Hands on: Wileyfox Swift 2 X review

A low-cost phone offering an affordable blend of features and performance

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Swift 2 X looks to be another solid offering from Wileyfox at an appealing price point, which should push the brand further forward.

For

  • Affordable price tag
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Decent display and premium design

Against

  • Entry-level processor
  • Quick charge requires additional purchase

Burgeoning British smartphone brand Wileyfox has been on something of a launch spree over the past seven months, with the Wileyfox Swift 2 X the sixth phone it’s given us – and this is technically its flagship offering, although it’s not a high-tier device. 

The Swift 2 X slides in above the two other devices in the range of the same name – the Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus – offering a larger display, slightly bigger battery and re-tuned rear snapper. 

In truth it’s a modest step up from the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus. The Swift 2 X screen is larger, at 5.2 inches, and boasts a Full HD resolution (versus the 5-inch, 720p offering on the Plus) providing bright, vivid visuals.

It shares the same design as the other Swift handsets, with a premium metal chassis making the Swift 2 X look and feel pricier than its £219  tag – although a strip of plastic at the top and bottom of the device on the rear break up the overall aesthetic. 

The gently curving edges of the back of the Swift 2 X mean it sits nicely in the palm, and make it feel thinner than its 8.2mm waistline. 

The smooth aviation-grade aluminium doesn’t provide a huge amount of grip, but you can get your fingers round the phone easily for a solid hold.

The power/lock key and volume rocker fall nicely under thumb or finger on the right of the device, while a USB-C port on the rear of the phone is flanked by speaker and microphone grilles. There’s good news for wired headphones fans too, as a 3.5mm jack adorns the top edge of the Swift 2 X. 

Jump on screen and you’re greeted by Android 6.0.1, which has been overlaid with Cyanogen Mod – but not for long. The Swift 2 X, along with the entire Wileyfox range, will get an upgrade to Android 7 Nougat in February 2017, which will see Cyanogen removed for the handsets. 

You won’t lose the customization options and additional features the third-party interface offers though, as Wileyfox promises to maintain these by adding them to the stock Nougat operating system. 

Android runs smoothly, with an octa-core Snapdragon 430 chipset and 3GB of RAM keeping things ticking over here. While that’s plenty of RAM, we do worry that the entry-level chipset may struggle during heavy lifting tasks – keep an eye out for our full Swift 2 X review to see how it performs. 

There’s 32GB of storage inside the Swift 2 X, of which 24GB is available to you, and if you find yourself filling this up there’s also a microSD slot allowing you to expand on the space inside the phone, which is always handy. 

You can’t get to the 3,010mAh battery housed inside the metal body of the Swift 2 X, but it should last a day on a single charge – although we’ll put it to the test during our in-depth review.

The battery also comes with quick-charge abilities, allowing you to restore 25% of life in 15 minutes, and 50% in 40 minutes – although you’ll have to purchase a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 wall adapter separately to get the benefit of this.

Turning attentions to the rear of the Swift 2 X, and above the circular fingerprint scanner you'll find a 16MP camera. On paper this looks to be the same offering as the snapper on the Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus, but it's actually a slightly more advanced module.

Wileyfox says this newer module provides sharper images, and from our brief play with the phone the camera looks to be a decent offering with a good level of detail and bright colours.

Round the front an 8MP snapper completes the Swift 2 X feature set, perfect for the odd selfie here and there.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X release date and price

The Wileyfox Swift 2 X release date is January 12, and the observant among you will note that means you can buy it right now – at least in the ‘midnight blue’ colour that is; those wanting to get their hands on the gold version will have to hold out a little longer.  

We’re not sure when the gold Swift 2 X will be available, but you shouldn’t have to wait for too long. 

In terms of the Wileyfox 2 X price the handset will set you back just £219 – which means it’s still competitively priced.   

Early verdict

Wileyfox has fine-tuned its affordable smartphone formula, and the Swift 2 X is further evidence that the British firm knows what it’s doing in the lower end of the market. 

It’s still yet to really take off as a brand, but the Swift 2 X looks to be a solid offering at an appealing price point that should push the Wileyfox name forward once more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones, Tablets and Wearables UK Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and wearables. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week, John hasn't looked back since.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

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