phones for Visible
When it first launched in May 2018, Visible made a significant mark on the carrier space since $40 a month for unlimited everything on Verizon sounds too good to be true. One of the few drawbacks to the service is that Visible only works with a small selection of Android phones, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be an Android user and get the most out of what the carrier has to offer. Thanks to full LTE support, great software, and a stellar price, the Google Pixel 4a is a great way to try out this carrier.
Best overall Visible phone: Google Pixel 4a
Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central
Without a doubt, the aspect of the Pixel 4a that shines the most is its rear camera. The 12.2-megapixel sensor, paired with Google’s near-magical levels of post-processing, result in it being impossible to take a bad picture with the Pixel 4a. As a result, photos are crisp, colorful, and low-light photography is a breeze.
Outside of the camera, the Pixel 4a also benefits from a solid AMOLED display, reliable performance, and a 3.5mm headphone jack — something that’s become a rarity on most phones in 2021. We also love the inclusion of NFC for Google Pay and the snappy rear fingerprint sensor — both of which help make up for the lack of wireless charging.
Lastly, since this is a Pixel phone, the 4a is first-in-line for software updates and security patches as they’re released. It’s already running Android 11 and will keep getting updates through mid-2023.
- Fantastic camera
- AMOLED display
- Reliable performance
- Fast fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- No wireless charging
- No official IP rating for water resistance
- Plastic construction
- No 5G
Best Visible phone upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
You will need the U.S. variant of the S20 FE to work on Visible’s network due to Visible’s all-digital network. That also means you’re ready for Verizon’s nationwide 5G network included with Visible at no extra cost.
Samsung has packed in some great cameras, with a wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto camera on the back. The photos are typical of the S20 series, meaning they’ll look great with deep contrast and sharpness, if not a little unnatural. Overall, the S20 FE is a fantastic package for someone looking to get a little more performance on the Visible network.
- 120Hz AMOLED 6.5-inch display
- Excellent rear cameras
- 5G supported
- Surprisingly large battery
- No headphone jack
Best mid-range Visible phone: Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central
The other hardware is nothing special but enough for most users. This phone is powered by a Snapdragon 750G with 4GB of RAM. The display is 6.6-inch AMOLED limited to 60Hz, which should be great for most apps. The three cameras on the back provide wide, ultra-wide, and macro options though quality will fall off in low light. All of this is powered by a massive 5,000mAh battery that should power through a full day with plenty to spare.
- Great 5G capabilities
- Large 6.6-inch AMOLED display
- Huge 5,000 mAh battery
- Still has a 3.5mm headphone jack
- Comes with 128GB of storage
- Poor low-light camera performance
Best Visible phone battery life: Moto G Power
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
It’s a cheap phone and performs like one, but it will work well enough for many people and can be a good fit for someone who needs a long-lasting phone on an unlimited network. Also, if you need to keep a second phone around for business, this makes a solid companion to another great Android phone.
- Three days of battery on one charge
- Modern design
- Large display
- Expandable storage
- Mediocre cameras
- Low-res LCD
- Motorola has a bad track record for updates
- No 5G
Best cheap Visible phone: Samsung Galaxy A12
This phone has a 6.5-inch display that runs to the very edge of the phone with a small notch for the front camera. The low 1600×720 resolution is typical of phones at this price. Despite packing a 5,000mAh battery, this phone is pretty compact, making it a great choice for a work phone. The four-camera array on the back won’t blow you away, but with a wide, ultrawide, and macro lens, it should perform adequately with enough light.
- Very cheap
- Large 5,000 mAh battery
- Edge-to-edge display
- 15W fast charging
- Slow performance
- Low-resolution display
- No 5G
Best premium Visible phone: Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
Source: Android Central
Sharing a spec sheet with the S21 is far from bad with a fast Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of RAM. This phone comes with 128GB of storage or 256GB, but there is no expansion option. In addition, 5G support is included for both sub-6 and mmWave on Verizon’s network. The camera performance is stellar, with the three cameras on the back producing some of the best shots on a phone. With the screen reaching the phone’s edge on all sides and a small hole-punch front camera, the S21+ makes the most of its size for a tremendous 120Hz display.
- Massive 6.7-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Excellent build quality
- Blazing-fast performance
- Very capable rear cameras
- Too big for some people
- Doesn’t have a headphone jack
One of Visible’s most significant weaknesses is its Android support, especially for more niche models. Still, Visible has been improving Android support, and it now supports many of the best Android phones you can get. While some Visible users report that the newer Pixel 5a is working on the service, it’s still not officially supported by Visible. So, for now, the Pixel 4a is one of the best phones you can use with the service.
From the cameras, display, software, and more, the Pixel 4a is the epitome of what all affordable/mid-range phones should be. It’s enjoyable to use, doesn’t make any serious cutbacks, and comes in at a fantastic price. So if that sounds like a combo you’re interested in, pick up the Pixel 4a. You’ll be glad you did.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It’s the Pentium 3.
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