LocalPhone

LocalPhone Reviews

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LocalPhone Review by WhichVoIP

LocalPhone is based in the United Kingdom and provides very low cost pricing for International calling across the World.

To make calls you can download its Android or iOS Apps, use a PC App or even just use your cell phone through the use of local numbers for each of your contacts. You can also access the cheap International rates through a LocalPhone calling card.

The Good

The main selling point for LocalPhone is the low International calling rates. You can just do a pay as you go plan where you just pay for the minutes you use in a month or if you have higher call volumes you could go with a subscription plan for the countries of interest. Here are some example rates, at this time of writing, to show how inexpensive the LocalPhone International rates are. The USA is just 0.5c/min, UK is 0.6c/min for landlines and 2.3c/min for mobiles, India is 1.3c/min, Australia is 1.5c/min, China is 5.2c/min and Germany is 0.7c/min. Subscription plans vary in cost but as an example, USA 800 minute/month plan costs $1.60 (i.e. 0.2c/min). It is worth noting that all call durations are rounded up to the nearest minute and do not include tax. Even with added taxes, it is tough to beat rates this low.

Global SMS messaging is also provided by LocalPhone. These are also pay as you go and there are no contracts, though messaging costs vary by country, as you would expect. These tend to be considerably higher than International calls, at this time of writing for example, messaging the US costs 8c/message, UK is 8c/message, India is 3.1c/message, Australia is 6c/message, China is 8.6c/message and Germany is 14c/message.

You can also rent local virtual phone numbers from over 45 countries for the purpose of incoming calls. This is great if you have friends and family around the World as they can call you at local rates. You can then either use the App to receive the calls or forward these calls to a different number, for example your cell phone but at an additional cost per minute based on the country for the number you are forwarding to. Incoming number costs vary by country, for example the US costs $3 for setup and $0.99/month thereafter, the UK is $0.99 for setup and $0.99/month. Other rates are stated on the LocalPhone Website.

LocalPhone provides Apps for iOS, Android and PCs so you can make and receive calls. The LocalPhone Apps for iOS and Android devices have the option to use local calls mode or WiFi/Cellular mode. In the case of the local calls mode, your calls connect through a local phone number in the country your are dialing. For the WiFi/Cellular mode it will use VoIP using your Internet connection either through your WiFi or cellular connection. You can also use other VoIP devices such as third party soft phones. For third party SIP enabled devices they will give you credentials for your account so you can enter these into the application. If your friends and families also use the App for calls, all calls between users are free of charge. You can also setup voicemail for your local numbers and take advantage of VoIP features such as call filtering and call forwarding.

You can earn free credits towards calls and messages by inviting friends to join LocalPhone. In return you will receive 10% of any top-ups your referrals spend over the first 90 days, that can be used as credits towards your calls. Credits last for 1 year only and then expire.

The support section contains a lot of good FAQs across multiple different topics. You can also email the support team for assistance.

If you would like to kick the tires you can sign up for a free 5 minute call to any destination. Just provide your name, phone number and email address and your first call is free, up to a maximum of 5 minutes. We recommend trying this to ensure the quality of your calling route is good before signing up for service.

The Bad

The subscription plans typically offer a mix of landline and mobile calls so they will not necessarily save you money. If you know you are only calling landlines in the UK, for example, it may be better to do a pay as you go plan at 0.6c/min rather than the subscription plan for the UK which is $10.40 for 800 minutes (i.e. 1.3c/min). This is because it has to cover landlines and mobile calls and in the UK mobile rates are very expensive. The point here is do your own due diligence regarding your calling needs and then determine whether pay as you go or a subscription plan is more economical.

Receiving SMS messages seems to be limited to mainly UK local numbers and some US numbers. It is worth paying attention to this when you request a new local number, to verify it can support SMS messages.

The LocalPhone Website is painfully slow. Not a reason to avoid this Company, and we are accessing it from 5000 miles away, but it is slow and frustrating. Surely they can afford a dedicated server for Web traffic.

There is no Emergency calling services with LocalPhone, you need to use your native cell phone for this or make other arrangements for emergency calling.

The Bottom Line

  • Very low International calling rates, some of the best we have seen (e.g. USA 0.5c/min, UK 0.6c/min).
  • International SMS messaging capabilities. SMS is considerably more expensive than calls (e.g. USA 8c/message, UK is 8c/message).
  • Rent International phone numbers for incoming calls so your friends and family can call you at local rates for them (e.g. USA is $0.99/month, UK is $0.99/month).
  • Multiple ways to make calls, iOS and Android Apps, PC App, calling cards or just a cell phone through the use of local numbers for your contacts.

Overall Thoughts

LocalPhone appears to be a very interesting option for consumers that need to make International calls. The rates are some of the lowest we have seen at WhichVoIP and it provides various ways to make and receive calls such as Apps for your iPhone, Android and PC. The Global SMS rates seem a little high but this is true for most providers in this space.

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