Wileyfox makes its phones up to 43% cheaper with lock screen ads

British smartphone maker Wileyfox latest announcement isn't a new phone, instead it's putting adverts on its current smartphone range.

While that may not sound like the most appealing proposition to ever hit the phone industry, there is a sweetener – a hefty discount on the upfront price of all its handsets.

Wileyfox is installing its Add-X software platform onto handsets, which displays ads, offers and deals on the lock screen. It's a similar proposition to the one Amazon offers on its Kindle and Fire tablets, but this is the first time it's been implemented on phones in the UK.

Unlike Amazon, Wileyfox is offering a much bigger discount if you opt for a handset with Add-X installed. 

Its entry level phone, the Wileyfox Spark Plus, drops from £119 to just £69 with Add-X, while the £189 Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus reduces by £70 to just £119 with the platform.

  • Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus: £189 without ads | £119 with ads
  • Wileyfox Swift 2: £159 without ads | £99 with ads
  • Wileyfox Spark X: £139 without ads | £79 with ads
  • Wileyfox Spark Plus: £119 without ads | £69 with ads

Still the same phone on the inside

The inclusion of Add-X doesn't affect the handsets in any other way, and you'll get exactly the same experience beyond the lock screen as you do if the phone didn't have the ad platform.

If you decide to purchase a Wileyfox phone with Add-X, but then get fed up by being bombarded with an ad every time you wake the device you can opt to pay £40 to have the service removed.

Within two days (usually within 24 hours) Wileyfox will push a software update to the handset that removes Add-X, restoring the standard software.

The adverts displayed will slowly become tailored to you the more you use the service. The ads display as Tinder-like cards, with an option to dismiss or open for further information. It uses your decisions here, along with your gender and date of birth to select the best offers, deals and ads to push to your particular handset.

Wileyfox has already signed up the likes of Dominos and Starbucks to the service, with more big names promised to arrive.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.