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Verizon Wireless review

Our Verizon Wireless review finds a service that is fantastic for 4G and overall call coverage, but lags behind others on value and 5G coverage.

Verizon Wireless review
(Image: © Verizon Wireless)

Our Verdict

Verizon Wireless has some of the widest cell coverage in America, and the speeds it offers are unmatched. It's a very reliable network, and often carries the newest phones, but it scores lower on customer satisfaction. Overall, though, a good network to be with.

For

  • Widest coverage area
  • Fast data speeds
  • Very reliable service

Against

  • Expensive plans

Verizon Wireless offers the most reliable coverage and speeds of the 'Big Four' mobile networks in the US. If you're looking at 4G LTE plans, no other provider matches the call clarity and data consistency of Verizon. We compared these metrics carefully in our evaluations because network performance is the most important factor when considering the best cell phone providers – it’s no use having unlimited data or cheap plans if you can’t use it. In our research during our Verizon Wireless review, we noted that it has scored the highest overall on RootMetrics’ RootScore reports for the past nine years. RootMetrics is an independent agency that runs thousands of network performance tests each year to see how well major mobile networks work across the country.

Verizon Wireless is not perfect, however. It offers some of the most expensive plans of all cell carriers, it doesn't compare well to smaller networks when customer satisfaction is considered, and it is lagging behind rivals like T-Mobile when it comes to 5G coverage across the country. For most people, Verizon Wireless is an excellent choice, but you need to consider its strengths and weaknesses before making the decision to sign up.

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Verizon Wireless review: Unlimited plans

  • Plans from $70 month
  • Up to $90 per month

Verizon offers three tiers of unlimited data plans. 4G LTE is the standard but there is also 5G coverage in certain areas.

The first plan is Verizon's Start Unlimited for $70 per month. This plan is the most basic unlimited deal it offers, and includes unlimited 4G LTE data, talk and text. As the higher plans are considered more premium, if there are levels of high congestion on the network your data speed will suffer. Unlike the other data plans there is no guaranteed level of GB before your connection gets throttled. 

As this is the most basic plan it does lack some of the better options you get on more premium packages - like the ability to upgrade for 5G access (you can read about what is 5G here). The video streaming quality will also be lower resolution than other packages - roughly DVD quality. There is also a restriction on connection speed at hotspots of 600 kpbs. 

The second Verizon plan is called Play More Unlimited and is available for $80 per month. This plan is built for streaming with music and video streaming, millions of songs, HD and premium data all included in the package.

There is another plan called Do More Unlimited which is more aimed at productivity, which is also priced at $80 per month. This includes premium data and with a discount on a connect device plan.

The last plan is called Get More Unlimited which also has unlimited everything but also guarantees ultimate performance. The last three plans offer a $10 upgrade for 5G access, as well as access to Apple Music. 

Verizon lowers prices for additional lines on your plan – up to ten. Four lines of the Start Unlimited plan, for example, costs $105 per month. While on the expensive end for family plans, it’s cheaper than paying $70 for each line. Verizon also has a kids only line that is available on family plans that allows you to control content, track the phone and limit screen. 

Overall, the Unlimited plans are expensive - there's no denying this - but they offer reliability and great speeds across the majority of the United States. That's what you really pay for here.

Verizon Wireless review: Budget plans

  • Prepaid unlimited from $30
  • Basic plans from $30

Verizon is getting better at offering more budget plans for phones, but it struggles when compared to other providers. The Basic Phone plan gives you unlimited calls and texts on a single device for $30 per month - that is ideal for people who don't use data over the included 500MB. It's worth noting that this plan doesn't include a handset either, which you'd need to get separately. This is the cheapest plan Verizon offers, and it doesn't compare well to offerings from the likes of Sprint Wireless or T-Mobile.

Verizon also offers three tiers of shared data plans that start from $35 per month for 2GB, $50 for 4GB and $70 for 8GB. These plans are great for people who use a lot of technology that is connected to the internet - like tablets and wearables. The bigger data plans can even be shared among the whole family. 

The prepaid unlimited plans, which include all calls and texts start at $30 with unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB of data or $35 per month including 6GB of 4G LTE data. Or jump to $45 for 16GB which also includes unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada. Or go up to $65 for the same but with unlimited high speed data. All three include mobile hotspot data support.

Again, these are expensive plans, but you are paying for the network and the reliability of speeds here.

Verizon

Verizon's coverage map shows why it's the best in the US (Image credit: Verizon)

Verizon Wireless review: International calling

  • Mexico and Canada unlimited from $5
  • $10 for 185 countries

Verizon lets you customize your plan by adding unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada for $5 a month or by expanding your range to over 185 countries for $10 with Verizon's Travelpass. You will only be charge on days that you use data abroad. 

These passes can also be bought on a monthly basis for as little as $70 per month which will get you 100 minutes, 100 texts and 500MB data. More options are available. 

Verizon Wireless review: Cell phone options

  • Most phone available
  • iPhone and Android options

Verizon offers a good selection of phones to go with your plans, including popular flagship phones and options in mid-tier and budget categories. You'll find the newer iPhone 11 variants here, along with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series and the S10s. It has a wide selection available, and offers them in both new and preowned conditions that gives the buyer a wide range of options. 

We thing Verizon’s superior network is worth the extra cost, if you're committed to 4G data. Its expansive network and performance make it a safe bet across the US, but we advise checking coverage maps and making sure your usual usage area is well within a covered area before choosing any phone carrier. For 5G we can't recommend Verizon, and you should look to the likes of T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless for more consistent coverage throughout the country. While Verizon does offer good speeds, its coverage is severely limited right now.

Verizon Wireless customer reviews and satisfaction

Verizon Wireless is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited company with an A+ rating. However, the customer reviews, of which there are 247, have an average rating of just over one star out of five. Verizon does score very low for satisfaction, and does not compare well to some of the other 'Big Four' providers. Customer reviews site ConsumerAffairs has Verizon with an average review rating of three stars out of five. Positives include excellent signal and decent pricing. Negatives include poor website and slow customer support.

Should you choose Verizon Wireless?

Verizon Wireless is one of the best network providers in the US. It has great coverage, reliable speeds, a wide selection of plans, and plenty of unlimited calls, texts and data options. International calling comes with great options too, as do budget plans. That said, budget is the area this falls down as Verizon is expensive and as such should be looked at only by those that don't care what they pay and simply want the best speeds possible. 

Anyone considering 5G plans on Verizon should think carefully. While its speeds are the quickest, it does not have extensive 5G coverage across the country, so you may not benefit from super-fast downloads with any kind of consistency.

If you're undecided on the handset you want, check out our best smartphone guide, while we also rank the best prepaid cell phone plans. Take a look at our cell phone coverage map of the US to find out who has the best network in America.

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