Choosing a cell phone provider isn’t easy, particularly if you’re living in the US where competition is high and the market is saturated with many providers.
But fortunately, with high competition comes competitive pricing and enticing monthly packages for consumers to choose from.
In this post, we’ll be talking about Google Fi vs. Visible Wireless. These two cell providers are highly competitive and provide a lot of value in their own ways.
They’ve got inherently low costs, and many of the packages they offer are similar, thus attracting many of the same types of consumers.
From their low prices to their month-to-month contracts, it’s easy to see why so many consumers are flocking to these companies. But since they offer strikingly similar plans, it can be difficult to decide between the two.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive breakdown to help you make a decision, you’re in the right place. Let’s get right into it.
What is Google Fi?
Google Fi is a digital wireless carrier and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs operate on the infrastructure of existing networks – and for Google Fi, those existing networks are T-Mobile and US Cellular.
Of note, T-mobile merged with Sprint in 2020, so by paying for Google Fi, you’re technically getting the support of three separate networks for your cellular service.
Google Fi offers plans as low as $20 for a single line or as low as $16 for multiple lines each.
Check out our Google Fi full review.
What is Visible Wireless?
Visible Wireless is also a digital wireless carrier and an MVNO that operates on Verizon’s existing network.
All the things you love about Verizon, including reception and coverage, are now available without the Verizon price tag. They offer plans for as low as $40 per month for a single line or as low as $25 for multiple lines each.
Check out our Visible Wireless full review.
Get the best service without paying outrageous prices.
Google Fi vs Visible: Cost
You can get Google Fi for a very competitive and reasonable price, depending on how many members you include on the plan.
They offer a multi-line discount when there is more than one person signed up on the family plan, and it is applicable for all three of their plans:
- Simply Unlimited – you get unlimited data, but high speeds are capped at 35 GB before it resorts to slower data speeds.
- Unlimited Plus – you get unlimited data, but high speeds are capped at 50 GB before it resorts to slower data speeds.
- Flexible – you only pay for the amount of data you wish to subscribe to at $10 per GB.
Let’s break down the fee structure for all three Google Fi plan options:
- 1 Member = $50/month
- 2 Multi-Line Members = $40/month
- 3 Multi-Line Members = $25/month
- 4 Multi-Line Members = $20/month
- 5 Multi-Line Members = $20/month
- 6 Multi-Line Members = $20/month
- 1 Member = $65/month
- 2 Multi-Line Members = $55/month
- 3 Multi-Line Members = $45/month
- 4 Multi-Line Members = $40/month
- 5 Multi-Line Members = $40/month
- 6 Multi-Line Members = $40/month
- 1 Member = $20/month + $10 per GB of data
- 2 Multi-Line Members = $18/month + $10 per GB of data
- 3 Multi-Line Members = $17/month + $10 per GB of data
- 4 Multi-Line Members = $17/month + $10 per GB of data
- 5 Multi-Line Members = $16/month + $10 per GB of data
- 6 Multi-Line Members = $16/month + $10 per GB of data
Visible’s Wireless plans come in a choice of two options:
- Visible (standard plan) for $30 per month
- Visible+ (premium plan) for $45 per month
Both offer unlimited data and don’t require any minimum contracts.
Visible’s strength lies in the simplicity of its pricing structure. There are no deals to be had for multi-lines. Visible’s basic plan at $30 per month is cheaper than the cheapest Google Fi unlimited plan for a single member, which is $50 per month.
With the Visible standard plan, you get unlimited talk, text, and data along with 5G/4G LTE. You also get unlimited mobile hotspot and unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada.
With the Visible+ plan, you get everything in the standard plan plus 5G Ultra Wideband, international calls from the U.S. to over 30 countries, and international texting from the U.S. to over 200 countries.
Of note, Visible used to have a Party Pay feature that allowed a user to bring their cost all the way down to $25 by joining a Party that could include family, friends, and even online strangers. Unfortunately, they have recently done away with this feature completely and we now have the above two plans only at the moment.
Winner: Google Fi (Family), Visible (Individual)
Google Fi vs Visible: Features
Google Fi features
- Unlimited calling and texting
- Free calls within the US, Canada, and Mexico
- No contracts
- No activation fees
- 24/7 customer support
- Hotspot tethering
- Pause or cancel your plan at any time
- Switch between plans up to once a month
- Great Google Fi app to manage your accounts
Visible Wireless features
- Taxes and fees included in each plan
- No activation fees
- Uses Verizon towers
- Unlimited mobile hotspot
- Free calling within the US, Canada, and Mexico
- No annual contract
- Free 15-day trial for iPhone users, no credit card required
Winner: Google Fi
Google Fi vs Visible: High-Speed Data
Google Fi high-speed data
When customers signup with Google Fi, the plan they choose comes with an allotted amount of data which has access to uninterrupted high-speed data up to a certain data cap. The two unlimited plans come with either 35GB or 50GB of full-speed data. That means that you’ll be getting 5G/4G LTE up to those amounts, and then you’ll be switched over to lower speeds until your billing cycle resets.
Visible Wireless high-speed data
On the other hand, if you’re going with Visible Wireless, they’ve got a single plan, albeit with varying numbers of members and for varying rates. And that plan has got NO data cap. That’s right, you have truly unlimited access to 5G/4G LTE data, and your speed won’t be throttled after a certain threshold.
That’s quite insane compared to other cell phone data providers.
Winner: Visible Wireless
Google Fi vs Visible: GSM or CDMA
Is Google Fi GSM or CDMA?
Google Fi can support both GSM and CDMA.
Is Visible Wireless GSM or CDMA?
The Verizon network is a CDMA wireless network, therefore Visible Wireless is also CDMA.
Winner: Google Fi
Google Fi vs Visible: Phone Compatibility
Google Fi phone compatibility
Google Fi offers customers the option to either purchase a phone through them or to bring a phone over. They are compatible with most major cell phone brands but setup differs from phone to phone. According to Google Fi, they are still in beta for iPhones, meaning all iPhones are compatible with Fi. However, getting the service setup does require a few extra steps and a change in settings. With all other Android phones, if they are unlocked and are compatible with T-Mobile’s 5G network, they will have access to 5G on Fi.
When it comes down to phone compatibility, Google Fi makes it easy for customers to bring over any phone and they offer a wide selection of the most recent and technologically advanced phones.
Visible Wireless phone compatibility
Visible is also compatible with most of the major cell phone brands. They have a competitive advantage in this department since iPhones can be seamlessly connected without taking extra steps.
Winner: Google Fi
Google Fi vs Visible: Coverage
How is Google Fi’s coverage?
Operating on T-Mobile/Sprint and the US Cellular’s network, Google Fi customers will benefit from having cell coverage across the nation. However, T-Mobile/Sprint is known to be slightly less reliable than its competitors with many customer complaints about coverage interruptions. T-Mobile uses 5G technology which is currently a relatively new technology in America and not all phones are compatible with it. Moreover, since the technology is still new, service outages are to be expected. While 5G technology is much more accessible in the cities, many small towns and rural locations are still accessing 4G LTE technology.
So, if customers are living outside metropolitan areas, Google Fi may not be the best option.
How is Visible Wireless’s coverage?
Operating on Verizon’s network, Visible is a reliable option and one of its major competitive advantages is that it offers customers coverage across the nation with little to no service interruptions. Verizon can use 5G, but also uses 4G LTE as well which is currently the dominant technology for all telecommunications networks, making coverage reliable and accessible across the nation including the most isolated rural locations.
If you’re living in a rural area where 4G LTE technology is still being used, coverage will not be an issue if customers are signed up with Visible Wireless.
Overall, when it comes to coverage reliability, Visible Wireless is the better option since they have the same coverage as the best in the nation, Verizon.
Winner: Visible Wireless
Google Fi vs Visible: Mobile hotspot data
Google Fi mobile hotspot data
Google Fi offers mobile hotspot data on all three of their plans. However, slowdowns occur as per each plan’s respective high-speed data limit.
Additionally, there are hard caps on how much tethering is allowed in each plan:
- Simply Unlimited – 5GB per month
- Unlimited Plus – Unlimited
- Flexible – However many GBs you subscribe to
When it comes down to mobile hotspot data and tethering, Google Fi would certainly suffice for the average mobile user. But for heavy users and who require hours of internet access while on the go, perhaps not so much.
Visible Wireless mobile hotspot data
Visible Wireless offers unlimited 5G/4G LTE hotspot data, plain and simple. It’s a very straightforward allowance and easy to remember.
As far as mobile hotspot data, Visible Wireless takes the cake.
Winner: Visible Wireless
There are many factors to consider when trying to choose between Google Fi and Visible Wireless.
Let’s summarize some of the key points between Google Fi vs. Visible Wireless:
- If you plan to bring in an iPhone, go for Visible as Google Fi isn’t compatible yet
- Visible Wireless has one simple, straightforward plan
- Visible Wireless allows you to save with Party Pay, even with strangers
- However, Google Fi has the lowest absolute prices with its Flexible Plan option
- Visible Wireless has a free 15-day trial option for iPhone users
Our opinion is that Visible Wireless is the better option overall, especially when you join a Party Pay plan, which is extremely easy to find online.
However, if you’re looking for the absolute lowest cost and don’t need much or any data, Google Fi may be the perfect fit for you.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know!