Prepaid cell phone deals at game

The monthly price differential between prepaid and major carrier packages for Android phones and BlackBerries are comparable. Further, there is no early termination penalty if you choose to change carriers or want to discontinue your service. No credit checks: If your credit score is below a certain level, the major carriers will make it difficult to sign-up for a long-term plan. Even if you are deemed eligible enough to pay them thousands of dollars over a two-year period of time, a poor credit rating may cause you to pay extra either at the onset of your contract or over time.

Sticker shock: Because prepaid phones are not subsidized by the longer-term income a two-year contract provides, the purchase price for devices is significantly higher than what is typically offered by the major carriers. You will generally see comparable prices for prepaid Android smartphones and BlackBerries. Data limitations: The more advanced smartphone you own, the more data you are likely to consume over a given month. According to research firm Analysis Mason, iPhone users on average go through about three times the amount of data as other smartphone owners. Android smartphones, particularly those manufactured by HTC, also generate significantly more data consumption than less advanced devices according to the report.

The ability to play games, download and stream videos and constantly check-in with your Facebook friends throughout the day on these devices no doubt leads to higher data usage.

Inferior networks: Cellular networks that specialize in pre-paid plans are typically not as robust as the four major networks. This is also true for smaller carriers that lease network space from the bigger networks at wholesale and then market discount services to consumers.

Faster 4G connections that are available for many Androids and BlackBerries and will likely come to iPhones later this year are not in place on the smaller, regional networks. It is not realistic to expect a Cricket or Virgin to offer the same level of service as the big boys. This could become a bigger problem over time, particularly for heavier users.

Despite these issues, there is no better time than today to purchase a prepaid smartphone. With iPhones entering into the picture, there is no longer the stigma or reality that prepaid plans are the realm of second-tier devices. If you anticipate using your smartphone moderately, and are not engaging in heavy data-consumption activities like video streaming and multiplayer gaming, a prepaid plan might be the best bang for your buck.


Over time, you will save significantly more money and have the flexibility to pause or suspend your service for any reason. That's an insanely good price, especially when compared to the unlimited offerings you'd find at Verizon's regular wireless service. Visible's pricing is also generous compared to that of other low-cost carriers.

Still, that's double what Visible charges. About the only discount carrier offering anything comparable to Visible is TextNow, another mobile virtual-network operator that uses someone else's towers to provide its cellular service. You have to pick one when signing up for TextNow's service. Your data speeds could get throttled if you use more than 23GB during a billing period at TextNow; there's no such restriction at Visible. But Visible does feature some other restrictions you should be aware of.

Visible reserves the right to slow down your data speed when Verizon's network is congested.

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Like Verizon's least expensive unlimited plan, Visible caps video streaming at p resolution. Music streams at Kbps. When Visible launched in , it was an iPhone-only affair — and you had to bring your own iPhone at that. That's no longer the case.

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While the service remains available to a wider array of iPhone models — any iPhone 6 or later compatible with Verizon's network can hop on Visible — Android users are no longer completely shut out. You can still bring your own phone to the party, but that's no longer the only way to enjoy Visible's service. In addition to the two Android devices, you can also pick from one of 11 different iPhone models on offer in Visible's store. The carrier will soon begin offering Google's Pixel 3 and 3a as well. Should you still want to bring your own phone, not every Apple-build smartphone of recent vintage will work on Visible's network.

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There's one iPhone SE model and a pair of iPhone 7 variants that aren't compatible. Visible lets you keep your phone number when you sign up for the company's service though you'll need to have some information handy from your previous phone service provider. You can also opt for a new number if you prefer. Right now, there's only one line allowed for each account, so this isn't a great option for families who want to be on the same bill. Ordinarily, Visible limits data speeds to 5 Mbps. When we originally tested the service in , we recorded a top download speed of 5.

For comparison, my iPhone SE tied to Verizon posted a That was characteristic of our first round of testing using Visible's service. Download speed would occasionally poke above 5 Mbps — I saw a 6. In testing the service on a Visible-supplied iPhone 8, I found that the carrier isn't kidding about that 5-Mbps cap on data speeds.

The performance gap didn't close even in areas where Verizon's network isn't as strong as elsewhere. At Berkeley's California Memorial Stadium, my iPhone SE sometimes struggles with simple tasks like checking Twitter on game days when the stands are packed with tens of thousands of smartphone-toting fans. I recorded a speed of 1. In June, however, Visible improved its service in a big way by removing the speed cap for existing customers and new ones who join within a limited time. Users currently with Visible at the time of writing will retain unrestricted data speeds for as long as they remain with the carrier, though anyone who switches to the network once this promotion ends Visible hasn't said when will have to live with that underwhelming 5 Mbps cap.

We've gone back and tested Visible's performance again now that the cap's been lifted, and we can confirm the speeds are much, much better than anything customers saw previously. In Southampton, PA, we recorded a top speed of Mbps.

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However, Visible's newly-unfettered speeds aren't quite as consistently high as you'd hope. Even though the network has ditched that pesky speed cap, Visible users are still subject to deprioritization during times of congestion. And, as we found in a string of head-to-head tests between a Visible-powered iPhone XS and a OnePlus 6T on Verizon, that often results in throttling for those who access Big Red's network through the discount prepaid network. How did the Visible iPhone fare, in the same location at the same times?

Just There were instances where Visible's service rivaled Verizon's, like in one particular test where the prepaid carrier mustered an 82 Mbps-download to Verizon's 83 Mbps. But those occasions were few and far between, and Visible normally hovered at speeds either half or two-thirds as fast as those we'd see on Verizon.

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Disappointing though that may be, it doesn't necessarily mean that Visible's service is significantly inferior in a practical sense. For instance, it took me 56 seconds to download the Discord app on Visible's network, and that was when the 5 Mbps cap was in place. My iPhone SE took just 39 seconds through Verizon. That said, when I played PUBG Mobile over Visible's network, there were no noticeable lags or graphic slowdowns during this demanding game.

When I died — and I did, often — it was due to my own lack of skill and not any throttling imposed on me by Visible.

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  4. I also failed to notice much of a difference in video-streaming quality on Visible's network.