our Visible review, which is fine for most people.

Verizon's network will be noticeably larger if you move away from densely populated areas. This is due to Verizon customers still having access to the network's legacy 3G towers and LTE roaming network. Verizon smartphones will connect to 5G or LTE if possible, but if there is no native signal available, they'll have options to fall back on.

Visible uses Verizon LTE and 5G exclusively, and while the coverage is getting closer to what Verizon customers can access, this network is still a bit smaller. For the majority of users who spend their time in urban or suburban areas, these differences will be minimal and for those with 5G phones and C-band coverage, may be unnoticeable. Still, this varies by location so there's a chance Visible might not work well for you.

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Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVerizon Wireless
NetworkVerizon: LTE, 5GVerizon: 3G, LTE, 5G
Ultra-Wideband 5GVisible PlusUnlimited Plus and Unlimited Ultimate
Multi-line discountsNoneMost plans
Spam protectionYesYes
Taxes and feesIncludedNot Included

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Is Visible a match in coverage?

Visible SIM card sitting on top of US passport

(Image credit: Android Central)

Visible only uses Verizon's digital network having LTE and 5G coverage. Nationwide 5G is included with both Visible plans with the faster Ultra-Wideband 5G access only available with the higher Visible+ plan. For most users, either plan should be enough for everything from streaming to general usage. That said, if you need more speeds, the high-speed premium data offered with Visible+ may be a worthwhile upgrade.

There are a few gaps, and Verizon fills those by either relying on its older 3G network or buying data from other providers for roaming access. Visible doesn't get access to Verizon's roaming partners.

The Verizon 5G network is growing quickly, with at least some 5G coverage in most urban areas. Verizon's faster Ultra-Wideband network is much smaller although the carrier only began building it in January of 2022. Verizon has C-band coverage in 60 cities, with many more coming in the next few years.

It's also worth noting that Visible doesn't support international calling or roaming except in Canada, Mexico, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In case you need to call another country or need service while traveling, you'll need something else.

Verizon's postpaid plans do offer what it calls an international TravelPass. In Mexico and Canada, this comes at $5 a day, and in more than 185 other countries, the cost is $10 a day. If you're on one of the unlimited plans, however, you'll be getting talk, text, and unlimited data when traveling in Mexico and Canada, as well as international texting to over 200 countries.

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Visible's prepaid plans

Visible has updated its offerings with two plans - Visible and Visible+. Starting with Visible, this is a simpler offering with unlimited talk, text, and data access. Data isn't prioritized, and 5G access is limited to the slower nationwide network. Both Visible plans have unlimited mobile hotspot data (at 5Mbps), spam and robocall protection, as well as calls to Mexico and Canada. The cheaper Visible plan costs $25 a month with taxes and fees included.

Visible+ adds 50GB of premium network data which keeps your data speeds as high as possible, even on a crowded tower, for the first 50GB of usage a month. You also get access to Ultra-Wideband 5G for faster 5G access, where Verizon has C-band and mmWave coverage. International coverage also gets a boost with unlimited usage in Mexico and Canada. Besides that, you get international calls to 30+ countries and texting to 200+ countries included. Visible+ costs $45 a month, though you can get it for $35 as part of a limited-time promotion. Again, taxes and fees are included.

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Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVisible+
Premium dataNone50GB
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)Unlimited (5Mbps)
5GNationwideNationwide and Ultra-Wideband
Mexico and CanadaTalk and textTalk, text, roaming
Price$25 per month$45 per month ($35 for a limited time)

Visible doesn't require autopay for its best rates. Its prices are even better when you consider that taxes and fees are included in the price.

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Verizon's postpaid plans

Verizon's plans mainly focus on unlimited data, with only their basic plan still offering a limited 500MB option. If you just need to make calls and texts, the basic plan could work, but at $30 per month, you could save a lot more by going for a prepaid MVNO carrier instead.

Starting with Verizon's cheapest unlimited offering, Welcome Unlimited, you get 5G nationwide access and no data caps. Nationwide 5G, by the way, doesn't have access to Verizon's fast 5G network, so while your phone will say 5G, speeds will be similar to LTE. Welcome Unlimited has no hotspot data or other perks, but it does get multi-line discounts with up to five other Welcome Unlimited lines on your account. Unlike the rest of Verizon's unlimited options, this plan can only be combined with other Welcome Unlimited lines.

The Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Ultimate plans offer 5G Ultra-Wideband support for faster speeds, as well as 30GB and 60GB of hotspot data, respectively.

If you love streaming services, there are two pre-configured versions of Ultimate Plus that you can take a look at. One comes with Netflix and ad-supported Max bundled, and the other features a Disney bundle and 100GB of hotspot data.

Then there's the pre-configured Ultimate Unlimited plan, and it's best suited for iPhone users. It comes bundled with the Apple One membership that gives you access to a variety of Apple's digital services and subscriptions.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Unlimited WelcomeUnlimited PlusUnlimited Ultimate
NetworkNationwide 5G5G Ultra-Wideband5G Ultra-Wideband
DataNot availableUnlimited premiumUnlimited premium
Mobile HotspotNot available30GB60GB
International talk & text from USMexico & CanadaMexico & CanadaMexico & Canada, and one additional country of choice
Streaming qualityUp to 480p (SD)Up to 720p (HD)Up to 1080p (Full HD)
Multi-line savingsYesYesYes

While not all of Apple's services are available on Android, some like Apple Music and a web browser version of Apple TV+ are available, so the Unlimited Ultimate plan is not totally worthless on Android. Plus, if you use a Mac or an iPad, you can get the benefits of Apple One on those devices. You can also share the Apple One plan with up to five others when you bring two or more lines to this plan which cannot be combined with other plans.

With the Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Ultimate plans, you can get additional savings by combining them with one of Verizon's data plans for other devices like tablets and smartwatches.

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Which phones work?

Samsung Galaxy S22 in hand screen facings away

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Both Visible and Verizon will be more than happy to sell or finance a phone for you. Verizon does have a bigger offering of devices, but Visible's growing collection has something that will work for most people. Naturally, you can buy phones for the full price from either carrier. You could also buy one of the best Android phones unlocked and bring it to the carrier of your choice for a bit more freedom.

Visible's financing is done through Affirm, while Verizon uses 36-month payment plans. It's worth keeping in mind that Verizon offers a lot of phone discounts, including buy one get one free promotions that rely on this 36-month structure with monthly credits. This means you could get locked behind a multi-thousand-dollar paywall if you get multiple phones on Verizon's payment plans. It also means that you could get multiple new phones for your family for a much lower initial price than buying them outright.

If you already have a device and you want to know if it will be supported, you'll need to use the BYOD compatibility tools for both Visible and Verizon. Support on one doesn't necessarily mean it will work on the other, even though the Verizon network is used for both carriers.

Visible only uses VoLTE for calls, so some older phones, or phones from other carriers won't work even if it has band support and VoLTE support. You'll need to check your IMEI before signing up from either if you bought your phone unlocked or from another carrier.

Most newer iPhones and some of the most popular Samsung phones are supported. The Galaxy S22 and S23 series are fully supported with 5G on Visible, and the Pixel series also gets support, including the newest Pixel 8 series.

Visible vs. Verizon Wireless: Which should you get?

Visible SIM card on top of a Galaxy S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

If you've confirmed you have coverage on Visible's network, Visible is your best bargain. Verizon's plans offer marginally better coverage, but for most people, the savings on Visible will be worth it. You should also remember that Verizon has multi-line discounts if you're bringing a family. Keep in mind that Verizon Prepaid might have a plan that's a solid fit as well.

As long as you know you're covered, Visible has two simple unlimited plans that will work for well Performance on the base plan may not match Verizon or Visible+, but many people will be perfectly happy with it. The cheap $25/month unlimited plan is easily a contender for the best cell phone plan you can buy. If you've got a phone that's compatible, Visible is definitely worth a shot.

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.

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