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Wileyfox Spark Smartphones Launched – 5 reasons to consider buying a British blower


Wileyfox Spark

British smartphone start-up Wileyfox has launched a trio of new handsets under the Spark moniker. Here's all you need to know about the Spark vs Spark X vs Spark+.

Yes, a small British company really is looking to take on the mobile world's biggest players – and while it's still a small fish in a big pond, there's plenty to like about Wileyfox and its latest offerings.

Here's five reasons why your next device might be born and bred in Blighty.

1) There's something for everyone

The Wileyfox Spark isn't just one smartphone, but rather a range of three devices, meaning there could well be one that will tempt you.

Want a simple budget blower? Check out the core Spark model. Fancy something a bit more powerful? That'll be the Spark+. Phablet fancier? Enter the 5.5-inch Spark X.

Whatever type of mobile you normally go for, chances are Wileyfox has you covered.

2) They run Cyanogen 13.0

Wileyfox's Spark line is built on Android, but not quite as you know it. Instead, it overlays stock Android with the latest Cyanogen OS, version 13.0. Normally, Android skins are a burden rather than a selling point, but Cyanogen is a bit different.

An off-shoot of the popular CyanogenMod open-source software, it gives you more control over your device and additional customisation options – the sort you normally have to root an Android device to enjoy – as standard, and its privacy features are some of the best in the business.

That's in addition to all the great things you'll find in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, of course.

3) Cheap, cheap, cheap

Android devices often cost a mint, but the Wileyfox Spark range doesn't. The base model starts at just £89.99, with things rising to £114.99 for the Spark+, and £129.99 for the Spark X.

At that price point, you're obviously going to have to make a few hardware compromises, but if you want a more than capable phone without breaking the bank, they're worth considering, especially as they're only offered contract and SIM-free, meaning you can also choose a tariff to suit your budget.

Which brings us to...

4) Decent (enough) specs for the price

The Wileyfox Spark range may not compete with the likes of the Galaxy S7 or Nexus 6P but it's no slouch for the price.

The entry-level Spark sports 8-megapixel front and rear cameras, 4G connectivity, dual-SIM slots (hello, adulterers...), a quad-core chipset clocked at up to 1.3GHz backed up by 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage, a 5-inch 720p display, and a 2,220mAh removable battery.

Ante up to the Spark+ and you'll get a more realistic 16GB of mobile play space, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel primary snapper, while the larger 5.5-inch Spark X packs a beefier 3,000mAh battery to support its embiggened screen.

5) The UK needs something to cheer about

Brexit. Iceland. The end of Game of Thrones for another 10 months. Yep, the last few days have been pretty dire for many of us.

So while we've got to be honest and admit there are plenty of reasons why you might want to stump up a bit more for the likes of the Moto G or OnePlus 3 – both of which offer far superior specs whilst maintaining honest mid-range pricing – we won't write off wee Wileyfox entirely.

At a time when all things Blighty seem to be under fire, it's kind of heartening to see a small UK business is trying to do its own thing in the Wild West of the smartphone world.

If your smartphone needs are fairly basic, maybe it's time to buy British?

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Tempted by the Wileyfox Spark or sticking with the big boys? Let us know in the comments below.

Sean Halpin

June 29, 2016, 5:43 am

Underpowered rubbish.

karl meyer

July 27, 2016, 2:14 pm

Depends on what you need your phone to do. If it's there to get email, a bit of social media and, oh I don't know, make and receive a few calls and texts then <£100 is pretty good. I've had a Swift for 8 months and it's perfect for what I need a phone for. Dual SIM is great for business and personal phone.

Sean Halpin

July 27, 2016, 2:44 pm

I am living in S.E Asia and see a lot better for that type of money every day. I do hope they do well though, it's a very tough market to be in especially manufacturing or more like, assembling out of the UK.


July 28, 2016, 12:18 pm

Not under-powered at all, prob actually the sweet spot for weight\ performance\ cost\ battery.

Ive had the swift (2GB ram) model for 8 months and its superb in every way. I would say the choice between 1GB ram and 2GB makes a huge difference for android, always go 2GB if you can afford the extra £25, if you can't, then its still better than anything else on the market I would guess and you just run a few apps at a time. With 2GB you can have dozens all loaded and easily switchable and fast.

I really wouldnt recommend anything else to anyone bar the 2GB spark+ model. Even iPhone owners that I know love my Swift. The fact it retails for around £100 (amazon often has offers occasionally below RRP) means if you lose your phone its not a £600 bill or on your insurance which will bump that up. Means you can use a phone going out without worry.

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