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VOXI vs SMARTY: how coverage, speeds and benefits compare

SMARTY vs VOXI logos

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Should you join SMARTY or VOXI? Our guide compares the two providers' UK coverage, 4G speeds, plan prices and added extra perks. Last updated: 11th June 2024

In our VOXI vs SMARTY guide

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Mobile networks: VOXI vs SMARTY

Do SMARTY or VOXI provide better coverage?

We look at which provider offers more widespread 5G/4G/3G signal

Mobile signal bars with SMARTY and VOXI logos

VOXI’s 3G/4G signal is more widespread than SMARTY’s

by Vodafone network banner

What this means...

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

VOXI and SMARTY both piggyback off larger networks for signal. While VOXI use Vodafone’s network, SMARTY use Three’s, each having its strengths and weaknesses.

For call signal (2G/3G) and for most types of data signal (3G/4G) VOXI hold a clear advantage in coverage. And VOXI’s calling signal is broadcast on more ideal frequencies for getting indoors through building materials.

You get WiFi calling and 4G calling on both networks which improves coverage for calls both outdoors and indoors. This does mean that VOXI’s better 4G gives them an even bigger advantage for calls over SMARTY.

In urban areas there’s basically no difference in signal between them. But VOXI hold the advantage for rural 4G signal over SMARTY. Still it’s worth using their coverage maps to see what signal looks like near you.

Useful link: Check local signal on both networks

SMARTY have much better 5G coverage than VOXI

SMARTY's 5G is coming banner

Read 5G updates

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in new window)

5G comes as standard on every SMARTY and VOXI plan. This is definitely a good thing for SMARTY as their hosts Three had the second largest 5G network (for sheer number of locations), while VOXI are on the smallest 5G network.

Last time we checked, SMARTY had 5G in 580+ UK towns and cities while VOXI had it in 160+ locations. On top of having 5G in over four times as many places as VOXI, SMARTY tend to cover their locations better.

No network is able to totally cover their locations with 5G. But some networks are better at doing this than others, and SMARTY are better for keeping you connected to 5G on the go than VOXI.

It’s still worth using both networks’ coverage maps, as one might provide 5G in your area while the other doesn’t. The national picture isn’t as important as joining the network with better signal near you.

Useful link: VOXI's 5G help section guide

SMARTY and VOXI’s's coverage maps

Check your local area and anywhere you’re expecting to need your phone

SMARTY's signal checker

SMARTY coverage checker

Use SMARTY's map

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in new window)

VOXI signal checker

VOXI coverage checker

Use VOXI's map

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Alternative coverage checkers

Independent coverage checkers

Use OpenSignal checker
Use Ofcom checker

Our verdict on coverage:

Slight win for VOXI

"In our eyes it’s more important for a network to provide better 4G signal and to make sure there are as few signal blackspots as possible. SMARTY’s 5G is impressive, but we think VOXI have the better coverage overall."

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Are 4G/5G data speeds faster on SMARTY or VOXI?

Which provider gives you the better 5G/4G data speeds?

VOXI and SMARTY logos with a speedometer

Typical 4G data speeds are faster on SMARTY than VOXI

VOXI 4G data

Read network FAQs

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Before comparing VOXI and SMARTY against each other, we looked to see if either provider were slower than their parent network. In our tests we found no evidence of speed differences or limits on either.

Opensignal take speed measurements from millions of volunteer phones up and down the country. They found typical 4G data speeds of 34.5 Mbps on SMARTY and 27.9 Mbps on VOXI. But that doesn’t show the full picture:

There’s a big variation in speeds on VOXI depending on location. In the sticks we went as low as 5 Mbps, but we got up to 110+ Mbps in urban areas. Read our review here to see how we conducted our tests.

SMARTY’s speeds tended to slow down more in congested suburban areas, but we got healthy speeds of 40 Mbps in some rural areas and 70 Mbps in urban areas. Generally speaking, SMARTY provide the better data speeds.

Useful link: Full SMARTY review | Full VOXI review

SMARTY’s 5G data speeds are much faster than VOXI’s

SMARTY 5G data

Read their 5G guide

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Being on Three’s network has some big upsides for SMARTY, especially getting full access to their hosts’ superfast 5G. Their 5G is the fastest of any UK network, while VOXI’s 5G is just average.

Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla measured typical 5G data speeds between 205.5 Mbps and a lightning fast 286.27 Mbps. On VOXI, typical speeds sit between 114.3 Mbps - 146.19 Mbps which is still very healthy.

We can’t explain the larger variation in speeds on VOXI. But we can say SMARTY’s speeds are considerably faster, even though both networks’ speed results have actually improved as their 5G networks grow.

You can read how we rank each network on their 5G here. SMARTY’s hosts Three have made massive investments into their 5G, so it makes sense that they’d have the faster 5G speeds.

Useful links: Full SMARTY review | Full VOXI review

Our verdict on download speeds:

Win for SMARTY

"While VOXI provide very healthy 4G and 5G data speeds, SMARTY race ahead of them for 5G speeds and provide faster 4G more consistently than VOXI. So, this one is a clear win for SMARTY."

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Extra network features

What other features do either network provide to help you stay connected?

WiFi calling icon with VOXI and SMARTY logos

WiFi/4G calling works on more devices on SMARTY

VOXI's WiFi calling

Read WiFi calling guide

(opens in new window)

Both networks used to be pretty weak in terms of added network features to help keep users connected, but both networks now have WiFi calling and 4G calling so we have little to complain about.

WiFi calling is crucial for users who get poor call signal connections in their homes or businesses (read our guide on WiFi calling here). 4G calling lets you call over 4G signal and also improves call quality.

There’s no difference in how the features work on both networks. But SMARTY’s list of supported devices is longer than VOXI’s. So you’re more likely to get it working on SMARTY, especially on older Androids.

But SMARTY have recently introduced access to WiFi on the Underground and this scheme is largely the same as their hosts’. VOXI used to offer this, but it was removed a while ago. So that’s two advantages for SMARTY.

Useful link: Our guide to providers with WiFi calling

Our verdict on extra network features:

Slight win for SMARTY

"While WiFi calling and 4G calling work essentially the same way on both, you are more likely to get it working on SMARTY than on VOXI. And SMARTY’s WiFi hotspots help you stay connected where you’d otherwise get no signal. So SMARTY take the win here.”

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Benefits on SMARTY vs VOXI

How VOXI and SMARTY’s benefits compare

Here’s what either network offers

VOXI logo with greater than symbol and SMARTY logo

VOXI offer unlimited social media and streaming data

VOXI Endless Video

See covered apps

at voxi.co.uk
(opens in new window)

One of VOXI’s major selling points is that social media apps will not use your data. Apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and all these can be used as much as you like without having to worry about data usage.

If you join one of the deals listed below you’ll also get their Unlimited Video benefit. With this you can stream YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and these other streaming apps without eating into your data.

These plans will give you Unlimited Video at no extra cost:

VOXI even let you tether your phone to tablets and laptops, which you can use to stream and still get the benefit (it doesn’t work for games consoles or TVs). And you don’t even have to pay extra to get it.

We imagine this will be the biggest reason people will want to join VOXI, especially if you stream often and worry about using up your data. The only way to get this on SMARTY is to join on an unlimited data deal.

Useful link: Full details and terms

SMARTY give you discounts on every additional plan

Save 10% with friends and family

How it works

at smarty.co.uk
(opens in new window)

SMARTY’s main benefit is the great value they offer on their plans. And if you’ve got friends or family members looking for a new SIM only plan, you can get even better value by setting up a group plan.

If you’re already on SMARTY, every plan you add onto your existing account will get a 10% discount. So you’re getting value on top of value and you can do this with up to 7 additional plans.

You get the convenience of having all your SIM only plans in one place while each user on your account still gets to choose a plan that suits their needs. VOXI don’t even let you add plans to your account at all.

There are some downsides, such as each plan having a different billing date. But other than that, SMARTY’s family plan scheme is a great reason for signing up your kids, friends or other family members to SMARTY.

Useful link: Read SMARTY’s guide to their family plans

Our verdict on perks:

Win for VOXI

"We think that VOXI’s unlimited streaming and social media data benefits will appeal to more people than SMARTY’s family plans. Even parents will appreciate the data savings on VOXI’s plans. So we give VOXI the nod here."

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Roaming on SMARTY vs VOXI

Which network is better for using your plan abroad?

Globe icon with SMARTY and VOXI logo

SMARTY still include EU roaming as standard

SMARTY roaming banner

Read full guide

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in new window)

While lots of other networks have removed or changed their EU roaming policies, SMARTY have largely kept theirs the same. You can use your mins, texts and 12GB of your data in the EU like you would at home.

You can connect to 3G and 4G signal while in these 34 EU/EEA destinations. SMARTY unfortunately don’t support 5G while abroad, but not a lot of providers do to be fair.

What’s also a bit annoying is you have to turn roaming on in your settings before going abroad (here’s how). If you don’t then you could end up without data and unable to turn roaming on unless you find WiFi.

But the fact they even offer inclusive EU roaming at all puts them way ahead of VOXI. Costs for roaming outside the EU will get expensive fast. But for trips to the continent, SMARTY are an excellent choice.

Useful link: All roaming costs on SMARTY

VOXI don’t offer inclusive EU roaming

VOXI Endless EU roaming bannerExpired stamp

Read more

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

VOXI are another network that have got rid of their inclusive EU roaming. You’ll now have to pay £2 a day to roam in the EU, or you can buy time-limited passes of £4 for 2 days, £8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days.

Paying £2 a day will add up quickly. And with their longer passes you might pay for more days than you’re actually staying. Say you stay for 10 days, you either have to buy multiple shorter passes or a 15 day one.

VOXI still limit you to 20GB of data while abroad. It’s frustrating to be restricted when it’s something you’re paying for, but it’s not too restrictive of a limit.

One advantage VOXI have is their Global Roaming Extras, which give you a small amount of mins, texts and data in their worldwide destinations for a fixed period. But SMARTY’s EU roaming will appeal to more people.

Useful link: VOXI's roaming help section

Our verdict on roaming:

SMARTY win by default

"When it comes down to it, the majority of people will care about using their plan in the EU at no extra cost. Between the two, only SMARTY offer that. VOXI’s worldwide roaming will appeal to some, but their lack of inclusive EU roaming is a big strike against them."

Compare pricing and deals

Pricing compared on SMARTY and VOXI

SIM only plans on SMARTY vs VOXI

Which provider offers the best value SIM only deals?

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Special offers on SMARTY and VOXI

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Phone contracts on VOXI vs SMARTY

Which provider offer the better phone contracts?

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Only VOXI sell phone deals between the two

Screenshot of VOXI's phone range

See phone range

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

There’s no need to scratch your head wondering whether SMARTY or VOXI have the better phone contracts, because only VOXI offer them between the two (here’s their range of models).

They sell their phones on “split contracts” which split the cost of your phone and the payment for your usage plan (mins, texts, data) into two. These then come together to make up your monthly bill.

VOXI basically loan you a device that you pay them back for over multiple monthly payments. Their usage plans are the exact same as VOXI’s SIM only deals and are also on a 1-month rolling basis.

This means you can change your usage plan or move to a different network while you’re still paying off your phone with VOXI. And finally they even let you pay lump sums to pay your phone off sooner.

Useful link: See VOXI's phone range

SMARTY still don’t offer phone contracts

SMARTY phone contracts banner

Read blog post

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in new window)

SMARTY have been saying they’ll bring out phone deals for a long time now and there’s still no sign of them actually doing so.

Once they finally start selling phone deals, we imagine they’ll work like VOXI’s. Most networks offer split agreements with finance based phone contracts these days, so we think SMARTY would follow suit.

It would be interesting to see them introduce a scheme that would convert unused data into money off the cost of your device. It would give them a unique selling point at the very least.

In the end, we can only draw a comparison when there’s actually something to compare. When SMARTY bring out their phone deals we’ll judge them against VOXI’s here.

Useful link: SMARTY's latest news on phone contracts

Our verdict on phone contracts:

VOXI win by default

"In the end, VOXI take this one by default. But that’s not to take away from the fact that they offer both great value and flexibility on their phone contracts. As for SMARTY, we can only wait and see what they’ll do."

Compare pricing and deals

More SMARTY guides

Other VOXI guides

Individual network reviews