back to article Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

If someone asked me what my ideal smartphone would be I’d say one that costs no more than £120, has 16GB of storage, at least 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch IPS screen, a removable battery, two SIM slots, space for a microSD card, the best iteration of Android available (that’s the Cyanogen OS Android fork, in my opinion) and is …

  1. Jay 2
    Happy

    Looks pretty impressive

    I'm not in the market for a 'droid phone, but this does look very nice indeed. In fact my only quibble would be that the microSD slot only supports cards upto 32GB (my musical needs would probably insist on a 128GB).

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Looks pretty impressive

      I read elsewhere that the more expensive "Storm" model WILL take a 128GB MicroSD.

      1. Novex

        Re: Looks pretty impressive

        The 'Storm' is a better spec generally, but unfortunately doesn't have the removable battery. Also it appears neither have NFC, which would have been useful.

    2. thomas k

      Re: ... cards up to 32GB

      Indeed, that's barely 21 Ring cycles.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks pretty impressive

      > In fact my only quibble would be that the microSD slot only supports cards upto 32GB

      Generally speaking the quoted maximums are tested with rather than limited to.

      My N900 supported only 16gb cards but ran happily with 32gb. My Moto G 4G supported only 32gb but ran happily with 64gb.

      You would be rolling the dice of course; but if you format in FAT32 (rather than VFAT) and use a branded card then you have a better than even chance of it working fine.

      1. YARR

        Re: Looks pretty impressive

        ... except that above 32Gb is SDXC rather than SDHC. Compatibility usually depends on the standard supported rather than capacity.

        1. AIBailey

          Re: Looks pretty impressive

          I'd read recently that this is partly down to the filesystem. I took a gamble based on that and bought a 64GB card for my phone (that's only meant to take 32GB).

          I've allowed the phone to format the card itself (to FAT32) and it's fine. There will be a size limit per file (4GB?), however as I'm mainly interested in storing MP3's and MAME roms, this isn't a concern.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Looks pretty impressive

            Indeed my old SGS2 wasnt supposed to work with >32gb but sandisk worked just fine. Still for the price looks a damn good phone. impressive even.

    4. jzl

      Re: Looks pretty impressive

      I'm increasingly of the opinion that people who think their music requirements are >32 Gb are unaware of just how good modern music streaming services have become. Seriously.

  2. KenBW2

    Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

    Why can't we have a phone that has all these decent specs, but still small enough to hold in one hand?

    The original Moto G was exactly this. The only decent sub-5" phone out now is the Moto E, but that's decidedly lacking.

    It's a real shame, could've been perfect =/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

      Hear hear !

      5" phones like this used to be mocked as ridiculously oversized phablets, but now every manufacturer only makes decent phones in that size ( and stupidly thin ) and the review drones act as if that is that is what everyone now wants.

      Well millions of us Don't.

      We want a quality, small ( but as thick as necessary ) high-spec phone.

      1. Corin

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        I've a Sony Z3 Compact for exactly the reasons you outline. I'm still looking for the same form factor as my HTC Desire - except with updated innards.

        1. badger31

          Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

          +1

          The Z3 Compact is a great wee phone. It's entirely possible to build a top-spec phone in a pocket-sized form factor.

      2. Busby

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        I had the same thought about the size being wrong but in the other direction. After going from a Note 2 to the Nexus 6 I couldn't go back to anything smaller. Why can't they offer two display options with the same spec one small for those who prefer that a 3.5 inch screen could be popular with many and the full man sized option for those that prefer more heft,

        Then again I also have a 13' tablet and work from home so portability is not my main concern and I love oversized devices.

        When I do go out and am worried about pocket space I picked up an old 8850 from ebay, micro sim into sim adapter and I've got a tiny phone that if I lose it's easily replaced without a mortgage.

        1. Kingston Black
          Facepalm

          Busby - "I also have a 13' tablet"

          At 13 foot, I'm not surprised portability is not your main concern!

          1. Busby
            FAIL

            Re: Busby - "I also have a 13' tablet"

            Yep that one was a typo and should have read 13". The point I was trying to make is that I tend to go for the biggest devices possible, mainly because I wear glasses and hate squinting so while 5" is too big for some it's too small for me.

        2. Oldfogey
          Coat

          Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

          I imagine that you are not at all interested in portability, with a 13 foot screen size.

          I don't expect to find that in my pocket!

      3. paul481

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        I was tempted when the 1st Moto G dual-sim came out - liked its feel in my hand; its screen, FM radio makers so love to disable, but was put off mainly by its lack of TV-out, to lesser extent by lack of WiFi-AC, & poor camera. So I went for a Nexus 5 even though 5" is TOO BIG for my jeans and Google don't like FM-RDSradio (because not their ads) or memory expansion (means less need for downloads, i.e less ads again). I only discovered later, its ringtone & volume are way too low, so I cannot use the Alarm feature, and often miss incoming calls unless in quiet room.

        This 'Swift' improves on 2 of the above deficiencies (Camera & FMradio) but will not easily fit into my jeans or shorts pocket, and so is an encumberance. My ideal phone screen is 720p in 4.5 to 4.8". (where have all the complainers about huge phones gone?) It surely is not that hard to incorporate TV-out (MHL or the Google Slimport version). Also, surely the difference in cost between a WiFi-AC radio chip and the previous N standard isnt so big 3 years down the line ? All my other WiFi devices are AC, so rather not hobble their speed with 1 slow device.

        I like your subjective review style but it makes no mention of ringtone or call volume - important specs for a phone. I appreciate, unlike El Reg, gmsarena specialises in mobile phones, so like their reviews for their comprehensive measurement of all audio parameters. However, we may have to wait some time before they might consider reviewing a British phone.

        I was intrigued by your reference to the improvements in privacy confered by cyanogen. Can anyone point me to a review of the security situation of say vanilla Android 5, to Cyanogen ?

        1. gbru2606

          Re: Nexus 5 audio

          Have you tried rooting it to adjust volume control? The Faux sound app, with the right supporting kernel, means I can double the loudest volume on my Nexus 4. Made a huge difference for me. I never miss a call and can listen to the radio while riding my moped into a 70 mile an hour gale. Its my number one reason for rooting the device.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        Still using my lovely old Nokia Lumia 620 3.7". Fits perfectly in the hand/pocket/back. Has great display - ClearBlack or something - removable back for Battery, SD Card etc. Has NFC as well. Only really let down by Windows 8.1.1 OS lack of Apps - the OS itself is OK in a basic sort of way. Only real issue is no FM Radio chip but hey who cares?

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: "Why can't we have a phone that has all these decent specs"

      ...perhaps because those 'decent specs' require a bigger battery and battery size is constrained by screen size? There's a reason all the 'S' versions of flagships have lower specs, not just a smaller screen. How much battery time do you want to sacrifice and/or how much fatter do you want the case for a thicker battery (in a world that overwhelmingly wants thin phones).

      Or maybe you don't need a flagship and the problem is imaginary.

      1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

        Re: 'decent specs' require a bigger battery

        'decent specs' are not necessarily measured in CPU, resolution or battery life.

        To me the decent specs are the features of this phone (dual SIM, removable battery, SD Slot, Cyanogen), I don't care if it runs at 4.6GHz or has a 3200x1800 resolution, and those features I mentioned could very well be available in a 4-incher. If the smaller size means smaller battery, means lower performance, I can live with that. I can also live with a thicker phone, I've had a N95 for years.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Why can't we have a phone that has all these decent specs"

        I do NOT want a thin phone.

        I pick it up and look at the front of it. Not the sides.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

      Out of curiosity how accurate do you find punching in numbers to dial? My phone with a 4 inch screen is a PITA, so much so that I had to find a stylus with a fairly small point.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        Don't worry, these things go in cycles... I'm sure the race to the tea tray size phone will soon stop, and we'll begin the race to the USB stick size again...

        I for one am not looking forward to the Nokia 8210 scale devices, my sausage fingers are way to big for such toys...

        /me lovingly strokes Nexus 6...

        Re the Swift - I can see a big market for this phone, not bad at all!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        I had no problems with my 3.5" Palm Pre.

        There are other form factors.

        They used to work fine.

        They would still work fine, if the manufacturers only bloody made them.

        1. jason 7

          Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

          Its funny I could manage perfectly with my Pre 2 and the slide out keyboard but I really struggled last week having to type in three email accounts details into a customer iPhone 5.

          Goodness that was tedious and frustrating.

          Man I miss my Pre 2.

          1. pakman

            Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

            I still have an HP Veer tucked away somewhere, which is even smaller. I still find it amazing how accurate a tiny physical keyboard with nicely-raised buttons can be. It doesn't get much use now for a variety of reasons, but I still get a feeling of nostalgia over it from time to time.

            1. fruitoftheloon
              Thumb Up

              @Pakman: Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

              Pakman,

              on a related note I just replaced my Note 2 with a Blackberry Passport, one of the major reasons is that it seems I am increasingly having physical coordination issues, which on a touchscreen are a friggin nightmare...

              Have tried various touchy-alternatives, all drove me crazy, it has been a long time since I have had a qwerty phone (N900), the Passport is a fabby bit of kit.

              Cheers,

              jay

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

      Try the bq phones which are available 4.5", 5", and 5.5" and have more-or-less the same spec (only with true dual SIM + micro SD).

    5. jzl

      Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

      The iPhone 6 is a *very* decent sub-5" phone.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

        But its boring and everyone has one.

        No one is impressed by an iPhone.

  3. Ned (the original)

    Hisense

    Looks a lot like the hisense phone I bought one time when my nexus 5 broke. It only had 8gb ram and an old android but it was cheaper and worked well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Finally....

    ...an Android phone worth considering.

    I tried Cyanogen on a Sony and pretty much ruined it (I couldn't even power it off (it kept powering back on!), but as this is designed to use it, it's got a good chance of working well.

    Good luck to them.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Finally....

      I had similar issues too when I tried it for the first time on a Mini Pro. It was refusing to power down when connected to a charger, the charger was doing weird things too. I think that is sorted in newer builds (and for newer phones).

      My biggest gripe with Cyanogen is Bluetooth, followed by GPS. Bluetooth was just not usable neither on my Arc, nor on my Nexus 7. Dropping connections, interrupted audio, etc.

      GPS was working. Sometimes. Other times it was showing a systemic error of 200m west from where it should have been which could be resolved by one or more soft restarts - not something you want to do while driving and getting directions.

      I still run the Arc with Cyanogen as it is the only way of keeping it up to date (it will run out of app space with its factory build + updates), but I had to give up on it as a primary phone as you could not use it for navigation.

      So, may I suggest an addition to El Reg battery of tests (especially for Cyanogen): GPS (multiple application starts), Bluetooth (including battery life with bluetooth on).

      1. dotdavid

        Re: Finally....

        The stability of the GPS and bluetooth subsystems in CyanogenMod depends heavily on the binary blobs that the third party manufacturers provide (or don't provide) and whether or not the open source alternatives are compatible with the quirks of the device.

        On a CyanogenOS device like this I would expect the binary blobs to work fine, considering the manufacturer supports it as the device's default or at least supported OS.

  5. MonsieurTM

    Shame about the screen.

    Looks very nice apart from the huge screen, I'd much rather have a smaller screen, similar or smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. Some like the larger screens, I prefer the smaller screens.

    I also like the idea of the dual-screen Yota: in fact I could be tempted by a 4-G capable phone without any cameras, an e-Ink screen, wifi, loads of RAM & micro-SDcard capability, good processor. (I want a quality phone to last ages & I'm prepared to sacrifice the screen.)

  6. sad_loser
    Black Helicopters

    more to this than meets the eye

    While I would like to believe this is a straightforward 'plucky brits give johnny foreigner a bloody nose' story, I wonder if there is something more.

    It looks like a great phone and well put together at a knockout price, that manages to undercut some big boys.

    It is running cyanogen.

    Now let me think, who owns a chunk of cyanogen, has failed completely at mobile, has lots of money, and wants to piss through Google's letterbox?

    Would be interesting to look through WileyFox's accounts and see just how much they are being subisidised.

    1. Thomas Whipp

      Re: more to this than meets the eye

      it looks like a phone that's been put together using the cheapest good commodity parts (including OS) and the given a decent brand design. Everything about this phone screams thats its been taken from a parts bucket.

      While some people might think the above is a criticism its absolutely not meant that way, putting together a good usable system from cheap reliable parts is a skill.

      More to the point, Cyanogen is essentially Android plus some features; the vast majority of people are still going to use it with gmail, google play, etc... I seriously doubt that Google cares how many people use this particular fork as from their perspective its really just the same as any hardware or network based skin.

    2. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: more to this than meets the eye

      Are Bacofoil sponsoring you?!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wileyfox’s handsets were designed and developed here in the UK

    prove it.

    oh, they're headquartered in the UK, well, that's proof enough, lol.

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: Wileyfox’s handsets were designed and developed here in the UK

      Bloody hard to prove that any consumer item was designed and developed where the maker says it was.

  8. Yugguy

    In built call blocker

    Certainly more than my bloody expensive Xperia Z3 can do. I have to stick Mcafee on to block calls and even then it sometimes doesnt quite manage it.

    1. Daniel Hall
      Joke

      Re: In built call blocker

      I hope the Mcafee reference was a joke

      1. dotdavid
        Joke

        Re: In built call blocker

        "I have to stick Mcafee on to block calls"

        "I hope the Mcafee reference was a joke"

        Perhaps the OP meant "all the calls as it slows down my handset so much"? :-P

        1. Yugguy

          Re: In built call blocker

          No - I have Mcafee LiveSafe on and it causes no issues that I can see.

    2. Lionel Baden

      Re: In built call blocker

      Have a look at "should I answer".

      Absolutely Brilliant imo

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but is not an iPhone.

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      You say that like it's a bad thing.

      1. jzl

        It is a bad thing, in a sense. Until Google realise that non-techie ease of use is a worthy goal, Apple will rule the profitability roost.

        Let's face it, most Android buyers (not the tech-savvy Reg-reading bunch) are buying an Android because they can't afford an iPhone. Like it or not, that's the truth of the situation as it is now.

  10. Slap

    Agree about the screen size

    I totally don't understand this fascination that smartphone manufacturers have with these enormous screen sizes.

    Back in April I picked up an iPhone 6 (not the 6 plus) thinking that finally I'd have an opportunity to discover the large screen delights that Android users have had for years. What a mistake. The thing is totally unbalanced in my hand due to the size, it's awkward to pocket, and just plain irritating to use because of it's size. Not to mention the battery is shit.

    I used it for a month and then went back to my iPhone 4S, The 6 now lives in my back only to operate as a hotspot and as an oversized iPod (unfortunately my music collection is well over 64Gigs).

    I'd be well up for a powerful Android phone if it was done in a 3.5 - 4 inch format. Anything else is just to big to be useful as a phone.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Agree about the screen size

      I'll relieve you of that awful iPhone 6, and I won't even charge you to do it!

      I will even pay postage!

      And I'll throw in my 32GB 4S, so you can have a backup! ;-)

    2. Craigie

      Re: Agree about the screen size

      You must have really good eyesight, and/or really small fingers.

    3. jzl

      Re: Agree about the screen size

      Again, I'll repeat my comment about music streaming services. They've moved on *massively* in the last year or two. If you think you need a lot of storage for all "your" music, try a trial subscription to one of the streaming services. Apple Music or Spotify or whatever. You'll be shocked at how far the state of the art has come.

    4. jzl

      Re: Agree about the screen size

      Also, the manufacturers don't have a fascination with large screens. The consumers do. The sales figures back this up.

  11. Super Fast Jellyfish

    Question about Cyanogen

    Will banking (etc) apps block it because they think the phone is rooted?

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Question about Cyanogen

      CyanogenOS and CyanogenMod don't enable root by default, although it is easy to turn on (and off). Therefore banking apps shouldn't be a problem.

      If they are you can always root, install xposed framework and RootCloak... :-P

    2. Al Taylor

      Re: Question about Cyanogen

      The Swift is not rooted and all banking apps work just fine.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame......

    that their "register your interest" feature doesn't appear to work in either Firefox or Chrome !!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shame......

      Worked for me with Firefox a week or so ago.

  13. getHandle

    Hits my sweet spot!

    <Brucey voice>

    You're my favourite!

    </Brucey voice>

  14. Innocent-Bystander*

    Finally!

    An affordable phone with decent specs not coming from a Chinese company? Sold. I've been looking to update my trusty Lumia 920 this year. Looks like the search is over.

  15. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Too low a resolution

    I like a full HD resolution - so I will be interested in seeing what the Storm is like - however my current THL W8S has still got a lot of life left in it so I am not in the market at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too low a resolution

      I was tempted by this but ended up going for the 5.5" Meizu m2 Note for £108 as it had full HD and was out now instead.

      It arrived today, seems alright so far.

  16. casaloco

    Build me this...

    What I'd like to see is a good phone with all the features of this, but with wireless charging and no external ports... with bluetooth LE etc you don't need a headphone socket, USB data sync is long since redundant, and the SIM and SD cards slots should be inside the back cover.

    So ditch all the external connectors, which means the phone can be 100% waterproof and dust-proof.

    And even if it means making it a little thicker, (more room for battery?) for the love of god recess the camera lens to protect it... having it sticking out just gets it scratched.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build me this...

      Yes the camera lens is always getting scratched on my iPhone, damn all that diamond dust I keep putting it in scratching the sapphire.

    2. Lionel Baden

      Re: Build me this...

      I would be sorely tempted as well !!!

      Only hangup would be the charging capability whilst using satnav, bluetooth & hotspot Whilst on car journeys.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build me this...

      "for the love of god recess the camera lens to protect it... having it sticking out just gets it scratched."

      Put a silicone cover on the phone - BOOM! recessed camera lens :)

      Lets hope there will be silicone covers :)

    4. Caoilte

      Re: Build me this...

      All that on a 4" screen with removable battery and I would also be sold. Until then there's just nothing compelling enough to make me dump my nexus 4.

  17. TWB

    I'd get one

    If I did not already have a Moto G.

    Now, could they make a decent 7 to 8 inch tablet.?.....

  18. Adam Inistrator

    DUAL SIM *OR* SD CARD!

    http://wileyfox.com/wp-content/themes/wileyfox/remote/download.php?file=/2015/08/WIleyfox_Storm_Specifications.pdf

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: DUAL SIM *OR* SD CARD!

      That's the Storm spec sheet. I've just reviewed the Swift. The Swift supports two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time.

  19. Youngone Silver badge
    Happy

    What I want...

    There are lots of comments here about what different users want in an Android phone, which is fine, people have different needs.

    Every week or so I read an article on El Reg about a new phone manufacturer making a different and interesting Android phone, some of which I think sound awful, and some which I think are interesting.

    This would fit into the latter camp for me, but I would like a slightly smaller screen, (as do several other commentards).

    I have no doubt that when I am next in the market for a new phone, I will be able to purchase pretty much exactly what I want such is the variety of offerings available.

    Also, no-one seems to have commented on the FM radio in the WileyFox. That's a great feature to me, and a sign that these plucky Brits have ignored the carriers when they designed it. Well done chaps.

  20. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why are the screen shots showing it loaded with propriatery Google apps like Chrome when you're running CyOS ?

    Surely if you want Google bloat you'd just as well run Google Android or couldn't Wiley persuade Google to allow it to use the 'official' Android?

    And if that's the case did you sideload Gapps or did it come preinstalled (which is a big no-no and the G-men will be after you if that is the case)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I did wonder

      Mind you, not for any ideological reason. No straight answers from a quick Google, but I assume the Google Play store either comes pre-installed or,easy enough to get?

      But what about availability of this wondrous device? It sounds too good to be true, and its availability seems to reflect this.....

      1. Al Taylor

        Re: I did wonder

        It's not on sale until Sept 22. See last line of review.

        1. Quotes

          Re: I did wonder

          Their web site form to register pre-sales interest doesn't work. They didn't reply to a tweet I sent them about that. Unsettling for a pre-sales enquiry.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. launcap Silver badge

          Re: I did wonder

          > There isn't a legit way of getting play store if it's not pre-installed

          There is - there are multiple Gapps installs out there that an *end-user* can install. It might breach the T&C's that Google has for a supplier to do it but nothing prevents an end-user doing it.

    2. Al Taylor

      Google Apps

      Play Store, Gmail, Chrome, Drive, Maps, Google App, Hangouts, Photos, these all come pre-installed on the Swift.

    3. MrWibble

      CyanogenOs is the same as Touchwiz, or Sense, or any other OEM Overlay - they've been through google certification, and no separate install of gapps is needed. Also, it has some Proprietary stuff installed.

      CyanogenMod is slightly different (fully Open Source, for starters), and no OEM would pre-install that, as it doesn't contain Gapps - a fatal flaw for any Western-targeted Android phone.

      1. Al Taylor

        CyanogenOS

        "CyanogenOs is the same as Touchwiz, or Sense, or any other OEM Overlay - they've been through google certification, and no separate install of gapps is needed"

        Exactly. I should have made that point more overtly in my review rather than taking it as read.

  21. sheridan

    Having cracked the glass on my £500+ Nexus 6, I'm now faced with a £220 repair bill or £75 insurance excess with a Note 4 replacement. I'm done with big name flagship phones. Roll on the Wileyfox.

  22. I Like Heckling

    Dammit

    I just picked up a 2nd Gen Moto G a couple of months ago, and this comes along with slightly better specs for just £3 more than I paid.

    The call blocking and individual app feature blocking appeals to me a great deal... things that google have promised time and time again and then reneged on.

    More than happy with my phone... just typical of the way my luck goes... Pick up the best phone on the market for less than £200 and a better one comes along that's even cheaper than the RRP of mine (I got it on sale).

    Seeing as phones tend to last 3-4yrs before I upgrade... I'll probably be looking at one in 2018... so a 3rd or 4th gen if they're still around.

    In the meantime... call blockers for lollipop that actually work... Mr Number no longer does on 5.0.2 and was effectively worthless... suggestions on a postcard please.

    1. Tommy Pock
    2. Lionel Baden

      Re: Dammit

      Just mentioned it earlier to some-one else, Try "Should I answer".

      Free and Ad free

      I Swear I am not the developer, although I believe I share the same hatred of Nuisance calls

      1. I Like Heckling

        Re: Dammit

        Thank you Lionel Baden & Ol'Peculier for the suggestion, testing it out to see if it works for me... Calls aren't the biggest problem, it's the damn sms spam I hate the most.

    3. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Dammit

      +1 for "Should I answer" - plus it can pull details from their database to show you information such as if it's a call centre, nusance call etc. which shows whilst the phone is still ringing.

  23. Jagged

    Website woes

    Can't seem to register my interest via their web site :(

  24. Graham 32

    "As screens of that resolution go it’s sharp and bright and viewing angles are very strong."

    Can someone explain why wide viewing angles are important on handheld devices? I would expect a narrow viewing angle would improve battery life as less light needs to be emitted. Also I'd prefer it if the person next sat next to me in the pub/train/bus couldn't read my screen.

    1. Jagged

      "Also I'd prefer it if the person next sat next to me in the pub/train/bus couldn't read my screen."

      - the could even market the limitation as a feature

    2. The Mole

      When you are using it as a GPS in the car a good viewing angle makes placement much easier.

      Also if you like to show photos/videos/youtube clips to groups of other people.

      Or glance down at it to lying on the desk to see the time.

      Plenty of potential reasons... some better than others

  25. Chronos Silver badge
    Happy

    Looking forward to the Storm

    Swift's all very good (if you're not as fussy as me, get one) but I want a real back/home/menu button set, not something stealing a goodly bit of my screen. 128GB SD and 1080p (for the occasional VR headset use) are nice to have, too.

    I will be on the list when the Storm launches, no doubt about it. That fixed battery isn't really a problem if it's like the one in the Moto G - changing that is a five minute job. I just hope the build finds its way into the public Cyanogenmod repo but, as long as I can get root and fastboot access, I don't care enough for it to be a blocker issue.

    While we're on the subject of CyanogenMod, please note that CyanogenOS and CyanogenMod are two very different things. The former does take a lot from the latter but there's no guarantee that the CyanogenOS devices will be backported or that a CyanogenOS device will be CM-like in the things you can do to it, eg bootloader and custom recovery. cyngn.com is a commercial entity, cyanogenmod.org is a community site.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart Ultra 6 - 5.5" HD IPS, Octacore processor, up to 128Gb SD, relatively bloatware free, £125. Ticks nearly all the boxes....

    But its only on Vodafone. Still who needs to call people these days!

  27. Xyra

    Arg, and I bought my wife the Huawei Honor 4X less than a week ago... (£119 after discount on their own website)

  28. MelinaWalker

    can it be unlocked?

    Will it allow bootloader unlocking?

    PS: Terms and conditions page does not even list a "telephone number"

  29. Robin 12

    Nice phone, now I want one in Canada.

    I have a Symbian phone that is on it's last days. Been waiting for a decent, unlocked phone with a SD card slot. Seeing the specs for the Storm, I want one as my next phone here in Canada. I doubt it will be available before my Nokia dies.

    My daughter would get one as well.

    I wonder how hard it would be to replace the CyanongenOS after purchasing. I guess we will have to wait and see.

    1. giddyrobot

      Re: Nice phone, now I want one in Canada.

      I've just switched from an Nokia N8 to the Wileyfox Swift and its been a pleasant experience. The camera is good in video and stills mode except in low light conditions.Speaker volume is slightly limited but adequate. The GPS is good and I am running Here Maps with offline maps.I also have Pastilli Labs Situations and the Microsoft Office apps, to deliver a simialr experience as Symbian.

  30. John 104
    FAIL

    Fail

    Any handset that is made today that isn't waterproof is a big fail in my book. It can be done, has been done, and should be done. These devices spend time in the elements and around kitchens and bathrooms...

  31. John Savard Silver badge

    Only in Britain, you say? Pity.

    The fact that it has a removable battery is very attractive. If I can't find a new phone with one, I'll just stick with my old HTC Amaze 4G until I can't get new batteries for it.

    I hope having Cyanogen won't, however, prevent it from being able to access Google's App Store. That would kill general consumer interest in it.

    Since I don't drink tea, having Red Rose tea available here in Canada doesn't make up for having to wait longer for this phone to be available here...

    1. giddyrobot

      Re: Only in Britain, you say? Pity.

      You have full access to the apps at Google Play Store.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, my last phone was Moto G 2014, but as it refunded by Amazon, so I need a new one, but this time it won't be Moto G 2015, as it gone worst (no dual sim in Europe, no compass, no notification led) costs more and as Lenovo is new owner, this means no latest Android updates anymore.

    I have looked few weeks for alternative, found none, until now. Storm would be better, but no onscreen buttons, unremovable battery, micro/normal sim/sdcard combo and same battery as swift, doesn't sound great. I'm not so big CM fan, but at least not like a lot other overpriced brands, they provide updates for a long time.

    So I will go for Swift, hoping they will sell and deliver phone to Europe and most of all, have decent support.

    BTW, seems swift is rebranded Micromax E455, with proper LTE bands - http://www.micromaxinfo.com/mobiles/smartphones/canvas/canvas-nitro-4g-E455

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    M4 aqua is still the better phone

    Sonys changes are subtle but worthwhile ,(also allowing things like tinkering with rgb adjustments to set you desired colour vibrance)

    I also prefer Sonys camera and prompt update cycles, Sony also stick another 1gb of memory inside

    Android M has the on request permission prompts, do cyanogen really doesn't offer much. (I stopped trusting them when their forums were hacked and attempted to install malware onto everyone PC. If they can't get that right, full OS security is questionable)

  34. CaptSmegHead

    Looks like a good phone for the price point.

    My concern is Cyanogen - I had this running on an Galaxy S4 and it was really buggy. Random reboots, freezes, etc

    1. dotdavid

      Samsung are crap at writing and releasing the drivers for their Exynos chipsets, which is why Cyanogenmod (and other custom ROMs) are buggy on certain of their handsets. And that's why my next phone will not be a Samsung - my Galaxy S3 i9300 will probably never get CM 12.1 (Android L) officially because all the device maintainers have given up in disgust.

  35. David Gosnell

    Removable battery

    That alone is a win for me, though I have to wonder how standard (i.e. easily available at at economic price) a part it is to replace? I think of this things more for durability of the phone beyond what the networks would like to believe is feasible rather than flat day-to-day endurance, though that helps too!

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Removable battery

      Isn't this just a chinese-market phone with a brit label on it?

      Something like the ones at http://www.thlmobilestore.com/ (and probably half of aliexpress)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Removable battery

        "Isn't this just a chinese-market phone with a brit label on it?"

        There are a lot of them about. See here for other alternatives.

        These are sold in large numbers to markets larger than the EU and US.

        Unfortunately, we really do live in rip off Britain, where only certain products are advertised.

  36. Branta

    Only impressive when available

    Supposed to be able to order this today, but still no way of ordering at the Wileyfox website. All you can do there is "register interest" (did that, heard nothing).

    It is, however, available for pre-order on Amazon, against a 30th September release date.

    Probably a great 'phone. Not sure about the communication skills of the company !

  37. Notional Semidestructor
    Meh

    Ooops!

    Thanks to El Reg, I too had 'registered an interest' in the Wileyfox Swift....

    ...had a nice automated email saying it would be on sale on the 22nd September. That's today.

    So before breakfast I took a look - no buying options on the site. No explanatory emails lurking in my spam folder, nothing on TwitFace... Oh! Wait a bit!

    Someone there has spotted it on Amazon.co.uk with a revised release date of 30th September.

    ...and here on El Reg, Branta has kindly informed us of that. So it must be true!

    Still no purchasing option on the Wileyfox site, still no apologetic email. Oh well.

    Now I know (first-hand) what a panic it can be getting products to market, but my feeling is that if they can't be arsed to update punters with money to spend, what chances will we have when we have spent it and want service/updates/whatever?

    If we do end up buying one it will therefore be via Amazon, who (whatever other flaws they may have) does have a truly effective returns and refund procedure.

    Bit disappointed, but I'll survive. Anybody know the details?

  38. Branta

    Lovely glossy marketing

    Thanks to Notional Semidestructor I found the Wileyfox page on Farcebook. The silence on the missed release date is deafening.

    Also noteworthy is the number of unanswered (simple) questions there. I'm thinking that if one was to visit the Wileyfox offices there would just be a cardboard frontage, like a movie set !

    I too have spent most of a lifetime in product development, and know only too well how release dates are prone to be missed (to the point where hitting them is actually a rarity !). But to have gone to the trouble of getting together all the marketing videos and sent out review samples, yet not to be bothered to keep potential customers in the loop is just unbelievable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lovely glossy marketing

      Customer service - we've heard of it.

      Amazon says 28 Oct now.

      Meanwhile, currently the Chinese apparently have a choice of over 500 phones with 5 inch screens:

      http://www.pandawill.com/mobile-phone-c1/android-os-phone-c551.html?sizes=109

  39. Yugguy

    Well I'VE GOT ONE

    Holy thread resurrection Batman!

    But just in case anyone digs this thread up.

    I've got a Swift.

    It feels solid and well-built, it doesnt feel like a cheap Chinese clone.. CyanogenOS - NOT CYANOGENMOD!!! is lovely and customisable and best of all is not riddling with the wretched bloatware of the mainstreamers, and runs smoothly.

    The quad-core processor can handle everything I need it to do. The most graphical intensive thing I run is probably Minecraft PE and that runs fine.

    It's warrantied for a year, that can be extended.

    This is a 2Gb RAM, 16GB onboard, dual-sim, quadcore 13mp camera phone for 130 quid.

    Absolute bargain in my book.

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe
      Alert

      Re: Well I'VE GOT ONE

      Double Resurrection!!!!

      "..Absolute bargain in my book..."

      An even better one, if you'd waited a month.

      Amazon were knocking these out at £99,99 today, as one of their Black Friday deals. I must admit that my trigger finger was itching, as I watched the counter tick down the minutes til midnight, when the deal ended. But then, in a rare flash of introspection, I suddenly realised that I was being played like a cheap violin by world capitalism —and I let the offer expire, with my hands safely away from the 'Add to Basket' button.

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