In my area, there’s excellent coverage by all the major telecom carriers, despite living in the sticks—I’ve switched between plans on all three for my entire adult life, since getting my first cell phone at 16 (so I could keep in contact with my parents as I also my got my first car). Only once did I ever sign for a postpaid/contract plan, to own the Sidekick; otherwise, I’ve always stuck to prepaid plans because they’re usually cheaper (though without any “perks” you can usually pay for cheaper elsewhere—and withOUT being tied to a 2- or 3-year contract).

Unlike most Americans, I have never financed my phones (except for that Sidekick). While carriers now finance phones without having to pay interest, I still don’t like the idea of signing a contract just to afford a luxury. (And because American YouTube tech reviewers seem to never review midtier or budget phones, Americans rarely ever realize that there are phones that you can buy outright affordably, like the Samsung Galaxy A line of phones; or that plenty of older models of popular phones still get updates years later.)

I’ve been using T-Mobile or one of the MVNOs that rely on its network for years—until T-Mobile kept getting hacked. Coverage is great everywhere in my area (which I literally road-tested) except one or two out-of-the-way area. Plenty of the prepaid plans that were hella affordable, and being in a rural/small-town area, congestion (and thus deprioritization) aren’t often an issue for me. But with being hacked so many times (and not sure if prepaid consumers’ information were part of that breach, whether first- or third-party), I looked elsewhere.

I’ve had Verizon prepaid for over a year until a few days ago. Coverage is great, though more often than not 5G isn’t available where I live and only found in the major towns (and thus why I usually keep my iPhone only on LTE, which also enhances battery longevity). While their subsidiary Visible was available, at the time their service only worked on two major servers and the speeds were just too slow to enjoy, so I stuck with Verizon itself. No need for a credit check, security deposit, no costly perks, and decent speeds and coverage everywhere.

Then I upgraded my Watch, which has the option for cellular service. Unfortunately…Verizon allowed for tablets with cellular connectivity to be added to my plan, for whatever reason smartwatches weren’t allowed.

I was thinking of moving to Verizon’s no-frills postpaid plan to add my Watch, because my employer has a contract with them that gave us a discount, bringing that $65/month charge down to $52/month before taxes and fees, making it almost comparable to what I was paying for prepaid. (Why companies are allowed to tack on fees, surcharges, and taxes, rather than just add them to the price of the product, is beyond me.) My Watch would cost an addition $10 plus charges, bringing everything together too … $95/month when I saw everything (before factoring in employee discount, why Verizon didn’t factor that in, as I was signing up with my work email).

Yea … after a quick Google—err, DuckDuckGo—search, I came back across Visible again. $25 per month, taxes included. Add my Watch, just $5 more. Altogether, that’s $30 awith taxes and fees factored in. Yes, slower speeds, but I only game or watch YouTube when on Wi-Fi, so no biggie with the slower data speeds. They changed their infrastructure a lot since I last had them, and I’m not going to complain for such a great, affordable price if my speeds slow down.

So why am I paying extra for cellular connection for my Watch, when I always have my iPhone on me? Because…

  • I quite often don’t, and often would prefer to leave my iPhone behind. With my warehouse job, I’m often working on forklifts, moving pallets around; often I just mindlessly leave my iPhone at my desk, and miss important calls and texts because I’m out of range.
  • At the gym, I want to leave my iPhone behind on days I’m strength training, so I don’t risk dropping my iPhone off the bench, or having someone step on it when it’s on the floor because I’m doing rows or chest presses—with my Watch, I can still listen to not just the one or two playlists I did save locally, but also anything else I fancy without being tethered to my iPhone (unfortunately, the gym Wi-Fi sucks and is unreliable); I’m also not tethered to the screen and wasting my rest time mindlessly scrolling through social media or the Internet like all the other gym rats, and instead can focus on resting between sets. (I still keep my iPhone on me during rest days, as I watch YouTube videos to pass by the time on the treadmill.) And now that the weather is getting warmer and I’m hiking again, I don’t want to always have my iPhone on me, but still want that peace of mind to make and receive calls and texts, and have the ability to stream music to enjoy the time passing by.
  • If it’s a morning I’m ordering take-out rather than bringing my own food, my iPhone is often left behind in my car as it’s tethered to listen to iTunes. I don’t want to bother with the wired setup just to untether her just to bring her in to scan and pay for the food. I have missed once or twice the cook calling out my name, but waiting for what seemed like forever because I was distracted and thus risked arriving late to work unnecessarily because I didn’t hear my name called out. Not having my iPhone on me leaves me bored if there is a small wait, but at least that’s one less risk of distraction. At least that cellular connection is still there so if my superiors still need to contact me, again peace of mind.

As you can see, there are times I have to or want to be away from my iPhone, but still have the ability to make and receive calls and texts—without the constant distraction of apps, notifications, and social media. Visible also only charges $5/month, while almost everyone who does is $10/month plus fees and taxes. So, for $30/month for two service lines, I’m paying about half of what Verizon charged me first-party. And for someone looking into moving out, that $25-$30 savings can really help out!

This is NOT a paid sponsorship nor endorsement by Visible.

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