You’ve heard of Verizon, but have you heard of Visible Wireless? In our Visible Wireless Review, we’re going to talk about this surprising, new dominant player in the prepaid carrier space.
Visible Wireless review: an overview
Formerly an iPhone-exclusive provider available only through an invite code, Visible Wireless can do more with $40 than most other carriers can do with $75+.
Visible does it all with their $40/month plan. Recent developments in Visible service have led to a mass migration of new subscribers in 2020.
Who owns Visible Wireless?
Visible Wireless is 100% owned by Verizon. As far as MVNO providers go, Visible Wireless almost seems like a drug-enhanced athlete in the Olympic Games. In other words, this provider appears to have a significant, unfair advantage over its competitors.
But before you rush to switch to Visible, we should first explain this carrier’s notorious network deprioritization issue. We will get to that in a bit. But first, we should get on the same page about how MVNO carriers work.
What’s the difference between MVNO and premium carrier coverage?
Here at Trickut, we examine many different MVNO carriers. The main difference between an MVNO and premium wireless provider is that one owns the telecom infrastructure, and the other does not.
In the case of Visible Wireless, Verizon is the premium carrier that owns and maintains all coverage towers. MVNOs can pay Verizon to use their towers (side note: because Verizon owns Visible, Visible does not have to pay to use Verizon towers).
This relationship allows MVNOs to operate with less overhead costs and consequently undercut premium providers on price.
And premium carriers are okay with this arrangement? Yes, they are.
For one, premium carriers enjoy lease payments from the MVNO carrier “piggy-backing” off their infrastructure. Additionally, premium carriers may reserve their best bandwidth speeds for their own customers.
Generally speaking, MVNO customers – like Visible – enjoy just as good of service as premium carrier customers. However, if towers are congested, premium carrier customers enjoy better speeds than their MVNO counterparts.
Visible Wireless Pros
- Best and cheapest prepaid unlimited plan (we know that this is saying a lot, but it’s true)
- Verizon-owned and operated
- No data cap for LTE speeds or volume on the unlimited plan
- Enticing group plans
Visible Wireless Cons
- Numerous complaints about network deprioritization
- Created with iPhone users in mind – non-iPhones may not be compatible
- “No data cap” may only exist for a limited time
- Hotspot supports one device at a time
How much does Visible Wireless cost?
It’s $40/month, plain and simple.
Visible Wireless has one plan, and that plan is unlimited everything. At the time of this review, you could also get your first month for only $25 ($40/month after that).
If you wish to add friends and family to your Visible subscription, each additional line is $5 less/month. The per-line discount ends at four lines or $25/line/month
Visible Wireless coverage quality
Visible’s coverage is identical to Verizon (its owner). Customers enjoy the same coverage quality as Verizon customers, except when towers are congested.
Visible Wireless coverage map
Visible and Verizon coverage maps are identical. As I recommend to all my readers, be sure to check your zip code or city to get a closer look at coverage quality in your area.
Call and text quality
Few customers complain of call or text issues. You can count on Visible not to drop calls or fail to send texts – unless you are in a Verizon lousy coverage area.
Visible does support Wifi calling, but only for iPhones.
Call and text quality
Currently, Visible places no caps on LTE data. Rumor has it that this is a limited-time offer to customers signing up in 2020, while others claim that Visible is seriously considering making uncapped LTE speeds their long-term competitive advantage.
Additionally, Visible Wireless is the only no-contract provider that truly refrains from throttling. Like I said earlier, Visible (or shall we say Verizon?) doesn’t play fair in the MVNO space, and customers don’t seem to mind.
Visible Wireless customers enjoy hotspot with their unlimited plan. Once again, Visible will not limit the amount of hotspot, but it will cap your hotspot speed at 5 Mbps.
While you can only connect one device to your hotspot at any one time (officially), many users claim that they’ve been able to connect multiple devices to their Visible device simultaneously with excellent performance.
Here’s perhaps the biggest pain point for Visible customers.
Yes, you get unlimited, uncapped, unthrottled LTE with Visible. But Verizon flexes their right to deprioritize LTE speeds to Visible customers more often than one would expect.
Customers typically understand that signing up with a prepaid, no-contract MVNO carrier means that they are likely to get sluggish data from time to time. However, Visible customers seem to get it worse than do other MVNO customers.
Those living in rural areas with reliable Verizon coverage enjoy non-interrupted, uncapped LTE speeds on their Visible unlimited plan. But customers living in metro areas are likely to suffer on evenings and weekends due to congestion on Verizon towers.
Visible Wireless compatible devices
Originally, Visible Wireless existed only as an invite-only, iPhone-exclusive carrier. Today, some Android phones are compatible, and any iPhone can join – no need for an invite code.
Bring your own device
If your iPhone is unlocked, the chances are that it is compatible.
Android phones have only recently been allowed to join the Visible network. Here is a list of current, compatible, unlocked Android devices:
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- Motorola G7 Power
- Visible R2
- Google Pixel 3
- Google Pixel 3 XL
- Google Pixel 3a
- Google Pixel 3a XL
To confirm that your phone is compatible with Visible, run the IMEI number on the compatibility page here.
New phone selection
If your phone is not compatible – or if you’re ready to upgrade your device – Visible Wireless does offer a limited variety of smartphones online here.
That said, you may shop anywhere you like for an unlocked smartphone to bring to Visible, so long as you’ve confirmed that the phone you want is compatible.
Visible Wireless customer support
From a customer support standpoint, Visible Wireless is adequate. You can text, chat, or access forums for help.
For Visible customers signed in to their account on the smartphone app, they can call customer service for activation or other technical difficulties.
When examining Visible Wireless reviews, most of the chatter praises the uncapped data or curses the data deprioritization. No one is saying very much about Visible customer service.
Visible Wireless on Reddit
One of our favorite things about Visible Wireless customer service is its Reddit page. Visible Wireless hosts thousands of posts on Reddit forums/threads.
Brand ambassadors engage customers with answers to questions or troubleshooting technical issues. Of all the carrier social media channels we’ve seen, Visible Wireless’s Reddit page is the most robust.
A recap: Visible Wireless review
Deal seekers for unlimited carrier plans should seriously consider Visible Wireless. Uncapped LTE speeds, no throttling, and all for $40/month (or less) is almost too good to be true.
That said, the public outcry over data deprioritization when Verizon towers are congested says that your uncapped LTE may not perform consistently.
Overall, Visible customers are happy. Friends and family are bonding over the $25/line/month (4 lines) unlimited plan, and the Verizon ownership ensures that calling and text coverage is stellar.
I think it is safe to say that our team at Trickut is more than impressed with Visible Wireless.