back to article A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Last year a new London phone startup launched to try and tame the Shenzhen tiger. WileyFox aimed to harness the Chinese manufacturing revolution that's brought us low-cost Androids to a decent brand with local support. WileyFox sold a respectable amount – half a million devices – without becoming a household name. But that was a …

  1. Known Hero

    last step of the journey

    Soon to sell out to a big american firm and disappear from the light as your product gets smothered as it's good competition :(

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: last step of the journey

      Like Sendo?

      I think that for the most part those days have gone. WileyFox aren't big enough to be that much of a threat or an opportunity, the brand is very niche (and loses its "crafty British challenger" appeal as soon as acquired by a bumbling incumbent), and what are WFx doing that the majors could do but choose not to?

      Surely the only people this would make sense for would be Cyanogenmod themselves, since they're making no money from their software at the moment, and they might see WileyFox either as their main route to market, or as their "reference" design in the manner of the Nexus devices. But as a US company I'd have thought there's a range of US-based Shenzen-vetters who are doing the same sort of thing as WFx, and CM would culturally be a better fit with another US business.

      The other thing is that whilst we often bemoan the sale of UK start ups, what those sales actually reflect is the sense of proportion of UK entrepreneurs. Why put the years of extra work in, and take the risks to build a half-a-billion pound corporate business, if you can sell out much earlier for £15m, and either retire somewhere pleasant, or start again in the rule-free world of the start-up? Building a big corporate enterprise (successfully) would make them very rich indeed, but it means moving from anarchic energy and innovation to a world of process, compliance, policies, board meetings, corporate finance, suits and PHBs. And to get the benefits, you've still got to go through a hair-raising trade sale, or worse still an IPO, where you'll initially be a key man, but then be squeezed out of "your own" company by the suits.

      1. John Styles

        AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

        The theory being that in the US after you have made your 'million' (i.e. about 10 million, don't want to be one of the poor 'single digit millionaires') you think 'how can I make my billion' whereas in the UK you buy the Old Rectory in some bucolic village, get a few non-executive directorships, dabble half hardheartedly in another start up etc.

        Frankly I would rather have the old rectory than a company full of nasty whiny people etc. with the danger any day one might be shafted by whatever platform one is build on / have another start up eat our lunch etc. so who can blame them?

        1. Matthew Taylor

          Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

          This is exactly true. We Brits like to play around at corporate sociopathy, but in truth, our hearts aren't really in it. Our dream is just to get out with enough cash to stop worrying, rather than to crush the world beneath our bootheels.

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

            Our dream is just to get out with enough cash to stop worrying, rather than to crush the world beneath our bootheels.

            Far better than being Elon Musk, Larry Ellison, Turdoch or their ilk. Everyday motivated by greed for more, envy of anybody richer than them, angry at each percieved slight, or the inadequacy of the army of wage slaves and sycophants around them. Working all hours of their life to be richer and yet richer. And then, when the funeral's over and the "mourners" have dispersed, their families can tear themselves apart over the loot.

            Unless they find a way to take it all with them.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Terminator

              Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

              "Unless they find a way to take it all with them."

              Cryogenics.

            2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

              For them yes, but perhaps not for society.

              If Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard had retired once they had sold enough valves to pay off the garage in Palo Alto or Messers Rolls and Royce had decided to take the money from the first half a dozen cars and go home.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

          My parents had a stroke of pure luck in the timing of their last move and just about managed to scrape enough for a (genuine) Old Rectory in a rural location, back in the 80s. My Dad, genius bargain hunter that he is, discovered that a survey was optional on buildings over a century old so decided to save himself a few hundred quid... it's not so much a money PIT, as a money mineshaft. You could fill in a pit if you had a lorryload of cash. This... you'd need to pull it down and rebuild it, brick by brick, to get much in the way of practicality out of it. You could start by digging some actual foundations -- the 18" thick masonry walls literally rest on beaten earth. All three floors of them. And cold /damp? Listen, you don't know cold until you've had to clear the ice off of the inside of your bedroom windows in the morning...

          1. John Styles

            Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

            Ha, yes my partner's Dad had a similarly exciting house. The highlight was the insurance loss adjuster coming to look at something for an insurance claim failing to put the car brake on sufficiently so the car rolled down and then off the steep and twisty drive, demolishing a wall.

          2. eionmac

            Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

            Not so rare. In Canada we had 3 to 5 inches (deeper than the finger peephole) of ice (from breath condensation) in a centrally heated house at 80 deg F on inside of windows. Rectories in England as luxury comparied to this.

          3. Medical Cynic

            Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

            Listen, you don't know cold until you've had to clear the ice off of the inside of your bedroom windows in the morning...

            That was normal in the 1950s and even later.

            1. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

              "...That was normal in the 1950s and even later..."

              Yep normal for me too in the 80's

              We moved into a stone built house with the same 18" thick walls and single glazed windows.

              Mornings were...fresh :)

              Once we eventually got double glazing it was blissfully warm by comparison.

          4. AndyD 8-)&8377;

            Re: AKA 'old rectory syndrome'

            And cold /damp? Listen, you don't know cold until you've had to clear the ice off of the inside of your bedroom windows in the morning...

            Every house in the UK used to have to scrape ice off the inside of windows - that's what hot pennies were for - kids today......

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    WileyFox was aiming for sub-£150 but got hit by the fall in sterling. That should help exports, though, and WileyFox has strong plans for Europe.

    If the price was hit by the fall in the value of the pound then it is obviously dominated by the price of imports. The export price will also be dominated by the price of the inputs and is likely to be unchanged. What will change is the value of exports in GBP.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Coat

      re: is likely to be unchanged

      Because it's UK marketing, not really a UK phone, (but then I think Apple phones are barely American, though they do more designing than WileyFox who are really outsourcing the HW/SW design and perhaps only having some input on the cosmetics).

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: re: is likely to be unchanged

        but then I think Apple phones are barely American, though they do more designing than WileyFox

        They (Merkins) do more designing? On the silicon front maybe, but what country are ARM and CSR based in? And on the aesthetics, are you suggesting that Jonny Ive has traded his UK passport for a Yank one?

  3. Richard 81

    Cyanogen OS

    So are they going to be switching to vanilla Android, Cyanogen OS is dying off?

    1. goldcd

      What is this vanilla android

      you speak of?

      Not as if you can just copy AOSP onto it.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What is this vanilla android

        I tried vanilla Android once.

        It tasted like cheap plastic.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Cyanogen OS

      Cyanogen OS was the commercial version of CyanogenMod. They could flip to the community version which is essentially the same without the QA. I'm sure they could do QA in-house or pay some devs to do the same.

      It is incredible that Cyanogen's commercial efforts flopped so badly. They were a shoe-in for producing firmware, QA and after-market support for phone makers who didn't want to do it themselves.

    3. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Cyanogen OS

      What's to stop them just using CyanogenMod instead of Cyanogen OS?

      First thing I did when I bought the original Swift was replace the latter with the former after discovering a rooted Cyanogen OS won't accept OTA updates.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Cyanogen OS

        It is incredible that Cyanogen's commercial efforts flopped so badly

        Wasn't it suggested here in ElReg a while ago that Google had been tightening the screws on manufacturers - something along the lines of "use 100% or 0% Google - your choice" ?

        And isn't that more or less one of the things Microsoft got hammered for in the past ?

        Getting a few models from some of the big names would have made it a success, I suspect that getting a few smaller niche manufacturers couldn't do it.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Cyanogen OS

        It is incredible that Cyanogen's commercial efforts flopped so badly.

        I suspect this is not so easy as they thought it would be: so many SoCs all slightly different. So they went the way of premium partners only to shoot themselves in the foot with the stupid exclusive contract in India.

        You can see why hardware manufacturers would be keen on porting support but less on maintenance. Maybe the market needs to embrace some kind of maintenance fee? Doesn't have to be much but has to be enough to cover costs (I suspect $ 20 to $ 30 annually after the second year?).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Cyanogen OS

        Yup, pretty certain OP is failing to distinguish between Cyanogen OS (the ailing commercial wing of Cyanogen) and Cyanogen Mod (the active core FOSS project)

        AO recently published an uncharacteristically rational opinion piece on the demise, explaining how COS deliberately fragmented their market, making their product and thus their business unworkable.

        Amateur business(wo)men depressingly easily outmanoeuvred.

    4. g00se

      Re: Cyanogen OS

      I spoke to them recently and brought up the issue of Cyanogen's doubtful future

      They: "We have no news on this issue and our phone are not going to be affected as far as i'm aware"

      Rooting their phones?

      They: "i would certainly would advise against it as we don't support it"

  4. TonyJ Silver badge

    Looks decent

    Looks a decent handset.

    I'd be quite interested in one for my eldest lad who burns almost all of his saved pocket money for screens for his current one since he seems so unwilling to buy a screen protector AND is clumsy (grumble).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Looks decent

      "I'd be quite interested in one for my eldest lad who burns almost all of his saved pocket money for screens for his current one"

      Let him burn all of it. But point out that the screen he buys with the last of it has to be taken care of, otherwise he's phoneless until he's saved up for a new phone.

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Looks decent

        @Doc. You misunderstand... He uses his own pocket money so he indeed does save or has a broken screen until such a time he has saved it.

    2. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Looks decent

      If he's old enough to have a smartphone he's old enough to get a Saturday job and save up for his own damn screen replacements. (Or buy the part for a tenner and look up how to do it himself on YT, like the rest of us.)

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Looks decent

        @Tom Paine..

        When you're done being a judgmental idiotic, put down your Daily Mail and listen while I explain a few things about him.

        He spends every Saturday, whatever the weather, getting himself up at 6am, volunteering at a retired greyhounds kennels. He does, occasionally, get paid to work some days during school holidays.

        When he isn't doing that, as well as the inordinate amount of studying from homework he gets from school, he does Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. He's pretty damn good at it too, holding several gold medals, a few silver and some bronze. That's from many international, national. local and European championships.

        So tell me, what should I ask him to give up in order to live up to your expectations?

        I already make him save his own money to pay for them.

        I do have many stronger words for you but I won't type them here. You are, though, a cactus. Look up the meme.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: Looks decent

          WTF is this? Has being a grumpy old man gone out of fashion all of a sudden?

          I'm just using the old-fashioned meme that _I_ didn't get given birthday or christmas presents worth £500, and neither did anyone else I knew, and that was only a few decades ago. 18th or 21st birthday, sure, fine. Yes, I'm sure he's a fine upstanding hard working kid who'll go a long way. I just don't understand why people spend such vast sums of money giving their kids presents. Sure, a phone's pretty essential these days, but I've had to make do with ten quid burners myself in the past and it didn't kill me.

          No idea where your DM-reader ad hom comes from. The DM et al are anaethema to me.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: Looks decent

            "..No idea where your DM-reader ad hom comes from. The DM et al are anaethema to me..."

            Same place as your assumption my son has a £500 phone (he doesn't - not even close), just like your other assumptions. I pulled it out of my arse.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Looks decent

        >If he's old enough to have a smartphone he's old enough to get a Saturday job and save up for his own damn screen replacements.

        See that's the problem with the British attitude. In America it would be "If he's old enough to have a smartphone he's old enough to create his own startup, become a billionaire, buy the manufacturer of phone and have them all fired."

  5. dajames Silver badge

    Diasappointing

    The original Swift supported dual SIM operation and a micro-SD card, so it's disappointing that with this new model a micro-SD card can only be used in place of a second SIM (or vice versa, depending on how you look at it).

    Still, I'm glad to see that it retains the 3.5mm headphone socket alongside the new USB-C connector.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Diasappointing

      Oh c'mon, who needs both second SIM and micro-SD at the same time.

      1. EuKiwi

        Re: Diasappointing

        Well, then that would be me... I have the S7 Edge dual-sim. I have to have two sims for work and the dual-sim model tops out at 32GB, so I ended up having to do some 'surgery' on the second sim to stick it to the back of the micro-sd to get all three.

      2. EuKiwi

        Re: Diasappointing

        Bugger. Missed the joke alert.

      3. Helldesk Dogsbody

        Re: Diasappointing

        Me for one as I like to keep the work and personal numbers separate but don't like carrying two phones.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Diasappointing

        likewise removable battery (ask the South Korean giants, they'll tell ya! ;)

      5. Phil W
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Diasappointing

        Someone who knows they should have a second number for talking to their mistress, but misunderstands the point of having it and also wants to make "home videos" with said mistress.

        Paris, because she has all the necessary qualities for both being a mistress and misunderstanding things.

      6. eionmac

        Re: Diasappointing

        Teleco at home is not available at work, so TWO SIMs are necessary. micrSD so all stuff recorded can be removed and left at home whne entering USA. (bare phone for customs inspection)

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Diasappointing

      I did spend a few minutes wondering why I couldn't fit an SD card into mine, before realising that I was trying to jam it into the second SIM slot, and that the micro-SD slot was an inch to the right.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    Nice to see sd card (with ability of dual SIM use if SD card omitted) and an OS that's going to see security patches.

    If it has removeable battery it would tick all the boxes for an ideal everyday use phone at a v.good price for the build quality (as well as battery change an easy way of extending phone lifepsan, key reason I like removeble battery is sometimes the only way to fix some glitches is full power and restart off which is fairly easy & instant when battery is immoveable but with fixed battery is not)

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Great phone - but dodgy support

    I was wowed by the Regs Swift review last year, so a Swift was my Chrimbo present from Mrs Page.

    Really cannot fault the phone. The only niggle I might have is the quirk that it doesn't allow it's own number to be set in the OS - apparently a Cyanogen thing. It hasn't stopped me doing anything - that I know of.

    However, the companys support seems to be run by the primary school the Keystone Cops went to. When I got the phone, I tried to register - as advised - which proved impossible due to a clunky website. Eventually, after waiting a couple of weeks (website wasn't fixed and claimed I hadn't entered my email address) I managed to get through to someone who made it plain this was a man+dog operation.

    Fast forward 11 months and (1) I am still being spammed by Wileyfox and (2) I am still waiting for the free screen protector I was supposed to get when I registered.

    All of that said, I do like the look of the plus. If it's as good as the Swift I've had for a year, it deserves great things.

    1. Credas Silver badge

      Re: Great phone - but dodgy support

      Fast forward 11 months and (1) I am still being spammed by Wileyfox and (2) I am still waiting for the free screen protector I was supposed to get when I registered.

      I know this sounds like a silly question, but are you sure you don't already have the screen protector? I bought a Storm and was wondering where it was in the box, then noticed that it was actually pre-fitted!

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: Great phone - but dodgy support

      Fast forward 11 months and (1) I am still being spammed by Wileyfox and (2) I am still waiting for the free screen protector I was supposed to get when I registered.

      I am still waiting for the rebate on the phones I bought back way-when. In fact, I am waiting for them to respond to the emails that I have been sending them.

      The chances of me getting new WileyFox handsets for BongoJoe Villas is, excuse pun, swiftly diminishing.

  8. Bassey

    Redmi 3S

    It looks and has VERY similar specs to the Xiaomi Redmi 3S - which is absolutely no bad thing at all. It seems to be about £30-40 more expensive but you're getting local support, a local ROM and that brilliant screen replacement offer. I'm happy to import from China and pocket the difference but for your average Joe this does look good. Other than waterproofing I look at my Redmi 3S and wonder just what it is that a £600 iPhone/Galaxey/Xperia etc. has that I might be missing.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: Redmi 3S

      Have an upvote from a fellow Xiaomi user; my Hongmi Note gets many admiring looks; then looks of disbelief when I tell them the specs and the price.

      Had a multi-millionaire fawning over it last weekend, he kept asking me to confirm what it was and how much it cost; I thought he was going to try and buy it off of me, especially when I showed him the spare Li-ON battery & charger (cost £2.50 inc p&p)

      I seem to remember a Spanish firm getting panned in here a few weeks ago, for doing almost exactly what WileyFox do.

  9. BigG

    I bought the first Swift in part due to the removable battery - I hope this continues to be the case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Came wondering exactly the same!..

      IS THE TIME-BOMB Lii "BATTERY" REPLACEABLE OR GLUED IN?????

      If it's the former I'll definitely be grabbing a few of them if they'll be out in time for Christmas but the webpage is ominously evasive. So they've glued it in then. ---->

      :(

      The bastards.

  10. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The reasonably priced screen replacement scheme is interesting.

    Edit: LG have had a scheme where they will replace a screen on some models for free, if you crack it in the first six months of owning the phone. It may be that other vendors have had similar schemes.

  11. Phil S

    I've got the original Swift (emergency, cheap replacement for dead HTC One M8) and really rate it - reliable, comfortable, and am loving Cyanogen (first time I've used non-stock Android on a phone). Also, my track record of cracking screens made the cheap replacement option appealing, though weirdly (for me) I've yet to use it as it's a tough little bugger.

    Only minor gripe is the camera doesn't perform too well if light isn't spot on, but it cost me just over £100 (when they had the cashback offer) and has been otherwise faultless - it just works.

    Contract with Voda about to come to an end, so heading SIM only and planning on putting some of the (significant!) savings away for eventual replacement - this looks a strong contender.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    Missing info in write up

    that price might need VAT adding - their shopping basket is not entirely clear.

    A URL would have been nice: https://www.wileyfox.com/

    I note that you can have a spare battery (£15)

    It will be interesting to see real customer reviews, battery life is something that really interests me with toys like this.

    1. Andy Mc

      Re: Missing info in write up

      Nope, the writeup appears correct. It's 159 for the Swift 2, or 189 if you want the shinier Swift 2+ with better camera and more flash.

    2. Mike VandeVelde

      Re: Missing info in write up

      Broken website. How does it compare to this:

      https://www.bq.com/en/cyanogen-aquaris-x5

    3. Dr Spork
      Holmes

      Re: Missing info in write up

      I note that you can have a spare battery (£15)

      Are you sure that was for the "Swift 2"? There's no mention of replaceable batteries on the specs page.

      http://www.wileyfox.com/swift-119.html

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Missing info in write up

        There's no mention of replaceable batteries on the specs page.

        I'd noticed that, and linked it to the unibody aluminium construction. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong, but I think this is a sealed case, and on those grounds I won't be buying it as I tend to keep my phones for longer than a couple of years. And even in a two year timescale, I've had a couple of batteries go bad in eighteen months.

  13. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    If it has a 3.5mm headphone jack

    Then it just might be my next phone...

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: If it has a 3.5mm headphone jack @ZSF

      It does.

      Ticks all my wish list boxes too so might well be my next phone. They have 6 months until my contract is up in which to prove they mean it about regular updates.

  14. Jim 48

    We have two of the first gen Swifts in this house and they are very capable devices. I'd be tempted by one of these for myself if the screen was 1080p and the fingerprint scanner was on the front, but I guess I'm just going to have to wait for my OnePlus Three order to get to the front of the queue.

  15. Stuart 22

    It is Cyanogen 13 - equivelent to Marshmellow. I presume the OTA updates are meant to suggest that Nougat will arrive sometime. And then?

    As a long term Nexus owner who ain't going the blingy Pixel/Flagship route I'm looking for another provider who will give long term support (which in this mad disposable land fill orientated world > 6 months but possibly not > 2 years)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      If it already runs CM then, yes, it will get an update to Nougat and presumably whatever comes after that. Timing maybe an issue. Haven't seen anything on CM about Nougat but my S5 builds have been getting very busy recently presumably because of upstream work: security fixes are generally pushed pretty quickly.

      The support for CM for many devices is quite often breathtaking. Well worth taking a look to see if anything you have is supported.

  16. Amazon Wageslave
    Happy

    Wileyfox

    I bought the Wileyfox Storm last year, on the basis of the el Reg review. It was an excellent phone for the price. Unfortunately I trashed mine back in March by dropping it 8 feet on to tarmac. The phone still worked, but the screen was bolloxed. Replaced it with the Swift and have been very happy since. Being able to customise just about everything is a real plus.

    About the only criticism I can make is that file transfer can be a bit buggy; it sometimes takes a couple of attempts before the phone and my laptop play with each other.

    The Swift 2 looks very tempting. I'm happy with my original one right now, but my other half is looking for a new phone and the Swift2 might be just the ticket for her.

    1. Bogle

      Re: Wileyfox

      "dropping it 8 feet on to tarmac"

      Blimey, just how high up are your pockets?

      1. Amazon Wageslave
        Coat

        Re: Wileyfox

        LOL. Sadly it was out a pub window while doing this---->

        1. Dr Spork
          Pint

          Re: Wileyfox

          What's sad about being in a pub??

  17. Paul Woodhouse

    hah... I'm still using my Samsung Nexus phone, its been fantastic, I'm seriously thinking of getting one of these to replace it though because it is unfortunately really starting to show its age now...

  18. GlenP Silver badge

    I bought a Swift a year or so back, and don't intend to change for a while but when I do I'd be happy with the new one. Main plus is the removable battery, although it took a while for them to be available I've now got a spare.

    Only negative I've had is the USB socket is a bit deep due to the case back so a lot of plugs don't stay in very well.

  19. David Harper 1

    Have they fixed the "no way to disable a SIM" problem in Cyanogen 13?

    I've had a Swift for several months. It's a nice little phone, but after the Cyanogen 13 "upgrade", I'm no longer able to disable a SIM through Settings. This is a serious flaw in a phone that's advertised for its dual-SIM capability, especially as I planned to use it with a UK SIM and a US SIM installed. Now, when I'm in the US, I have no way to disable the UK SIM. Recent developments at the organisation behind Cyanogen make me pessimistic that this will be fixed. Fortunately, I only spent £100 on the phone, but I'm still annoyed.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also have a swift and really like it. But did notice when I unpacked it that the IP appears to be resident in Luxembourg. So exactly how "British" the company is might be worth checking out.

  21. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Glove mode"

    if nothing else, this article led me to the Wileyfox site where I first learned of "Glove mode"

  22. Novex

    64GB Micro SD only?

    I'm slightly surprised they're saying the memory is only expandable to 64GB. Surely the SDXC spec allows far more than that, and should certainly cover the currently available 256GB micro SD cards?

    I don't seem to be able to download a spec sheet for the Swift 2 + from the wileyfox website. The link just ends up at the checkout page with a Swift 2 + already added to the cart.

    Edit: to ask if CyanogenMod 13 allows for xprivacy to be installed?

    1. Doc Ock

      Re: "Glove mode"

      >"Glove mode"

      That sounds like an extra you have to pay for.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Have they fixed the "no way to disable a SIM" problem in Cyanogen 13?

      It's easy to disable a SIM, just flip the phone over, pop the back off and slide the SIM out.

    3. Helldesk Dogsbody

      Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

      If it's the same as the original Swift they only list the lower capacity but they will quite happily see (and use) 256 GB micro SD cards.

    4. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

      Often they only mention support for the largest size they have tried/available at the time; I have had devices that claim 2GB support that I have successfully used 64GB cards in, and a 32GB limit where 128GB works.

    5. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Have they fixed the "no way to disable a SIM" problem in Cyanogen 13?

      "Now, when I'm in the US, I have no way to disable the UK SIM. "

      Just take it out you lazy sod.

    6. cd

      Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

      I have an older music player that will work with larger cards if they are reformatted FAT32. Possible WF don't know or haven't tried this.

      One thing I'd like to know from the review is whether GAPPs come installed or not. I really don't need Maps and Store turning on for their own reasons, can live without GAPPs and they are hard to uninstall without starting over.

      1. Dr Spork

        Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

        Shirley CM13 can do exFAT OOTB?

    7. Mage Silver badge

      Re: how "British" the company is

      It's not UK software, it's Electronics design isn't in UK, parts and assembly are not UK.

      But maybe some people think Roberts Radio is UK (Chinese OEM designed and built, badge / brand is owned by Glen Dimplex conglomerate). Or that Bush is British.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

      Another vote for "Don't believe the SD card size limits", I believe it is to do with licensing and it will accept anything

  23. Neil Alexander

    "WileyFox"

    Not strong on names, are they?

    1. cd / && rm -rf *

      Re: "WileyFox"

      "Not strong on names, are they?"

      Would you have preferred WileyCoyote ?

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: "Not strong on names, are they?"

        Anglophone?

    2. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: "WileyFox"

      Well WileyCoyote would suggest that the product while highly engineered doesn't quite work as expected, often with disastrous (if humorous) results.

    3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: "WileyFox"

      Well, it's less worrying than Wile E. Coyote!

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: "WileyFox"

      "WileyFox"

      - Kind of makes me think it's an Ubuntu/FirefoxOS mashup.

      Unlikely as that seems, as Ubuntu for phones isn't ready for mainstream, and FirefoxOS has just been abandoned on phones...

  24. TWB

    Minimal OSes

    Now that 'the masses' are getting sick of the bloat of the main desktop and phone OSes, could this herald a new era of devices where you get a a lean OS with bare minimum included but decent support/updates for say 5 years?

    Not sure what I would call this business model, but I sometimes wish I could buy [IT kit, phones, tablets, laptops, PVRs etc] which was a little more expensive but worth the extra as some of the cost would go towards supporting it in the future.

    Maybe the masses just prefer to buy something new every year....

  25. Bodzin

    Battery life?

    With a low-res screen, mid range CPU and a decent size battery, can we hope for 2 days?

    Def going Wiley or One Plus next time..... Korean flagships are way way undercut by these guys.

  26. John Styles

    Philip Hammond will be thrilled

    England expects every man to do his duty (by starting a tech company then flogging it to the Japanese to help the balance of payments deficit)

  27. Cuddles Silver badge

    Bet it isn't.

    "WileyFox sold a respectable amount – half a million devices – without becoming a household name. But that was a tweaked reference design. With its first in-house design, launched today, that's sure to change."

    Yeah, still don't see it becoming a household name. Sure, it looks like a decent enough phone. But there are now an awful lot of decent enough phones at the £150-200 price point, as well as a huge variety that are a bit less or a bit more depending on exactly what you're looking for. Being a decent but extremely generic phone that looks and costs the same as all the others is not something that will catapult you into the public awareness.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: With its first in-house design. Bet it isn't.

      Maybe they sketched out the case and logo.

      Depends what they mean by design. I did a 4G (not Wimax or LTE) VOIP only "handset" using a PCMCIA modem using a handmade case and catalogue industrial PCBs in 2007. In a sense I designed it.

      Did they really pick the chips, layout a PCB etc, assemble it, debug, do the approvals etc?

  28. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
    Unhappy

    if only we could get them on the left side of the pond...

    see title. Sad Yank is sad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Welcome

      Re: if only we could get them on the left side of the pond...

      Blimey!

      Your police service is undertaking a regime change operation against its own government AND the WileyFox US site is depressingly desolate. No wonder you're sad!

      Still, you're welcome to nip over and pick one up in person. Might be worth booking a trip over 20th Jan anyway.. just in case things take a sudden turn to the extra-squiffy over there? We might even have an old bridge knocking around somewhere, you could add to you collection O;-)

    2. bengoey49

      Re: if only we could get them on the left side of the pond...

      Before you consider make sure you check the GSM, 3G and LTE Radio frequency cover of this phone. It is very limited for the US use and I don't think you can get LTE / 4G in the US with this phone as it only covers Band 3, 7 and 20 LTE ( for Europe and most of Asia ).

  29. Yugguy

    I have a Swift

    It's FUCKING SUPERB.

    It cost me 120 quid, it does everything I want, the privacy settings are fantastic, fuck off random application you don't need my contacts.

    I'll never contract again and I'll NEVER pay hundreds of pounds for a bloated locked-down handset again either.

  30. Ian Emery Silver badge

    4 hours, and the two comments I have made in this thread still havent been published

    Is there a problem??

    Yes, I am sure, I even got the "You have 10 minutes" message.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: 4 hours, and the two comments I have made in this thread still havent been published

      One comment moderator on duty with plenty of other things to do. They should all have appeared by now.

  31. djberriman

    Upgrade

    Like my Wileyfox Swift so looks like I'll be upgrading. Far better than dual sim samsung/htc phones I've had at 3 times the price.

  32. I Like Heckling

    I picked up the WF Storm at the start of the year and have been really impressed with it so far... but it does have some shortcomings.

    1: Support is pretty bad compared to the swift

    2: OTA updates often don't work unless you jump through hoops that involve removing all sim cards as well as SD cards.

    3: Camera is great but has problems with the auto focus that make it very difficult to take quick snaps.

    4: Microphone is dreadful when in a case... and no the case doesn't obscure the mic, in fact there's at least 4-5mm of space all around it... often you can only use the OK google function from 2ft or less and often only after removing it from the case.

    5: Fixed battery... never liked it and this is the first phone I've ever owned that has one.

    6: Sound quality is pretty dire with just a single rear speaker.. even the Moto G had front facing stereo speakers so this is a big fail in my book.

    But releasing a new model every year is pointless to me, after 10 months I'm not even considering a replacement and on average make my phones last 3yrs.

    So if they're still about in 2018, I'll be sure to check out whatever they bring out then.

  33. E 2

    Subtle

    That is a stealthy goat's head on the back of the phone.

  34. Tom Paine Silver badge

    As luck would have it...

    ...I've finally lost my trusty Blackberry Z10 (choke, sob) and have to bite the bullet and go back to Android. (EE palmed me off with a Samsung A5 with, I assume, Samsung's crappy app stack -- at any rate, the apps and UI were utterly shite, and I found the thing so frustrating in daily use that eventually I lost my temper with it and deliberately smashed it to bits, which was _very_ satisfying.)

    So I'm looking at this and thinking that whilst £200 is a lot more than I'd LIKE to pay for a phone, it's clearly much better than £500+ for some obnoxious phablet or (shudder) iPhone. Trying to think of showstoppers before shelling out for one... can anyone help?

    - does it support USB mass storage mode, or that horrible Windows-only bastardisation? (I'm on LInux.) If so does that cover the on-board storage as well as the SD card?

    - are wifi hotspots standard issue these days? It goes without saying that it'll do that? I don't have fixed line internet at home, I've managed quite happily just tethering to 4G phones for the last 3.5 years)

    - non-replaceable battery is a bit crap. I really appreciated being able to carry a ten quid spare power cell around with me for the BB (which had particularly terrible battery life). I don't need 24h, I need ~11h - enough for my commute and a day at work with moderate use.

    - Cyanogen Mod. I know very little about this except that it's a Free /open Android fork, but I had some vague idea the project was on it's last legs and likely to fold. Will I be left without support if so?

    - do WF push security updates promptly? That was another thing I hated about the Samsung -- EE didn't push a single security update that I noticed in the six months I had the wretched thing.

  35. Seajay#

    Aiming for sub-£150 but got hit by the fall in sterling

    That tells you everything. It's not a British phone. It's a Chinese phone with a British marketing department.

    It looks like a good phone though, which is not surprising because the Chinese are really good at manufacturing.

  36. sdalton

    I'm going to stick my neck out here a bit (especially posting as a yank), but if you're going to go Chinese, why not go all in instead of hiding behind Eurobranding? (Not a dig at the Wileyfoxen per se, they look very reasonable).

    I have a Huawei P8 Lite which I purchased for the equivalent of just under a hundred quid, and I'm struggling to see what people pay more to get.

    - It has a very respectable screen

    - Dual sim slots

    - Micro SD on the second sim slot, but I rarely use it

    - Huawei's EMUI seems to get some shit from westerners, but I quite like it (and it's had updates)

    - Absolutely zero google services enabled

    - Reasonably tough - it takes repeated falls onto hard floors (more since I realized I can get away with it)

    - Awesome battery life, with reasonable disabling of gps (which should probably be left off anyways), I can coax a few days out of it without much worry.

    Admittedly the battery is non-removable, but that seems to be very much par for the course these days (god I miss my old blackberries). My girlfriend has an iPhone 5s on a $200+/mo 'family plan' from Verizon, and I have a sub-hundred quid phone on a Tracfone plan for maybe $6/mo. I'm really having a hard time trying to justify the difference in price.

    FWIW, the Wileyfox seems to be based on Xiaomi hardware, and that was one of my two finalists when I picked the P8. I don't think I would've been disappointed by either of them. It's probably long since time to drop the stigma of buying Chinese.

  37. Bad Beaver

    When will it be available?

    Looks neat. Does anyone know when it is actually going to be available?

  38. John Styles

    WileyFox, not to be confused with FileyWox, a Chinese restaurant in a small seaside town in North Yorkshire

  39. Tom Paine Silver badge
    WTF?

    4G?

    So I'm replacing a 3 year old Blackberry Z10 that supported proper 4G. I was literally just about to buy one of these when I spotted that they only support 4G LTE. Should I care? (I only have so many cycles available to nerd out on and took a conscious decision that life was too short to start memorising phone model numbers, frequency bands and whatnot, so be gentle if this is as dumb a question as I suspect.)

  40. Tom Paine Silver badge

    4G, slight reprise

    Arrrrgh, http://www.stuff.tv/features/best-cheap-smartphones-reviewed says it DOES support 4G.

    I guess I need to find a teenager to explain it all to me. :(

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