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Which carrier should you pick?

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    T-Mobile

    Best for multiple lines

    T-Mobile is one of the Big Three carriers in the U.S. with the largest and fastest 5G network overall. T-Mobile’s postpaid plans offer unlimited data with full 5G access on all plans and taxes and fees baked in to all but the cheapest plans. T-Mobile also offers in-flight Wi-Fi on most of its plans.

    Pros

    • Huge 5G coverage with mid-band speeds
    • Taxes and fees are included in most plans
    • Discounts for 55+, military members, veterans, and first responders
    • Upgrade your phone sooner with Go5G Plus or Go5G Next
    Cons

    • Autopay required for advertised pricing
    • Video streams at 480p by default
    • Single-line plans are expensive

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    Visible logo

    Visible

    Best for one line

    Visible is a prepaid carrier owned and operated by Verizon that offers two unlimited plans on Verizon’s network. While both plans include 5G, the cheaper plan is limited to nationwide speeds. Also, taxes and fees are included with Visible — and there’s no activation fee and no autopay discounts — so what you see is what you pay.

    Pros

    • Unlimited data on both plans
    • Unlimited hotspot data
    • Taxes and fees are included
    Cons

    • Data is a lower priority than postpaid Verizon plans
    • Roaming coverage is weaker
    • Fast 5G is only available on one plan

As the big carriers continue to complicate their plans with streaming bundles, add-ons, and confusing discounts, Visible’s simplicity is a breath of fresh air. Visible is owned by Verizon, which has allowed the carrier to offer discounts on Verizon 5G Home Internet with a plan as well. While Visible’s data is delivered at a lower priority than Verizon customers, it’s still plenty fast for most people, especially if you’re covered by 5G.


T-Mobile’s 5G coverage still holds the crown in coverage, though it must be noted that Verizon has been making strong progress with its own mid-band 5G coverage. And, of course, Verizon has a reliable and reasonably performant LTE network to pick up the slack when 5G isn’t available. Still, if you’re looking for the fastest possible 5G and have more than one line to bring, T-Mobile is a strong choice with plenty of plans to choose from.


Price, specs, and availability

Visible is cheap compared to any other carrier, with prices starting at just $25 per month with taxes and fees included and no multi-month commitment required. While other carriers are offering cheaper plans, most don’t come with totally unlimited data as Visible does. Visible’s most expensive plan, Visible+, is $45 per month and ups the ante with premium data, fast 5G speeds, and more international features. If you sign up before January 2, 2024, you can even get your first six months for $35 per month with code “35FOR6”. Taxes and fees are included with Visible, so you know what you have to pay before signing up. To access Visible, go to their website or download the Visible app.

T-Mobile is a bit more traditional, with several plans and lots of boxes to check if you’re aiming to get the best prices. For its more expensive plans, taxes and fees are included, but to get T-Mobile’s best rates, you’ll need to enable autopay. T-Mobile also has multi-line discounts, so if you can, it makes sense to bring as many lines over as possible. T-Mobile has cheaper plan versions available for 55+, military and veterans, and first responders. These plans also get multi-line discounts.

You can sign up for T-Mobile service online or in-store. Speaking of stores, T-Mobile has locations all over the country, so if you prefer dealing with people, you can head in and have an employee help you with the details. This also means an employee can help you set up your phone and service to ensure your phone is working when you walk out the door.

  • T-MobileVisible
    BrandT-MobileVisible
    5GNationwide and Ultra CapacityNationwide (Ultra Wideband with Visible+)
    Premium data50GB, 100GB, or Unlimtied50GB on Visible+
    Data capNoneNone
    International calling$0.25/minute in 215+ destinationsMexico and Canada, 30+ countries on Visible+
    International texting215+ destinationsMexico and Canada, 200+ countries on Visible+
    International roaming215+ destinationsMexico and Canada (Visible+ only)
    Hotspot dataUp to 50GB high-speed data with unlimited 3G-speedUnlimited (5Mbps)
    Taxes and feesIncluded on Magenta and Go5G plansIncluded

Mobile carrier features

The star of the show at T-Mobile is its 5G network with the strongest nationwide coverage, highest median speeds according to Ookla, and no access restrictions on its plans. Even T-Mobile MVNOs get access to T-Mobile’s fast mid-band coverage on all plans. And with the basics in check, T-Mobile also loaded its plans with features for streamers and travelers. Note that streaming in HD needs to be enabled in your account settings, and it is available to T-Mobile customers except those on the cheapest Essentials plans, making the experience feel more premium.

If you like to upgrade to the latest phone every year, the top Go5G Next plan allows you to upgrade annually, while the cheaper Go5G Plus plan allows customers to upgrade every two years. With AT&T and Verizon moving primarily to 36-month payment plans for new phones, this can be a simple way to make sure you’re using the latest hardware. To keep pricing simple, T-Mobile includes taxes and fees in all of its plans except Essentials, Essentials Savings, and Essentials 55+.

Visible keeps its plan features much simpler, which isn’t too difficult as it only has two plans. Visible’s basic plan has unlimited data and unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps. Visible’s more premium Visible Plus plan adds 50GB of premium data for more reliable high speeds in congested areas, but its hotspot has the same limitations as the base plan. International usage is added with unlimited roaming in Mexico and Canada, calls to 30+ countries, and texting to 200+ countries.

Visible+ gets a major 5G upgrade over Visible with access to Ultra Wideband, which is Verizon’s faster mid-band and high-band 5G coverage. Both plans have all taxes and fees included in the sticker price, so what you see is what you get. Visible doesn’t even have an activation fee. If you can get Verizon Home Internet, you can get $5 off with your Visible plan or $10 off with Visible+.

Mobile coverage and reception

The T-Mobile coverage map shows nationwide 5G coverage

Visible uses Verizon’s network for coverage, which is good news for most people. Verizon’s LTE network reaches the vast majority of Americans, with its 5G network quickly making its way to new towers. There’s no denying, however, that Verizon’s 5G coverage still falls short of T-Mobile. If you spend most of your time in the city or suburbs, there’s a good chance you’ll see 5G most of the time on Visible, but don’t be surprised if you drop to LTE when heading out of the city. Verizon’s LTE network is still strong with enough speed for streaming and browsing social media as we noted in our MobileX review.

T-Mobile’s main strength is its 5G network’s coverage and speed — a good strength for a carrier to have. The problem is that T-Mobile’s rural coverage just doesn’t stand up to Verizon’s. Even dropping back to LTE, T-Mobile’s coverage map has a lot more white space. It makes sense that T-Mobile would focus its network development in the places where most people live and go, but for those living well outside the city limits, T-Mobile should be approached with caution.

If you want to see how coverage stacks up where you live, you can check out Visible’s coverage map and T-Mobile’s coverage map. You can try out the T-Mobile network with an eSIM-compatible phone for three months with the T-Mobile app. You can also take Visible on a 15-day test drive using the Visible app and a compatible eSIM-enabled device.

One last thing to think about is roaming. On postpaid plans, carriers use roaming to fill in the gaps and, in most cases, don’t charge you for using it. Visible also has roaming in the U.S. on both plans, but if you want to go somewhere like Puerto Rico, you’re out of luck on the cheaper plan.

Phone compatibility

Try T-Mobile's network for three months with Network Pass

Visible will work with just about any phone that works with Verizon’s network. Most phones made for the U.S. market will support most of Verizon’s LTE bands, but 5G is a little trickier. It uses bands n2, n5, and n66 for nationwide 5G (which is common on 5G phones), and n77 for mid-band coverage. Luckily, most of the best Android phones you can buy today will work on Visible without issue, and can even be activated in a few minutes with eSIM. To be sure, check your IMEI with Visible’s compatibility tool or download the Visible app.

T-Mobile’s GSM network is friendlier to international model phones. For the best results, you’ll still want a phone designed for the U.S. market. For 5G, band n71 and m25 are used for T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G coverage, and n41 is its mid-band coverage. To get the most out of T-Mobile’s network, you really want to have band n41, as this mid-band spectrum makes up the majority of the carrier’s high-speed 5G coverage and will be used extensively with carrier aggregation in the coming years.

If your phone is unlocked, it will probably work with T-Mobile, but you can check your IMEI with T-Mobile’s compatible checker to be sure. A network test drive with an eSIM-compatible phone using the T-Mobile app is the best way to know if the network is for you.

Plans

A Visible SIM sits next to a Galaxy S20+ SIM tray

High-speed data and 5G coverage mean nothing if you can get a plan that fits your needs. Visible has stuck to simplicity with only two unlimited plans, but with the right price and plenty of data for anyone, they’re a good deal for light and heavy users alike. T-Mobile’s plans are more traditional and rely on family and autopay discounts to stay competitive with Visible. That being said, T-Mobile’s wide range of plans makes it easy to find one that will work.

T-Mobile’s plans

T-Mobile currently has seven available plans, though there is a lot of overlap between the Go5G and Magenta plans. The newest Go5G plans will undoubtedly be the first presented to you if you walk into a T-Mobile store.

The middle-of-the-road Go5G plan comes with 100GB of premium data, 15GB of high-speed hotspot data, and up to 720p video streaming. It starts at $75 per month for a single line, with discounts when you bring multiple lines. If you bring at least two lines, you also get basic Netflix included. This plan is nearly identical to the older Magenta plan with an upgrade to 720p video quality, a higher price with one or two lines, and a lower price with three or more lines.

The top Go5G Plus plan sits in the middle at $90 for a single line, but you get unlimited premium data, 50GB of hotspot data, Netflix, and New in Two, the perk that allows customers to upgrade their phones every two years with the same deals as new customers. The older Magenta Max is a close comparison with 40GB of hotspot data and a lower starting price.

T-Mobile’s newest (and most expensive) plan is Go5G Next, which is very similar to Go5G Plus, except you can upgrade your phone every year rather than waiting two. While most modern phones will easily last two years or more, if you want to always use the latest tech, Go5G Next might be the plan for you.

Last but not least, there are two Essentials plans, both with 50GB of premium data, 3G-speed hotspot usage, and 480p streaming. Though, with these plans, taxes and fees are extra, so they’re not as cheap as they seem. With one or two lines, Essentials Savings is the cheaper plan, but at three or more lines, Essentials takes the lead.

Go5G Next

Go5G Plus

Go5G

Essentials

Magenta Max

Magenta

Essentials Savings

5G

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

Data

Unlimited premium

Unlimited premium

100GB premium

50GB premium

Unlimited premium

100GB premium

50GB premium

Hotspot data

50GB high-speed, unlimited 3G speed

50GB high-speed, unlimited 3G speed

15GB high-speed, unlimited 3G speed

Unlimited 3G speed

40GB high-speed, unlimited 3G speed

5GB high-speed, unlimited 3G speed

Unlimited 3G speed

International calling

Add-on available

Add-on available

Add-on available

Add-on available

Add-on available

Add-on available

Add-on available

International texting

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

Included

International roaming

215+ countries

215+ countries

215+ countries

None

215+ countries

215+ countries

None

Price

1 line: $100

1 line: $90

1 line: $75

1 line: $60

1 line: $85

1 line: $70

1 line: $50

4 lines: $215

4 lines: $185

4 lines: $155

4 lines: $105

4 lines: $200

4 lines: $160

4 lines: $100

The best way to save with T-Mobile is by bringing multiple lines. T-Mobile even has a promotion that gives customers the third line free on Essentials, Go5G, and Go5G Plus. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the four more expensive plans have taxes and fees included, so at the end of the day, dropping to Essentials isn’t quite as frugal as it seems.

Visible’s plans

Visible has two plans starting with its cheaper self-titled plan for $25 per month. This plan comes with unlimited data on Verizon’s network with access to nationwide 5G, which performs similarly to LTE. Unlimited hotspot data is included at 5Mbps, which can be great for keeping a tablet or laptop connected when there’s no Wi-Fi.

Visible+ adds $20 to the price, taking it up to $45 per month. For your money, you get an upgrade to 50GB of premium data, full access to Verizon Ultra Wideband 5G network, and a handful of international perks. While both plans come with unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada, Visible+ takes it a step further with roaming in the two countries. International calling to 30+ countries and texting to 200+ countries is also included. You may also notice that international coverage is available in Puerto Rico, though not on the base Visible plan.

Visible

Visible+

5G

Nationwide

Nationwide and Ultra Wideband

Data

Unlimited

Unlimited (50GB Premium)

Hotspot data

Unlimited (5Mbps)

Unlimited (5Mbps)

International calling

Mexico and Canada

30+ countries

International Texting

Mexico and Canada

200+ countries

International roaming

None

Mexico and Canada

Price

$25 per month

$45 per month

With Visible’s prices, what you see is what you get since taxes and fees are included. Visible has no family plans, so no matter how many people you sign up, it’s $25 per month minimum. Even so, Visible’s prices are competitive with most other prepaid unlimited plans. Compared to Mint Mobile, for example, Visible’s unlimited data has no high-speed data cap, while Mint cuts you off at 40GB. In fact, the only real limit to Visible’s data is a reasonably generous 200Mbps speed cap on LTE and nationwide 5G with a 3Gbps cap on Ultra Wideband.

If you’re able to get Verizon Home Internet service, you can also get $5 off with the base Visible plan and $10 off with Visible+.

Which is right for you?

T-Mobile and Visible apps allow for account management

T-Mobile is, without a doubt, more expensive than Visible. T-Mobile’s plans rely largely on multi-line discounts to compete on price with expensive single-line pricing. However, on average, T-Mobile can offer faster data than Visible, and its 5G network is much larger. T-Mobile’s larger plans even open up options like HD video streaming, high-speed hotspot data, and bundled streaming perks with Netflix.

T-Mobile also makes buying a new phone a bit easier on the wallet with payment plans and deals. T-Mobile’s New in Two perk is also a strong addition for those who want to upgrade their hardware somewhat frequently. If you want to buy one of the best budget Android phones, like the Google Pixel 6a, you can be confident it will work well on T-Mobile’s network, including 5G.

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T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile

Editor’s choice

Best for multiple lines

T-Mobile is one of the Big Three carriers in the U.S., with the largest and fastest 5G network overall. T-Mobile’s postpaid plans offer unlimited data with full 5G access on all plans and taxes and fees baked into all but the cheapest plans. T-Mobile also offers in-flight Wi-Fi on most of its plans.

Visible is still a great choice for many people, especially those with a single line. Visible’s simple pricing makes budgeting easier and is a great choice for someone getting their first phone plan. The upgrade to Visible+ allows for an easy upgrade path if the customer finds they want a little more speed or a few more international features. Visible can also save you some money on home internet service if you can get Verizon Fios or 5G Home Internet at your house.

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Visible logo

Visible

Runner-up

Best for one line

Visible is a prepaid carrier owned and operated by Verizon that offers two unlimited plans on Verizon’s network. While both plans include 5G, the cheaper plan is limited to nationwide speeds. Also, taxes and fees are included with Visible — and there’s no activation fee and no autopay discounts — so what you see is what you pay.

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