Wileyfox Swift 2 X review

A budget phone that defies expectations

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Battery life

  • A day per charge, unless you’re a gamer
  • Fast charging capabilities

Wileyfox’s batteries grew from its first to second-generation devices, and now the Swift 2 Plus’s battery has been overshadowed by that of the Swift 2 X. The former’s 2700mAh battery is gone, in its place is a 3010mAh offering.

Although notably bigger, this battery doesn’t offer much in the way of improved battery life. With a larger, brighter, higher resolution display to power, the Wileyfox Swift 2 X’s battery is still one of the phone's more modest additions.

It’s not a disappointing addition, but neither does it really impress either. Nightly charges are a must for all but the lightest of users, and if you hammer the phone early, you’ll be needing a top up for your journey home.

Unplugging the phone by 7am, we found the low battery alerts were kicking in late in the evening as we lounged on the sofa watching a few YouTube videos. That’s with a day of internet browsing, photo taking and social media procrastination, with a bit of casual gaming thrown in.

Hit the games, and the battery quickly tumbles. Just 25 minutes of Hill Climb Racing 2 took 11% of our charge, meaning that morning commute could have dire consequences on the rest of your day’s phone usage.

The Wileyfox Swift 2 X’s battery life isn’t terrible, but it’s far from the phones defining feature. Compared with the Moto G4 Plus and Honor 6X, the competition has the edge, but not by a huge margin. Whichever boundary-pushing value phone you go for, you’re going to be connecting it to the mains most, if not every night.

Running the standard TechRadar battery test, which involves playing a 90 minute 720p looping video with the brightness cranked to the max, we lost 27% of a full charge.

By comparison, the Moto G4 Plus used just 17% of its power during the same task and the Honor 6X just 15% of its charge.

When you do eventually need to charge, you shouldn’t be waiting around too long. Quick Charge 3 skills mean things are relatively rapid.

25% charge can be added in 15 minutes and 75% in 55 minutes, but we found a full 0-100% charge still took over an hour and a half.


  • 16MP primary camera joins 8MP selfie shooter
  • Dynamic range lacks slightly, but overall image quality is strong
  • Basic manual photography options

Expectations on smartphone cameras continue to rise. Gone are the days where you’d make do with a mediocre camera just because a phone was cheap, we now demand something more, at all price points. Fortunately, the Wileyfox Swift 2 X features a decent set of snappers.

A primary 16MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture and Samsung 3P3 sensor is joined by an 8MP front-facing camera that itself benefits from Samsung’s ISOCELL technology and offers sub-1 second focus times.

We’ve said it a lot, but for the price, the Swift 2 X excels. It’s still got faults, but compared with most affordable phones, it’s pushing things to new levels.

In bright, natural light, the phone’s primary camera is capable of genuinely impressive shots. Photos that balance areas of light and shade are possible, with decent levels of depth and detail captured.

In ideal conditions, colours are strong, but there’s not the same level of dynamic range you’d get from a phone floating around the £400 mark.

It’s not just the overall result that impresses. Focussing is swift and sharp, with the shutter button capturing almost instant results. For those who like to tweak their images, although the auto mode delivers impressive results, basic manual controls such as white balance are available, though an HDR mode is notably absent.

As you might expect, when the lights drop, so does the image quality. Not worryingly so though. In areas of low light and in indoor shooting situations, noise creeps in and areas of shade start to become a bit murky and lacking definition.

Artificial lighting takes on a yellowed tinge and some of the sharpness seen before starts to diminish.

When the lights are fully down and you’re shooting cityscapes in the hours of darkness, the phone’s camera starts to struggle a bit more. Noise levels quickly rise and areas of light can become blocky and blurred.

Importantly though, the Swift 2 X continues to exceed expectations at its price point. No, low light photos might not be perfect, but they’re better than most in a similar bracket and compared with the Moto G4 Plus take a slight edge.

Around front, the 8MP forward-facing camera is equally above what you’d expect from a £200 phone, without troubling the market leaders.

Photos are a little on the flat side and struggle in anything but bright light, but results are more than good enough for sharing socially.

Camera samples