Head to head: iPhone on O2 vs Vodafone

Call quality

We also made a call at each location and all was successful, with no discernable difference in call quality. However, we can say with certainty that we have experienced many failed calls at various times over the last six months on our own O2 iPhone, and indeed we had one dropped call while travelling back from the tests.


Overall though, in our tests Vodafone proved to be the best in town when out and about. It also achieved the highest single download score, hitting 3,067Kbps in Westminster.

With nothing to speak of between O2 and Vodafone for the deal it's really down to network performance. In our tests, it was Vodafone that delivered the better results in London, delivering on its claims of having the better network. In our opinion it also offers a slightly better tethering charging options and more useful apps.

Based on this if you're going for a new contract, it's Vodafone we'd choose as the most consistently speedy.


With so many variables in play, getting a true picture of network performance is a tricky bet for us, but Vodafone delivered the best results in the more demanding environments. It charges more for tethering if you need 3GB, but otherwise it charges the same or less than O2. It also has more apps than O2. Ultimately though, it’s network performance that counts, and on that basis, Vodafone would be our recommended network for new iPhone customers.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.