Sure, WhatsApp voice calls are theoretically free, but the internet itself is not. If you’re sitting in a cafe sucking up free Wi-Fi then there is no cost involved at all, other than the overpriced Chai latte you’re probably sipping. But if you’re using your own data connection then you will of course be spending money in the form of data allowance when you make WhatsApp calls. So today we’re taking a look at how much data WhatsApp calls use so you can calculate the actual cost.
How we got our results
The first thing you’re going to want to know is how we came up with our figures. We made a series of WhatsApp calls and measured the data consumption with two tools: the figures given by the Android system itself and an app that measures data rates called Data Monitor. We provide both figures below and averaged them out (along with averages of the various calls we recorded).
We’re not attaching a specific dollar figure to this test because every mobile plan is different, but the averages we got should at least give you an idea of whether or not relying on WhatsApp for voice calls is actually economically better than using traditional call minutes. Another thing to keep in mind is the relative scarcity of unlimited data plans but the ubiquity of unlimited (or a high number of) included call minutes.
In our tests it only makes sense to use WhatsApp calling while on Wi-Fi. / © ANDROIDPIT
Our calls lasted for six minutes and we ran our tests on LTE. The data consumption varied quite widely, but seems to be roughly in line with