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Who is Vodafone?
Vodafone is the oldest mobile network in the UK and one of the world’s largest telecommunication providers. Vodafone launched in 1984 and has its own mobile network infrastructure in 25 countries. In the UK, the network offers 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G coverage. The network offers a wide range of deals, with the largest number of mobile plans in the UK, including pay monthly, pay as you go, data only and multiple unlimited data plans.
- Entertainment subscriptions bundled with premium plans.
- Great perks with VeryMe rewards.
- 81 inclusive roaming destinations with Unlimited Data Max Plan.
- Many different plans to choose from.
- Most complaints per 100k customers per Ofcom data.
- Generally, more expensive plans.
Who is VOXI?
VOXI is Vodafone’s low-cost mobile virtual network (MVNO) operating in the UK. Initially it aimed at under 30’s, but after a successful run and interest from a wider audience, VOXI decided to open its doors for everyone, welcoming all age groups.
VOXI offers a limited number of plans to its customers, however, the endless social media perk, covering the eight main social media apps including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram makes VOXI unique.
- Endless social media usage.
- Flexible 30-day rolling plans.
- Unrestricted tethering.
- Amazon gift cards from £10 to £20.
- No data rollover.
- Limited plan options and online customer support.
- No Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling.
Table of Contents
Plans & Pricing
SIM Only Deals
Vodafone’s got a SIM only plan for pretty much any specific need, be it data only or different types of unlimited deals, but they’re generally costlier than most other networks and in this case definitely costlier than VOXI’s with one exception. While VOXI has only four different plans to choose from, and only one of them has 5G, they are better value per GB.
On VOXI you are more flexible, as you are allowed to cancel your deal anytime or switch between the four plans they offer. Meanwhile Vodafone’s cheaper tariffs, which can compete with VOXI when it comes to pricing are tying you to long term contracts. Not having to undergo a credit check also gives VOXI an advantage over Vodafone if you have any credit issues.
Both networks offer similar 5G Unlimited Plans and at the same price, but again, with VOXI you don’t have to make any commitment, plus all VOXI plans come with the endless social media perk.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
VOXI gets an easy win here, albeit its limited number of deals. You might still want to check out what Vodafone offers though, as it has great rewards and much better perks compared to VOXI.
Pay As You Go
Vodafone’s pay as you go bundles are not really wallet friendly. There are five different PAYG bundles you can choose from starting at £10 (3GB data, 250 minutes), followed by £15, £20 and £30 bundles. The unlimited bundle is priced £50 and it’s the only PAYG bundle with unlimited minutes. Both £30 and £50 bundles come with 5G coverage too. All bundles include Vodafone’s Total Rollover perk, VeryMe Rewards and roaming in 48 European destinations.
Vodafone also has a plan named ‘Pay As You Go 1’, available to all the new and existing PAYG customers. On Pay As You Go 1, you’ll never pay more than £1 on the days you use your phone. As for the days you don’t use your phone, you won’t pay anything at all. Its PAYG rates are 20p/minute, 20p/text and 20p per 5MB of data. Even if you reach the daily £1 cap, you are still allowed to make unlimited phone calls and send texts, however data is capped at 500MB. You can buy an extra 500MB data allowance for £1, but this add-on is limited to one purchase a day.
VOXI fundamentally works on a Pay As You Go basis. You can opt out of VOXI’s monthly plans and use its service on a PAYG basis, but by doing so you won’t be able to use any mobile data on your phone. We think this would be a bad call, given how VOXI’s key selling point is endless social media and low-cost data plans.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
Vodafone’s PAYG Bundles aren’t as good as VOXI’s plans, but Pay As You Go 1 is one of the best traditional PAYG SIM Only options out there and wins this category for Vodafone single handedly.
Pay Monthly Phones
Compared to Vodafone, VOXI’s phone contracts are almost always cheaper. Unless there’s a jaw dropping sale on Vodafone’s shop, VOXI’s pay monthly phone deals will price up lower. Both networks have great handset options and offer you the option to pick a handset without committing to a long-term SIM plan, however selecting this option with Vodafone, things get a bit pricier.
Vodafone’s best deals tie you to a 24 month contract with a SIM plan, while VOXI’s contract length is 30 months long, but you are allowed to pay bigger chunks and cut your contract to a shorter length. VOXI also offers you more flexibility, as you can go with either one of its plans and they are all interchangeable. On top of that, the SIM plan on VOXI can be cancelled after 30 days.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
Occasionally Vodafone offers great discounts on handsets, but generally speaking VOXI’s pay monthly phone deals are both cheaper & more flexible.
Network Coverage & Speeds
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage
Vodafone is the oldest mobile network in the UK and as of 2020 it offers 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. Vodafone is ranked second in landmass coverage, being behind only EE.
VOXI piggybacks off Vodafone, meaning it has the exact same coverage as Vodafone. Multiple tests done in recent years also prove that there’s no difference whatsoever when it comes to coverage between the two networks on 2G, 3G & 4G.
Vodafone’s average download speed is around 23.0Mbps and it’s upload speed around 8.2Mbps. The download speed peaks around 60Mbps and can be as low as 4Mbps. VOXI shows similar speed test results, but dips only down to 7Mbps at worst. Though this is mainly because some of the Vodafone plans have limited internet speed.
While Vodafone is improving vastly, the best 4G coverage and the fastest download speeds in the UK still belong to EE. Check out our best 4G networks in the UK review before you make your final decision!
Half Cooked’s Verdict
5G is the newest, fastest generation of mobile networks and both Vodafone & VOXI benefit from this technology. As stated above, VOXI is a sub brand of Vodafone and it shares the very same network with its parent. Vodafone offers 5G in 44 locations in the UK and also in 70 other locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Vodafone provides 5G Coverage in a total of 114 places.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
Vodafone and VOXI provide the same 5G coverage, therefore no winners in this category.
Voice Call Quality
Vodafone is ranked second only to EE in the most recent network tests done by umlaut (an independent testing body who’s been widely accepted as authoritative and highly objective). In addition to that, Vodafone has the highest score improvement in umlaut’s benchmarks and voice call quality is among the improved categories.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
Both Vodafone and VOXI offer the same voice call quality, however Vodafone has both 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling, while VOXI doesn’t support either one of the features which can improve your voice calls. At Half Cooked we examine these two features under their own category.
Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling
Wi-Fi calling lets you make HD voice calls, using an internet connection over a Wi-Fi network. Basically it allows your phone to use a Wi-Fi connection instead of your provider’s network.
4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) is a free service, which allows you to make phone calls over a 4G network. Thanks to 4G Calling, indoor blackspots are less of a problem. This service gives you clearer calls and in more places than ever before. Your handset must be compatible to benefit from these features.
Almost all the plans on Vodafone have both these handy perks, which improve your voice call quality by a margin. On the other hand, VOXI doesn’t support either 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling. Low-cost mobile virtual networks rarely ever support Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling, which makes it acceptable for VOXI to miss out on them.
If you are looking for a low-cost network which supports both these features, check out iD Mobile, as it’s the only MVNO with both 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling. You may also want to read our best networks with Wi-Fi Calling in the UK guide.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
t’s a clear win for Vodafone. VOXI doesn’t offer any of these perks.
Vodafone customers have access to several Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the UK. Members with a pay monthly plan or PAYG value bundle get Wi-Fi access on the underground. This provides Wi-Fi access at over 250 stations. It was possible to access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots on some of the Vodafone premium plans, but as of 30 April 2020 this no longer exists.
VOXI members too don’t get to benefit from Wi-Fi hotspots. Thankfully, many public places such as shopping centres, restaurants and bars offer free Wi-Fi to their customers nowadays . If you are looking to maximize saving your data through hotspots Half Cooked recommends checking out BT Mobile.
Half Cooked’s Verdict
This is a draw since Vodafone no longer allows its customers access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots as part of their plan.
Tethering is a feature, which allows you to turn your mobile device into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. By doing this, you let other Wi-Fi devices use your data to access the internet.
On both Vodafone and VOXI, customers are greeted with unlimited tethering (although some plans on Vodafone offer reduced internet speeds, so be wary). You may share all the data you have with other Wi-Fi devices, even if you are on their unlimited plans. There’s no fair usage limit specifically targeted at personal hotspots.
There are two key differences between Vodafone and VOXI in this category. VOXI’s Endless Social Media perk can be used by other devices too. As long as the connected devices use the social media apps (not a browser) you won’t lose any data. Where Vodafone draws ahead is its PAYG bundles and Pay As You Go 1 plan. If you wish to use VOXI as a traditional PAYG, you can’t use data, therefore you won’t be able to tether. Vodafone allows tethering in every single plan and bundle they offer.
Remember though, tethering eats up data at a faster rate. You might want to check out all the networks which offer unlimited data plans in the UK.
Half Cooked’s Verdict:
If you are planning to share your handset’s internet connection with friends, family members or other devices Vodafone’s plans are more flexible, especially if long term commitments aren’t a deal breaker for you. This is a close race, but Vodafone covers way more specific needs than VOXI does.
With the 2017 EU roaming regulation changes, all the networks in the UK must now provide inclusive EU roaming in all their plans, with only a few exceptions, Vodafone’s basics plans being one of those few.
Vodafone Global Roaming allows customers to use their UK data, minutes and texts abroad in up to 152 worldwide destinations, but only 52 of these destinations are covered in Vodafone’s inclusive roaming. However, if you are on the Unlimited Max plan which includes the ‘Global Roaming Plus’ perk, the number of inclusive roaming destinations go up to 81 locations around the world. Keep in mind though, Vodafone’s unlimited data plans are subject to a roaming cap of 25GB a month in inclusive destinations.
Vodafone customers can also pay £6 a day to use their home plan to roam in 104 different worldwide destinations, but this could end up getting pricey quite quickly.
VOXI isn’t as fancy as Vodafone in terms of international roaming. Members can use their plan at no extra cost in 48 countries in VOXI’s Europe Zone. Calls, texts and data will work as normal – including the endless social media feature. Beyond these 48 destinations you won’t find any additional destinations included, unlike Three’s Go Roam scheme. VOXI’s unlimited plan is also subject to the same roaming cap of 25GB.
If you finish up your monthly data, VOXI provides a PAYG option, but roaming on PAYG is really pricey and can lead to a serious bill shock. You can check VOXI’s rates here.
Half Cooked’s Verdict:
Vodafone’s base inclusive roaming alone includes more destinations than VOXI’s. Even without Global Roaming Plus, Vodafone is the winner here. You may still want to go through what other networks offer for international roaming and don’t worry! We have a detailed roaming abroad guide.
Vodafone’s VeryMe Rewards is a loyalty programme and all the customers are eligible for these rewards. With this rewards programme, Vodafone members get high street discounts, discounted cinema tickets, free hot drinks and many other gifts from their provider. The more you interact with VeryMe, the more personalised your offers will become.
Vodafone offers an entertainment package to its Red 5GB (only on 12 months contract), Red 20GB, Unlimited and Unlimited Max customers. Customers must pay an extra £7 to include this perk in their plan. Entertainment package lets you choose between Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV and Sky Sports Mobile TV membership for the duration of your contract (12 months or 24 months).
Unlimited Data Plans
There are three Unlimited Data Plans on Vodafone’s SIM only deals and a £50 bundle on PAYG. All the unlimited data plans come with unlimited minutes and texts as well. Vodafone’s SIM only unlimited plans are categorized as Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max and their prices differ depending on the length of the contract. You can also add the entertainment package for an extra £7 to Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans if you are on a long-term contract. Unlimited Max plans increase the number of inclusive roaming destinations to 81 locations all around the world. Unlimited plans also include a 3-month free trial of Secure Net.
Alternatively, you can check out what SMARTY and Superdrug Mobile offers. Both networks are powered by Three and they offer similar unlimited data deals with 3G and 4G coverage. Their unlimited plans are quite wallet-friendly, but of course they don’t come with Vodafone’s unique extras & features. You can read our SMARTY Review and Superdrug Mobile Review to discover more!
Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles (PAYG) come with a data roll over feature. All of the unused minutes, texts and data from your current month’s bundle are rolled over into the next month’s. However, your unused allowances only roll over from month to month, unlike Sky Mobile’s ‘Roll’ perk which holds onto rolled over data for up to three years.
Sadly, Vodafone’s SIM only plans don’t get to benefit from data roll over feature, but many other networks in the UK offer data rollover!
Vodafone Red Family
To be included in Vodafone’s family plan, also known as Vodafone Red Family you must sign family members up to the programme. When you’re signed up to two or more mobile plans, you get a RED Plus plan for free, which is exclusive to Red Family members. On this plan you only get one bill and the owner of the group gets control over other devices, such as setting a cap to total data usage, so that you won’t have any surprise charges.
There are better value family plans out there and if you want to check them all Half Cooked prepared an easy to read guide for it.
Endless Social Media
VOXI’s key advantage over all the other MVNOs is its endless social media perk. VOXI members can use the most popular social media apps without eating their data. That being said, if you use up all your data you won’t be able to connect to any social media apps, so be careful!
Endless Data Plan
The endless data plan, as the name suggests is VOXI’s unlimited data plan. Priced at £30/month this plan has 5G coverage, unlimited data, minutes & texts and all the perks other VOXI plans include. You can cancel this plan anytime, just like the others.
If you like to spend a lot of time on social media apps, read Half Cooked’s extensive article on the UK’s best unlimited social media & streaming networks.
If this tariff’s price seems like a bit too much, SMARTY offers an unlimited plan for only £20, however on SMARTY you’ll only get 4G. You can read our VOXI vs SMARTY review if you want to learn more about what SMARTY offers and how it differs to VOXI.
Endless Calls & Texts
You get unlimited calls, texts and picture messages (MMS) to UK numbers on all VOXI plans.
While VOXI only offers four different plans to pick from, they are all interchangeable. Simply run out your plan and switch to another as you wish. While this is a great perk to have, it’s become quite common for an MVNO to offer such flexibility. At Half Cooked, we still believe giffgaff is one of the most flexible virtual networks in the UK. You can read our VOXI vs giffgaff review to learn more about what giffgaff offers and how they compare.
<h4Half Cooked’s Verdict
Vodafone offers way more interesting features and rewards to its customers compared to VOXI. VeryMe rewards can lead to saving money every week and the offers only improve the longer you stay with Vodafone.
Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown
Looking at both Vodafone and VOXI, it becomes clear that as a premium subscription Vodafone customers get several great perks alongside good network coverage and fast data speeds.
VOXI on the other hand offers better value for money alongside the unique perk of unlimited social media usage.
However, when comparing the two options across different categories. We couldn’t pick a clear cut winner as the overall result is relatively balanced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Vodafone and VOXI the same?
VOXI is a sub brand of Vodafone. VOXI is a mobile virtual network operator, this means its network is powered by Vodafone. However, they are not the same as they offer different plans and features.
What is endless social media?
VOXI’s endless social media perk allows its members to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Pinterest and Viber free of cost. You have to be using them through the app and not on a web browser.
Does VOXI have an unlimited data plan?
Yes and it’s called ‘Endless data plan’. It is priced at £30, but alongside unlimited data it provides 5G coverage too. This makes VOXI a rare MVNO, as the others are taking their time to join the 5G party, with few exceptions.
Which countries does Vodafone cover?
Depending on your plan there are 52 to 81 countries available to roam free of charge. In total there are up to 152 destinations covered by Vodafone. You can check their roaming charges on their website.
Will my phone work abroad?
Yes, it will work, however you must first check if the country you are travelling is supported by Vodafone’s infrastructure.
Is YouTube free on VOXI?
No it isn’t. VOXI’s endless social media doesn’t include YouTube or other video streaming services. But there’s an add-on called endless video pass, and as the name suggests with this add-on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, My5, tvP and UKTV Play stop eating into your data.
Is VOXI pay as you go?
VOXI provides four different one-month rolling plans on the Vodafone network. All plans come with the endless social media perk, minutes and texts. You can use VOXI like a traditional PAYG, but this wouldn’t be budget friendly.
How to connect to a BT Wifi hotspot on the London Underground?
Go to any Tube station that offers wi-fi.
Switch on your devices wi-fi and select EE WiFi-Auto.
Select the access method as EAP.
Select the EAP method as SIM.
Your Android device should now be connected to wi-fi on London Underground.
Go to any Tube station that offers wi-fi
Switch on wi-fi on your iPhone
Your iPhone should connect to EE WiFi-Auto automatically
Your iPhone will need iOS 13.3 or above.
Can I keep my phone number if I switch to VOXI or Vodafone?
Yes, it is possible to keep your current phone number when moving to Vodafone or VOXI. First things first you’ll have to get your PAC Code from your current provider. After activating your SIM on Vodafone or VOXI you must give this PAC Code to your choice of network. They will do the rest.