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VOXI vs Vodafone: differences we found between the two networks

VOXI and Vodafone logos

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We test the coverage, 4G speeds and other benefits you get with a VOXI SIM vs what you get if you join Vodafone directly. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 25th June 2020.

In our VOXI vs Vodafone guide

Offer notifications

Vodafone vs VOXI's network

Same: identical coverage on VOXI and Vodafone

We test how many bars with each provider in a few locations

Vodafone vs VOXI signal

We’re confident there’s no difference in 5G/4G/3G/2G coverage

VOXI logo
Vodafone logo
99%
99%

The Vodafone network is excellent for all-round coverage. They've got the second largest amount of the physical landmass of the UK covered with 4G data. And they lead on outdoor and indoor signal for calls.

VOXI use the Vodafone network (in fact they're part of Vodafone). For our review, we went out with a VOXI and Vodafone SIM in identical phones to see if you get inferior signal on VOXI to being on Vodafone directly.

We couldn't find any difference for 4G or calls (we didn't test 5G). The number of bars were always the same on average. In fact the VOXI phone even still says "Vodafone" at the top for what network you're on.

But overall there was no advantage or disadvantage between the Vodafone and VOXI SIMs. And we found their coverage maps to be accurate too (check your Vodafone/VOXI signal here).

VOXI and Vodafone network maps

Check signal everywhere you'll use your phone, not just at home

VOXI's map

VOXI coverage map

Check VOXI signal

using their official map
(opens in new window)

Vodafone's map

Vodafone coverage map

Check Vodafone signal

using their official map
(opens in new window)

Our verdict on coverage:

Draw

"As expected, we found coverage on VOXI to be identical to that on Vodafone. It didn’t ever seem to be an inferior experience. So signal differences needn’t be something to influence a choice between them"

Compare pricing and deals

Same: 4G download speeds

We do some speed tests on our VOXI and Vodafone SIMs

VOXI and Vodafone logos with a speedometer

We'd expect 4G download speeds to average at 21 Mbps

VOXI logo
Vodafone logo
8.1 - 54 Mbps
4.5 - 54 Mbps

We took a VOXI SIM and a Vodafone SIM out to do some spot checks on 4G download speeds in identical phones, to see if there's any noticeable difference between them.

The slowest we measured on Vodafone was 4.5 Mbps and on VOXI it was 8.1 Mbps. The fastest we found was a short peak at 54 Mbps on each over a city-centre 4G+ connection.

Generally our spot checks found downloads out of town to average between 8 - 20 Mbps. And in cities between 20 - 40 Mbps. The lower end of speeds will still support standard definition videos without buffering.

Between Vodafone vs VOXI, we don't think there's a built-in speed difference. Although we did frequently observe VOXI to be 4 Mbps or so faster than Vodafone, we doubt this would be a consistent difference.

Both Vodafone and VOXI offer faster 5G data

Vodafone's 5G map

See next locations

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

Vodafone's 5G network is now live in 44 locations throughout the UK with more being added and all their all pay monthly SIMs and compatible phone contracts are sold as 5G-ready (excluding low-frill Basics plans).

And according to independent network testers Speedtest's early tests, it's delivering drastically faster data, with typical speeds of 140.15 Mbps, peaking at 230.57 Mbps (better than quality home fibre broadband).

VOXI sell only one 5G-ready plan, their unlimited data one below. We haven't yet tested it vs Vodafone's 5G but if it's like 4G, there won't be a difference between the two.

Useful link: Latest on Vodafone's 5G rollout

Our verdict on download speeds:

No difference

"Unless you've got 5G with Vodafone, we don't think there's any speed differences between joining VOXI or Vodafone directly."

Compare pricing and deals

Different: extra network features

We compare Vodafone vs VOXI's other technology to improve signal

Vodafone and VOXI logos and some cogs

Vodafone have WiFi calling and 4G calling, VOXI don’t

Vodafone's WiFi calling scheme

See supported phones

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

If you’ve ever struggled with poor indoor signal for calls, it’s worth looking at providers with WiFi calling and 4G calling technologies that can help overcome the problem (see our best-rated networks here).

Vodafone have both (but check your phone is supported up front here) on their regular plans. Their no-frills Basics Plans don’t include it. VOXI don’t have either technology on any plan.

The technology works by letting your phone connect to WiFi or a 4G data signal to make/take calls, instead of regular 2G / 3G mobile signal, which can struggle to get indoors.

We don't rate Vodafone's WiFi calling as the very best scheme on the market, because it doesn't support SMS text messages too, which can be handy for receiving verification codes for banking and other apps.

Useful link: FAQs about Vodafone's WiFi calling

Both offer some limited WiFi hotspots

Vodafone free WiFi on the Underground

How you connect

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

If you’re a regular in London, you’ll know some mobile networks offer free WiFi on the Underground and Overground networks: helpful when there’s no phone signal below ground.

Vodafone are one of those providers (here’s how to get free WiFi on the underground if you join Vodafone). And if you're on VOXI, you can log in the same way as if you're a Vodafone customer.

It's not that well advertised on VOXI's website but we've tested it for real and it does just work the same. Find the Vodafone WiFi hotspot, enter your VOXI login details and you're in.

Other mobile networks do give free access to larger WiFi hotspot networks but there's a lot of free WiFi about now anyway if you can't get 4G/5G somewhere.

Useful link: Full details on Vodafone's free WiFi scheme

Our verdict on extra network features:

Win for Vodafone

"Vodafone have cleverly built in a few differences here between themselves and VOXI, so that if you value WiFi calling and 4G calling, you’ll need to pay their higher prices rather than join on a cheaper VOXI deal"

Compare pricing and deals

Vodafone vs VOXI's benefits

Different: inclusive roaming

Is roaming better on VOXI or Vodafone?

VOXI and Vodafone logos with a globe

Certain Vodafone plans come with worldwide roaming destinations

Vodafone Global Roaming

All roaming costs

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

As a bare minimum on any Vodafone plan (apart from no-frills Basics ones), you’ll get inclusive roaming in any of the EU countries listed here. Use your regular UK allowances without paying extra.

What's good about Vodafone's roaming is that they're aren't any limits on the speed (it's 4G wherever available) or the amount of data you can use (use your full monthly allowance).

And if you pick one of Vodafone’s more expensive Red Entertainment plans (available on 12-month SIM only contracts and phone deals), you’ll get inclusive roaming outside Europe too:

Their current list spans 77 destinations in total, including popular long-haul holiday spots like the USA, Canada and Australia. This isn't something VOXI offer.

Useful link: Know all costs before you go abroad

VOXI’s inclusive roaming is limited to the EU

Roaming on VOXI

Latest free countries

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

Where Vodafone have premium worldwide roaming options, VOXI stick to the standard free EU roaming that every network now has to offer if they allow roaming at all.

A nice touch with VOXI though is that you can take their Endless Social Media Data benefit with you in the EU. So you've got unlimited data for selected apps while you're away.

If you take your VOXI SIM outside the EU, you'll pay for usage per minute, text and MB at different rates depending where you (see charges per country here). You'll need to add credit to your account for this to work.

Whether EU-only inclusive roaming is a problem for you or not will obviously depend where you go on holiday.

Useful link: Full costs and charges when roaming on VOXI

Our verdict on roaming:

A win for Vodafone

"It’s a case of pay more to get more on Vodafone. Or pay less to get less on VOXI. If you only ever go to Europe, VOXI is fine. If you’re a frequent long-haul jetsetter, roaming charge savings on Vodafone could offset the higher cost of the plan."

Compare pricing and deals

Different: other added benefits

Are Vodafone or VOXI's extra perks better?

VOXI and Vodafone logo's with a gift box

All VOXI plans come with unlimited social media data

VOXI Endless social data

How it works

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

The real edge that VOXI have over Vodafone other than pricing is their Endless Social Media benefit that we rate as the best free social media data scheme in the UK.

On every VOXI plan (SIM and phone), you effectively have an unlimited data allowance to use particular social media apps (see full list here) on your phone, without it coming out of you regular monthly data allowance.

Basic messaging and mainly text-based feeds like Twitter don't use that much data anyway. But image and video based content within those apps (as long as you don't leave the app) will bring decent data savings.

If you want unlimited streaming of video and music like you get with Three's Go Binge for instance, you can pay for a monthly pass on VOXI to get this on a huge range of apps (see latest costs and providers here).

Useful link: VOXI's full guide to Endless social data

Some Vodafone plans include an entertainment subscription

Vodafone entertainment subscriptions

Pick a subscription

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

Vodafone don't have any free data schemes like VOXI. But if you take one of their more-expensive Red Entertainment plans on a phone contract or SIM only deal, you'll get a subscription included.

The current choices are between Sky Sports Mobile TV (sport streaming), Spotify Premium (music streaming), Amazon Prime Video (films and TV) or a Now TV Entertainment Pass (TV).

You can pick one of the services, which will be added to your account for the duration of your contract at no extra cost. If you use the services on your mobile, it will use your data.

We'd also point out that the higher basic cost of the plan does mean you're likely to be paying a premium for the service. So it's not strictly a freebie.

Useful link: Full offer details and terms

Our verdict on extras:

A win for VOXI

"We suspect more people will benefit from VOXI's free social media data, because it comes as standard and is something people use a lot on their phones. Vodafone's subscriptions are basically a paid-for feature."

Compare pricing and deals

VOXI vs Vodafone's deals

SIM only deals

Are VOXI or Vodafone's SIM only plans cheaper?

VOXI and Vodafone logos and a SIM card
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Our verdict on SIM only plans:

Win for VOXI

"SIM only plans are almost as a rule always better value per GB on VOXI than Vodafone. And they're way more flexible too, being on short 1-month deals with no credit checks. This is a really easy decision for us."

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Special offers

Current offers compared on VOXI and Vodafone

VOXI and Vodafone logos with a percent discount sticker

Phone contracts on Vodafone vs VOXI

Are you better off joining VOXI or Vodafone on a smartphone deal?

Vodafone and VOXI logos and a phone

VOXI's phone contracts are way more flexible

VOXI's pay monthly phone

See full range

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

Phone contracts on VOXI are on split contracts - where you have a finance arrangement to cover the cost of the phone (via Paypal Credit) and a separate monthly mobile plan (basically a VOXI SIM only).

You pay off the phone over 30 months. But you can choose to reduce the length of the agreement by paying it off in larger chunks if you want. The SIM plan can be cancelled after 30 days or changed whenever.

You can see that doing mobile deals this way means more flexibility. It also means that networks with this type of contract can offer lower prices overall (we'd say VOXI will be cheaper than Vodafone 99% of the time).

The one downside can be that joining on this type may be more difficult than conventional mobile contracts if you have any blip in your credit history, or have no credit history. It's a financial product and so the requirements may be tighter.

Useful link: VOXI's FAQs about their phone contracts

Vodafone's phone deals are on conventional mobile contracts

Vodafone phone range

See full range

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

Compared to VOXI, Vodafone's contracts are much less flexible. They're on conventional 24-month deals, where you pay for the phone and usage on the same plan.

That means there's none of the flexibility to leave early or upgrade sooner that you get on VOXI. It also means that Vodafone's phone contracts tend to be more expensive and have upfront costs.

One tip if you're looking to join Vodafone on a phone contract would be to take a look at retailers like Carphone Warehouse and Mobiles.co.uk, who will usually be able to beat Vodafone's prices directly.

They purchase a lot more phones than Vodafone, so can offer better prices on handset deals. And you'll get many of the same tariff benefits you'd get by going direct.

Useful link: Carphone Warehouse vs going direct

Our verdict on phone contracts:

Win for VOXI

"Even though VOXI's contracts are 6 months longer than Vodafone's our price checks calculated them to be cheaper in total than all but a few Vodafone special offers."

Compare pricing and deals

More VOXI articles

Full VOXI review

VOXI logo and a thumbs up

More Vodafone articles

Full Vodafone review

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Vodafone's Basics SIMs

Vodafone logo and a SIM card

SIM Sherpa can help you find your next SIM only deal

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