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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: 20th May 2021.

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, 5G or calls . 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/5G download speeds

We do some speed tests on our VOXI and Vodafone SIMs

VOXI and Vodafone logos with a speedometer

We couldn't find any 4G speed differences

VOXI branded phone with 5G

See 5G phones

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

There's no mention on VOXI or Vodafone's website of a speed cap on VOXI vs Vodafone. Their traffic management policy here rules it out. Only Vodafone's Unlimited Lite and Unlimited plans have a speed cap.

We've taken a VOXI and Vodafone SIM out in identical test phones and a dual SIM phones to test it in reality. We've never been able to find a disadvantage to being on either provider.

Yes, you don't get identical speed test results on the two. But you also don't get indentical results if you test the same network twice in a row. We don't think VOXI speeds are inferior to Vodafone's.

According to independent speed testers Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla, that means you can expect typical 4G downloads over either at 21.15 - 25.1 Mbps. That's the UK's second-fastest and is like a middish-range fibre home broadband connection.

Useful link: Vodafone's latest improvements to their network

Both Vodafone and VOXI now offer 5G

Vodafone's 5G map

See next locations

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

Vodafone's 5G network is now live in 100+ 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 166.77 Mbps, peaking at 288.17 Mbps (better than quality home fibre broadband).

VOXI offer 5G data on most of the range of SIM only plans - only the cheapest, smallest plans are sold as 4G/3G/2G only. Here are their current 5G options:

Useful link: Latest on Vodafone's 5G rollout

Our verdict on download speeds:

No difference

"We don't think data speeds are a difference to worry about between Vodafone and VOXI (unless you pick a 4G only vs 5G plan on either)"

Compare pricing and deals

Same: extra network features

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

Vodafone and VOXI logos and some cogs

They've both now got WiFi calling and 4G calling

Vodafone's WiFi calling scheme

Read their page

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

One of the previous differences between VOXI and Vodafone is that you didn't get the signal boosting technologies WiFi calling and 4G calling on VOXI, even though Vodafone have had them for years.

That's now changed: VOXI do have WiFi calling and 4G calling. And it's the same technology as Vodafone's. Check your phone is supported on Vodafone's list here if you have an Android/Windows model though.

WiFi calling lets your phone make/take calls and send/receive SMS texts over WiFi if the mobile signal is too weak. It's particularly useful for improving indoor coverage, without needing a booster.

4G calling can help signal strength too, because it lets your phone use more types of signal for calls, so has a better chance of finding one. It also improves audio quality too.

Useful link: FAQs about Vodafone's WiFi calling

Neither now offers any free WiFi hotspots

Expired stampVodafone free WiFi on the Underground

Read statement

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

We still think it's handy when mobile networks throw in some free public WiFi access with their mobile deals, especially if your phone gets recognised automatically and you don't have to sign it to use them.

It saves data and can keep you connected in places that mobile signal struggles to reach like underground. Until recently both Vodafone and VOXI had something to offer here but they've just scrapped it:

They used to take part in the TFL WiFi scheme, where you got free and unlimited WiFi on London's transport network. But that's now been scrapped and you can't login any more.

There's also no other national WiFi network that you get access to with Vodafone or VOXI either. It's not a disaster, there's loads of free WiFi nowadays. But it's worth knowing what you do and don't get.

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

Our verdict on extra network features:

Draw

"There's now no difference between regular Vodafone plans and VOXI in terms of WiFi calling, 4G calling and free hotspot access."

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 Unlimited Max plans (available on 12-month+ SIM only contracts and phone deals), you’ll get inclusive roaming outside Europe too:

Their current list spans 83 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.

Vodafone don't have anything similar. They scrapped their Social Media data passes that achieved the same result. The only way you can get unlimited data on Vodafone is to pay for it in your plan.

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

And some VOXI plans now also include video streaming data

VOXI Endless

Full details and terms

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

You can actually go one better on VOXI if you choose a plan with Endless Video. This gives you an unlimited data allowance for watching YouTube, Netflix and all these other entertainment services.

Each of these plans includes the benefit:

We've tried it ourselves for real and got through hundreds of GB of data watching YouTube. And VOXI didn't bat an eyelid. Our regular data stayed intact.

If you've ever held back from watching video for fear of going over you data limit, VOXI's Endless Video will set you free. Vodafone don't offer similar and they scrapped their Video Passes that worked similarly.

Useful link: More about VOXI's Endless Video

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

Networks

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Added features

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."

Compare pricing and deals

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 guides

More articles about Vodafone