VOXI vs giffgaff 2020: Unlimited Social Media and 5G or Super-Flexible goodybags?

Voxi or giffgaff, Which mobile network offers the best coverage, data speeds and plans? In this review Half Cooked breaks down both these networks.

voxi-vs-giffgaff

VOXI Black Friday 2020 Offer

Black Friday Offer: 12GB Data + 5G+ Endless Video + Endless Social Media & up to £20 in Amazon Vouchers for only £12

VOXI’s Black Friday SIM Only deals are live! Grab 12GB of data with Endless Video & Endless Social Media for just £12 a month. The deal also comes with 5G at no extra cost for a limited time only.

No credit checks, no contracts, just commitment-free SIM Only plans. Join VOXI now and you can get up to £20 in Amazon Vouchers! Hurry up, these deals will be gone at the end of November 2020. 

Who is VOXI

voxi-article-logoVOXI is one of the many MVNOs (meaning they don’t have their own network but use another provider’s) operating in the UK and initially it was aimed at under 30’s, but as they’ve become more popular & seen their SIM plans appeal to a wider audience they decided to welcome aboard all ages.

VOXI’s most striking features are their unlimited social media, unlimited video streaming on YouTube & Netflix and 5G at no extra cost. The network has flexible 30-day rolling plans that come with unlimited calls, texts & no extra cost when roaming in 48 European countries. VOXI uses Vodafone’s infrastructure, so their customers get the same coverage and speeds as Vodafone customers do at a generally lower price.

While it has plenty of good going for it, VOXI has some downsides too. There’s only a handful of plans to choose from, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi calling and its customer support is limited to online only.

Pro’s

  • Endless social media usage on all plans. Endless video on three out of five plans.
  • Flexible 30-day rolling plans, you can cancel anytime.
  • Unrestricted tethering.
  • Amazon gift cards from £10 to £20.

Con’s

    • No data rollover.
    • Limited price plans and only online customer support.
    • No Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling.
 

Who is giffgaff

giffgaff logogiffgaff -like its competitor in this review- is also an MVNO, using O2’s UK network. giffgaff won uSwitch’s Network of the Year award in 2019, has a trusted name, comes with many different plans including a 500MB data plan to unlimited ones. It’s super flexible and really easy to switch between SIM only plans. It also offers a PAYG (pay as you go) option, you can check their rates here. Not having to go through credit checks makes things even easier.

giffgaff’s pricing is generally at the low end for most data plans.There’s plenty more to like about giffgaff, but of course it has some shortcomings as well. Speed tests by OOKLA and Open Signal show O2 (giffgaff’s provider) has the slowest download and upload speeds out of the 4 main networks. giffgaff itself wasn’t tested, but results should be similar to O2’s if not the same.

Pro’s

  • Many plans to choose from.
  • One of the most flexible network operators out there.
  • Unlimited data plans.
  • Short-term contracts with no credit checks.

Con’s

  • Not the best 4G coverage or 4G data speeds.
  • 4G data speeds capped after 80GB.
  • Limited roaming compared to VOXI.
 

Table of Contents

 

Plans & Pricing

SIM Only Deals

At the moment, VOXI offers five different price plans to choose from and they all come with unlimited UK minutes and texts, as well as the network’s unique scheme ‘Endless Social Media’. This feature gives unlimited data usage to VOXI customers on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. The unlimited social media will be available to VOXI customers as long as they have some data left in their plan. Voice calls and video calls are not included in Endless Social Media.

VOXI’s 15GB and 45GB price plans also come with Endless Video perk, which gives you unlimited streaming on some of the most popular video streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.

There are no credit checks to pass to join VOXI, the carrier only offers commitment-free 30-day rolling tariffs. There’s also an unlimited data deal available to all and it comes with Vodafone’s 5G coverage. VOXI makes discounts on a regular basis, but with Black Friday around the corner we might see some great Black Friday SIM Only discounts from the network.

In the UK, giffgaff currently offers its best deals in the shape of ‘goodybags’. Anyone can get a free giffgaff SIM and purchase a goodybag, you don’t have to undergo a credit check. The best thing about these SIM only deals is if you run out of data, you can purchase a new one without having to wait 30 calendar days. giffgaff also sends you a detailed email showing you your data usage summary to help you decide which goodybag you should go with next time.

The O2 powered MVNO also offers an unlimited data plan called ‘Always-On’ priced at £25/month, but there’s a big catch. After 80 GB of data usage, your download speed will be reduced to 384kbps from 8am to Midnight.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiVOXI’s low to mid-tier SIM only deals certainly offer greater value than giffgaff’s. Unless you’re getting the 80GB goodybag, you’re better off with a VOXI plan. giffgaff’s deals are more flexible, and they offer a few more deals, but it’s hard to say they’re on par with VOXI’s offers. Also keep in mind VOXI’s unlimited data plan comes with 5G coverage and there are no speed restrictions.

Pay As You Go

It’s possible to use VOXI’s network on a traditional pay as you go basis, but the network’s PAYG rates aren’t the best, and VOXI won’t allow you to use any data, meaning you won’t have access to the internet. Your SIM will remain active for 270 days from the last chargeable activity, after which the carrier will delete your number completely.

giffgaff customers can also use the network as a traditional pay as you go provider, and they can switch to pay as you go (as in using credit) if they eat up all their data allowances in their goodybags before the expiry date.

Another great thing about giffgaff’s PAYG service is it’s free to call other giffgaff customers. However, there’s a 60 minutes time limit per call, but you can re-dial to reset the timer. Texting in the UK and the inclusive roaming zone destinations is also free between giffgaff numbers. giffgaff’s rates are 25p/minute, 10p/text and 5p/MB.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

giffgaff-winnerWhile both networks offer traditional pay as you go services, giffgaff is the clear winner here. VOXI won’t let you use any data, plus their rates aren’t that great, meanwhile giffgaff’s rates are cheaper, plus you can access the internet, and switch between goodybags and PAYG. giffgaff to giffgaff calling and texting is free too!

Pay Monthly Phones

VOXI’s phone plans are decent, but the network will lock you in for a 30-month contract. Luckily, you’re allowed to pay in larger chunks and cut your contract to a shorter length. If you want to buy your smartphone from VOXI, you also have to purchase one of their SIM plans, but you don’t have to continue with the plan beyond the first month. Whilst the carrier offers flagship smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Google and Huawei, their selection isn’t that wide, especially compared to giffgaff’s.

You can find hundreds of unlocked phones on giffgaff’s store from flagship handsets to refurbished devices. The network’s phone contracts come in 24-month deals, but alternatively you pay the whole cost upfront and get your device straight away. The mobile network provider gives a 12-month warranty for all their refurbished devices.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

giffgaff-winnerNo competition whatsoever here, giffgaff wins by a large margin. giffgaff’s store offers hundreds more handsets to choose from, allows you more flexibility, and also has a section for refurbished devices.

Network Coverage & Speeds

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

4G network coverageVOXI is one of the youngest mobile virtual network operators in the UK. It’s host network is Vodafone, and they’re using Vodafone’s network to provide coverage across the UK. The carrier has over 99% population coverage and comes in second place in terms of UK geographical coverage, after EE.

Open Signal’s October 2020 speed test results state that VOXI’s average download speed is around 22.4Mbps and the upload speeds are around 8.5Mbps.

giffgaff uses O2 as its network provider and also offers over 99% population coverage, however, their landmass coverage is significantly behind Vodafone, & therefore VOXI. giffgaff’s average download speeds are around 18.2Mbps, while the upload speeds are about 8.2Mbps.

As always, Half Cooked recommends checking out each network’s coverage map before making a decision. If you want to know more about the best 4G network in the UK with the fastest 4G data speeds, make sure to have a look at our EE Review too!

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxigiffgaff’s 4G network coverage and data speeds are objectively outmatched by VOXI, hence the latter gets a well deserved win here. You should still make sure to check each network’s coverage map though.

5G Coverage

Since there are no 5G SIM deals on giffgaff (at least not yet) we’ll solely focus on VOXI’s 5G price plan and why we like it.

VOXIs 5G coverage is live in 57 locations in the UK and 193 more locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. VOXI claims the average download speed can vary between 100Mbps to 200Mbps depending on the location and how good the 5G coverage is. Currently, VOXI’s 15GB, 45GB and unlimited data plans include 5G coverage.

If you’re looking for other alternatives we recommend reading our Three Review, as the carrier offers 5G on all available plans -including PAYG deals- and at no extra cost!

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiSince giffgaff doesn’t offer any 5G coverage, it’s yet another easy win for VOXI. Three out of five VOXI plans come with 5G and some other high value benefits.

Voice Call Quality

voice call qualityWith Vodafone’s network power behind it, VOXI does well in larger cities in terms of voice call quality and drop rates. On the other hand smaller towns and rural areas may be a bit problematic, but the carrier is improving continuously.

Piggybacking off O2’s network giffgaff isn’t that different. The network provides steady performance in larger cities, but while on the move or in rather smaller towns you may experience some minor performance issues.

Looking at the voice call quality tests published by independent bodies such as Open Signal, umlaut and OOKLA, we can see that VOXI’s host network Vodafone is the second best carrier just behind EE. giffgaff’s provider O2 sits in the third place out of the four major network providers in the UK. If voice call quality is a top priority for you we recommend our EE vs Vodafone and EE vs O2 reviews.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiVOXI is again ahead of giffgaff here, mainly due to faster call setup times and overall better voice call quality. Given how Vodafone’s 4G outperforms O2’s, this doesn’t come as a big surprise.

Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling

4gcalling-wificalling4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) is a service that eliminates indoor blackspots, and it lets you make and receive calls over a 4G network. 4G Calling gives you clearer voice calls in more places.

Wi-Fi calling is basically using a Wi-Fi network to place calls and send texts instead of using your provider’s network. It’s quite useful, especially if you are using your mobile device in areas with bad reception but have access to Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately low-cost MVNO’s tend to not support these two features and both VOXI and giffgaff are missing out on 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling.

iD Mobile is one of the very few MVNOs in the UK with 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling at no extra cost and all their plans are on 30-day contracts! Make sure to read our iD Mobile Review to learn more.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

Since neither VOXI nor giffgaff offer either one of these voice call quality improving services, we have to call it a tie.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

wifi-hotspotsFree Wi-Fi is not a top priority for most mobile network customers, but it’s still a great feature to have, afterall free Wi-Fi means you get to save your precious data to use some other time. Plus networks like O2 use their free WiFi service to increase voice call quality, if their customers have compatible handsets and plans.

Sadly though, this is yet another perk neither VOXI nor giffgaff offer. They want to remain as low-cost mobile network operators and offer competitive prices. This means they have to drop some extra perks.

If you are looking for an even better deal for Wi-Fi Hotspots, then we’d recommend checking out BT Mobile. The carrier has over 5 million free Wi-Fi hotspots exclusive to their customers! You can also read our BT Mobile Review to discover all you need to know about the network.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

There are no exclusive free Wi-Fi hotspot offers for VOXI or giffgaff customers. Both networks can benefit from O2’s free WiFi service or Sky Mobile’s The Cloud, but that’s about it.

Tethering

tetheringTethering means turning your mobile phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for personal use. By turning this feature on you allow other Wi-Fi compatible devices to access the internet through your handset.

Both VOXI and giffgaff allow tethering to the fullest. Users can turn their mobile devices into Wi-Fi hotspots and share their data with other devices and users. In fact VOXI takes it to the next level by letting connected devices enjoy Endless Social Data while using their applications and/or their websites.

If you’re using giffgaff’s unlimited plan, your data speeds will be capped at 40GB while tethering. Always keep in mind, that tethering can eat up your data real fast, so you might want to check which networks offer the best unlimited data plans before you make your final decision.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiWhile both networks let you tether freely, don’t forget that VOXI doesn’t enforce any speed limitations and their ‘Endless Social Media’ works as intended on tethered devices (minus a few exceptions like video game consoles, Chromecast, TVs etc.).

International Roaming

VOXI vs giffgaff international roamingDue to EU roaming regulation changes in 2017, all the mobile network providers based in the UK must offer free access to all EU roaming destinations inclusive of customer plans.

VOXI’s Europe Zone roaming is available in 47 countries significantly more than giffgaff’s 37 destinations. VOXI’s inclusive roaming covers Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey, while giffgaff users are charged at preferential rates. giffgaff’s £20 and £25 goodybags do have a roaming cap, but only after you’ve used 20 GB. VOXI caps your general purpose data allowance to 25GB per 30 day-plan in their Europe Zone destinations.

To use VOXI outside of the Europe Zone, you’d have to sign into your VOXI account and add credit. You’ll then be charged their standard rates for calls, texts and data usage. Click here to view VOXI’s outside of Europe Zone rates.

Just like VOXI, to use giffgaff when visiting any of the countries that fall outside of its EU Zone, you’ll need to have some credit in your account. No matter which ‘goodybag’ you go with having credit is a must.

Both networks offer different rates for each country falling outside the EU Zone. You can check VOXI’s rates by clicking here and giffgaff’s by clicking here. While on it, you can discover all the other network options for Roaming Abroad in 2020.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiVOXI offers more destinations to roam like at home, plus their data cap is 5GB more than giffgaff’s. On top of that you can use 5G in Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland provided you have VOXI’s unlimited data plan.

Features

VOXI’s Features

Endless Social Media

endless social mediaThis is what makes VOXI a unique MVNO. As long as you have some data in your current plan, the ‘Endless Social Media’ perk will let you use Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest without burning through your regular data. Voice and video calls aren’t included.

There are some other networks with unlimited social media schemes, but no other comes close to VOXI’s endless social media.

Endless Data Plan

VOXI has an unlimited data plan and it comes with 5G in 46 locations in the UK, and 70 other locations in Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. The Endless Data Plan has no fair usage limitations or data speed restrictions.

Endless Calls & Texts

You get unlimited calls, texts and picture messages (MMS) to UK numbers on all VOXI plans.

No Credit Checks – Endless Flexibility

VOXI’s deals are commitment-free, meaning there are no credit checks to pass. They work on a prepaid basis. You can get a free VOXI SIM, purchase a plan and start using it straight away.

Friends with Benefits

Invite a friend or a family member to VOXI via your unique referral link and you can earn Amazon gift cards worth up to £20. The amount you’ll get depends on how large the invited person’s data plan is, but the great news is both parties get vouchers! You can invite as many people as you want.

giffgaff’s Features

Flexible Goodybags

Not so long ago giffgaff was the go to low-cost mobile network, but the competition is stiff now. Other MVNOs like SMARTY, iD Mobile and Superdrug propose better value deals, but giffgaff still stands out with its unique goodybag offers.

giffgaff lets their customers use more than one plan in a single month, so if they eat up all their data before the next billing date, they can just purchase a new goodybag. They are also given the option to set the date for when the next goodybag will start. giffgaff SIMs stay active for 6 months even if there is no chargeable activity or top-ups.

1GB Extra Data Boost

giffgaff grants you a 1GB data boost if you purchase one of the £10, £12, £15 or £20 goodybags. Your extra data will be added to your account automatically when you use giffgaff for three months consecutively. However, this data boost only activates once you use all of your regular data allowance.

Always On Unlimited Data

‘Always-On’ is what giffgaff calls its unlimited data tariff, but you should know that this isn’t a true unlimited data deal. The tariff comes with a speed cap once you use 80GB or more data in 30 calendar days. Then your download speed will be reduced to 384kbps between 8am and midnight.

If you’re looking for a wallet friendly unlimited data deal, we think you should have a look at SMARTY’s unlimited data plan. They offer one of the cheapest no contract unlimited data plans on the UK’s mobile market. You can also read our SMARTY Review to learn more about the carrier.

Payback Time

This is giffgaff’s reward programme for their loyal customers. Their customers can earn ‘Payback Points’ by bringing friends/family members on board, or giving helpful responses on giffgaffs forum. These points can either be converted to cash, credit or a donation to a selected charity. Payouts happen twice a year, in June and December.

Online Community Support

The O2 powered carrier has been around for quite a while now, and they have developed a very active online giffgaff community. The forums are open to all, and you can even find giffgaff team members there offering support. The forums are well moderated and up to date, plus forum members can be really helpful. You can also earn Payback points by helping others or helping giffgaff improve their service.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

winner-voxiWe like what giffgaff offers, we really do. However, VOXI is definitely the winner here unless you’re specifically after extra flexibility.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

winner-voxiWe think VOXI is the clear winner here, unless you’re looking for a good PAYG service with O2’s coverage. VOXI’s network coverage and data speeds are superior, the carrier offers 5G coverage on top of that. It’s features add more value to their plans and the unlimited data plan comes with no restrictions.

voxi-vs-giffgaff

Frequently Asked Questions

Is VOXI better than Vodafone? Are they the same?

VOXI belongs to Vodafone and it’s a low-cost mobile virtual network operator using Vodafone’s infrastructure. VOXI’s prices are more competitive and their deals are more flexible. However, you’re also missing out on a lot of extras, features and entertainment options.

Is VOXI really cheaper than Vodafone?

Yes, VOXI’s tariff and phone contracts are considerably cheaper than Vodafone’s. Given how VOXI is a low-cost option to Vodafone, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Can I keep my number if I switch to a VOXI plan?

Yes, you can keep your number if you wish to join VOXI. All you have to do is ask for your PAC code from your current network. Then sign into your VOXI account and head to the ‘transfer number’ section. Enter your PAC code and VOXI will do the rest.

Does VOXI have 4G Calling (VoLTE) or Wi-Fi Calling?

Sadly, VOXI doesn’t offer any voice call quality improving services. This means no VOXI plans include 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling.

My giffgaff credits are going down even though I have a goodybag?

There’s a chance you might be making international calls, or perhaps you’re sending picture messages. You might also be calling some premium numbers that are not included in the goodybags. These can all use up your credit, not your goodybag allowances.

I can’t purchase any goodybags, why?

You must have less than 100MB of data for the new goodybag to kick in. Your new goodybag will be queued, but you’ll have to wait till it activates before the current one expires.

How can I activate my SIM on giffgaff?

Go to giffgaff.com/activate. Fill the necessary parts and your SIM should be activated in a matter of hours. In some situations this process can take up to 24 hours according to giffgaff’s customer support.

How do I check my giffgaff balance?

Just login and click on giffgaff’s dashboard , and then the page will automatically display your credit balance. Alternatively you can also dial *100#. To check which plan you’re using you must dial *100*7#.

Can I keep my phone number if I want to switch to giffgaff?

Yes, and it’s an easy process. You have to get your PAC Code from your current mobile network provider. Then order your new SIM and purchase a plan. Provide the PAC code to your new network. The whole process shouldn’t take longer than a day.

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