Visible and Google Fi are popular prepaid carriers that offer good deals on unlimited data options. Each carrier has its positives and negatives, but which offers better phone plans? Let’s put them head to head and see which brand comes out on top.
In this article, we plan to discuss the ins and outs of both carriers and what they offer. We’ll also cover:
Visible and Google Fi are mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. This means that they purchase service access wholesale from one of the three major networks that own infrastructure across the country – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – giving customers service at a much cheaper price. Visible is an MVNO of Verizon, while Google Fi is an MVNO of T-Mobile.
Often, the quality of coverage comes down to your area. One carrier’s coverage may be better in New York, while another’s coverage may be better in California. It’s important to compare between providers on a coverage map of your specific city. Ookla’s coverage map allows you to see where cellular towers are located and which company owns them. This coverage map provides information about coverage from 2G to 5G for several providers.
However, T-Mobile’s 5G coverage and access is hailed as the best coverage overall.
Like most plans you’ll see on the market, both carriers offer unlimited talk and texting options with any plan you choose. Visible and Google Fi both offer premium data, which does not slow down no matter the amount of network traffic. Visible deprioritizes data on their base plan as well, meaning you’ll have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and sports arenas.
Visible only offers 2 plans – Visible Base and Visible +. Visible + offers more features as well as premium data. Both plans offer a hotspot, with the data coming from your overall plan data. As an MVNO on Verizon’s network, Visible is on QCI tiers 8 and 9. Visible + has higher priority for its 50GB of premium data, tier 8, which will be further explained below. Visible Base is on tier 9.
It’s also important to note that Visible is a single line carrier – meaning you can only have one phone on an account. If you’re buying a plan for your family or with your significant other, you need to make separate accounts with separate plans for everyone.
If you purchase your phone from Visible, your device will be locked for the first 60 days after activation. Both plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are included with the advertised price.
Like most plans you’ll see on the market, Visible’s base plan has unlimited talk and text.
Visible Base also has unlimited data with no cap – meaning you have truly unlimited data that never slows down no matter how much you use. However, the Visible base plan is always deprioritized. Your data and connection will slow down at any point of high traffic in your area.
The plan also includes unlimited mobile hotspot data. Again, your data is deprioritized and may slow down in times of high network traffic.
The plan costs $30 per month, and the first month gives you a $5 welcome discount.
Visible + gives you access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, which is their network for premium data. As such, the 50GB of premium data you get with this plan will not slow down no matter how much network traffic in your area. After you use the 50GB, your data is unlimited – but subjected to the same deprioritization as the other plan. The mobile hotspot is also premium data for the first 50GB, then deprioritized after.
At this rate, you get the 50GB of premium data at $0.90 per GB.
The plan costs $45 per month, with a $10 welcome discount for the first month.
Google Fi offers 2 unlimited plans and one plan with pay-per-use data. Each of its unlimited plans offer a limited amount of premium data. Each plan allows up to 6 lines and renews monthly. Google Fi is on QCI tier 6 of 9.
Image courtesy of Google Fi’s website.
If you purchase your phone from Google Fi, your device will already be unlocked. The plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price.
Google Fi’s Flexible plan is unlike a lot of other plans on the market, as it allows you to pay a set amount per month for talk and text features. Users then pay for only the amount of data they use. After 15GB of data, your speed is slowed to 256 kbps, or 3G speeds. You can still send texts, emails, and use social media with little issues. Streaming video will be much more difficult.
The plan also includes the ability to buy mobile hotspot data, and all plan data can be used as hotspot data.
The plan costs $20 per month, plus $10 for each GB you use. For example, you’d pay about $70 per month if you used 5GB.
The Simply Unlimited plan gives you 35GB of premium data. Premium data means your data will not be deprioritized in times of high traffic and congestion. After 35GB, data slows down to 3G speeds. 5GB of hotspot data is also included in the plan, then stops after that allotment.
The plan costs $50 per month. At this rate, you get 35GB at $1.42 per GB.
Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan has 50GB of premium data. Connection is then slowed down to 3G speeds. You can use all 50GB of plan data as mobile hotspot data, but hotspot data stops after the 50GB.
The plan costs $65 per month. At this rate, you get 50GB at $1.30 per GB.
If you’re looking for a plan with more included features, such as international connection or domestic roaming data, it’s best to compare carriers with what they offer. Both Visible and Google Fi offer several features with their plans, and the most features are offered with Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan.
Visible and Google Fi offer domestic roaming data on their plans.
Visible offers talk and text in Mexico and Canada. However, Visible does not include roaming data for Mexico and Canada with Visible Base. Visible + includes roaming data that slows down to 2G speeds after 0.5GB each day. Google Fi offers talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada included with both its unlimited plans. However, only text is included in their Flexible plan. Talk and data are pay-per-use.
Visible does not give you international roaming data. However, Visible + gives you international talk and text. Visible Base does not offer this feature. Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan includes international text and data. Calling internationally is pay-per-use outside the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The Simply Unlimited plan does not include international connection, and the Flexible plan includes international texting, but talk and data are pay-per-use. Calling costs $0.20 per minute.
Visible’s plans stream at 480p Standard Definition. Google Fi offers 4k Ultra High Definition streaming for their Flexible plan and 480p Standard Definition streaming for their unlimited data plans.
Visible does not offer this feature. Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers a free subscription to Youtube Premium.
Visible does not offer this feature. Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers 100GB of Google One.
If you buy a phone from Google Fi, the carrier allows you to pay for your device in installments over time. Visible does not offer this feature.
Both carriers offer WiFi calling, which allows you to send and receive phone calls over a WiFi connection rather than cellular reception.
Visible offers spam protection on both of their plans, which blocks spam calls and protects you from potential fraud. All Google Fi plans also offer spam protection included.
Visible offers a 15 day free trial. Google Fi offers a 7 day free trial.
Visible and Google Fi are both digital-only carriers, meaning they only offer customer support online. Visible offers 24/7 chat support from a live agent. Google Fi offers 24/7 customer support over chat and over the phone at 1-844-TALK-2-FI.
Both carriers offer great unlimited plans, but Visible offers the better deal overall when it comes to price per GB. However, if you want extra features with your data plan, you’ll get that with Google Fi.
And of course, Google Fi offers a flexible data plan if you’re looking for limited data while Visible doesn’t offer limited data options. However, this plan is a lot more expensive than plans from other carriers, so keep this in mind.
We’d recommend checking your data usage before committing to a plan.
Are you still unsure which carrier to choose, or which phone plan to pick? Use really.com to compare your top choices and find the best deal to fit your needs. Really allows you to compare and sort between most phone plans on the market without the hassle!