Are Visible's New Unlimited Data Plans Worth It?
One gives you unlimited data on the Verizon network at the cheapest price possible. The other gives you a premium experience at one of the best prices in the industry.
These may be some of the best unlimited data plans we’ve ever seen.
I’ve been testing both plans for the past two weeks and running lots of comparisons, and in this article I have all the answers.
I’m covering the three big changes with Visible and Visible+, how they compare to Verizon and US Mobile’s plans, if they are worth upgrading to if you're an existing customer, and if they are worth it for new customers.
The 3 Big Changes
Let’s start things off with the three big changes Visbile made to their plans:
- Network Core
1. New Prices
First up is the price.
Visible’s old plan launched at $40 per month in 2018.
But when Visible launched the Party Pay discount in November of 2019, the price effectively dropped to just $25.
The discount saved you $15 off per month just as long as you had four or more members in your Party. It was so easy to get that I created the BestPhonePlans Party and we had over 23,000 members paying just 25 bucks a month on their cell phone plan.
So the old plan really was basically a $25 plan.
The new Visible plan now starts at $30 per month, and it’s not eligible for the Party Pay discount.
In fact, Party Pay will likely be going away entirely in January of 2023. I'll make a full video on it so you know the details.
The new plan is a $10 decrease compared to the $40 starting prices of the old plan, but in reality it's a $5 increase in terms of what everyone was actually paying.
This is especially impactful for families, where their bill could go up by $15 to $25 per month if they were to switch to the new entry level plan.
Then there’s the Visible+ plan. This is $45 per month and offers a whole new set of features which well cover in a moment.
Both the new plans continue to include all taxes and fees, so what you see is what you pay.
2. New Plan Features
Okay, now let’s talk about the second big change: the plan features.
The old visible plan included
- Unlimited deprioritized data
- 5G Ultra Wideband access with speeds capped at 200Mbps
- Unlimited hotspot data at to 5Mbps for 1 device
- 480p video streaming
- Free calling and texting to Canada, Mexico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Saipan
The new Visible plan includes the same exact features.
And even though Visible’s website doesn't say it gets access to 5G Ultra Wideband, from my testing the new plan connects to 5G Ultra Wideband and gets the same 200Mbps speed cap.
So the new plan is effectively identical to the old plan, but for $5 extra.
Then there's the Visible+ plan.
For the extra $15 per month, you get:
- 50GB of premium data before unlimited deprioritized data
- 5G Ultra Wideband access at full uncapped speeds
- Unlimited hotspot at 5Mbps for 1 device
- 4K video streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband, 480p streaming 5G Nationwide or LTE
- Free calling and texting to Canada, Mexico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Saipan
- Free talk, text, and data roaming in Mexico and Canada with 0.5GB of high-speed data per day
- 500 minutes of free international calling from the US to over 30 supported countries
- Free international texting from the US to over 200+ supported destinations
Overall though these upgrades are awesome, and they make the new Visible+ plan compare really well to Verizon's postpaid plans.
But more on that later.
3. New Network Core
Finally, we have the third big change: a new network core.
The old Visible plan was using Visible’s cloud network core. This had two downsides.
- First, it limited what devices were compatible with Visible. Only a limited selection of newer devices were ever compatible with the service.
- And second, the cloud network core had high ping times. The high ping times were caused because the cloud core only had two servers: one in Colorado and one in New Jersey. All network traffic needed to be routed through one of these two servers, and this added latency to the connection, especially if you were in a location that was farther away. And even if you were in a spot with fast data speeds, websites and apps could sometimes feel slow because of the higher latency, and Visible wasn’t a good option for online gaming.
Visible’s new plans use a new network core: the Verizon network core.
This is the same network core that powers Verizon postpaid, US Mobile, and other Verizon MVNOs.
And it gives you three key benefits:
- First, any device that’s compatible with Verizon should now work on Visible.
- Second, you now get way lower ping times. The lower latency makes your connection feel faster & more responsive.
- And third, using the Verizon network core enables domestic roaming at 2G speeds. Domestic roaming is where your phone connects to a partner network in areas where the Verizon network doesn’t have service. That’s this extended network coverage you see in areas of Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho, and a few other spots around the US. It’s not a big deal for most people, but it will help out, especially if you’re traveling through those areas.
So those are the three big changes with the new plans.
The new Visible plan is basically the same as the old, but it's now $30, uses the Verizon network core, and includes domestic roaming.
And the new Visible+ plan adds 50GB of premium data and international features for just $15 extra.
And both plans still allow you to add an Apple Watch line for just 5 bucks a month.
How Do Visible’s Plans Compare To The Competition?
Visible’s plans seem compelling on their own.
They are affordable, give you unlimited data, and the Visible+ plan comes with some nice extra features.
But how do they stack up against the competition?
Let’s find out.
Visible vs Verizon Prepaid
It gives you truly unlimited data at under half the cost of the other plans for a single line.
And you get unlimited hotspot data. The other plans give you either no hotspot data or just 5GB of hotspot data on 5G Start.
If you compare the pricing for four lines, Visible continues to be the best option.
The only plan that’s close is US Mobile’s Unlimited Basic plan. It’s more expensive for a single line at about $40 after tax, but the four line pricing brings it down to just $25 per line after tax.
The plans are different though. US Mobile's plan only includes 30GB of data, but it's premium data if you activate with a 5G phone.
This will give you faster speeds and potentially a better experience than the deprioritized data on Visible.
US Mobile also enables up to 720p video streaming and gives you full-speed data on Verizon's C-Band network.
But a big downside to US Mobile is that hotspot isn’t available with their Unlimited Basic plan.
So definitely pros and cons to both plans here.
Visible+ vs Verizon Postpaid
Next, let’s compare Visible+ to Verizon postpaid.
And it compared really well here.
It also has unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps, whereas Verizon's plans have either 25GB or 50GB of fast hotspot data before hotspot speeds are slowed to 600Kbps on 5G Nationwide and 3Mbps on 5G Ultra Wideband.
Visible+ also includes the same free talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico, and the same free stateside international texting.
One feature Visible+ has that’s unique is the 500 minutes of free international calling to over 30 countries. None of Verizon’s plans support this.
The only thing Visible+ is missing is the free streaming services and perks.
But, are those services really free if you’re paying an extra $35 to $45 per month for your cell phone plan?
You can basically get Visible+ and the streaming services of your choice and still end up paying less than Verizon postpaid.
The only way Verizon postpaid makes sense is if you have a family discount. Then the prices of postpaid are more reasonable, and the perks are certainly a nice cherry on top of the service.
Visible+ vs US Mobile
The real competitor to Visible+ is US Mobile’s Unlimited Premium plan.
And this plan is also stacked with features.
It’s $50 per month after tax, and it includes:
- 100GB of premium data
- 5G Ultra Widbeband access at full speeds
- 50GB of hotspot data
- 720p video streaming on 5G Nationwide or LTE
- 4K video streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband
- And free international data roaming in over 150 countries via US Mobile’s international eSIM plans
It is important to note that the international eSIM plans are data only––there are currently no options for international calling or texting from US Mobile––and that the 50GB of hotspot data deducts from the 100GB total allowance.
Also after 100GB, your speeds are slowed to 2G speeds. Aka, basically unusable speeds.
Still, 100GB is heaps of data and far exceeds the needs of most people.
Where US Mobile shines is in the family discount.
Having four lines drops the price down to just $35 per line after tax, and family plans include up to two free streaming services of your choice.
Finally, it’s worth giving a nod to account security.
US Mobile supports two-factor authentication for extra security, whereas Visible does not.
US Mobile also has a nicer application with data usage analytics and more, whereas the Visible app is more basic. A lot more basic.
Both plans are great and have their pros and cons.
Are Visible’s Two New Plans Actually Worth It?
So at the end of the day, are Visible’s two new plans worth it? And should you upgrade to the plans if you’re an existing customer?
To answer that we need to address the elephant in the room. The one thing I haven’t mentioned.
Visible Activation Issues
Visible is currently having activation issues and problems migrating existing customers to the new plans.
And let’s just say there was room for improvement.
- One user said they were without service for 22.5 hours.
- Another said the activation failed, and after waiting 48 hours it still didn’t work. So they ported to Mint Mobile.
- Another user said that they were without service for almost two days.
- One user even said they went 7 days without data service working properly on the new plan.
- And multiple users reported issues with eSIM activations.
From my experience, I also had issues with eSIM activations:
- When I activated a new line, it got stuck for 30 minutes trying to download the eSIM profile.
- And when I upgraded an eSIM line from the old plan to the new one, it got stuck for 55 minutes on the downloading eSIM screen.
It turned out the fix for both was simply relaunching the Visible application.
Then, everything worked.
I also had issues upgrading physical SIM line.
First, the app had trouble loading initially and inaccurately displayed I was in a Visible party even after I had left. Then, once the line was active, calls were not working at all.
Thankfully resetting the network settings fixed the problem.
So yeah, it’s not smooth sailing.
If you’re thinking about upgrading or signing up for Visible, you could be heading into choppy waters.
Should You Switch To Visible? My Recommendations
Here are my recommendations:
- If you’re an existing Visible customer and you’re happy with the service, stick. Don’t change plans just yet.
- If you’re an existing customer unhappy with the high latency, then it may be worth trying to upgrade to the new plans. Just know what you may be heading into. Additionally, it may be worth getting your account # and PIN so you can easily port to US Mobile or another carrier if something happens and your Visible service doesn’t work. All of my upgrades did work, they just required quitting and relaunching the application as well as resetting the network settings.
- If you’re a family, then I would definitely consider switching to US Mobile. You can keep roughly the same $25 per line price with the Unlimited Basic plan. you could go Unlimited Premium and enjoy a couple of perks, or go to Cricket Core to keep the same $25 price point on the AT&T network.
- And if you’re a new customer thinking of switching to Visible, I would hold off for a moment. I would wait a month or so for the issues to be more ironed out.
Honestly, once Visible improves the activation process, customer service, and adds better account security, I think their plans may be my number one and number two picks for the best unlimited plans in the industry.
They really are an incredible value for unlimited data on Verizon.
Until then, though, you may want to keep some alternatives in mind.
Best Visible Alternatives
US Mobile is a fantastic option if you continue to want coverage on the Verizon network. They have great value plans, a great experience, good customer service, and two factor authentication.
Mint Mobile is a superb value if you want to try something on the T-Mobile network. They support 5G and eSIM, have good customer support, and have fantastic pricing. Lighter users will especially benefit from the additional savings of the 10GB or 4GB plans.
Mint also wanted to throw in a special deal for my audience, so you can get $25 of free renewal credit when you bring your number from the Verizon network and switch to Mint. All you need to do is use code “STETSON” at checkout and the $25 of credit will automatically be applied when your plan first renews. You can also click the link in the description and the promo code will automatically be applied.
Finally, I think unlimited users looking for something on the AT&T network may want to check out Boost Mobile’s $25 plan with 30GB of data, or possibly upgrade to Cricket Core or Cricket More if you find you need more than 30GB.