Verizon's Visible Is Offering Truly Unlimited Cell Data Right Now and Honestly, Damn

Photo: Visible

Last year, Verizon revamped its cell plans with three new tiers that, despite having “Unlimited” in their names, don’t actually come with unlimited data. But now, Visible—Verizon’s more budget-friendly spinoff—is back with an offer that really does include uncapped data, but you’ll need to act fast.

When Visible launched last year, its appeal was a one-size cell plan that ran on Verizon’s network and included “unlimited” everything for a flat $40 a month. Of course, Visible’s “unlimited” didn’t really mean unlimited as data speeds were previously capped at a pitiful 5 Mbps (which is far lower than the 59.4 Mbps average you get on proper Verizon), while streaming videos were limited to 480p.

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So now, Visible is changing that by removing that 5Mbps speed limit while also removing any caps on total data use. In a world where almost every “unlimited” plan eventually gets throttled after using 25 to 55GB of data (depending on your carrier), this is a highly unusual move. It’s also where the catch comes in.

This offer by Visible is only available for an unspecified “limited” time, as Visible/Verizon is using it as a way to “learn more about member needs” to craft a future program scheduled “to come later this year.”

When I reached out to Visible to ask about any other possible data restrictions, a Visible representative responded saying, “The data is truly uncapped. There is no GB threshold after which Visible traffic is treated differently. It is, however, subject to de-prioritization during times of congestion.” Okay, that’s actually quite impressive.

So basically, if you want actual unlimited data on Verizon’s network, you better sign up now, because there’s no telling how long it will last. Meanwhile, the good news is that any current Visible customers are also eligible for Visible’s unlimited data; all you need to do is restart your phone. Furthermore, Visible says that anyone who takes advantage of this limited-time deal will be able to keep their unlimited data speeds “for as long as you’re with Visible.”

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The other potential hangup is that while this offer sounds good, Visible only supports a handful of phones on its service. Supported iOS devices include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or iPhone X, which can either be purchased directly from Visible or brought over if you have an unlocked model.

For Android phone owners, options are a bit slimmer with Visible supporting the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Visible R2, and Google Pixel 3/3XL. Visible also has plans to support the Pixel 3a/3a XL (both BYOD or for purchase), and the Moto G7 (purchase only) in the coming weeks.

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For those who missed out on AT&T’s fully unlimited plan that isn’t available anymore, Visible’s unlimited data plan could be a unicorn of a deal. That said, you’ve also got to remember that even though AT&T grandfathered its original unlimited plan for any customers who still had it, AT&T stopped adding features like tethering/mobile hotspot and introduced new “unlimited” plans that were cheaper and came with data throttling for heavy users.

Still, cell phone plans with truly unlimited data are a rarity, and this one could disappear before you know it.

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[Update 8:45 PM] Despite Visible’s new uncapped data plan, two other restrictions are still in place: streaming video remains limited to 480p resolution, and data speeds while using your hot spot are still capped at 5 Mbps. The plan still seems like a good deal, but not quite the outrageous savings it appeared to be.

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About the author

Sam Rutherford

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.