Wileyfox Swift and Storm evaluate: Two low cost UK telephones, one value shopping for

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

There are two methods you’ll be able to go about shopping for a brand new smartphone: Both you unfold the fee over a yr or two with a service contract, or buy the factor outright. Whenever you’re lastly accomplished paying it off, a subsidised handset typically finally ends up costing greater than it is value. Nevertheless, contemplating the worth of new iPhones, Samsung flagships and friends, that may nonetheless be preferable to emptying your checking account in a single fell swoop. Fortunately, corporations huge and small are addressing this conundrum with telephones that provide the sort of specs and consumer expertise clients need at costs they’re comfortable to pay upfront. Regardless of an abundance of competitors in contract-free handsets already, new British model Wileyfox is one such firm, and it is hoping to make its mark within the UK with the reasonably priced £129 Swift and better-finish £199 Storm.

seventy nine
Wileyfox

Swift

Execs

  • Generic design made charming
  • Simply customisable software program
  • Vibrant show
  • Extraordinarily reasonably priced

Cons

  • Unfastened micro-USB port
  • Common digital camera

Abstract

Of Wileyfox’s two inaugural smartphones, the £129 Swift is definitely the star of the present. It does not excel in anybody specific space, and it isn’t with out its shortcomings, akin to a borderline defective micro-USB port and mediocre digital camera efficiency. The Swift is neat and distinctive in its design, nevertheless, with a vibrant show, greater than sufficient efficiency and a passable battery life. Merely put, you are getting rather a lot in your cash, and you would be arduous-pressed to discover a higher smartphone for a similar worth.

sixty four
Wileyfox

Storm

Execs

  • Trendy design
  • Strong efficiency
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Horrible digital camera
  • Mediocre battery life

Abstract

Wileyfox’s Storm makes a terrific first impression, with all of the seems and construct high quality of a costlier flagship. The spec sheet, too, is fairly engaging contemplating its £199 price ticket, however reliable efficiency is one among its solely likable traits. The Storm’s show is simply "ok," battery life is unimpressive and the 20-megapixel foremost digital camera is poor to the purpose of being extremely irritating to make use of. With loads of different smartphones that promise a greater all-spherical expertise for roughly the identical worth or cheaper, the Storm is frankly an immediately forgettable gadget. 

Wileyfox’s origins

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Wileyfox seemingly got here out of nowhere, saying itself as an organization earlier than launching two Android smartphones in as many months. No delays, no crowdfunding-esque pre-order system, no invitations. This has led to some hypothesis, from us and readers alike, as as to if Wileyfox is as recent-confronted because it makes out. You do not see a brand new British smartphone producer day-after-day, in any case, particularly one with a cultured web site and units able to ship virtually proper off the bat. Naturally, the corporate has attracted the eye of the press, and suspicions that Wileyfox is just a longtime agency drumming up curiosity in new merchandise by summoning a brand new, “disruptive” UK firm to entrance them is not solely unfounded.

The skepticism is comprehensible, too. Huawei went some option to masking its possession of the Honor smartphone model when it debuted within the UK, and the connection between Oppo and OnePlus continues to be not totally clear. Whereas Wileyfox does not seem be only a cloak-and-dagger advertising train, it isn’t precisely a lone wolf both. The corporate is owned by Meridian Group, which can also be the father or mother of handset makers Fly Cellular and Kazam. Now, it is unlikely you will have heard of Fly, because it solely sells telephones in Japanese and Southern Europe, the CIS and India. However, the identify Kazam may ring a bell (maybe for the flawed causes). Kazam peddles its SIM-free telephones in Western Europe, together with its house nation of the UK.

A spokesperson for Wileyfox advised me there’s “no formal relationship” between the businesses aside from all being beneath the identical umbrella company. They’ve “completely totally different philosophies and management groups,” and though its handsets are manufactured in China, Wileyfox could be very a lot a British firm run from the UK. So no, Wileyfox is not an unbiased startup, however from what I have been led to consider is a brand new, separate firm that occurs to be backed by an organisation with substantial expertise within the smartphone recreation. Make of that what you’ll.

Hardware

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Because the smartphone period started many, many moons in the past, just about each conceivable variation of the slate type issue has come to cross. Whereas your typical flagships costing greater than every week’s wages mix metallic and glass in numerous, visually interesting methods, extra reasonably priced telephones can typically be boringly generic. You solely have to take a look at the newest, personal-model choices from Vodafone and EE, for instance, to see how straightforward it’s for cheaper handsets to lack distinctive qualities.

The £129 Wileyfox Swift does not increase the bar for low-value smartphone design, per se. It is good and neat for a 5-inch system, although: not too thick, not too large, not too tall, not too heavy, or mild (there is a Goldilocks reference in there someplace). With a slight curve in its again, smooth corners and a cheesy, grainy texture to the darkish gray rear cowl, it sits greater than comfortably within the palm. And on account of its tidy dimensions, it is easy to make use of one-handed.

The Swift continues to be slightly on the atypical, boxy aspect, however the satan’s within the particulars. The quirky, round earpiece is one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than, for instance. Then there’s the angular, black Wileyfox emblem, the corporate identify stamped on the again in vivid orange, the large and daring metallic rim across the main digital camera with its personal orange accent, the matt rear panel — all come collectively to offer the Swift a definite, particular person appeal. And it is nicely constructed, in addition, regardless of being a principally plastic affair. The chassis itself is strong, and the again plate that hides the twin micro-SIM slots, microSD card slot and detachable battery matches like a glove. I do have one specific bone to select with the development, nevertheless. The micro-USB port on the underside of the system is sunken too far into the physique, a lot in order that any cable I cram into it pops out on the slightest motion.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Wileyfox’s Storm might solely be £70 costlier than the Swift at £199, however the greater-finish handset has all of the seems of a “premium” smartphone. Being a bigger, squarer and extra imposing gadget than the Swift has one thing to do with it, nevertheless it’s additionally much more dynamic in form. The highest and backside edges pillow out ever so barely, for example, and all 4 edges fade away from the bigger glass entrance to satisfy the smaller again plate. Its design has a whiff of OnePlus about it, nevertheless it’s a pretty handset in its personal proper moderately than being a carbon copy.

The brilliant orange Wileyfox stamp and black emblem are this time joined by an rectangular-formed metallic encompass with bronze edging that highlights each the first digital camera and its companion flash (the entrance-dealing with digital camera has its personal flash, too). And the darkish gray again plate has the identical matt, virtually sandy texture to it that affords you additional grip and feels that bit extra luxurious than plain plastic would. In contrast to the Swift, the Storm options capacitive keys that sit underneath the 5.5-inch show. With that a lot area obtainable to an on-display navigation bar, they’re virtually pointless, however they do give function to what would in any other case be a lifeless bezel. The house button doubles as a multicolour notification mild, too, which is a cool function Wileyfox has snuck in there. (The Swift makes do with a separate, multicolour LED on its face as an alternative.)

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Regardless of being a bit giant for my liking, the Storm’s skinny, chamfered edges, agreeable 155g weight and velvety again plate make for a comfortable grip, even when utilizing the system one-handed is a little bit of a wrestle. The Storm does not use a unique class of construct supplies to the Swift. Positive, the quantity rocker and energy key are brushed metallic on the pricier handset, however the periphery is a tough, matt plastic although it seems prefer it may be of metallic at first look. When it comes to construct high quality, the Storm is completely rock strong. There isn’t any detachable again panel this time round — the twin micro-SIM slots are tucked away in a drawer, with one doubling as a microSD card tray — so the Storm is one full block of plastic and glass.

Whereas the Swift manages to suit lots of character into what’s in any other case a reasonably normal design, the Storm’s character is outlined by its extra angular, aggressive and engaging form. Merely put, it seems to be and feels nice. For a tool at this worth level, I dare say it punches nicely about its weight.

Storm Swift Dimensions one hundred fifty five.6 x seventy seven.three x 9.2mm 141.2 x seventy one x 9.4mm Weight 155g 135g Show 5.5-inch IPS LCD (1,920 x 1,080) 5-inch IPS LCD (1,280 x 720) Pixel Density four hundred ppi 294 ppi Glass Toughened Gorilla Glass three Processor 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 RAM 3GB 2GB Storage 32GB (expandable) 16GB (expandable) Main digital camera 20.7-megapixel BSI thirteen-megapixel BSI Secondary digital camera eight-megapixel 5-megapixel Battery 2,500mAh 2,500mAh (detachable) OS Cyanogen OS 12.1 Cyanogen OS 12.1 Mobile Cat four LTE Cat four LTE WiFi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n Bluetooth four.zero four.zero NFC No No
Show

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Each of Wileyfox’s handsets are kitted out with IPS LCD shows, however there are some vital variations between them. And I am not simply speaking about their sizes and resolutions. The Swift sports activities a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 panel shielded by Gorilla Glass three, whereas the bigger Storm tucks a 5.5-inch, 1080p display away behind toughened glass — nothing out of the bizarre for telephones at their respective worth factors. Whereas the Swift’s show is completely punchy and color wealthy, the Storm’s has noticeably higher distinction. By that I imply colors are that bit extra vibrant, and blacks a shade deeper. It is just like the distinction between an ideal photograph and one which’s ever-so-barely overexposed.

I can not say, nevertheless, that the Storm’s panel is best throughout the board. The Swift’s show has much more energy obtainable to it, making it a lot simpler to see in direct daylight. Readability is not a serious situation for the Storm; you possibly can nonetheless crank the brightness up to some extent the place it is completely usable on a sunny day, however glare is however a distraction. To quantify it loosely, the utmost brightness setting on the Storm is equal to roughly 50 % brightness on the Swift, so I do know which I might moderately take to the park for a picnic. One other disparity between the shows is that in direct daylight, you possibly can see the glint of the touchscreen digitizer on the Storm, which is totally hidden on the Swift. Viewing angles are constant throughout each units: greater than enough, however nothing particular.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Each of Wileyfox’s smartphones have an auto-brightness setting, as you’d anticipate, and a function referred to as “LiveDisplay,” which alters color temperature based mostly on the time of day. As you get into the night, the display adopts a purple tinge, decreasing your publicity to the blue finish of the spectrum that is confirmed to mess with sleepiness. Inside the LiveDisplay menu, you may as well tweak the “Day” and “Night time” temperatures if you want, however default white stability throughout each units is sweet sufficient that I dare not enterprise down this rabbit gap. Additionally obtainable on the Swift are a number of settings you will not discover on the Storm, like the power to play with pixel density on the software program degree — it is 320 ppi by default although the 720p show is 294 ppi by design — and restrict what orientations the auto-rotation function responds to.

Software program

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Wileyfox has opted for Cyanogen OS, an open-supply, customised model of Android, to run the present on each of its units. Model 12.1, to be actual, which makes use of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop as its spine. For probably the most half, it provides the acquainted inventory Android expertise, simply with a bunch of additional options tacked on (like LiveDisplay). A minor and welcome alteration to the vanilla Android format is the app drawer, which sticks all of your apps on one vertical pane and teams them alphabetically. Should you’re feeling notably lazy, there is a slider on the backside of this display that allows you to leap straight to a letter in a lot the identical method you’d fast-scroll by way of your contacts listing.

Personalisation is an enormous a part of Cyanogen OS, which features a “Themes” app for simply that objective. It is half settings menu, half storefront, providing a big number of each paid and free skins that may change each side of the aesthetic. Fonts, icons, wallpapers, ringtones, standing icons, settings toggles; even the navigation bar and boot animation. And when you like sure parts of various themes and never others, you possibly can combine and match particular person elements to your coronary heart’s content material. I’ve caught with the preinstalled Wileyfox theme, which is a comparatively mild pores and skin that makes use of the corporate’s signature orange wherever it will possibly and its emblem for the app drawer button, amongst a couple of different minor tweaks.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Placing your personal twist on issues does not start and finish with the “Themes” app, although. On each telephones, you’ll be able to set a special notification color for each single app if you need. That is as deep as personalisation will get on the Storm, however you possibly can tinker with the Swift to a a lot higher extent. You possibly can tweak the format of the navigation bar, for instance, or add, take away and reorientate what seems within the fast-settings menu. When you’ve got the endurance to discover each risk scattered concerning the settings menu, there is a bunch of various methods to make the decrease-finish telephone your personal.

Enhanced safety is one other space Cyanogen OS prides itself on. The “PIN Scramble” function randomises the format of the numbers on the PIN entry display to flummox shoulder-surfers and smudge-guessers. You can even sample-shield folders on the homescreen carousel, which in turns hides any locked software program within the app drawer. Privateness Guard, buried inside the settings menu, is by far probably the most strong safety measure in Cyanogen OS. Utilizing this device, you possibly can handle particular person app permissions and block any undesirable exercise.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Do you have to want to distance your self from Google’s providers — all of that are preinstalled on each Wileyfox units — Cyanogen OS ships with options for a number of of the core apps. These embrace a calendar and e mail shopper (each constructed by Boxer), in addition to the Cyanogen browser, which is bought as being quick and safe. To me, it appears like an previous model of Chrome, and does not seem to carry out any higher than Google’s browser. An non-compulsory addition I discover fairly helpful is Truecaller, which can combine its options into the inventory dialer for those who so select. It is principally a caller ID service that may additionally warn you if an incoming name is more likely to be vocal spam. It does not work one hundred pc of the time, however I’ve had a few calls from unsaved numbers that popped up with the identify of acquainted PR businesses hooked up, which has proved useful.

Cyanogen OS additionally consists of its personal gallery app that may pull pictures from Google+, Flickr, Fb and Dropbox for straightforward, one-cease hoarding. Final up: AudioFX, an app that allows you to mess around with audio output. It options various preset profiles for several types of music, although you’ll be able to create customized ones too. It really works splendidly with Spotify, and it’s also possible to use it to spice up bass ranges if, say, your headphones are missing a sure oomph.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

All issues thought-about, Cyanogen OS is an effective instance of Android customisation achieved properly. It will not alienate vanilla diehards, and consists of simply sufficient helpful, additional options with out feeling bloated. That stated, there’s a problem with the construct on the Swift that genuinely annoys me. A Google Now widget lives on the prime of the homescreen panel, and you may’t eliminate it. And when you do not actually look after Google Now, you need to take a look at a gray bar that completely shows “Get Now playing cards.” For no matter cause — or fortunately, I ought to say — this does not seem on the Storm.

Digital camera

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

The inventory digital camera app in Cyanogen OS is the exact opposite of the one bundled with vanilla Android. Whereas Google’s gives virtually no adjustable settings, all the things you possibly can attainable assume to tweak is, properly, tweakable within the default app on Wileyfox’s handsets. And I am not simply speaking about publicity compensation, white stability and ISO. There are upwards of 20 totally different scene and filter modes out there, alongside manipulations of shutter lag, focus velocity, publicity weighting and extra. I am of the agency perception that easier is best relating to smartphone digital camera apps. I would like to have the ability to pull out my telephone and seize a shot, not agonise over settings and scene modes. To this finish, I took nearly all of my digital camera samples on full auto or in HDR mode, although in some situations I completely had to regulate publicity compensation manually (extra on this later).

The Storm is provided with a 20.7-megapixel main digital camera (BSI sensor courtesy of Sony) and an 8MP entrance-facer. The selfie cam has its personal devoted flash, too, and though I am not a lot of a portrait poser, I can see why it will be helpful on, say, an evening out with associates in a dimly lit bar. Now, within the completely overcast British autumn, I am going to admit I have never had the chance to check both handset’s fundamental digital camera in optimum circumstances, however put bluntly, the Storm’s imaging chops are plain disappointing.

The place do I begin? Nicely, whether or not you manually choose a focus on the viewfinder, or depart it as much as the Storm to determine, it fidgets continuously. Focus typically begins to float as quickly because it’s settled on a goal, and typically it may give up the search altogether and simply hold in a blurry no-man’s land. It is legitimately irritating to make use of, and I discover myself stabbing on the display making an attempt to seize a shot within the second or so whereas the going’s good. One redemption is the tight macro focal vary: The digital camera has a comparatively large aperture, so you possibly can squeeze out the odd shut-up with a satisfying quantity of background bokeh.

One other concern with the Storm’s digital camera is persistent underexposure, at the very least the place landscapes are involved — that is the place guide compensation is useful. When your topic is at center-to-shut vary, nevertheless, the autoexposure setting appears to get a grip on the scene and modify accordingly. To be truthful, underexposed photographs do look a tad lighter on a pc display in contrast with the Storm’s viewfinder, however that is not notably useful whenever you’re framing a shot. When left on auto, white stability is approaching correct more often than not, even when synthetic sources are at play.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Whenever you’re not wrestling with skittish focus and publicity, you can get a crisp 20-megapixel picture out of the Storm with very true-to-life color saturation. Nevertheless, low-mild efficiency is one other space during which the first digital camera is a letdown. Clearly, the shutter velocity decreases considerably because the sensor tries to collect extra mild, however when paired with the main target challenge, it means it is even more durable to take a snap that is not at the very least a bit blurry. (In any other case, shutter speeds are nigh on immediate, and that is true for each handsets). Past that, although, most low-mild footage come out extremely noisy; grainy to the purpose of ugly and unsharable.

Low-mild video efficiency merely is not value discussing, and since guide publicity changes do not carry over from stills to clips, daytime (albeit overcast) movies shot in 1080p do not come out nice both. They’re too darkish by default, the autofocus and publicity compensation mechanisms are all over, and audio high quality is tinny and distant. I do not know whether or not it is the fault of the digital camera module itself, or simply poor calibration/optimisation, however do not let that huge megapixel rely idiot you: The Storm’s digital camera is way from succesful, and wildly inconsistent.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

The decrease-finish Swift makes do with a thirteen-megapixel main affair (BSI sensor courtesy of Samsung) and a 5MP digital camera up entrance. The Swift’s fundamental shooter does not have the higher sensor of the 2 Wileyfox units on paper, however then it is not plagued with the identical points I encountered on the Storm. Focusing is quick and holds robust, whether or not you are capturing a panorama or a rosebud (it isn’t infallible, in fact), and the autoexposure setting is far more correct in all of the conditions the Storm struggles. Automated white stability is usually comparable throughout each units, which is to say that it is good on the Swift, however not all the time good.

Just like the Storm at its greatest, photographs the Swift spits out have, for probably the most half, sensible color saturation. The Swift’s aperture is not fairly as vast because the Storm’s, however a small quantity of bokeh continues to be achievable if the topic of your snap is up shut and private. Because of its extra exact autofocus and publicity capabilities, daytime video efficiency is considerably higher on the Swift than the Storm. Audio high quality is barely crisper too, however solely marginally so; it nonetheless lacks a substantial amount of depth. Low-mild clips are principally simply as ineffective as those you get from the upper-finish mannequin. They arrive out a shade brighter, however at about 10 fps.

Low-mild stills aren’t precisely the Swift’s robust go well with, both. The photographs you’ll be able to tease out of it in awkward circumstances aren’t almost as noisy as these from the Storm’s digital camera. However, the Storm’s bigger 20-megapixel sensor is capable of suck up sufficient mild you can simply make out a scene the place the Swift solely sees a sea of black. The HDR mode on each Wileyfox units does precisely what it ought to, enhancing picture distinction and giving colors a barely unrealistic vibrancy, although they do take a great few seconds to course of. The panorama mode, too, takes some time to show pictures round, however it stitches scenes collectively remarkably properly.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

General, I’ve to say I a lot favor the Swift’s digital camera to the Storm’s. Imaging efficiency on the Swift is not impeccable by any stretch of the creativeness — it is ease of use I am siding with right here. You’ll be able to pull the system out of your pocket, leap into the digital camera app and take an image, understanding that each one the auto settings will serve you adequately sufficient. Between jittery focus and confused autoexposure, the identical cannot be stated for the Storm.

Efficiency and battery life

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Break open the Wileyfox Storm, and you will find a 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32 gigs of inner storage (expandable with microSD playing cards as giant as 128GB). The Swift, being the decrease-finish mannequin, has barely leaner core specs. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410, paired with two gigs of RAM and 16GB of constructed-in storage (it, too, has a microSD slot, which helps playing cards as much as 32GB). Although one clearly has a much bigger engine buzzing away inside, there actually is not a lot that separates the 2 handsets when it comes to on a regular basis efficiency.

I am now on the stage the place I really feel I am endlessly overlaying the identical floor with regards to both writing, or just interested by the efficiency of Android units each time I’ve obtained my paws on one (or two). That is to say the velocity and fluidity of the consumer expertise is as quick and as slick as you’d ever want it to be. Take the Storm, for example. You’ll be able to whip by way of the homescreen carousel, yank down the notification bar, and leap out and in of your on a regular basis apps at lightning velocity with out forcing a lot as a hiccup or a stutter out of the gadget. Chrome pulls web sites from the ether to your show in a second or two (relying in your connection, in fact), and actually, what extra do you want?

It is a easy reality: The Swift’s working with much less horsepower underneath the hood. However compared with the Storm, that reality is of little significance. Every part I stated concerning the Storm applies to the Swift, too. No, it isn’t as quick, however the distinction in app loading occasions and common responsiveness might be measured within the milliseconds. Most significantly, the consumer expertise is constant, not fluid one minute and sluggish the subsequent. I’ve, nevertheless, encountered the odd gremlin throughout my time with each the Storm and the Swift: an app crashing for seemingly no purpose, or an unregistered swipe throughout the touchscreen. Thoughts you, these occasions are so rare that it does not dent my opinion that each units supply commendable efficiency. And, whether or not it is a MacBook, a Kindle or a Now TV field, I discover each piece of hardware is able to having a ghost within the machine on occasion.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

To push the Storm and Swift’s silicon to its limits, in fact I’ve indulged in a quick gaming session right here and there. Outcomes are as anticipated. On-line shooter Shadowgun: Deadzone appears nearly as good as I’ve seen it, and runs easily on the Storm on the “extremely excessive” graphics setting. The Swift holds its personal on extremely excessive, too, albeit at a barely decrease framerate. As with all these gaming checks, it’s a must to keep in mind the 1080p and 720p display resolutions of the Storm and Swift, respectively; the upper the decision, the extra demanding the workload.

One too many races in Asphalt eight: Airborne confirms the 3D racer is not capable of push both handset to its breaking level. The medium graphics setting ensures the perfect stability between visuals and efficiency on the Storm and Swift alike. Bump that as much as excessive, nevertheless, and also you’re solely taking a look at a minor decline in framerate on each units, with the sport remaining completely playable (the extra detailed textures typically appeared glitchy on the Swift, although it did not have an effect on efficiency). Actual Racing three, a much less arcadey driving recreation, runs extraordinarily properly on the Swift, however is not any enjoyable to play on the Storm resulting from a low framerate.

EA’s racer mechanically selects what it believes is an applicable graphics setting on your system, and you may’t change this in-recreation. Subsequently, the Storm has clearly been issued a setting one notch up from what it could possibly deal with. No matter this minor velocity bump, the primary takeaway is each telephones do not simply deal with light-weight apps and duties with ease. When you’re a fan of useful resource-hungry video games, both Wileyfox gadget is very doubtless of being succesful sufficient to suit your wants.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Neither Wileyfox handset has an NFC chip, which is not superb in the event you’re hoping to benefit from Android Pay when it will definitely arrives within the UK (or any of the unique cellular cost apps obtainable now). You do, nevertheless, get the fundamentals: GPS, Bluetooth four.zero, Cat four LTE and a couple of.4GHz WiFi 802.eleven b/g/n. A twin-band WiFi chip would’ve been appreciated, however I assume it isn’t important, and each units keep strong wi-fi connections at admiral distances (from my residence router at the least). GPS efficiency is quick and correct, too.

In our normal battery rundown check (video looping at 50 % brightness), neither smartphone notched a tremendous outcome. The Swift had probably the most stamina of the 2, dying after eight hours and 4 minutes, whereas the Storm gave up the ghost after solely six hours and 39 minutes. Each are outfitted with a 2,500mAh battery (solely the Swift’s is detachable), so it is sensible the Storm would not final as lengthy contemplating its bigger, greater-decision show.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

These occasions aren’t astronomically out of the strange, although. Sony’s Xperia Z5 managed to carry out solely forty minutes longer than the Storm, regardless of having 2,900mAh of juice to work with. Then once more, HTC’s equally specced One A9 lasted eight and three-quarter hours regardless of its comparatively small 2,150mAh battery. The Swift is not precisely breaking data both, thoughts. This yr’s Moto G, which additionally has a 720p show and Snapdragon 410 chip, stored trucking for over two-and-a-half hours longer than the Swift with 2,470mAh within the financial institution.

The Storm is the sort of system you are going to need to cost each night. It may deal with a day of sunshine-to-average, non-intensive utilization — I am speaking checking practice occasions, studying emails, sending a WhatsApp message or two, thumbing by way of Twitter sometimes and making a few calls — earlier than that battery indicator hits the terrifying pink zone. It is merely not going to stay for lengthy tomorrow should you do not refill it in at the moment. A day with the Swift spins an analogous story. Because the rundown check suggests, it does have a number of extra hours to provide than the Storm. Nevertheless, even with extraordinarily mild utilization, you are not getting by way of greater than 18 hours on a cost.

The competitors

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

Once you’re speaking reasonably priced smartphones, it is unattainable to not look straight in Motorola’s course. The Moto G, now in its third era, nonetheless units one thing of a benchmark for worth for cash. The £189, 16GB storage/2GB RAM mannequin mirrors the spec sheet of the Swift virtually identically. Wileyfox’s handset, nevertheless, undercuts it in worth by £60, which is a big saving. The Moto G has a trendy, customisable design, waterproofing, higher battery life and model legacy in its favour, however the Swift does measure up as a reputable, extra reasonably priced various.

In the event you’re prepared to interrupt the £200 barrier, then the Moto X Play can also be value a glance. The £219 configuration has sixteen gigs of storage and 2GB of RAM, in contrast with the £199 Storm’s 32 gig capability and 3GB of RAM. In any other case, the spec sheets commerce blow for blow. The Moto X Play, nevertheless, has a large three,630mAh battery that’ll simply hold you going for 2 full days. It is also full customisable by way of Moto Maker, and is not any slouch within the digital camera division, which may’t be stated concerning the Storm.

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

In fact, Motorola is not the one firm with units in this type of worth vary. Huawei’s P8 Lite is a lovely handset with specs corresponding to that of the Swift, and could be purchased for £one hundred forty four on Amazon presently. Then there’s the Honor 6, which boasts a light-weight body, massive battery and £210 price ticket, although it does fall in need of the Storm in some areas, no less than on paper. If it is uncooked energy you are after, the £199 OnePlus X is packing a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, however there’s not a nice deal else to write down residence about in any other case.

Carphone Warehouse will promote you Sony’s Xperia M4 Aqua for £one hundred fifty unlocked proper now, which is nothing in need of a discount. It is skinny, mild and waterproof, with a 5-inch 720p show, octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor (just like the Storm) and a thirteen-megapixel digital camera. Briefly, you get a number of hardware in your cash. Contract-free telephones are all about not tying your self to a service, however I can not assist however give Vodafone’s Sensible Extremely 6 an honourable point out. Obtainable for £one hundred fifteen on pay-as-you-go, you are taking a look at a 5.5-inch, 1080p show, Snapdragon 615 CPU, thirteen- and 5-megapixel cameras, sixteen gigs of storage and a three,000mAh battery. It won’t be probably the most trendy telephone, however it’s unimaginable worth nonetheless.

Wrap-up

Wileyfox Swift and Storm review: Two cheap UK phones, one worth buying

If Wileyfox’s first two smartphones have been night meals, the Swift can be a tasty burger from a quick-meals joint, and the Storm a sit-down dinner that leaves a bitter style within the mouth. Neither handset is so thrilling that I am spraying meals ‘trigger I can not wait to inform you about them, however the Swift presents nice worth for cash. Between its neat and charming design, passable show and greater than satisfactory efficiency, I am not left dwelling on the compromises and shortcomings. As an alternative, I am nodding cheerfully on the £129 price ticket, and considering that the subsequent time somebody asks me to advocate an honest, low cost smartphone, I’ve extra to say than simply “go purchase a Moto G.”

My opinion of the Storm, then again, has been just about outlined by my expertise with its digital camera. That 20.7-megapixel Sony sensor seems so alluring on the spec sheet of a £199 smartphone, and but I might select the Swift’s thirteen-megapixel digital camera as my most popular companion day by day of the week. For me, it comes right down to unfulfilled potential. The Storm is a particularly trendy handset. It is nicely-constructed and is arguably as engaging as any flagship crafted from extra premium supplies. The 1080p show is not the perfect round however it’s ok, and I’ve no points to boost relating to efficiency. However then I feel again to the digital camera, and the one-day battery life, and despite the fact that £199 is not asking a lot, I might nonetheless say save your self £70 and decide up a Swift as an alternative.