Wileyfox Swift review

A budget handset that's anything but

Wileyfox Swift review

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Using the Wileyfox Swift I felt a little like I was getting a glimpse of the future. With a new OS, and a refreshing take on offering value for money in the budget space, the device is something of a breath of fresh air.

We liked

The camera on the Swift outperformed my expectations. Having seen several budget cameras that delivered nearly unusable images in most situations, this one performs nicely in most scenarios, delivering images I was happy to share.

With a removable and reasonably long-lasting battery, good speakers and a nice screen, the Wileyfox Swift is a great handset for consuming media on.

Performance is also a strong point. Navigating around the OS was very similar to using stock Android – uncluttered and quick. Although graphics-intensive games took a little longer to load, they nonetheless ran quite smoothly.

We disliked

Though using Cyanogen OS was a very pleasant experience overall, the question of support still hangs in the air, which is an important consideration given the extent to which the company was willing to distance itself from OnePlus, a move that left many users in the dust.

While Cyanogen OS can be easy to use, the vast range of configurable settings on offer could be confusing to the average user. I'm pretty tech-savvy, but even I found that I activated features on a regular basis that significantly detracted from my experience with the phone.

Final verdict

The budget smartphone competition is really beginning to heat up, and with myriad players having thrown their hats into the ring, some with considerable budgets behind them, it's more difficult than ever to make a mark.

Wileyfox, however, has done just that with the Swift. It boasts the specifications of a phone much more expensive, with few sacrifices in either the feel of the device or the quality of the software experience. The back may be plastic, but it's a pleasant polycarbonate; the device may run a Snapdragon 410, but the software is well optimised for the hardware.

It has a great screen, very decent speakers, good battery life and an okay camera. If you're in the market for a budget Android device, you could do far worse.

First reviewed: September 2015

Sean is a Scottish technology journalist who's written for the likes of T3, Trusted Reviews, TechAdvisor and Expert Reviews.