What is VOXI - and should I get a plan?

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Question

What's VOXI? Should I get a plan with them? It says you have to be a certain age to sign up - is that true?

Hailey C, via email

Our expert Kim says...

VOXI is a brand new mobile network, created just for people aged 25 and under. It's a sub-network of Vodafone that offers slightly different plans from the main Vodafone roster, and if you're one of them young people, it could be worth a look.

The idea is that young people use their mobiles differently from their older counterparts. They're more likely to want a plan focused on data, with little regard for calling minutes and, god forbid, SMS texts. So, VOXI puts data front and centre of its deals.

Every plan is 4G and, best of all, using certain social media apps is free. Any downloading or uploading you do within Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Viber, and WhatsApp won't come out of your data allowance. As long as you have a bit of data left on your plan, you can use them as much as you like. That's a bit amazing.

Here's what else you need to know:

  • All deals are 30-day SIM-only plans
  • You can pick between three monthly data allowances - 2GB for £10, 5GB for £15, or 15GB for £20
  • Data add-ons are available
  • Unlimited calls and texts are included
  • Tethering is allowed, with no restrictions beside your monthly allowance
  • There are freebies - like the chance to nab a free phone case, and bonuses if you refer a friend to VOXI as well.

There are a few limitations, however. You can only sign up to a deal if you're 25 or under, for a start - though you won't get kicked off when you turn 26, VOXI assures us.

As well as that, SIM-only plans are the only kind currently available. You'll need to either buy or already own a phone in order to use VOXI.

Should I get a VOXI plan?

If you're 25 or under, and most of your data allowance gets used up on those particular social media apps - then yeah, VOXI is pretty good value. It essentially means you can pay £10 for unlimited use, depending on your habits.

They're all 30-day plans anyway, so there's no harm in giving it a go and cancelling if it doesn't work out.

However, it's not very useful if most of your data allowance goes on other apps - such as music and video streaming, the biggest data-guzzlers of all. Take a look at networks such as EE and Three instead in that case, both of which offer free use of other apps like Apple Music and Netflix.

VOXI officially launches on 8 September. Look out for it if you're interested in signing up. Or if you can't wait that long, see the best SIM-only deals of the month right here.

Smarty

The company behind Three has launched a similarly youth-oriented mobile network too: Smarty.

Like VOXI, Smarty offers 30-day rolling SIM-only plans that focus on the data. To be specific, the network offers a handful of 4G plans, and buys back any unused data at the end of the month.

So, if you have an 8GB data allowance but you only use 5GB that month, Smarty will buy back the remaining 3GB. It buys at a rate of £1.25 per gigabyte, so in this case you'll get £3.75 off your next bill.

That's a great money-saver, and if you don't usually use all your data up, it's more useful than the 'data rollover' feature available on networks like Virgin Mobile or Sky Mobile.

It's the only unique feature Smarty offers for now, though. Plus, since the network's so new, a few things are still in the works - roaming and international calling aren't available just yet, for instance.

Should I get a Smarty plan?

If you have erratic data usage where no two months seem to be the same, we reckon Smarty is worth it. It's a fantastic way to save money in the long run.

That said, we'd wait until all its features are available so you can get the most out of a plan.

And if your usage is more steady month by month, you may in fact find a long-term contract on a SIM better value. Especially on a network that includes lots of bonus extras, like Three's own Advanced plans.

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