Wileyfox is quite a new phone brand that develops affordable phones. Founded in 2015 they are quite a unique company in the fact they are a British brand compared to the usual Chinese brands that dominate the market.
The Swift range of phones is the 3rd generation of phones from WileyFox and comes in 3 versions. The Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus, Swift 2 X. They are all similar, with the same processor but storage, ram, and size vary for each model.
The Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus which I am reviewing today sits in the middle and had a launch price of £189 but is available for around £160 from some online retailers. All models in the Swift 2 range have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC with a 64-bit Octa-core 1.4 GHz CPU and Adreno 505 GPU. They all include a MicroSD slot, which can also be used as a dual SIM. They all also include 4G, Quick Charge 3.0 using a Type C USB cable, a rear fingerprint scanner, and NFC
The Plus variation has a 5” 720P display, 32GB of storage capacity, 3GB of ram, a 16MP rear camera, and 8MP front
The phone comes in an attractive bright green box, which includes an equally bright orange USB type C cable. One thing you will notice straight away is there is no included charger, this is obviously a cost cutting exercise and not really a huge issue, as I have dozens of charges already.
The other thing that stands out is the fact this is a 5-inch phone, which is tiny by modern Android standards and felt very odd coming from a Nexus 6P. The screen is only 720P too, which is quite disappointing. However, in reality, after a couple of days’ use, neither the phone size or resolution were a major issue for me. The screen itself is bright and displays colours well. Once I got used to its size, typing on it was fine, and I began to enjoy the smaller size. It is just a lot more pocket-friendly as and a much more convenient size for any form of exercise.
Strangely, while the phone seems to have cut costs with the low-resolution screen and no charger, other parts of the phone are more likely to be seen on premium models. The 32GB of storage and microSD slot are fantastic, lack of storage is a major issue with budget phones, and this has more storage potential than my far more expensive Nexus 6P.
Battery and Quick Charge
The Type C port is also unusual for a budget phone, and again it isn’t something I demand, but once you have used Type C (and invested in the cables) it is a nice feature to have. No more faffing around with which way it goes in, and it feels far less flimsy.
It is not just a port shape though. The Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 can get the relatively small 2700mAh battery charged pretty damn quick. Which, unfortunately, you will need to do. I think the biggest disappointment I found with this phone is the sub-par battery life. My previous review of the Alcatel Pop 6 had an unusually long battery, so it made this stand out even worse. It isn’t the end of the world though, but power users will likely need to charge at some point during the day.
The camera on the phone is adequate, it is much faster than the Alcatel I reviewed, and the pictures are good, but I am not aware of any budget phone that can compete with most of the premium brands.
Another area where all Wileyfox phones stand out is the vanilla version of Android they use as well as very quick updates. They previously used Cyanogen but now that’s all gone a bit pear-shaped and been discontinued. My version was shipped with vanilla Android 7.1.1 which is pretty much unheard of in most premium brands. Apart from Google Nexus/Pixel, most phones are very slow to receive updates.
A lot of budget phones skip on NFC too. It is certainly not a feature I have to have on my phone, but it does mean you can use Android Pay which can be really handy.
Another strange omission from the phone is WiFI using the 5GHz network, this was the same on the Alcatel, but many other budget phones include this. In general, it won’t make a huge difference, you should still be able to hit your max broadband speeds over 2.4Ghz, but the omission is still a disappointment.
There are a lot of conflicting features to this phone but overall it is good. I guess the reason behind the small 720p screen and no 5Ghz is that it isn’t aimed at enthusiast and power users, but more the general public who don’t need a huge 6” phone with all the bells and whistles.
While the build quality of the phone feels excellent, one of the little-mirrored plates on the rear of my phone came off within 3 days of use, which might signify some issues.
Overall though, this is a good phone, 32GB of storage + MicroSD and the very latest untouched Android are the real standout features here, and it would make a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable phone.
If I were to consider buying the phone myself I would seriously be tempted to pay the extra £30 for the Swift 2 X which has a larger 5.2” display that has a better resolution at 1080p and a larger 3010mAH battery.
You can buy the Swift 2 Plus direct from Wileyfox today for £189.00