We compared Visible's and AT&T Wireless's cell phone plans and networks. Visible is best for unlimited data, while AT&T is best for high-speed data.
Visible Wireless vs. AT&T Wireless Review 2022
In this article we’re going to compare two of the top cell phone companies: AT&T and Visible. One is part of the old guard, while the other is a new carrier that’s trying to shake up the industry. But before we dive into all the details, let’s answer the big question.
Visible offers a cheaper unlimited data plan, but your data speeds will not be the fastest.
AT&T costs more, but your data speeds will probably be faster.
How to choose a cell phone plan
Deciding which cell phone plan is the perfect one for you isn’t easy. But in our years of reviewing plans, we’ve come up with some guidelines to help you figure it out. Be sure to consider the following:
- Data: You should know how much data you need each month, but also how much data speed you need. People who game, stream, upload, or work on their phones a lot will want to opt for faster data speeds.
- Price: Don’t overpay. There are a bunch of new discount providers in the market that may offer the same thing for less.
- Coverage: There are three major networks in the country—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Check coverage maps to see which has the best reach in your area.
- Performance: There are all kinds of perks and features—like mobile hotspot data—that will affect your mobile experience. Get the ones you want, but don’t pay for the ones you don’t use.
Visible vs. AT&T unlimited plans and pricing
Both Visible and AT&T offer powerful unlimited data plans. But there are some important differences between them. Here’s everything you need to know.
(Note: AT&T does offer a 4 GB limited-data plan with unlimited talk and text, but it’s overpriced and underpowered, so we’re not going to really talk about it in this review.)
Visible’s unlimited data plan
Talking about Visible’s cell phone plans is relatively simple because the company only two plans. You can get the base unlimited talk, text, and data plan that costs a slim $30 a month (thanks to a recent price drop), or the premium unlimited plan that gives you 50 GB of guaranteed high-speed data every month. Take a look.
You might expect a $30 plan to lack oomph, but this plan actually comes with a bunch of features:
- Unlimited talk, text, and data
- Access to 5G networks where available (and with a 5G capable device)
- Coverage on Verizon’s huge network
- Unlimited hotspot data
- Deals on the newest phones
These plentiful features are why we’ve dubbed this plan one of the best on the market. It can easily go toe-to-toe with plans that cost twice as much.
But, of course, every rose has its thorn …
Your 4G LTE data speeds will be capped at 5–12 Mbps (5G data will also be throttled, but it will be more like a whopping 200 Mbps). Those speeds are plenty for most users who just want to stream music, standard definition video, and use social media apps, but those who do serious gaming or work on their phone may have some issues.
You may also notice data slowdowns when the network is congested. That means you may have a hard time livestreaming when you’re in a crowded stadium or during peak hours.
You can avoid deprioritization altogether if you go with the Visible+ premium plan. It costs an extra $15/month, but you get 50 GB of high-speed data every month. Rest assured even the Visible+ plan still costs less than unlimited plans from major carriers like AT&T.
AT&T’s unlimited data plans
AT&T is one of the original telecommunications companies. It can trace its history all the way back to 1877! But this dinosaur is staying relevant. In fact, the company offers the best 4G LTE data speeds on the market.
Here’s a look at AT&T’s data plans that will get you a slice of that lightning-fast data.
These three plans all come with unlimited talk, text, and data, plus access to AT&T’s rapidly expanding 5G network. But in other respects, the plans differ from each other.
Here are the main differences between AT&T’s unlimited data plans:
Unlimited Starter comes with deprioritized data speeds, like Visible’s plan. That means AT&T can slow down your data whenever it wants. Also, your video streams are capped at 1.5 Mbps, and you don’t get any hotspot data.
Unlimited Extra has a soft data cap of 50 GB. Once you reach your cap, your data can be slowed down. This plan also caps your video streams at 1.5 Mbps. It comes with 15 GB of hotspot data.
Unlimited Elite has a lofty 100 GB data cap. If you manage to (somehow) use more than that, your data speeds can be slowed down. You’ll get HD video streaming, 40 GB of mobile hotspot data, and a free subscription to Max.
So, if you just want a bare bones unlimited data plan, go with Visible. It gives you more than AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan but for less money.
But if you want more speed and better perks, then the Unlimited Elite plan is the way to go, if you can afford it.
Which brings us to our next point: AT&T’s prices aren’t the cheapest.
AT&T’s prices are pretty steep
At $65 a month, AT&T’s cheapest unlimited data plan is still $25 more than Visible’s, and it offers basically the same service (minus the hotspot data). If you want to spring for the pricier plans, they’ll cost you $75 and $85 respectively.
Visible vs. AT&T family plans
If you’re into saving money, simplifying your bills, and watching out for your kids, then ask your doctor if a family plan is right for you (don’t actually ask your doctor, just sign up).
In all seriousness, family plans can save you a ton of dough. Visible used to offer a Party Pay program that could get your line down to $25/month, but the carrier threw that out the window after recently reducing prices. If you want to get a family plan, you'll need to go with AT&T.
AT&T family plans
Full disclosure: my family has been on an AT&T unlimited data family plan for a decade, and we love it. Why do we love it? The generous hotspot data, the unbeatable speeds, the great coverage, the … you get the idea.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take a gander at these plans to see what’s on offer.
AT&T’s family plans aren’t much different from the company’s standard unlimited data offerings. But they are quite a bit cheaper, which is good for you and your family. You can get the Unlimited Extra plan with four lines for just $160, which is the same price that you’d pay for just two lines if you signed up for them individually.
You may also notice a plan called Unlimited Your Way. This is a plan that lets you add up to ten lines to a single account. Each line can be on a different unlimited data plan, allowing you savings and flexibility. Nice.
Visible vs. AT&T network coverage and speed
What good is a bunch of 4G LTE data if you only get one bar of service in your neighborhood or if your downloads are slow? That’s right, it’s no good at all.
So let's talk network coverage and speed.
So, which company has better coverage, Visible or AT&T? They’re both great in general, but it can help to zoom in on your specific area. You can use these coverage maps to see how each company’s network looks on the granular level.
You may have noticed that we put Verizon’s coverage map above to represent Visible’s coverage. That’s because Visible is actually a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that it uses another company’s network (in this case, Verizon’s) to cover its customers.
When it comes to download and upload speeds, Visible (using Verizon's network) has AT&T beat. But of course, Visible's speeds will be affected by the deprioritization we've already mentioned, so we still think AT&T is a better bet for high-speed data in this case.
Visible vs. AT&T phones and devices
The best time to score a great deal on a new phone is when you’re signing up with a new carrier. Companies tend to offer steep discounts and easy payment plans for new customers.
Both Visible and AT&T sell the newest flagship devices from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google. Take a look at some of the most popular deals from each company below.
Recap: Which carrier is right for you?
So we’ve gone through each carrier with a fine toothed comb. But let's do a quick recap for the TL;DR crowd.
- Plans: Visible’s offers affordable unlimited talk, text, and data plans that have some limits on data speed. AT&T offers three different unlimited plans, some of which offer better speeds and perks, but they’re pricier.
- Family plans: Only AT&T offers family plan discounts, so if you're looking for a carrier to put your whole family on, you can get the better deal from AT&T.
- Coverage and performance: AT&T runs a great nationwide network with the best data speeds in the industry. Visible runs on Verizon’s network, which means amazing coverage, but there’s a risk of data deprioritization.
We hope that this article has helped you decide which carrier is better for you. If you’re still on the fence, check out some other contenders in our best unlimited data plan lineup.