Visible Mobile Review – More Cell Service For Less

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visible review

One thing is visibly clear to me. When it comes to cell phone providers, there are now plenty out there to fit any need or want.

And now, enter Visible: a low(er)-cost, unlimited talk, text and data, cell service running on the Verizon 4G LTE network.

Who is Visible?

Visible is a subsidiary of Verizon Wireless. So many do not consider it a traditional MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Provider), like Ting, Tello and Twigby. I believe it was started to attract a younger demographic as their brand image certainly gives that feeling with the hip, bright and colorful look.

They offer an all-or-nothing plan of unlimited talk, text and data for $40/month. Users are free from any other hidden fees. Sign-up via their app – and if you don’t like their service after a month or so, you can cancel without worries (or fees).

Forbes had a look at Visible Mobile on how they can offer such an incredible, unlimited everything plan to customers.

unlimited everything for $40/month

Our trial with Visible

I’d never heard of Visible before one of their friendly reps reached out to us to see if we’d like to try out their service. Always game to test-drive a new(er) provider, we were offered a Samsung S9 for trial.

Since Visible had done a lot of the on-boarding for us, we didn’t get a chance to see how the sign-up process flowed.

However, from reading some of the other reviews out there, it seems that many have had positive experiences getting onto the platform and set-up. We did see a couple of concerns for those using their own phones – but nothing major.

Customers can easily download the Visible app and sign-up right through their phone using Venmo, PayPal, and debit / credit cards. Easy peasy.

Visible mobile
Visible app login screen

I was fortunate to use Visible on a recent road trip down to Texas to visit family. Since my Tello MVNO plan isn’t as robust in sketchy areas and I have limited mobile data, I thought it would nice to have something that I could count on while I went to and fro.

And, the service performed like a champ every where I went. From Google Maps on the drive down, to streaming music on Pandora to checking emails at the hotel, everything hummed along great.

Even tried a few phone calls and the connectivity was excellent. The only problem I experienced was receiving a call from Canada – as there was a bit of a delay after each of us talked. This could have been on the receivers end however – and not related to the Verizon network.

While the network caps speeds at 5 mbps, I didn’t suffer any – except for when streaming video. Things just weren’t as “sharp” when connected to a WiFi or larger network with greater speeds. Visible says they offer DVD-quality at 480p.

Note the following are typical speeds needed for various applications:

  • Streaming Video: 1-3 Mbps
  • Video Chatting: 1-2 Mbps
  • Scrolling through your social feeds: 1 Mbps
  • Streaming Audio: 0.5 Mbps

Coverage

So, by now you may be asking what does their coverage look like. I think many providers are getting better at covering their bases these days with appropriately placed cell towers, leaving little gaps in coverage where needed. Visible is no different.

coverage map
Visible’s coverage map

Cons

  • Speeds are up to 5 mbps (many of the big networks are 3-10x that – but charge 2x) – Currently speeds caps have been removed for a limited time
  • There can be some delays on the network if it gets congested
  • Only one plan offering
  • No customer support via phone (text, chat, Facebook or Twitter are available)

Pros

  • Affordable unlimited everything plan
  • Easy on-board
  • Excellent coverage and service
  • Apple and Android phones available
  • Bring your own phone / phone number
  • Visible offers the least expensive unlimited plan on a single line (as a carrier)

Phones

Currently, Visible offers the following phones for purchase – including pre-owned:

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max (currently out of stock), and iPhone SE. Android fans can choose among the Galaxy S9, S9+, or the Visible R2™

But you can also bring your own. See if yours is compatible.

Final thoughts

From my month-long experience, I would rate Visible as one of the better lower-cost cell services you can find. While not as affordable as some MVNO players, they are in the “ballpark” in terms of thriftiness. And, if you are someone who travels a fair amount, requires big-network stability, it may be just what you are looking for.

Have you any experience with Visible? What are your thoughts / or what is the plan you’ve been happy with?

Learn more about Visible

Update: Get up to a $200 Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account when you buy a device and bring your phone number to Visible.

Update 4/25/19: Visible is offering $20 off your bill when someone you refer signs up for their service + your referral gets $20 for signing up. 

Update 6/26/19: For a limited time, Visible has removed their speeds caps on all plans.

other low-cost cell services

MVNONetwork UsedPlan Price
(Min. available)
Calls to Mexico & Canada Included in PlanCustomer ServicePlan Friendliness
(Ability to uprade / downgrade at will)
Free Tethering
BoostSprint$35 (Unlimited / 3GB data)$5 extraFair1 month noticeNo
Consumer CellularAT&T, T-Mobile$15 (250 min / no data) AARP members can get 15% discount.International direct dialGoodAnytime-
CricketAT&T$25 (Unlimited Talk / Text Plan)Smart / Pro Plans onlyFair2x per billing cycleNo
Gen MobileSprint$5 (Unlimited text)Yes (over 101 countries)GoodYesYes
Republic WirelessSprint, T-Mobile$15 (Unlimited talk / text), + $5/GBNoFair (Most CS logged to community)2x per billing cycleYes
Straight Talk WirelessAT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon$35 (Unlimited text/talk + 2GB)Add-onGoodAnytimeNo
TelloSprint$5 (100 min / Unlimited text)Yes (texts and MMS only)GoodAnytimeYes
TingSprint, T-Mobile$15 (100 min / MB / text. Plans based on what you use). Offers $50 credit upon signupYesGoodOkayYes
TracFoneVerizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular$14.25 for auto-renew (200 min / 500 texts / 500mb)NoFairOkayNo
TwigbySprint, Verizon$9.00 (Text + 300min + WiFi only)Yes (and China)GoodYesYes
UNREALSprint$10 (Unlimited text + talk + data - up to 1GB)NoFairYesNo
VisibleVerizon (Visible is not considered a traditional MVNO)$40 (unlimited talk,text and data)NoGoodOnly one plan offeredYes

Disclaimer: TTG received a phone to try-out for this review. We do not receive any commissions if you wish to purchase via these links – at this time.

Visible Mobile

$40/month
8.9

Ease of use

8.8/10

Reliability

9.1/10

Customer Service

8.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Thriftiness

8.9/10

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8 comments

  1. Seth Henry says:

    I have been with Visible since the beginning. They have HUGELY improved their service. They run on the Verizon network and are owned by Verizon so you are getting Verizon service, unlimited everything, including data, for $40/month!

    They are running a special right now where you get between $100 and $200 for switching to Visible or for buying a new or pre-owned phone through their website.

    My wife and I are both on Visible and we actually stopped paying for home internet service and now just use our unlimited hotspot.

    I’ve found their customer service chat and email to resolve issues quickly.

    • Justin says:

      I’m going to strong disagree with Seth here. I’ve been trying to create a new customer account with them for the past two weeks and have found to service to be nonexistent. Literally there are no customer service reps replying to the chat. Whether it’s on the website, through the APP, on Facebook Messenger, or Instagram, no one has replied to my requests for assistance for 3-4 days straight! I think they should change their name to INVISIBLE!

      Thanks for being honorable and ethical and posting my comment, although it may prevent people from clicking your affiliate link.

  2. Abe says:

    I’ve been with Visible for 2 months now. It took over a month to get my phone connected. I have 5 full bars on my Iphone but no one can hear me clearly when I used my phone (switched from Verizon). My speeds with Visible (Fast.com, Speedtest.net) are around 100 kbps. Company rep told me I should get from 5 mbps to 15 mbps. I’ve never gotten that. Hotspot is a joke as it’s even slower. I’ve measured in the 20’s. KBPS! I’ve been in the chat app so often I know the agents by name now. No one can help. It’s always: “power device off/on.” Or, “remove SIM card, wait…” Or “turn airplane mode on, off…” Or “reset network settings” Or some combination thereof. Speeds have consistently dropped from 700 kbps to as low as 26 kbps. I keep screenshots daily. Slow even at 3AM on a Sunday morning.

    Rep just told me (in app chat) that it’s network congestion. WHAT congestion? I just went to Walmart to use their free wifi. My college town is dead at this hour.

    Visible just doesn’t have the juice to provide its large/growing customer base the services Visible advertises. It’s not “unlimited” if the speeds are consistently back to dial-up era so you can’t use the internet and tech support can only have you do the same 5 things to your phone–none of which solve any problems.

    I won’t be staying with this company AND I’m telling everyone in my social network about my experience. Complete with screenshot evidence of ineffective support chats and abysmally slow internet speeds.

    • PJ says:

      I can honestly say I don’t have any issues with performance on Visible. It must be because you’re in a college town. However there’s a Pitt campus here in town which is less than a mile from my son’s school (elementary, middle and high school) a mall, theaters, Wmart supercenter, various other jamb packed places. I’ve had no problems in the vicinity running anything on Visible mobile yet. Coming from Verizon prepaid the last 3 years, my service was throttled badly over post paid customers (which I used to be).

  3. PJ says:

    I just recently made the switch to Visible mobile after roughly 20 years of service with Verizon wireless. I can say it was definitely a rocky process, although worth the pain and agony so far. Porting in from Verizon, or a “migration” as they call it, you’d think would be a simpler process. Three days without service was enough for me, drew the line right there and filed a complaint with the FCC. This only after speaking with Verizon about why I have no service, and there response being “No port request was ever put in.” and “Your phone number is sitting inactive. You’ll have to go get another number from your new carrier.” Anyone who tells you this is lying to you, you have 30 days to reclaim your number period. Don’t become a casualty of the ongoing phone number wars, your number is just that YOUR NUMBER. Enough said on that. Visible is what I’ve been looking at for a couple of years now, waiting for Android compatibility. The coverage is about as good as Verizon with the exception that you no longer can run on analog or 1x signal. Which can limit you mainly in rural areas. Verizon has always had the best coverage here. If you get good Verizon coverage where you are this will not be an issue. My house is 14 miles from the city and using a booster can get around 20 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up, ping about 100 ms. That’s great for the mountains of PA, very hard to get coverage when you’re constantly blocked by hills. Speeds increase dramatically in around town with 50 down, 50 up, ping 60 ms. More than enough to do what you need to do online, and no worries on how long you can do that. No more $15 a gig overages on data. At $40 a month unlimited everything it’s a deal, unlimited hotspot makes it a steal. My referral code is BLng7 if you’re interested in trying out the service.

    • PJ says:

      Update to Visible Mobile now offers “Party Pay”, similar to a family plan including discounts. Creating a party adding friends or family to your party gets you a $15 a month discount. Up to 4 people can join your party, max discount is $15 per line. Party leader bill is $25 including one additional phone the other line is $35, with three phones the additional is $30, with four phones $25 per line a month. Figure on 2 phones $60 mo, 3 phones $80 mo, 4 phones $100 mo. You still can manage and pay your own bill from your account. My discount/referral code BLng7

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