Visible Wireless Cell Phone Plans Review

We love how Visible gets you unlimited data on Verizon's top-tier network for only $40 per month

Visible
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Cheap unlimited plan
  • Check
    Uses Verizon’s network
  • Check
    Amazing family plan deals
  • X
    Limited phone selection
  • X
    Data can be deprioritized
Easton Smith
Mobile, TV, & Moving Expert
Read More
Published on February 10, 2021
8 min read

Visible Wireless is a cell service provider that offers cheap plans on Verizon's 4G and 5G networks. Visible is available on most iPhones and several Android devices.

Visible has substantial but affordable individual and shared plans. With access to unlimited and unthrottled LTE data on Verizon’s great network, Visible's $40-per-month plan rivals others that cost twice as much. Plus, you can share the benefits of an individual unlimited plan with up to three other people using Visible’s Party Pay.

We like how Visible does away with stores. Customers sign up online and get a SIM card in the mail. Insert the SIM card into your phone, download the app, and you’re good to go. You can even pay your phone bill using Venmo.

We don't like that there’s a cap on video streaming and 5G speeds, or the risk of deprioritization, but these factors are outweighed by Visible's reasonable pricing.

Let's dig in to the details.

Visible Wireless Unlimited Plan

Visible Wireless unlimited plan

You’ll get a cheap plan with tons of data. Just watch out for those slowdowns.

Visible Wireless Unlimited plan

Pros
  • Cheap unlimited plan
  • Verizon network includes 5G
  • No data speed cap for LTE
Cons
  • Data deprioritization
  • 480p video streams
  • 5G capped at 200 Mbps

What we like

With Visible’s mobile plan, you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data for $40 a month. That’s pretty awesome. But what we like most about this plan is not what it has, but what it doesn’t have: no LTE data speed caps, no extra taxes or fees, and no major coverage gaps.

No data speed caps

Plenty of phone plans will give you unlimited data. But not all data is created equal. There’s 3G data, 4G data, LTE data, and now, depending on where you live, there’s even 5G data. These terms refer to the speed of the data, and speed matters when you’re watching Netflix or about to get fragged in a PUBG Mobile match.

Many MVNOs (and even traditional carriers, like AT&T) will throttle your data after you use a set amount. That could mean you’ll be getting data at 1–3 Mbps, instead of 5–10 Mbps, even with your unlimited data plan.

While Visible Wireless does limit the quality of your video streaming to 480p, the rest of your LTE data won’t be throttled.

But according to Visible's website, 5G data is capped at 200 Mbps. We suspect that cap is largely a result of limited 5G infrastructure. As more 5G towers go up, we wouldn't be surprised if brands relax their caps on 5G.

Do you really need unlimited data?
Light Bulb

You might be tempted to go with a cheaper, limited data plan. But be aware, people tend to use more data than they realize. Here’s a short guide to figuring out how much data you need.

No extra taxes or fees

Sales tax, who needs it? Fine, schools, roads, and fire departments do. But let’s be honest: our hearts still sink just a bit when we see that our $4 coffee is actually going to cost us $4.26.

This is why we like Visible’s “baked-in” price. That $40 a month includes everything: taxes, fees, and any other possible charge you could think of.

No major coverage holes

You might lose service with Visible Wireless if you’re off camping in Yellowstone National Park (in which case, you shouldn’t be checking your email anyways—c’mon, now). But you’ll be covered in most other areas of the country.

That’s because Visible Wireless runs on Verizon’s network.

Being on Verizon’s network doesn’t just mean good coverage. It’s also the overall speed and quality of the network that makes Verizon the best overall cellular provider.

Say yes to mobile hotspots

There’s no limit on the amount of hotspot data you can use, but the speed is capped at 5 Mbps (which should be plenty for streaming and browsing) and you can only have one tethered device at a time.

What we don’t like

As the ‘80s hard rock band Poison taught us, “Every rose has its thorn.” Visible’s biggest thorn is that users’ data can be deprioritized.

Data deprioritization

Remember before, when we talked about data throttling? Well, data deprioritization is similar, but instead of having your data speed reduced for using too much, you can have your speeds reduced during times of “congestion.”

No, this doesn’t mean your phone will slow down when you’ve got a nasty head cold. It means that Visible’s network owner (in this case, Verizon) will prioritize certain customers’ data speeds over others when too many people are connected in one area.

So if you sign up for Visible, you may notice that your phone has a hard time streaming Disney+ during your evening commute.

Lower quality video streams

We only have one more bone to pick with Visible’s mobile service, but it’s not a big one—maybe just like a distal phalange. (Anatomy jokes, anyone?)

With Visible, your video streams will be stuck at 480p (so-called “DVD quality”). But, honestly, most people won’t notice much of a difference between watching His Dark Materials at 480p and 720p when it’s being displayed on a 5-inch screen.

Alternative picks

We’re pretty stoked on Visible’s Unlimited offering, but it’s definitely not the only plan worth considering.

If your aim is to have the highest quality plan out there, regardless of price, then you’ll want to look at some more traditional unlimited plans. If, on the other hand, you can live with less—and slower—data, then you might want to look at TracFone or Simple Mobile.

But as far as unlimited prepaid phone plans go, we’ll recommend Visible Wireless ‘til the cows come home.

Unlimited plans comparison 

Sure, there are a couple of unlimited plans that are slightly cheaper than Visible’s. But these plans don’t have the benefit of truly unlimited, unthrottled data. They also run on smaller, less reliable networks, like Sprint.

Visible Wireless family plans

Get the same unlimited plan for even cheaper by using Party Pay (friends not included).

Visible Wireless family plan

Pros
  • Cheap unlimited family plan
  • Discounts on additional lines
  • Great coverage
Cons
  • Your data can be deprioritized

You might have hated sharing your bedroom (and your toys) with your siblings when you were younger, but we know you’re stoked to share that phone bill now that you’re all grown up.

Visible Wireless calls its family plan Party Pay. Using Party Play, you can add up to three additional people to your Unlimited plan. Just make sure everyone has a compatible phone. Here’s a look at what we like, and don’t like, about the plan.

What we like

Unlimited data

Visible’s Party Pay plan offers the same benefits as its solo plan: unlimited talk, text, and data on Verizon’s powerful network.

As with the individual Unlimited plan, videos will stream at 480p, and your hotspot speeds will be capped at 5 Mbps, but otherwise your data won’t be throttled. So everyone on your plan can stream to their heart's content!

Discounts for the more lines you add

Like any good party, Visible’s mobile plan just gets better with more people. When you add one person, you’ll pay $35 a month each. With three people, it’s $30 a line, and with four people, it’s just $25 a line.

That means you can get unlimited everything on four individual lines for just $100 a month. That’s just $10 more than Verizon’s individual Get More Unlimited plan!

Visible Wireless Unlimited Plan with four lines

Everyone is invited to this party

You don’t have to call up your twice-removed second cousin to justify this family plan. With Visible Wireless, you can split your Party Pay between anyone: your friends, coworkers, housemates, the person you just met on Tinder, etc.

Worried about the logistics of splitting your bill with your lovely but unreliable best friend? Don’t be. Each person on your Party Pay plan will get their own bill and manage their own account.

What we don’t like about Party Pay

There’s really only one thing we don’t like about Visible’s family phone plan, and it rhymes with . . . well, “data deprioritization” doesn’t really rhyme with anything.

Data deprioritization

As we mentioned above, data deprioritization happens when a cellular network decides to give certain people more mobile bandwidth than others.

This occurs in places where there are a ton of people at once (like sports stadiums, traffic jams, Burning Man, etc.), and is more likely to happen with an MVNO like Visible. It’s a bummer, but for some, the low price and good coverage is worth that risk.

How do Visible Wireless family plans compare?

There are plenty of great family plans out there. But none of them can quite compete with Visible’s mix of great coverage, truly unlimited data, and simple billing.

Visible Wireless family plans comparison

As you can see, Total Wireless beats Visible’s price by a few bucks, but that’s before taxes are included. Also, unlike Visible, Total Wireless will throttle your data if you use too much. (And you can hit that limit pretty quickly when your data is split three or four ways.)

Visible Wireless cell phones and devices

Visible’s phone selection has improved, but that’s not saying much.

Visible’s phone compatibility has been a weak spot ever since it arrived on the scene.

Originally, Visible only worked on a few iPhone models. But now, anyone using at least an iPhone 6 (or newer) should be compatible. The company has also expanded service to work with several Android devices, like newer models of the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel.

If you’re interested in upgrading, you can buy a new (or new-to-you) phone from the company. Here’s a peek at some of the most popular phone models that the company sells.

How good is Visible Wireless coverage?

Visible’s coverage is about as good as it gets

Sure, we’ve told you that Visible’s Verizon-run network is the best available, but what does that mean? Well, take a look for yourself.

That’s a lot of red, and you’ll get access to all of it when you sign up for Visible Wireless.

The best coverage for most people

Verizon’s (and thus, Visible’s) network strength goes far beyond basic coverage. In RootMetric’s most recent “Review of the Mobile Landscape” report, Verizon dominates the other three major networks in nearly every category, from reliability and speed to data and calling.1

The company also tops many of the rankings in OpenSignal’s latest “Mobile Network Experience Report,” although T-Mobile is giving it a run for its money.2 Here's the power rankings of best network coverage right now.

Best networks based on 4G coverage

4G Coverage Infographic

Just keep in mind that, although Visible Wireless customers will get the reach of Verizon’s network, they won’t always get its highest speeds due to deprioritization.

Visible customer service

We don’t know much, but what we do know says it’s okay. Just okay.

Visible is one of the newest MVNOs around, so there aren’t three trillion people complaining about the company’s service on the internet … yet.

But there is one metric we judge Visible Wireless by, and that’s its rating in the Apple App Store. The company’s app retains a 3.4 star rating after more than one thousand rankings.3

That’s lower than, say, the myAT&T app, which has 4.3 stars with 1.9 million ratings.4 But it’s better than the MyMetro app, which has 3.3 stars after about a thousand ratings.5

Recap: Is Visible Wireless right for you?

We’re going to take a tip from Visible and keep this part simple. Here’s everything you need to know about the company’s service in one short recap.

  • Cheap and powerful unlimited plan: You get access to unlimited and unthrottled LTE data on Verizon’s top-tier network for just $40 a month. The only downside is that there’s a cap on video streaming speeds … and you might get deprioritized during peak hours.
  • Amazing family plan deals: You can share all of the benefits of an individual unlimited plan with up to three other people using Visible’s Party Pay. It’s a good deal that just keeps getting better when you add more people.
  • Somewhat limited phone availability: Visible has been steadily expanding the list of approved devices. Now you can get its service on most iPhones and several Android devices.

Visible Wireless came into the industry wanting to shake things up. While the company isn’t exactly revolutionary, it does offer a refreshingly simple, cheap, and useful way to get cellular service. If that sounds like the cell phone company you’ve been waiting for, then go ahead and sign up.

Frequently asked questions

Where did Visible Wireless come from?

Visible is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs are smaller, prepaid cellular providers that use bigger companies’ existing cell towers. In this case, the bigger company is Verizon Wireless.

Verizon has actually been pumping its own money into Visible since its humble beginnings. Some people speculate that it’s trying to reach the market of younger customers who want cheaper, simpler cell phone plans.

So Verizon is kind of like Steve Buscemi wearing a backwards baseball cap, asking “How do you do, fellow kids.” But you know what, it’s working on this millennial. A $40 a month unlimited plan is hard to argue with.

If that $40 figure is all you needed to hear, then you can sign up now.

Sources:

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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  • aresponsibleparent2013

    I have to disagree with Visible being the best unlimited provider. I had a bad experience with them. It started with spending 3 months communicating with them through messenger, the only way they communicate. For 3 months I went without phone service as they tried to get service working in my area which was a waste of time.
    Then when I requested a refund, they had adjusted the data, text & cellular mins I used to fit within the criteria to not be eligible for a refund stating I had exceeded a limit. I know for a fact this was a lie since I had no service!!! So, they don’t provide service to areas they claim they do; tech support and customer service can only be obtained through messenger; they are thieves. They may be the cheapest, but by far, not the best.

  • Ds9000

    Is there actually a “Family plan” for $90/3 lines, or just Party Pay for up to $100/4 lines?

  • Shehariah Biziothiah

    Visible has the absolute worst, incompetent customer service ever. It is a complete joke. They will charge your card and cancell your order and then not refund your money.

  • Plissken68 .

    Been with Visible for 3 months now. It’s just not worth the painstaking process of trying to get adequate support. Chat agents are completely unfamiliar with their products, and only have the ability to walk you around the website.
    They don’t offer insurance on any of their phones, and penalize you for trying to upgrade. I recently bought a new phone from them whereby they refused to honor the terms of their Master Card promotion for existing customers.

  • Reinke Rhine Ka

    I’ve had Visible for about four months. I switched from Verizon and got the free Visible phone to start things off. I am a contractor driver delivering auto parts to remote areas in Western Pennsylvania. I primarily use my service to talk to people as I drive at night. Visible’s service compared to Verizon’s is about 90% coverage. The monumental difference is that, through a 45 minute call while driving, I might drop zero to one time with Verizon, but two to four times with Visible. Most of those times, I can call back after a minute and get signal again but it’s obviously annoying for both parties to do this. I had to seriously think about whether it’s worth paying $40 a month vs. $100ish to have those calls not drop.

    I can try to wait for better areas to lower that number of dropped calls but that brings me to my second point. With Visible they sort of give you their left over bandwidth. So there are areas that work brilliantly normally and then, for no apparent reason, you will lose service. The other night I lost service in a good area and it lasted for almost 15 minutes. That said, if you live in a metro area, and you don’t typically travel far, Visible is probably an easy choice. Living in Pittsburgh, I have never had failed service within a 30 mile radius of my home.

    But, unless you’re on the verge of homelessness, please do not take their free phone!! The tilt screen sticks, the screen has cracked without ever dropping it (never had a screen crack before and I’m 40!). Apps seem to randomly fail. My voice recorder app won’t save. If you switch your pic/vid storage to SD, you can’t look at the pics/vids you just took. The disappear into the card until you transfer to your computer. The previous phone I had was a six year old Samsung and it was years ahead of this phone. I’m shopping for a new unlocked phone and crossing my fingers. I think at $40 out the door, the service is worth it. If they raised their rates five or ten dollars, I would start to look elsewhere.

    Hope this helps!

  • joematthews

    Had Verizon since the bell Atlantic mobil days ..have my phone plus 3 kids …sent bad sim card for my phone took 5 days to straighten out …otherwise service is perfect , saved 400 on 3 new phones and saving 100 a month .. this is a no brainer !!

  • JoeB

    I fell for it. I’ve had Verizon forever but I thought I’d give Visible a shot. My LG V40 and # ported over, thought great! That was until I had to use it. About 75% of my SMS messages – never received. They opened a ticket, after the “agent” went through their checklist. Said I’d hear back in 24-48 hours and I never heard a word. I am on the phone a lot now with working from home. The call quality was terrible. I couldn’t hear people because it was breaking up so much. They might be on the VZW network but they apparently throttle every thing, even voice which makes it a miserable experience. Verizon couldn’t figure out how to port my # back. After 4 hours on calls, escalation to a manager and a week waiting I gave up and ported my # to AT&T..the only way I could keep my # I’ve had for years. This service is just terrible. I suggest you avoid them unless you don’t use your phone or need your text messages to work.

  • disqus_QmqqfYtLYx

    Visible has the WORST. CUSTOMER. SERVICE EVER. The hours and hours of frustration and anger dealing with all the things that don’t work, that they didn’t tell you, That they confirmed and never happened, wasting time chatting with customer service people who don’t understand and cant do anything anyway, they have to escalate the issue every time for anything to get done and that means someone will call you in 1-2 days for ANY problem – even if your phone doesn’t work or your voicemails wont play or you’re not getting your texts – it’s just NOT WORTH IT. Chat support only- no chance of ever talking to a person or calling anyone. HORRIBLE.Best customer service I ever had was with Mint Mobile and I moved back to an area where Mint has good coverage and could not be happier to be rid of VIsible.

  • dave mustaine

    change the apn

  • Wuhhdafuq

    When you said visible is no nonsense I knew you were a liar and stopped reading.

  • Michele Finnerty

    I switched over from Verizon to Visible on 7/2020 and love it! Honestly, for me personally, there has been no set backs at all. It does the same as Verizon. Reviews says the resolution on the videos are not good but I don’t mind it, it doesn’t bother me. I will tell you my frustration so far has been with the promotion of the $50 virtual gift card that I was suppose to get when I signed up and I honestly think this was a scam. They have absolutely no intentions of offering you that card. At first I was really upset and then got to think about it, I really like the plan so far. So it’s not that important to miss out on there $50 virtual gift card. Wasn’t even worth the hassle of me dealing with it over the past few days. You see I signed up on 7/2020 and received an email on 8/15 saying my offer was ready for me to redeem, but only to find out that email was sent to me a month too soon. I reached out to chat and they said to wait until 9/15 to redeem. So I did, I contacted chat again and they sent me a code. Come to find out it was the original code that was sent to me, however, that code was no longer valid! Ugh so this is where 6plus tries to chat to get a new code and couldn’t receive one. They said I needed to log in to Twitter or Facebook and upload my problem to a rep and I would then get another code! WTH! Never ever have I been told this before. What company does this?! Just send me a new code!! Ridiculous! Ugh…over it! Man that part was frustrating. I call b/s!! I think this totally was a scam to begin with!

  • terraton

    Don’t sign up! You have a high likelihood of experiencing extreme frustration with this company.
    Just to order a phone and a plan took me much of the day. The chat agents are the nicest most sympathetic people, but they seem to be making things up as they go along, because they don’t know, and their lack of knowledge can make your life miserable. They will tell you one thing, and the next agent will say the opposite. They are completely stymied by any process that does not go smoothly—no problem solving, no workarounds, just a lot of friendly sympathy.
    They could not tell me what to enter into the registration # and PIN slots on the order form when I was porting my number from Google Voice, which has neither.
    They told me if I ordered Friday I would get the phone by Saturday, and even the site states that if it is a weekday, you will get the phone the next day. Not true—my phone, I learned today, will not come until Monday, and I am leaving on a trip on Sunday, needing that phone.
    They offer a $150 credit card with the phone, which the first agent said could only be used on their website shop, which I thought was strange. Later I found out their website was the only place you could NOT use it.
    I asked about the prices of the protection plans, which are not posted in the order form tho you have to check off if you want to purchase them; after sitting, waiting for the agent’s computer to update, he told me he could not find the prices himself.
    This is the way it went through the whole process. When I tried to complete the order, the broken order form would not let me move forward. When, after over an hour and multiple tries with the agent trying to help, I finally got to the end, an error message said it couldn’t process my credit card (which was in fine order). I gave up. I got a Fraud Alert from the bank regarding my transaction with Visible.
    A supervisor was supposed to call me “in a few hours, no later than 10pm” and did not call me. I requested it again, and he called this morning, offering sympathy, sorrow, and absolutely no resolution.
    If you want a company that knows what it is doing, can help customers with straight information, and stand by its words, don’t go to VISIBLE.