The smartphone market is getting crowded by low cost phones offering great performance. It’s been something of a rising trend, especially with brands like OnePlus and Alcatel OneTouch leading the way. The next devices wanting a piece of the action are the Wileyfox Swift and Wileyfox Storm. Both released in what looks like a direct response to last year’s “flagship killer”, the OnePlus One.
I unboxed the more budget-friendly model of the two, the Wileyfox Swift, to see if it could deliver as much bang for your buck as other, similar devices…
The Wileyfox Swift is available to pre-order right now in the UK for just £129, with delivery expected on September 30th. To offer some perspective to our U.S. audience, that price point puts it £30 ($45) cheaper than this year’s Moto G. But from first impressions alone, the device could easily give Motorola’s budget champion a real run for its money.
Packed inside Wileyfox’s svelte sandstone black casing is a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM. It’s got 16GB internal storage, with the option to expand up to a further 32GB via MicroSD. It also has a removable 2,500mAh battery and has built-in dual SIM support, with LTE connectivity as standard. On the front is an impressively sharp 5-inch, 720p fully laminated, Gorilla Glass 3 coated IPS display, while the back plays home to a Samsung-made 13MP camera with a few advanced features. It records 1080p video at 60 frames-per-second, has slow motion video, HDR, no shutter lag and a dual LED flash.
While the specifications may not seem mind-blowing, first impressions suggest Wileyfox has the software and hardware tuned to a tee. My initial experience was one with virtually no lag, and a responsive touchscreen. I can’t help but think this is mostly down to using Cyanogen 12.1 as the OS. It’s based on Lollipop 5.1.1, but is tuned to be a little more stripped down and much more customizable than regular stock Android. You can make all kinds of changes, including adapting the screen to give you the best contrast and color depending on where you are, and what kind of lighting there is.
The soft-feeling Sandstone Black rear cover has a gentle curve, making it fit in the palm comfortably, while the slim chrome trim adds a little flourish to stop it from looking too much like a thin, cheap piece of plastic. It doesn’t feel like a premium device — it’s far too light for that — but it still feels well considered, like the designers knew this thing would sit in your hand all day. I’ll be testing it and using it every day for the next week or so to see how it deals with daily life. But if the Wileyfox Swift can handle everything I throw at it, we may have yet another inexpensive phone most people can afford, that comes with very few compromises.