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.
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.
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 everywhere I went. From Google Maps on the drive down to streaming music on Pandora to checking emails at the hotel, everything hummed along great.
I 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 the speed 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
- 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)
- 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)
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.
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?
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
|MVNO||Network Used||Plan Price|
|Calls to Mexico & Canada Included in Plan||Customer Service||Plan Friendliness|
(Ability to uprade / downgrade at will)
|Boost||Sprint||$35 (Unlimited / 3GB data)||$5 extra||Fair||1 month notice||No|
|Consumer Cellular||AT&T, T-Mobile||$15 (250 min / no data) AARP members can get 15% discount.||International direct dial||Good||Anytime||-|
|Cricket||AT&T||$25 (Unlimited Talk / Text Plan)||Smart / Pro Plans only||Fair||2x per billing cycle||No|
|Gen Mobile||Sprint||$5 (Unlimited text)||Yes (over 101 countries)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|Republic Wireless||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (Unlimited talk / text), + $5/GB||No||Fair (Most CS logged to community)||2x per billing cycle||Yes|
|Straight Talk Wireless||AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon||$35 (Unlimited text/talk + 2GB)||Add-on||Good||Anytime||No|
|Tello||Sprint||$5 (100 min / Unlimited text)||Yes (texts and MMS only)||Good||Anytime||Yes|
|Ting||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (100 min / MB / text. Plans based on what you use). Offers $50 credit upon signup||Yes||Good||Okay||Yes|
|TracFone||Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular||$14.25 for auto-renew (200 min / 500 texts / 500mb)||No||Fair||Okay||No|
|Twigby||Sprint, Verizon||$9.00 (Text + 300min + WiFi only)||Yes (and China)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|UNREAL||Sprint||$10 (Unlimited text + talk + data - up to 1GB)||No||Fair||Yes||No|
|Visible||Verizon (Visible is not considered a traditional MVNO)||$40 (unlimited talk,text and data)||No||Good||Only one plan offered||Yes|
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.
Owned by Verizon, Visible is a new wireless carrier, offering unlimited Messages, Minutes, and Data* (currently at uncapped speeds), on Verizon's 4G LTE network. An unlimited hotspot is also included with speeds up to 5 Mbps. Visible has no physical stores. You can easily sign up for service at Visible.com. Visible also offers Party Pay, a no catch shared plan that allows each member of the plan to share the savings without having to share the bill or data.
*In times of traffic, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic.