Reviewing Visible, the digital carrier that uses Verizon’s network

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Visible in an interesting wireless service provider in that it only offers one rate plan. For $40 per month, customers get unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. The price also includes fees and taxes; it’s a flat $40 a month.

Visible doesn’t have its own network infrastructure as it utilizes Verizon’s cell towers. In theory, this means a nationwide footprint with really fast 4G LTE speeds. A chief difference, up until recently, was that its data speeds is capped at 5Mbps. Use all of the data you want, you just won’t get anything quicker.

For a limited time, new and existing subscribers will find that data speeds are no longer throttled. And, if/when the promotional period ends, those currently enjoying the faster data speeds will be able to hold onto them.

What’s different from Verizon?

Verizon’s least expensive single line rate plan with unlimited data (Go Unlimited) costs $75 per month and comes with caveats like 480p video streaming. Mobile hotspot is restricted to just 600Kbps and it’s possible that your data speeds could be throttled if the network is congested.

If you want to get around those restrictions, you’ll need to go for the $85 (Beyond Unlimited) plan. Contrast that with Visible at $40 per month and you’ll see the savings are immediate and noteworthy.

How does Visible stack up against other carriers?

For its price, Visible offers a tremendous value. Metro, the T-Mobile brand, has a $40 plan but it includes just 10GB of monthly data. Google Fi, for its part, has a pretty good deal with its Bill Protection and unlimited data, but you’ll be in for $80 a month here, too.

TextNow is a close competitor with its $40 plan and includes unlimited talk, text, and data. And, whereas data can be throttled there, it’s not until you get to 23GB that it kicks in.

Visible does reserve the right to slow its speed down when Verizon’s network gets congested. What’s more, its video streaming is also capped at 480p resolution, or DVD quality.

What phones can be used with Visible?

When Visible first launched in 2018, it was strictly an iPhone-only relationship, and you had to bring your own device. Things moved quickly, though, and now there’s support for Android. Further, it also sells phones.

In addition to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, a Visible R2, which is made by ZTE. The most recent adjustment was the added support for the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

What is it like to use Visible?

As it pertains to using it in northeastern Ohio, I’ve found that Visible works rather well. It might not be a blazing fast experience every time, but it more than adequate for my needs.

Using my Pixel 3a for browsing Reddit, watching YouTube, streaming music, and playing a few location-based games, Visible’s service was consistent.

I am a Google Voice user which means I am able to forward calls to various SIM cards and phone numbers. My contacts only know this one phone number but I’ve had it pointed to dozens of different numbers over the years.

I’ve found that Verizon is generally more readily available where I live, work, and spend time. I’m typically a T-Mobile user but I know there are certain pockets where coverage does not, nor has it ever, work. Verizon, and by proxy, Visible does.

T-Mobile doesn’t always work great in my basement, but Verizon does. And, as you might suspect, that means Visible does, too. Calls have consistently been made and taken without issue and the audio quality is on par with any other services we’ve tested or used on a daily basis.

What about Visible data speeds?

I get a much quicker download speed with T-Mobile, but that’s really only evident when testing for it. By and large, 5Mbps data speeds are just fine. Speaking of which…

I ran a number of speed tests on different days, times, and locations to see what was available. In doing so, I found some incredibly quick speeds and some really slow ones.

Whereas most of the time it was about 7Mbps on average, it did rocket to more than 70Mbps here and there. Then, before I knew it, things were down to normal again. Interestingly enough, upload speeds were almost always as quick, if not quicker.

Knowing that MVNOs are the first to see speeds throttled in times of congestion, I have not run into anything that caused me to think that was happening. I’m sure that I’ve seen it in some of the bandwidth tests (2-3Mbps), but the general experience has lagged to a point of aggravation or concern.

Conclusion

If Verizon is the network you love, and you’re looking to save a few bucks each month, this is a no-brainer. That is, of course, provided you have a phone that works with its service.

Right now there’s no speed capping and it’s possible you can get far more than 5Mbps transfers. The current promotion is subject to change at any time, but once you sign up for it, the uncapped setting is yours for as long as you stay a subscriber.

We might like to see more phones with support, but we’re optimistic that it’s a priority for the carrier. Thus far it seems to be making the right moves and the last few changes have happened in pretty quick succession. Visible feels like a progressive and hungry carrier.

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