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Thread: Will a Visible SIM work in any unlocked phone?

  1. #1
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    Will a Visible SIM work in any unlocked phone?

    If a Visible SIM is first activated in an approved device, can it later be moved to any Verizon-compatible unlocked device?

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    No,
    The phone would still have to pass Visible's compatibility test. Most android phones still don't work with Visible.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocaps View Post
    If a Visible SIM is first activated in an approved device, can it later be moved to any Verizon-compatible unlocked device?
    see post #44 - https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...e-review/page3

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    Interesting, thanks. I am awaiting a number port and I will then be able to activate on my (non-branded) Pixel 3 XL. Right now I have the Visible app installed on the Pixel but not the SIM and I do not see any additional APNs listed beyond the default Verizon APN present to support the currently-installed Verizon postpaid SIM. I will see what additional APN data might appear when the Visible SIM is installed and record the info and duplicate in another Android device and see what happens. I'm not sure how Visible would qualify the device once the SIM is activated... I don't know if there is an API that would allow Visible to verify existence of the Visible app on the phone, or perhaps more likely it would be done on the network end by IMEI. No harm in trying I guess but clearly I shouldn't be too hopeful.

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    I had a Samsung Galaxy S9 that I wasn't using, so I decided to give Visible a try. After the $100 credit I will basically get three months for $20.

    After reading through Visible's Web site, I do not believe that the issue i the Visible app, but the phone's firmware.

    This may have already been discussed, but I believe that Visible is Verizon's way of creating a group of beta testers for Verizon's all LTE network once they shut down CDMA at the end of this year.

    I think Verizon is intentionally limiting the phones allowed in order to keep a homogeneous population as possible for testing purposes.

    I think this is the reason that they started with iPhones only. iPhone firmware (iOS) and hardware are controlled by Apple. So it was easy to have Apple program their phones to work as essentially CDMA-less phones. Apple was probably very willing to work with Verizon because they wanted to see a seemless transition when Verizon shuts down its CDMA network at the end of the year.

    Android is tricky because of all the different flavors of Android. So my guess is that they picked a few phones to start out with and may open it up to more as the year goes by.

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    I guess the whole thing may be moot because while I'm trying to give Visible every chance their customer support is just a disaster. Every time I have tried to contact them it was at least a 30 minute wait for a response, and even at that the only thing I've ever gotten from them is 'we'll open a ticket and you'll get an email response in a few days' (sometimes I later received some kind of canned follow-up message, sometimes I didn't.) My number port finally went through but I still cannot activate service in the app, and I've tried to contact CS via both the chat facility in the app and via Facebook messenger but it's been over three hours now and no response.

    I like what Visible is doing with their offering and I've been trying to give them every benefit of the doubt, but support has been so consistently terrible that I'm just too afraid of having a problem once I start service and having no recourse other than to wait multiple days to a week for a resolution. Sadly, I'm at the point where I can't consider them a viable option any longer.

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    >I believe that Visible is Verizon's way of creating a group of beta testers for Verizon's all LTE network once they shut down CDMA at the end of this year.

    I thought this myself when Visible started out. But the "testbed" hypothesis doesn't bear out once it opened up to the public.

    My current thought is that Vis is a way for Verizon to make extra money by fully utilizing its network bandwidth. By assigning a lower priority to Vis, then VZW users won't be affected. Vis users can use any spare bandwidth for cheap, but if there's congestion, they're SOL. User sign-ups are self-correcting. Users in congested areas will quit, while users in low-use areas will stay on.

    >I think Verizon is intentionally limiting the phones allowed in order to keep a homogeneous population as possible for testing purposes.

    It's more to minimize support issues. It's easier to support iPhones because they're used by a large number, and with few models. BYOD Android would be a nightmare, especially for VZW. Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum did the same.


    >while I'm trying to give Visible every chance their customer support is just a disaster.

    Visible doesn't do live support. This is stated on its web site, which you should know before committing. There's a reason why it's cheap.

    >My number port finally went through but I still cannot activate service in the app

    Vis' FAQ stated that only S9's, Moto G7 Power, and its own R2 are eligible Android models. Did you check your Pix 3's IMEI against its checker? Regardless, you shouldn't be surprised if your phone can't work.

    Edit: Scratch last paragraph. Pix 3 models are listed as compatible. Didn't see that before.
    Last edited by e.mote; 07-16-2019 at 07:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    Visible doesn't do live support. This is stated on its web site, which you should know before committing. There's a reason why it's cheap.
    You should know it, and I did know it. I have no problem at all with text-based support, in fact I prefer it, and if it saves the provider money and they pass that on then it's all good. But the key word is 'support', and there has been very little, in fact I have been unable to get Visible CS to respond at all today even trying every access method they offer, as in no response or acknowledgment whatsoever. I don't think anyone would consider this acceptable regardless of price.

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    >in fact I have been unable to get Visible CS to respond at all today even trying every access method they offer, as in no response or acknowledgment whatsoever.

    Maybe you need to wait a few days.

    That's what "no live support" means to me. In the best case, response time can be a few hours, but same-day response is something to hope for rather than taken for granted. Evidently Vis CS is not among the better ones.

    Rather than blaming CS, IMO it's better to adapt to it. I mean, when faced with bad support, be as safe as possible, ie no BYOD, no SIM swap. Seriously, even if your phone works OOB, with CS as bad as it is, would you want to take the risk of a SIM swap?

    The use case for Vis is pretty small. Reliability is low, so you aren't using it for voice. You just want (theoretically) unlimited VZW data for cheap, ie a hotspot. The best/safest way to do that is to get the free R2 and use it as such. The R2 sucks as a phone, but a hotspot is the same regardless of the phone. So, why tie up a phone at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    The use case for Vis is pretty small.
    Uhh, yeah, apparently. I kinda doubt what they're going for as a provider is 'service is low reliability and it may take days to get a response in case of any problems, but... we're cheap!', but if so they nailed it.

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    >I kinda doubt what they're going for as a provider is 'service is low reliability and it may take days to get a response in case of any problems, but... we're cheap!'

    To be fair, I think Android BYOD for Vis is still on the bleeding edge. When I checked its FAQ not too long ago, Pix 3 wasn't on the list.

    Visible isn't for the general population. No voice support alone will make some problems impossible to fix because of lack of interactivity, and VoLTE-only voice has spotty coverage.

    On the flip side, Vis has (potentially) UNLIMITED HOTSPOT, which no other provider has. $40 is not a low price, and the only thing that makes Vis worthwhile is if you can take advantage of the unlimited hotspot, which can conceivably be used for home Internet. I wouldn't suggest Visible for any other use, because there are many better services with ample hotspot data (just not unlimited) at the $40 price point.

    Thanks to JuannyBooBoo for the link, http://androidguys.com/guides/best-m...for-40-dollars

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    Well clearly at this point I would tend to agree. If you need the unlimited hotspot data then it may be worth jumping though all the hoops and dealing with the potential issue of extended service interruption should you need any actual support from CS (assuming you can get it to work on your device in the first place) so there is that limited use case, but it's certainly not practical as any kind of primary service at this point, in my experience at least (FWIW on my most recent contact attempt it took them 30 hours (no kidding) to respond, and guess what... they'll 'open a ticket for me' LOL). One can be as 'fair' as you like but that level of support is essentially useless. I'm sure they'll eventually get better, I mean they just have to.

    In the meantime Visible does have a function, just noting all this so people will understand how limited that function seems be be.
    Last edited by nocaps; 07-17-2019 at 06:50 PM.

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    So so more follow-up for anyone interested...

    I did finally manage to complete activation, I figured for $20 (including the referral discount) why not have some fun playing with it? (as it turns out it was $40, more on that below.)

    Regarding the OP and whether an activated Visible SIM will work in a non-approved phone, the answer does seem to be no, or at least I'm not yet aware of a workaround. The main problem was that for some reason I was unable to add the Visible APN to the target phone because the 'Add APN' menu item was missing. I could display and select existing APNs but was unable to add any new entries. The phone under test a completely non-carrier branded Moto X Pure and the Visible app was not installed so I don't know what was preventing me from adding an APN, unless the SIM itself can control that(?) Anyway, no go.

    Some more notes:

    The Bad: Activation was a complete nightmare from start to finish and just about every step required CS to fix something. The port took over two weeks and even once complete there were activation glitches. I finally got to the point where the app considered activation to be complete and gave me the final message 'hang on, we're fixing a few things in the cloud'. Unfortunately we were apparently still 'fixing a few things in the cloud' eight hours later. At that point I contacted CS again and they... wait for it... 'opened a ticket.' But I did finally get activation completed later the following day, at which point I was charged $40 even though the app said $20 (?) I again contacted CS and asked WTF and they checked and agreed that I had a referral credit and should have been charged $20 and naturally... they 'opened a ticket' to have the $20 difference credited. I then received an email from Visible explaining that the referral credit had expired and that's why I was charged $40. I pointed out that I had no way of knowing that, the app said that after I click the Activate button I would be charged $20, and even their own CS agent confirmed that amount was correct, so how could they simply charge double the posted amount without any notification to or authorization from the customer? Yes my friends. another ticket opened, and at this point still waiting for a resolution. The only reason I ported a number was to get the $100 MasterCard offer but at this point who knows if I will ever see it or just be casually told after the fact that they decided not to honor it. I don't think that Visible is intentionally doing anything underhanded of course, it's just another symptom of their being far from ready for prime time. All in all I can't even guess the numbers of hours I've spent trying to get a line activated, at this point it's almost become a hobby.

    The Good: One activated service seem to be as advertised and (so far) reliable. I am seeing full Verizon data speeds (as compared to a Verizon postpaid phone) even when tethered (although I've read that pretty soon tethering speed will be limited to 5 mbps as outlined in their T&Cs.) Still, unlimited tethering on Verizon for $40/month isn't bad even with the speed cap. Video is supposedly limited to 480p but the actual restriction is 5 mbps on whatever they identify as video and in reality that bandwidth will usually allow 720p or more. When tested using a VPN there was no video throttle, but at relatively generous 5 mbps you don't really need to bother to try to bypass it. Voice is VoLTE only and no WiFi voice, but otherwise has worked well and reliably so far. There may be a degradation vs. CDMA in fringe coverage areas, I dunno, but in my experience/service area it has worked fine so far. God help me if I ever have a problem but so far so good.

    Some tips: If you need to contact CS (and you will) do not bother with the chat function in the app. I tried to use that several times and each time several hours would go by with no response, then my question would disappear with no action from Visible (I assume the chat just timed out for lack of a response from their agent.) Bad, just... bad. Instead use Facebook chat, it will still take 30 minutes (fasted response I ever received) to a few hours (typical) to over a day on one occasion, but eventually they will respond. Then each exchange during the chat will incur another 20-30 minutes as response is slow even once you are chatting with an agent, so plan on an hour or two trying to get anything done. I kind of feel sorry for the agents, they really do seem to be trying to help but they are just so obviously loaded beyond capacity and their ability to actually do anything useful so limited that they must take a lot of abuse. I tried to keep this in mind and be polite but it was difficult sometimes.

    So all in all, it might be worth it for some. It might even go easily for some, I don't know. But be ye prepared for some pain if you embark on the long path.

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    Thank you for reporting. For me is a hard no.
    My Total Wireless has full Verizon speeds, tethering works on any unlocked phone, and with the new family plans limits... it's hard to beat. I pay $95 for 4 lines and 100GB monthly LTE data bucket (2G speed after that or $10 for 5GB).

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    It's certainly not for everyone, and certainly not for a family plan. OTOH it may not be fair to compare to a large bundled family plan because not everyone needs or wants four lines, but otherwise Total Wireless is indeed probably the best competition to Visible, at $2/GB on a single-line plan it's a pretty good rate for unthrottled Verizon data. It's worth noting that TW does not support tethering although I think some do it anyway and aren't hassled. And it's pretty sad to say but TW customer support is actually better.

    On Visible's side is, well, true unlimited and that's just a strong draw. I can't say that everyone who signs up with Visible will share my experiences but FWIW they are what they are. As above I'm sure their CS will get better if for no other reason then it will simply have to if they want to stay in business. The real test at this point is service reliability and if that matches the promises then one can't deny that their offering is a helluva deal for $40/month (period, no additional fees) for anyone who needs or just wants unlimited with hotspot. It's kind of a bummer that their BYOD phone selection is so limited at this point but then again that may be intentional during their development period to keep them from being any more swamped then they already are.

    It will be interesting to see how long they can maintain their current offer of unlimited and unthrottled data. Visible says that customers who sign up during the offer period are guaranteed unthrotted data for the life of the account even if/when they return to the original 5 mbps limit. This may be what's causing the current crunch, i.e. customers wanting to sign up before the offer ends, if it ends.
    Last edited by nocaps; 07-21-2019 at 12:29 PM.

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