Visible Prepaid Wireless Review – October 2020

Introduction

I signed up for Visible Prepaid Wireless Service and tried it out for a few months. This is my Visible Review for October 2020.

About Visible

Visible is a relatively new prepaid wireless company. Visible uses the Verizon network. In fact, Visible is owned by Verizon itself. The company offers only one plan with unlimited talk, text, unlimited data, and even unlimited mobile hotspot for only $40 per month. Wow!

Sound good? It gets better. The price drops to as low as $25 per month if you enroll in their Party Pay Discount Plan with ANY three other people. Ok. Now this all sounds to good to be true and why I needed to try it out myself.

At the time I am publishing my review Visible has two promotions. First, Visible will only charge you $25 for your first month of service rather than $40. That $25 price, is normally reserved for customers that are enrolled in Party Psy with four other people. Net Visible also offers a $100 prepaid Mastercard for customers that sign up for their BYOP plan. You can redeem a coupon for the plan in

My Review Details

I signed up for Visible’s only plan, the $40 plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited data. I chose Visible’s Bring Your Own Phone option, and activated my service using my iPhone SE 2020.
I transferred an existing phone number rather than request a new number.

I also tried Visible’s service with my Google Pixel 3 by moving my Visible SIM card into the phone. Note for my video review, I used the Google Pixel 4a as well which I purchased after signing up for Visible.

Signup and Setup

Signing up for Visible was easy. I signed up using Safari on my iPhone SE 2020 using my home Wi-Fi. I followed the steps online. Once completed, I didn’t need to edit the APN or any other settings on either my iPhone SE 2020 or Google Pixel 3.

One thing I wanted to point out is that Visible is pretty strict about which BYOP phones can be activated with their service. They support later model iPhones and some Android phones. You need to check your phone’s serial number (MEID or IMEI) before activating.

Features

Whenever you sign up for a new wireless service, it’s always a good idea to try out the features you use. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from people who switch carriers and only later find out that some feature isn’t working at the time they need it most.

Calls

I was able to make and receive calls with both my iPhone SE 2020 and my Google Pixel 3. The call quality was good. Calls were clear. I did not experience any dropped calls or other problems.

Text Messages

I could send and receive text messages with Visible using both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3 without any problems.

From my Google Pixel 3, I was able to exchange text messages with both another Android phone and another iPhone.

With my iPhone SE 2020 I made sure that I could exchange text messages with both another iPhone and another Android phone to make sure that both SMS and iMessage work.

Apple’s Messages exchanges text messages two different ways. That’s the reason some text messages are blue bubbles and others are green bubbles. To learn more about the differences between exchanging text messages with Apple Messages, SMS and iMessage see LINK

Picture Messages

I was able to send and receive picture messages with Visible using both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3.

From my Google Pixel 3, I was able to exchange picture messages with both another Android phone and another iPhone.

With my iPhone SE 2020 I made sure that I could exchange text messages with both another iPhone and another Android phone to make sure that both MMS and iMessage work.

Apple’s Messages exchanges text messages two different ways. That’s the reason some text messages are blue bubbles and others are green bubbles. To learn more about the differences between exchanging text messages with Apple Messages, MMS and iMessage see LINK

Group Text Messages

I was able to send and receive group text messages with Visible using both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3.

From my Google Pixel 3, I was able to exchange group text messages with both another Android phone and another iPhone.

With my iPhone SE 2020 I made sure that I could exchange group text messages with both another iPhone and another Android phone to make sure that both MMS and iMessage work.

Apple’s Messages exchanges text messages two different ways. That’s the reason some text messages are blue bubbles and others are green bubbles. To learn more about the differences between exchanging text messages with Apple Messages, MMS and iMessage see LINK

Mobile Data

I was able to use Visible’s Mobile Data with both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3 without any issues.

The data speeds were acceptable. I ran speed test using my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3 and recorded these speeds. Because of the current situation in the US, I’m not traveling around the Boston Metro are or outside Massachusetts too often which would provide a better sense of how fast the data was. Visible uses the Verizon network, but Visible customers are de-prioritized for data service when the network is busy. This matches the results I saw measuring internet speeds using the SpeedTest app.

Of the 15 Speed Test results I recorded the highest speed was around 82 Mbps down, the slowest was 3.1Mbps, and the average was around 20Mbps. Note thee highest speed was a 6:30am. The slowest speeds were mid-day. The fastest upload speed I’ve seen was around 33Mbps. The slowest was 2.7Mbps. The average ping time was 38 ms.

While Verizon service is popular in the Boston Metro area, in my reviews I generally don’t see the extremely fast Verizon 4G LTE speeds that many other people report.

During my review, I did not use an excessive amount of data so I can’t comment on whether or not the data is truly unlimited or you are slowed after using a large amount of data.

I also used Visible’s cellular data with my iPhone SE 2020 to stream both music and video.

I had no issues using Visible to stream music using Spotify. Visible claims that streaming video is limited to SD quality, not HD.

Wi-Fi Calling

I was make and receive calls with Visible’s Wi-Fi calling using both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3

Calls were clear. I did not experience any drops. I still need to try handoff to see how Wi-Fi calling works when the Wi-Fi drops.

Mobile Hotspot

I was able to connect to and use Visible’s Personal / Wi-Fi / Mobile Hotspot using both my iPhone SE 2020 and my Google Pixel 3.

For the most part, mobile hotspot worked well.
Visible claims their mobile hotspot has unlimited data but that supports up to a maximum 5 Mbps download speed and that you can connect one single device at a time.

Using my Google Pixel 3, I was able to connect three different iPhones to mobile hotspot and watch YouTube videos without issue. I didn’t try connecting more that three devices. Mobile Hotspot data speeds exceeded 5 Mbps on some occasions. The first time I measured the speeds during morning rush hour I saw speeds between 5 to 6 Mbps per second. At a later time the speeds were considerable faster.

Note that Visible’s terms and conditions limit mobile hotspot to one connected device at a time. Your results may vary trying to connect multiple devices and at some point Visible may choose to enforce this restriction.

Visual Voicemail

I was able to use Visible’s Visual Voicemail with both my both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3.

With my iPhone SE 2020 I was able to set up Visual Voice mail, select a PIN, code and it activated and I had no issues. with iPhone my visual voicemail also had a text transcription.

With my Google Pixel 3 I was also able to use Visual Voicemail. When I first moved my SIN card into my Google Pixel 3 the voicemail option was missing from the Phone app. After checking through the settings, and restarting the phone.

Mobile App

I also tried the Visible Phone Service App on both my iPhone SE 2020 and Google Pixel 3.

Customer Service

I had no issues that required customer service while reviewing Visible. One way Visible is able to reduce costs is by only offering customer service only by online chat. There are no Visible stores, telephone support, nor email support. All support is handled through chat.

Before I signed up, I contacted Visible support using on line chat. I had a simple question by the support representative did not understand or answer my question. I asked whether or not Visible plans were by the month or 30 day plans like some other prepaid wireless service. The question confused the customer service representative who then just continued to share the plans details. This made me wonder what my experience would be like if I had a more seriously problem.

Visible has an online support and FAQ section that is pretty well written but not as comprehensive as some other prepaid wireless carriers including Verizon Wireless Prepaid.

Party Pay Discount

Visible’s plan costs $40 per month.

Sign up for Party Pay, with up to three other people and your plan price will go to $25 per month. The plan price drops to $35 per month with two people in the party, $30 with three people, and $25 with four people. You can sign up with any other random Visible customer.

When you sign up for Party Pay, all members have separate bills and accounts. You do not need to interact with each other. in your account you’ll see a name of the people in your party. This is the party pay name they shared not their real name. You’ll also see their area code and the last four digits of their phone number. That’s it.

You can create your own party or join someone else’s party. When you create a party, Visible will give you a link to share. Others click that link and can request to join your party. You’ll have the option to approve people joining your party. Once a party has four people it’s full.

If you sign up for Visible, I see little reason not to join a party of four to get the price down to $25. You can sign up with any four random people. You don’t need to know each other. When you join a party, the other party members will see two things. First a screen name to choose, so it doesn’t have to be your real name. They will also see your area code and the last four digits of your phone number. The middle three digits are hidden. I suppose some people could have privacy concerns and not want to do this.

If you are looking for people to join your party or to join someone else’s party the best place I found is on a reddit.com. See https://www.reddit.com/r/VisiblePartyPay/. Someone created a group there specifically for this purpose. You can find a group to join or post your Party Pay link these. Groups fill up pretty fast. If you look for a group to join, you might want to aim for a group with three there people already in it so you can get to the $25 per month rate.

Summary

Ok, so what’s the verdict? Based on my review, I recommend Visible. But as usual there some things to keep in mind.

The Good

At a price of between $25 to $40 per month, Visible is hard to beat if you need:

  • Service on the Verizon network to towers
  • Unlimited 4G LTE Data
  • Unlimited Mobile Hotspot
  • Wi-Fi Calling & Visual Voicemail

Visible has a lot going for it. I hear from so many readers and reviewers that live in areas where the Verizon network is the best or only option for coverage. I also hear from a large number of people need or want unlimited data and many also want mobile hotspot, and unlimited mobile hotspot to boot. Visible has all these things.

And $40 per month, this is a good deal. At $25 per month, it’s incredible.

I constantly tell my readers, don’t pay for data you don’t use. Find a plan with the right amount of data and you can save $5, $10, or more per month. But with Visible’s pricing I could be saying don’t pay more than $25 per month!

The Bad

Visible has a limited selection of phones for sale. And the number or models that qualify for BYOP is limited too. Visible only used Verizon’s 4G LTE network, not their older CMDA network. If you are in area that only see 3G coverage with Verizon, Visible isn’t going to work.

Caution

But now I’m going to add some caution here. If you sign up for Visible, understand that it might not be right for you. I think it’s worth trying to find out if its right for you, but if it isn’t you may just need to move on.

A number of Visible customers that tried the service told me they found that the data speeds were too slow for them. Visible uses the Verizon network and when the network is busy, Verizon’s customers get priority and Visible customers experience slower speeds. So if you live in an area where the Verizon network is heavily used, your Visible data may often be slow.

During my review, the Visible Speeds seemed reasonable. Slower some times and faster others. I’ve used Verizon postpaid, Verizon Prepaid, and prepaid services like Straight Talk and Total Wireless that use the Verizon network. In the past, I’ve been unable to tell the difference between Verizon postpaid and any prepaid wireless service that uses the Verizon network. However your experience may be different.

What is not clear to me is if Verizon Wireless Prepaid or any of the other prepaid wireless services in their areas would deliver better performance than Visible.

Will I Switch?

All this said, I will not be switching to Visible. I’m currently paying $15 per month for my Mint service, Visible would cost me an extra $10 per month or $120 per year. If my needs change and I require more data, then I’ll consider Visible.

2 Comments

  1. Carl Holmquist | | Reply

    I am receiving under 1 mbps speeds constantly now after a first good month. Unusable. May check out Mint.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      that is disappointing.I’d suggest checking your data speeds very early in the morning or late at night when the network isn’t busy to get a sense of whether or not you are being deprioritized.

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