In a Nutshell
- Up to 50 GB of 5G / 4G LTE premium data per month
- Kid-friendly phone plans
- 600 GB wireless cloud storage (with premium plans)
- At busy times, data may temporarily slow down
- Fairly expensive (but has more features and perks)
- Annual contracts
Verizon at a Glance
Best for: High-speed data and lots of extra perks
Price: $35 - $55 per month per line for 4 users
Plan: Unlimited talk and text and varying high-speed data
Network: Verizon Wireless
Use your own phone: Yes
What Services and Features Does Verizon Offer
Verizon offers the following built-in features:
- Unlimited talk and text
- Talk and text to Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited access to the Verizon 5G and 4G LTE networks (with compatible device)
- 480p video streaming
- Verizon Up rewards
- 5G Ultra Wideband with ultra-fast download speeds (premium plans)
- 15-30 GB of 5G / 4G LTE mobile hotspot (premium plans)
- Verizon Cloud 600 GB storage (premium plans)
- Free Disney+, Apple Music, and Discovery+ for 6 months
Prices, Plans and Value for Money
Verizon offers a choice of five cell phone plans: four with unlimited data (but various limits on premium data as well as differences in the extra features) as well as a child-friendly plan where you can manage screen time, filter content and track location. Prices start at $70-$90 per line per month for one line and go as low as $30-$50/month per line for five lines.
Here’s the full breakdown of Unlimited plans, using a 4-line subscription as an example. Note that the kids plan can only be purchased with at least one other Unlimited line.
Aside from cell phone plans, Verizon offers the following:
- Data-only plans – up to 10 devices, including tablets, smartwatches, laptops, connected cars, and streaming cameras
- Basic phone plans – unlimited talk and text, plus up to 500 MB data
- Connected home plans – designed for use as hotspot at home
- Prepaid plans – unlimited talk and text plus unlimited text to 200+ international destinations (plus no contracts)
The following groups are eligible for discounts on cell phone plans: military, nurses, first responders, and teachers.
When you sign up Verizon, you have a choice of bringing your own phone or upgrading to a new one. To bring your own phone, it must be compatible with the Verizon network, which you can check on the Verizon website when you subscribe.
If you wish to have your new SIM card and/or new device sent to your address, you can do so with Verizon’s free 2-day shipping or premium same-day shipping. Alternatively, Verizon offers curbside pickup and in-store delivery in thousands of locations across the U.S.
The setup process itself is simple, and clear instructions can be found with your SIM card or on the Verizon website.
Selection of Phones Available
Verizon sells the full suite of new Apple and Samsung phones, generally at a discount from what you’d pay in store. It has a buy-one & get-one-free deal on premium phones including the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21+5G when subscribing to an Unlimited plan. The iPhone 12 is available for $799.99 plus the second free while the S21 is available for $1,049.99 plus the second free when committing to an annual contract on the Unlimited plan.
Older models are available with financing, such as the iPhone 11, which can be secured for as little at $10/month in 24 monthly installments (at half the price of the usual retail price of $599.99).
If you don’t care about having an older phone, Verizon offers a bunch of models free or almost-free with Unlimited plans. For example, you can get the Samsung Galaxy A515G UW for free if you stick to an Unlimited plan for at least 24 months.
Verizon Call and Text Performance
As one of the undisputed big-three wireless communications networks, Verizon Wireless offers cell phone coverage to more than 99% of Americans. Based on a study of the IHS Markit RootMetrics map of the Verizon Wireless network, call performance is good across most of the United States, with only a few small pockets of fair and, poor, or bad performance in isolated rural areas.
Verizon Data Speeds
Which of the big three networks has the best data speeds? Truth is, it depends who you ask and which part of the country the test is performed. However, with its 5G network already rolled out to more than two-thirds of Americans and 4G LTE available almost everywhere, Verizon is certainly one of the fastest networks out there. Judging by the RootMetrics map we referenced earlier, a majority of Americans can expect fast data speeds, and a growing number of people in major cities can expect super-fast speeds. Like all the other major cell phone providers, Verizon throttles data speeds during peak times.
Verizon Customer Service
The big telecommunications companies tend to have bad reputations for customer service, and unfortunately Verizon is no different in this regard. How bad exactly is Verizon customer support? Well, 86% 1,700+ customer reviews on Trustpilot rate Verizon as “bad”, while only 6% rate it “excellent”. Problems include long waiting times and billing errors. With that said, the situation isn’t any better at Verizon’s main rivals AT&T and T-Mobile.
The best way to find an answer to a question is to check out the Verizon support page. If you absolutely must contact customer support, then you can do so by calling the 24/7 automated phone system on *611 from any Verizon phone, using the chat function on the Verizon website, or by sending a message on Messenger (link is available on the Verizon website support page). Just be aware that the phone and chat system is automated, and you may not get a response from an actual person for a day or two.
Q. Do you have to subscribe to Verizon to access Verizon Wireless 5G?
A. Not necessarily. Verizon operates its own 5G and 4G LTE network, which you can access by subscribing to Verizon or third-party cell phone providers that “rent” space on its network.
Q. Does Verizon have no-contract plans?
A. All Verizon’s Unlimited cell phone plans lock you into annual contracts with auto-pay, putting the onus on you to opt out at the end of the contract period if you wish to move to another provider. However, Verizon also has prepaid plans that don’t lock you into a contract.
Q. Does Verizon throttle or deprioritize data?
A. Yes. After you hit your monthly premium data limit, you’ll find your speed slows down (although it should still be fast enough to stream video and audio at fast speeds). During peak times, you may find your data is deprioritized, again slowing it down but not necessarily to the point where you can’t stream video and audio.
Like the other big telecommunications companies, Verizon targets the premium segment of cell phone customers. Verizon isn’t the cheapest cell phone plan provider, but what it fails to do in terms of affordability it makes up for with high-speed, premium data and lots of extra perks. The child-friendly plan makes it a particularly good option for families that are on their phones all the time and have underage kids to worry about.