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Visible vs Verizon: Can the MVNO top Big Red?

Verizon and Visible are similar in so many ways, so how do you choose between them? Here's everything you need to know.

Published onMarch 10, 2022

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 6

If you have your heart set on the Big Red network, you might be ready to sign yourself up. However, there are a few more affordable ways to tap into Verizon’s coverage. One of the best methods is to go with Visible, its wholly-owned subsidiary. Can the apprentice outperform the master? Let’s stack Visible vs Verizon and find out.

See also: Verizon buyer’s guide | Visible buyer’s guide

While your coverage options should be fairly similar, we’re going to dig into the best promos, prices, and phones to help you make a decision. Are you ready to take advantage of Verizon’s network? Let’s get started.

Visible vs Verizon — Pricing

A Samsung Galaxy S9 on some grass with the Visible logo on the display.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Verizon is one of the most expensive carriers around, but you’re paying for a massive network and plenty of perks. If you don’t mind stripping a few of those perks away, you might be pleasantly surprised by Visible’s one-plan model. Check out the table below for a quick price breakdown:

Visible CostsVerizon Costs
Entry-level unlimited plan
Visible Costs
$40 for one line
$35 per line for two lines
$30 per line for three lines
$25 per line for four lines
Verizon Costs
Start Unlimited
$70 for one line
$60 per line for two lines
$45 per line for three lines
$35 per line for four lines
Mid-level unlimited plan
Visible Costs
Verizon Costs
Play / Do More Unlimited
$80 for one line
$70 per line for two lines
$55 per line for three lines
$45 per line for four lines
high-end unlimited plan
Visible Costs
Verizon Costs
Get More Unlimited
$90 for one line
$80 per line for two lines
$65 per line for three lines
$55 per line for four lines

As you can see, Visible knows its lane and stays there. Its plan costs $40 for a single line, but you can hack that down to just $25 per month if you go in on Party Pay. You can team up with as many friends as you want, and each of you will pay just $25 per month. Even better, your payment punctuality won’t impact the other lines of service.

If you refer a friend or family member to Visible, the carrier will even reward you with a month of service for just $5. That means you could slowly convert your family over time and spend no more on mobile service than the cost of a Starbucks latte.

We’ve mentioned that Verizon skews to the expensive side, but the 5G Start setup is your best bet to save money. If you add four lines, you’ll get down to just $35 per line per month. However, that’s as low as you can go. Each of the other unlimited plans — 5G Play More, Do More, and Get More — will cost you quite a bit more per month, though you get more perks and premium data with each tier.

Due to Visible offering just one plan, you may want to stick with Verizon if you’re dead set on having extra perks. After all, the previously mentioned unlimited plans offer some mix of Disney Plus, Discovery Plus, and Apple Music as part of your monthly rate.

If you decide that neither pricing model meets your needs, you may need to look elsewhere for service. Here are a few other carriers to look into:

Visible vs Verizon — Coverage

verizon 5g map

While both carriers rely on Verizon’s nationwide network, you’ll see slightly better coverage if you opt for Big Red. Visible uses Verizon’s LTE and Nationwide 5G networks, while the carrier operates on a blend of 3G, LTE, and 5G access. You won’t find mmWave 5G on Visible, but you can finally dial internationally within North America.

As mentioned, Verizon is the way to go if you often find yourself on a 3G connection or you want to adopt blistering 5G. Verizon employs a high-speed mmWave network for its premium 5G coverage, but the range is minimal. Most users will have to rely on the new Nationwide 5G setup for coverage right now. You’ll have to check out Verizon’s interactive maps to see where its 5G is available.

See also: Where is 5G available in the US?

While Verizon offers superior coverage, you can’t rule Visible out due to the sheer size of Big Red’s 4G LTE network. It covers 71% of the United States — more than any other network. Our own Andrew Grush recently gave Visible a try as his primary carrier, and you can read about his experiences here.

Visible vs Verizon — Perks and promotions

Best drama movies on Disney Plus

You may have guessed from the pricing and the coverage options, but Visible and Verizon are quite different in the promos they offer. As an MVNO, Visible is great if you’re looking for network access at an affordable rate. If you opt for Visible, you won’t find any music or video streaming perks — though the unlimited hotspot is a nice addition.

While you’re out to dry on free subscriptions, Visible might be the king of gift perks. Right now, you can pick up a pair of Urbanista headphones with the purchase of a recent device. Options include the iPhone 13 family, the Pixel 6 lineup, and a few Motorola devices. Many Visible devices also offer up to a $200 gift card of your choosing once you complete three months of on-time payments.

If you’re ready to splurge on Verizon’s high-end plans, on the other hand, you have a laundry list of perks at your disposal. The carrier’s unlimited plans include some blend of Disney Plus and Apple Music, though some plans only offer six months of access. Big Red also comes with up to one year of Discovery Plus as well. Check out the table below for some quick information:

PlanVideo PerkMusic Perk
Verizon Start Unlimited
Video Perk
6 months of Disney Plus
Music Perk
6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Play More Unlimited
Video Perk
Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included
Music Perk
6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Do More Unlimited
Video Perk
6 months of Disney Plus
Music Perk
6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Get More Unlimited
Video Perk
Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included
Music Perk
Apple Music included

If you want unlimited access to both of Verizon’s best streaming perks, you’ll have to splurge on the top-tier Get More plan. The media-focused Play More plan includes the same level of Disney Plus access, so it may be more worth your money if you’re already dedicated to Spotify or another music service.

See also: The best Music streaming apps for Android

Visible doesn’t exactly make up much ground on the promotions side either, since you can get as much as $1,000 off most Verizon phones with a BOGO promo. Verizon also offers significantly more phones like the Samsung Galaxy A42 for free. The best deals you’ll find over on Visible are slight discounts on the ZTE Blade X1 and Motorola One 5G Ace, which don’t quite stand up to Verizon’s offerings.

Visible vs Verizon — Phone selections

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S22 Plus camera module green on green
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Not to sound like a broken record, but Visible again acts like a slimmed-down version of Verizon. It offers a smaller selection of phones, though you’ll find that most recent flagships are available. Visible also has a solid selection of budget-friendly phones. However, if you’re not impressed by your options or love your current device, you can always bring it with you. You can enter your phone’s IMEI number to double-check compatibility right here.

See also: The best Verizon phones

Over on Verizon, you’ll find an almost endless list of phones to choose from. It carries flagships from just about all of the major US players. You’ll also want to check out Verizon for other expensive devices like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Verizon also allows you to bring your phone with you, and the process is almost the same as with Visible. Both carriers rely on the CDMA framework for signal, so they can essentially support the same list of devices.

Which carrier is right for you?

You can’t go wrong on the Verizon network either way, but the decision comes down to how much money you want to spend. If your goal is to keep costs low, stick with Visible. You won’t pay more than $40 per line per month, and Party Pay makes access even cheaper. Visible still offers the same great LTE access as Verizon, though again, you won’t get much in the way of bonuses.

On the other hand, Verizon is a leading network in America for a good reason. Its network is huge, and its speeds are fast, even if you’ll have to pay extra. You can choose just about any phone on the market, and there are plenty of perks to add to your enjoyment. There’s nothing that Visible offers that Verizon can’t match, except for the money-saving potential.

Ultimately, you might decide that there is no winner in the Verizon vs Visible debate. If that’s how your coin lands, here are a few other networks you may want to look into:

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