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VOXI review 2021: how we found their network as a customer

VOXI review headerVisit VOXI.co.uk

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

We try out VOXI's 5G / 4G coverage, data speeds and benefits for real by joining them on a SIM only plan. Here's how our experience. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 26th January 2021.

Overall rating

SIM Sherpa rates VOXI as a very good provider
 (3.5/5, very good)

"Joining VOXI is an excellent way to get on the Vodafone network on a flexible 1-month plan, without the higher prices you’d associate with their parent company. And no credit checks either.

Their 4G coverage is impressive, blackspots for calls basically non-existent and certain plans even include 5G data in select locations. The only missing network features are WiFi calling and 4G calling.

If your plan includes Endless Video you’ll be laughing with free video streaming and getting free social media data is decent helper to squeeze more usage out of your phone.

Their main weaknesses are slower data speeds in rural locations and the online-only chat-based customer service. But if you know that up front, we think VOXI are a strong choice for most people."

The 3 best bits

1 Endless Video and Social Media
2 5G, quality coverage and speeds
3 Only ever a 1-month commitment

The 3 worst bits

1 No WiFi calling
2 Online-only customer service
3 No app

Information symbol We're a professional reviews website but we bought our VOXI SIM card as a regular consumer, to test what it's actually like for real life paying customers. The contents of this review are a combination of our expert industry knowledge and what we experienced during our test.

VOXI's network reviewed

Coverage: VOXI use Vodafone’s comprehensive network

VOXI 4G and 3G coverage map

Check everywhere you go - not just at homeCheck signal near you

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

VOXI is owned and ran directly by Vodafone more as a sub-brand than a distinct operator. The SIM card's Vodafone branded. And your phone says 'Vodafone' at the top for which network you're on, not VOXI.

It's an excellent network for how much of the physical landmass of the UK they've got covered for 4G data and 2G/3G calls, texts and data. They're the second biggest for 4G and the joint-largest for calls.

Obviously we can't test everywhere in the country but we have been able to do some spot checks in a number of locations with both a VOXI and a Vodafone SIM card in identical phones.

We weren't able to detect any differences between the VOXI or Vodafone SIM card in terms of how many bars it had of signal in each place. We couldn't find any evidence it's not just an identical service.

In big cities, we found 4G to be practically univeral. And their higher capactiy 4G+ stretches out beyond just city centres. We were impressed with VOXI's rural 4G too, finding it in some suprising reomote locations.

For calls, we still had phone signal even in the middle of the house and you'd have to be somewhere like a national park not to have any signal for calls.

We'd happily use VOXI all the time for our actual phones based on their coverage we experienced.

The frequencies VOXI's phone calls and texts are broadcast on are more optimal than some networks for getting indoors too, so as rule of thumb you've got a better chance of avoiding indoor blackspots with them.

Ultimately though, mobile networks vary postcode to postcode. Nationwide stats are less important than signal in the places you'll actually use your phone. So definitely give VOXI coverage a check up front before joining.

Useful link: Check VOXI's signal near you on their 5G/4G/3G/2G coverage map

5G on VOXI is now available on most their plans

VOXI 5G unlimited data banner

10x faster and less lagFull 5G info

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

VOXI are one of the few low-cost networks to offer 5G currently. And price-wise, they're the best-value 1-month 5G SIM only provider in the UK, according to our comparisons.

You now get 5G data on the majority of their plans (only their entry-level tariff does not included the faster data). Here's their current cheapest:

You get 5G everywhere it's available on Vodafone directly with VOXI. At the moment that covers a growing list of 100+ UK towns and cities, even if it's still a street-by-street basis in those places, rather than the whole place.

We tested our VOXI SIM card in a 5G-ready Motorola bought direct from the manufacturer and an iPhone 12. We're pleased to report it worked in both (we've had problems with the Motorola testing other networks' 5G).

The coverage map was accurate. There's no 5G where they say there isn't. And in the area VOXI were reporting 5G data was available, it was.

We did some spot checks on download speeds using OpenSignal's excellent app and got a healthy 126 Mbps, which is a 4x improvement on what you can expect on average via VOXI's 4G:

Screenshot

There are speed benefits to 5G, Vodafone predict it'll be around 10x faster than 4G. But a lot of the advantage will be capacity: ending the situation where data grinds to halt when you're in busy places or large crowds.

Useful link: Learn about Vodafone's 5G rollout plans

Coverage rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Rank:
Joint 2nd
(out of 4 places)

Not as good as:
EE
(and all providers that use them)

Similar to:
O2
(and all providers that use them)

4G speeds: VOXI’s hosts now the second fastest in the UK

VOXI's 4G speeds delivered by Vodafone

Vodafone quality, VOXI prices

VOXI's host network Vodafone have done an impressive job over the last three years in speeding up their 4G. That's the picture we see from the reports of independent network testers Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla.

They take millions of measurements up and down the country on volunteers' smartphones, so give an excellent impression of a network's speeds. They report typical 4G downloads on Vodafone at 21.15 - 25.1 Mbps.

As with coverage, we can't run speed tests over the entire country. But we can do some spot checks, compare with being on Vodafone directly and see how believable the independent testers' results are.

Measuring VOXI vs Vodafone side-by-side in identical phones, we couldn't find any sign of a speed cap on VOXI compared to Vodafone directly. You never get the precise same result on either but there's no overall advantage for either evident.

We measured some really excellent top speeds in city centres over 4G+ in the range of 70 Mbps, which is home fibre fast. But in rural locations this can drop to as low as 6 - 8 Mbps, which is more like old school copper broadband.

On 5G, our limited testing got 120 Mbps downloads in a single location.

Overall, we can see how the independent testers' findings average out. But there's definitely a large variation on VOXI. If you're city-based you're likely onto a winner. If you're more rural, VOXI are less likely to blow you away.

That makes them second fastest on average in the country (after EE). And our own testing found no built-in difference between Vodafone and VOXI, so we think this result can translate to VOXI.

Those sorts of speeds are like mid-range home broadband and will comfortably support things like HD video streaming, although we'd point out we found a big variation from city to rural 4G speeds on VOXI.

Useful link: Read FAQs on VOXI's network in their help section

Data speed rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Rank:
Joint 2nd
(with Three)

Not as good as:
EE
(and other providers that use them)

Better than:
O2
(and other providers that use them)

Tethering: VOXI let you use your data for personal hotspot

VOXI's tethering policy

You can use your phone as a hotspot on VOXIRead full T&Cs

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

Not every network lets you use your mobile phone to create a mini hotspot around you, which you can connect other devices to, like laptops and tablets (doing this is known as tethering).

VOXI do (read policy). And you can use anything up to the entire data allowance of your plan for it if you want. Some will use it, some won't. But it's good to know it's there when you need it.

We only really did a quick functionality test for tethering on VOXI. Does it work out of the box without having to do anything extra?

It all just worked fine with nothing manual we needed to do. You get a configuration text when you first put your VOXI SIM into your phone, which sets up all the internet settings when you accept them. Do this and tethering should just work.

The experience will depend on where you and whether you're travelling. But we used personal hotspot in an area with 10 Mbps on a laptop with barely any signs of the lag you get when you're using a mobile network instead of WiFi.

All in all, we'd say tethering on VOXI is totally adequate.

An even better touch is that VOXI’s Endless social data and video and music streaming passes apply to the data used for tethering too, as long as you use their apps (not just on your web browser).

So if you connect a tablet or laptop to a personal hotspot on your phone that’s using the VOXI SIM, and you use one of the selected apps here on the tablet or laptop, VOXI won’t charge you for the data it uses.

Useful link: Read FAQs on tethering from VOXI's help section

Tethering rating:
★★★★★ (joint best choice)

Rank:
Joint 1st

Same as:
Most other networks

Better than:
iD Mobile

WiFi calling and 4G calling are main things missing on VOXI

SMARTY WiFi calling banner

VOXI's rivals SMARTY have itRead the benefits

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

Luckily the 3G/2G signal VOXI use to bring you calls and texts is actually pretty good at travelling distances and getting indoors through building materials, because they've got no extra technology to help out otherwise.

Despite Vodafone having both WiFi calling and 4G calling, they've added neither to VOXI's network features. It's likely a commercial decision. Why join the premium network if you get everything on the budget version?

It's always worth double checking what a mobile provider says it does and doesn't offer. So we tried to use WiFi calling on VOXI anyway!

The SIM settings you download remove the option to activate it. And even if you manage to stop the option being hidden it doesn't work. The feature's switched off at a network level.

By letting your phone use WiFi instead of mobile signal to make/take calls, WiFi calling avoids indoor blackspots (all these providers offer it). 4G calling improves coverage and offers better audio quality.

It's a downside to the network experience on VOXI and a key difference between VOXI and Vodafone. You can use VOXI's map here and filter for 3G and 2G to see predicted indoor coverage and whether it'll be a problem.

Useful link: Our guide to the best WiFi calling networks

WiFi calling rating:
★☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Same as:
All others

WiFi hotspots: free WiFi on London Underground

Vodafone WiFi on the Underground scheme

Connect via Vodafone WiFiHow to connect

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

There's no national network of WiFi hotspots that your VOXI SIM card will automatically connect to when in range, like the networks listed here. But you can use the free WiFi on London's TFL network with VOXI.

There's no mention of it on their website but VOXI's social media accounts say you can use your VOXI account details to access free WiFi via Vodafone's scheme (read full details and instructions here).

We were slightly sceptical about VOXI's claim on social media that you can use the free WiFi on the Underground via Vodafone, so we tried it for real. And it does indeed work.

When you get to a station, all you do is look for VodafoneWiFi under your available WiFi connections. When you select it, you get a Vodafone login screen. Just enter your VOXI username and password.

And then you're connected. The WiFi itself actually holds up pretty well at busy times. It's not really for doing heavy activity like video streaming but it's useful for basic use.

If you are interested in free nationwide WiFi with your deal, we’d say the best mobile networks to look at are BT Mobile, Virgin Mobile and O2, who have massive networks your phone can automatically connect to.

But there is a fair amount of free WiFi about nowadays anyway and VOXI have some cheap, large data plans, so not having it probably won't be a deal breaker for most people.

Useful link: VOXI's charges for extra data

Free hotspot rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Same as:
All others

VOXI benefits

Unlimited video streaming is an amazing benefit

Stream selected apps as much as you likeRead full terms

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

If you want to watch YouTube, Netflix or any of these other apps on your phone but you've put it off, because you know it'll use up loads of data, VOXI's Endless Video is the answer.

It gives you an unlimited data allowance specifically to use them, leaving the rest of your data for anything else. We've tested it for real and you can get through an 100s and 100s of GB data, without VOXI making a fuss.

To do our Endless Video test, we did something you'd have to be mad to do on a limited data plan. We turned off WiFi, switched on YouTube and found a live channel of non-stop 4K footage to watch over 4G.

We kept it running and checked the YouTube's app mobile data usage. It actually took around 10 hours on 1080p to use 15GB, so VOXI/Vodafone may be compressing the video it sends well:

Screenshot of YouTube app usage

After all this, when we checked in our online account, the data showed up as being completely untouched:

Screenshot of data allowance

Test passed.

It doesn't come on every plan. You'll need to choose one marked as Endless Video. Here's VOXI's current cheapest SIM only with the benefit:

We like that you can tether your phone to larger devices like tablets or laptops to watch on a bigger screen and still get the data free, although it's worth noting you can't use it for games consoles or TVs themselves.

Useful link: Read VOXI's full guide to Endless Video

Unlimited social media data is a nice touch too

Unlimited data for social media

Unlimited data for using social media appsFull list of apps

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

Before they added Endless Video to most their plans, VOXI were already doing something very similar for social media too. It's called Endless Social Media and comes as standard on every VOXI plan.

It covers most the main social media apps and websites you'd expect like Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat (see the full list here). And makes it so that the data these would use, does not come out of your allowance.

This is quite a strange test to do, because you're actually testing that something doesn't happen. It's a matter of using social media and the checking the usage doesn't appear in your online account.

VOXI don't show you the amount of data you've saved through Endless Social Media as a separate allowance in your account, so to find out you have to look under the data usage of the apps themselves on your phone.

Screenshot of allowances

We did the calculations and none of what we'd used on Facebook and Whatsapp had come out of the data allowance. But we weren't actually using much data on these apps in the first place either (maybe why VOXI don't show you).

It's the most comprehensive scheme of its type for social media (see networks doing similar things here). And if you get through a lot of video content in these apps, you can save a decent chunk of data with it too.

As ever, there are a few limitations, like you have to have some of your regular data left over and it doesn't cover data for video or audio calling (read full terms here). But it's a nice benefit, most people will use daily.

Useful link: Read VOXI's explanation of Endless Social Data

Free social data rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Rank:
Best for social media
(out of 14 providers)

Better than:
Virgin

Way better than:
All others

Spending caps: it's easy to avoid extra charges on VOXI

VOXI capped contracts

Paying upfront means no shock billsHow payment works

from VOXI's help section
(opens in new window)

Every pay monthly network has to let you set a bill cap for what you're willing to spend on top of your normal plan's cost for premium services not included in your plan. But VOXI are technically a pay as you go provider.

The advantage of this is that you must first top up with credit to do anything on your phone that would cost extra. So if you never top up, you can never overspend accidentally and your monthly cost stays the same.

We started off with zero credit and tried to do some chargeable things, like making an international call and send a text to a number abroad.

Screenshot of no credit in VOXI

With the call, you get a recorded message from VOXI saying that you haven't got credit or an add-on. And the message just fails.

We had quite a bit of difficulty adding a top up to our account online. The system wouldn't accept any card or paypal method. We were eventually directed to use the Vodafone website!

Once we added the credit, we tried the same activities again and they both worked. The problem is you can't get a breakdown anywhere of your usage. And you can't block specific things once you have credit.

So the best way to avoid overspending is never to top up in the first place.

The disadvantage is that it could be a pain to top up if you need to use something in a hurry. And there's no way to cap your spending once you have topped up. Anything chargeable will come out of there at these rates.

We suspect most people will never bother topping up in the first place. And will only ever ocassionally run out of data and need to buy a pass. A VOXI chat agent told us you can get a refund on unused credit too.

Useful link: How billing works on VOXI from their help guide

Spend cap rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Rank:
TBC

Similar to:
Everyone else

Better than:
N/A

Roaming: VOXI’s EU roaming still includes Endless data

VOXI endless roaming banner

Roam at no extra cost in EU countriesSee all free countries

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

Every mobile network now has to let you roam in the EU at the same cost as using your phone in the UK (read our roaming guide here), so VOXI's claim of free 'Endless' EU roaming is nothing interesting.

What is good is that VOXI extend their Endless social data benefit to when you’re roaming too, rather than leaving it restricted as a UK-only perk. That means unlimited social media when you’re on holiday (as long as you have regular data left).

If you’re going somewhere outside the EU countries listed here, VOXI operate quite an old-fashioned pay as you go system. You’ll need to top up with credit and your usage will be taken out of that at these rates.

There’s no extra inclusive roaming in non-EU countries like you get with Three’s Go Roam scheme. But overall we like that you can use anything up to your full data allowance whilst in Europe.

Useful link: All VOXI roaming costs

Roaming rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Similar to:
SMARTY, Tesco

Customer rewards: recruit your friends to join VOXI

Amazon voucher on VOXI

Get Amazon vouchers for new recruitsHow it works

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

If you join VOXI and rate it, you can earn rewards by getting your friends and family to sign up to them too. At the moment that comes in the form of Amazon vouchers for you and your friend.

You'll find full details of the refer a friend scheme here but it essentially works by sending people a tracked link, which they then order via on the VOXI website.

Once they've joined and been with VOXI for two months, they send you both an e-voucher for Amazon.co.uk to your emails. The value of the voucher currently varies between £10 and £20, depending on the plan they order.

It's a decent system you can use to offset the cost of your mobile deal if you're really proactive. Obviously, actual money off or in your bank would be better. But an Amazon voucher is pretty close to hard cash.

Useful link: Full offer terms

Rewards rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Rank:
N/A

Not as good as:
N/A

Better than:
N/A

What you don't on VOXI that other networks have

SMARTY logoSMARTY's data discount

SMARTY give you a discount for unused dataHow discounts work

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

To decide if VOXI are right for you, it's worth knowing how they're better and worse than some of their competitors, so here are few things you don't get with VOXI but you do get elsewhere.

Lots of lower-cost networks offer data rollover as a benefit. That's where data you don't manage to use gets carried forward into future months to be used the. VOXI's rivals SMARTY discount next month on some plans.

There's no family plans on VOXI with the ability to manage multiple SIMs from one account, share data or get discounts. VOXI are only set up for individuals.

And as we've mentioned in the network section of this review, there's no WiFi calling and VOXI's roaming doesn't include any worldwide destinations like you get on these providers.

Useful link: Compare VOXI deals

VOXI's deals and plans

What type of deal are you interested in?

Choose an option to skip to the right section:

Special offers running on VOXI

Here are the latest promotions on SIM only plans.

SIM only plans from VOXI

Use our price comparison tool further below to find the right deal

Key facts on VOXI's SIM only plans

Find a VOXI SIM only plan

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Added features

There's now no age limit to joining VOXI

VOXI age limit

If you've previously read that VOXI only accepted customers under 30 years old, we're happy to say that this restriction has now been lifted. Anyone 16 or up can now join them on SIM only.

You'll need to be at least 18 if you're joining on a phone contract, because you're signing up to a credit agreement with PayPal Credit but there's no upper age on these either.

We can't help wonder whether VOXI were accused of discrimination with their former age policy, or whether they just decided they should start selling to more of the population.

Either way, it's good for UK consumers, because we've now got a new provider that anyone can join. And competition means better prices and better benefits for everyone.

Useful link: VOXI's old explanation of their age limit from their FAQs

Phone contracts: VOXI offer flexible handset deals too

Phone contracts from VOXI

All the top-selling manufacturersSee the full range

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

VOXI have just started doing pay monthly smartphone contracts, which work by taking out a finance agreement for your phone (basically a loan for the cost of the device) and one of their regular SIM only plans.

The credit agreement lasts 30 months (so 6 months longer than a regular mobile contract) and spreads the full cost of the phone into monthly payments. This type of deals has advantages and disadvantages:

Because the phone plan and SIM plan are separate, you can leave VOXI by cancelling the SIM (you still have to pay the phone off each month). You can also make lump payments at any time to bring down the monthly cost of the phone too.

The disadvantage is that you're dealing with a financial product, essentially a loan. It could be harder to get accepted if you have any bad credit history. The consequences for missing payments could be worse too.

Their range features the most popular makes and models we'd expect every network to have like Apple, Samsung, Sony and Huawei. Price-wise, VOXI are cheaper than average, and certainly cheaper than their parent Vodafone.

Useful link: All VOXI phone plan benefits

Pay As You Go: All VOXI's SIMs are paid for up front

Pay as you go SIM

You don't have to buy a monthly planOrder a free SIM card

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

Really and truly, VOXI's SIM cards are meant for you to join on a monthly plan that gives you a block of mins, texts and data for a set price. But you do still pay for your plan up front like Pay As You Go.

If you really want, you can use your VOXI SIM card like a more-traditional PAYG deal where you top up with credit, and then the cost of any calls or texts are taken out of that. To use data, you still have to buy a pass.

But if you look at their per-minute and text charges here, you'll see VOXI are actually pretty expensive to use in this way. So probably aren't the best choice for this type of PAYG.

If you're after that sort of deal, it's worth looking at 1pMobile's 1p per minute, text or MB data plan, or O2's Classic Pay As You Go SIM and Three's 321 plan, both with rates of 3p per min, 2p per text and 1p per MB data.

Useful link: FAQs on how you pay for VOXI

Mobile broadband: you can use VOXI's SIMs in tablets

VOXI data-only SIM

Benefit from Endless social data stillRead more

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

It's fair to say that VOXI has been set up to be mainly be used on phones: each plan contains unlimited calls and texts as standard. So we can't recommend them as a best choice for a data-only tablet SIM.

But if you really wanted to, VOXI do let you use their SIM card in a tablet or iPad (you'll need a 3G/4G enabled device though). Even if data-only SIM deals would almost always work out better value.

Even though you'd be paying for calls and texts you can't use on your device, you would still benefit from the unlimited social data on VOXI, and also their Endless video and music streaming passes on a tablet or iPad.

But even if you'll mostly use your SIM card in a phone, it's good to know you can pop it in your tablet too every now and then, with no restrictions.

Useful link: Compare VOXI SIMs with other networks

VOXI customer service

Customer service: it's all online with VOXI

Ofcom complaints data table

No data for VOXI but Vodafone score poorlyRead Ofcom's report

Customer service is definitely the big compromise when you join VOXI. They've kept their overheads down (and so pricing too) by not having call centres, so you can only contact them online if you've got a problem.

This can work as long as queries are picked up quickly. But we've found that VOXI's online chat on their website is extremely unreliable. You've got a much better shot at getting through to them via their social media accounts.

Once you get through the agents are normally pretty knowledgable and can help you get stuff sorted. Although, don't expect your exchanges to be quick-fire. They're clearly dealing with multiple customers at once.

The government regulator Ofcom don't publish complaints data about VOXI. Either because they don't have enough customers or because they're not technically a pay monthly network. But their parent Vodafone never scores well with them.

If you're happy to self-serve or don't mind sorting things a little more slowly online, you probably won't have a problem with VOXI's service. If you like someone "real" to talk to, they're not going to be for you.

Useful link: How to contact VOXI

More VOXI guides

Rating mobile networks by feature