Wileyfox Swift is the most British name someone could call their dog, or in this case, a smartphone. Similar to the OnePlus 2, Moto G 2015, and Honor 7, the Swift is designed to be a flagship killer.
It comes packed with the beloved Cyanogen OS, which is a somewhat naked Android version also found on the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. It’s highly customizable thanks to its custom UI and Wileyfox claims that it has enhanced security features. It delivers on its promises, mostly, with just a few flaws here and there.
Wileyfox Swift Review
The thing is, the Wileyfox Swift is super affordable and it has advanced privacy controls. You can remove its battery and swap another power brick in a matter of seconds – Candy Crush is serious gaming, we know.
However, you won’t get that far with its battery life. It’s almost decent. While Cyanogen is just awesome, it just doesn’t seem to work that well on the Swift. The camera is another deal breaker.
The Wileyfox Swift costs $200.
Wileyfox Swift specs
- Removable 2,500mAh battery
- 13-megapixel main camera
- Snapdragon 410 proc
- Cyanogen 12.1
- 5.0-inch HD IPS display
Wileyfox Swift Design and Build
It weighs 135 grams, and it measures 141 x 71 x 9.4 millimeters.
It’s similar to every other affordable handset on the market. It’s a little bit box-shaped giving it that chubby feel and when compared with Motorola’s 2015 Moto G you can nickname the Swift Mr. Dull.
It has a detachable back plate which grants access to its interiors, the smartphone’s microSD slot, the removable battery and the phone’s Dual Sim slot. Because it has a removable battery, you can always carry around a spare power pack. Trust me, if you love smartphones, then you’ll be definitely swapping power packs.
The Wileyfox Swift has a nice and smooth material finish on its back and sides. The phone sits comfortably in the palm of your hand without slipping. It sports a solid grip that most competitors at this price range don’t have.
However, it’s a dust magnet. More so, be careful with spilling liquid near it. No, it’s not waterproof, clearly, but that’s not the point. I’ve spilled little droplets of water, by accident, on the Swift’s back and it took a whole day for them to disappear. Regardless of how much I tried to scrub and wipe them off.
Wileyfox Swift Display
The Wileyfox Swift has a 5.0-inch HD IPS display that can output a 1280 x 720 res at 294 ppi. This is fairly standard now, but still, an impressive feat to accomplish for a $200 device. It’s similar to the 2015 Moto G which costs almost $250. The $190 Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is better because it has a 1080p HD screen, but just slightly.
Indeed, it does look a little bit cloudy and fuzzy when compared to some of its competitors, but reading text or watching videos is pleasant. There are no screen issues and angles are pretty great. Not the best in town, though.
Wileyfox knows that it had to make some sacrifices in order to maintain the $200 price tag, so they cut down the device’s screen. They managed to balance things out by adding a LiveDisplay screen calibration tool. It’s pretty nifty and it lets owners manually adjust the display’s color temperatures, showcased in Kelvins, and RGB.
Yet, it isn’t that used. How many of you want to manually calibrate your screen? It’s a nice addition, but in the end, it’s useless.
Colors look bright and overly washed. It’s oversaturated straight out of the box and the phone’s whites have a yellow tint when viewed from particular angles.
Brightness levels are great even at the phone’s lowest setting. It’s brighter than the 2015 Moto G.
Wileyfox Swift Software Cyanogen 12.1
It’s really interesting and I’m sure that because it runs Cyanogen 12.1 it will attract a lot of budget smartphone enthusiasts. Its custom Cyanogen OS is based on a modified version of Android’s 5.1 Lollipop. Smartphone manufacturer Wileyfox boasts that Cyanogen is more customizable than Android. Also, it has more security features than the naked Android 5.1 Lollipop.
This is true, however I’ve got some mixed feelings. Some features are just unnecessary and other are just eye-candy and utterly useless. It’s certainly more tweakable than your average Android OS, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
I’m not that impressed with what you can customize on your Swift smartphone, even though you have a plethora of choices. Though, I’m more than pleased with its security upgrades. You get PIN Scramble, Privacy Guard and Protected Apps services.
Pin Scramble is a pretty great feature that scares thieves away. It scrambles how numbers are organized on your screen so nobody can unlock it by taking a look at what smudges are present. Each time your smartphone wakes up from sleep mode, you’ll have a reorganized lock screen.
Privacy Guard is Cyanogen’s app management tool. You can access it by going to the phone’s settings. There, you choose what app can leech data off of you and which can’t.
The Protected Apps allows users to create passwords for folders. You can set a different pass for each folder on your Swift.
Wileyfox Swift Performance
For 200 bucks, it has quite the impressive hardware. It comes packed with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 proc, Adreno 306 GPU, and 2 gigs of RAM. It’s on par with the 2015 16 gig Moto G.
In the real world, performance takes a little bit of a beating, but not something worrisome. Everything works just fine and dandy, but every now and then there’s this brain fart that stalls the whole smartphone. It doesn’t freeze, it just stalls and then jumps to the bottom of the menu.
Rarely, The Wileyfox Swift will inexplicably exit games while playing them.
Wileyfox Swift Camera
It has a built-in main 13-megapixel sensor, a 5-megapixel secondary front-facing camera unit and dual LED flash. Although it’s pretty great for a budget smartphone, the 2015 Moto G that has camera specs close to the $750 Nexus 6 clearly wins this round.
The custom Cyanogen OS adds some panache with a huge variety of camera modes presets that optimize it for different lighting conditions. You even have filter that resemble ones found on Instagram.
High Dynamic Range is one of its key specs, along with night and action modes. Aqua, posterize and sepia filters are pretty reliable too.
Pictures are quite impressive, not flagship like, but still more than decent for social media.
Shooting in low light setting pushes the Wileyfox Swift over the edge. Even though it features Samsung’s BSI, which is a back illuminated sensor, the smartphone’s performances in low light is weak.
Wileyfox Swift Battery Life
Wileyfox claims that the Swift lasts up to eight hours on one charge. Our tests proved that they are indeed right. Draining the battery by performing a loop video test, brightness set all the way up to the max, and with Wi-Fi on, I managed to get eight hours out of it.
Yet, Moto’s newest G lasts nine hours when put up to the same test.
It’s a little bit disappointing. Not a precise deal breaker, but still something unsatisfactory from Wileyfox.
Real world use will most like mean that you need to recharge your smartphone every night, before going to bed.
Wileyfox Swift Sound, Call Quality
Wileyfox notes that their AudioFX feature will please even the snobbiest of audiophiles. It’s an app that will let the smartphone user customize the device’s sound levels. It also includes presets for various music genres from Jazz, R&B, classical and folk to Rock and Metal.
True audiophiles will laugh in Wileyfox’s face. It’s not that the Vitualizer and Bass digital dials aren’t that customizable. It’s just that a budget smartphone could never output an extraordinary sound. More so, considering it doesn’t run FLAC.
Call quality is good. No issues here. People using it in loud and crowded streets won’t have problems with hearing the speaker, or being heard by the person on the other side.
Wileyfox Swift Verdict
Should you buy the Wileyfox Swift?
If you’re a privacy-conscious smartphone lover and on a budget, then you might want to acquire the Wileyfox Swift. But, nobody is really that into privacy. It’s important, but the Swift targets a pretty small niche.
Comparing it to the 2015 Moto G, the Wileyfox Swift sports a brighter screen, a better display. It’s on par performance wise, but it gets beaten by G’s battery life and camera quality.
It runs on Cyanogen 12.1, which means that updates will take a while to roll out. Every time Android gets a new tweak, Cyanogen needs to re-code it and transpose it to fit their architecture. Even though it’s based on Google’s OS.
If I were you, I would wait for the next gen Wileyfox Swift. It’s a great entrance by the British manufacturer, but it doesn’t quite excel in the overly saturated budget smartphone market.
Wileyfox Swift Price $200.