Wileyfox brings Cyanogen to two mid-range phones for a great price

Are you tired of paying too much for smartphones? Wileyfox might have the solution for you, with two low-cost, mid-range Cyanogen devices called Storm and Swift.

Based in the United Kingdom, Wileyfox’s two devices bring the quality of a $500 phone in a £130 ($200) or £200 ($307) package. The goal is to offer high-performance devices with decent specs without a huge price tag or a two-year contract.

The more expensive of the two is the Storm, which features a 5.5-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) display. Internally, the smartphone runs on Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 2,500mAh battery. There is 32GB of onboard storage, with room for 128GB expansion through a MicroSD card. As far as connectivity goes, 4G LTE is available on the smartphone and it has dual-SIM functionality.

Wileyfox decided to go big with the cameras on the Storm, adding a 20-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera. That is quite a feat for a smartphone that costs less than $350, considering the One M9, OnePlus 2, and Galaxy S6 don’t feature that many megapixels. There is no mention of optical image stabilization or dual-LED flash however, limiting the accuracy and reproduction of photos.

The Swift is the cheaper alternative, featuring a less impressive 5-inch HD (1,280 x 720 pixel) display. Inside, Wileyfox made noticeable changes to bring the price down to $200, including the quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and 2GB of RAM. Wileyfox also lowered the amount of onboard storage to 16GB, with room for 32GB of external storage via MicroSD card.

Of course, 4G LTE is still available with dual-SIM support. Swift also features the same 2,500mAh battery that the Storm chugs along on, meaning it should last longer than its more expensive sibling. 

The cameras on the Swift have been lowered to 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front sensors. Those are still decent specs for a low-end device.

Both smartphones run on Cyanogen 12.1, the Android Lollipop 5.1 update for the ROM. Cyanogen is becoming the most popular ROM, as more smartphone operators pick it up, in favor of a custom manufacturer skin or stock Android.

Wileyfox added its own software improvements here and there. AudioFX is the crowning jewel, offering 24-bit high resolution lossless audio. Sadly, most music streaming platforms do not offer high-quality audio, but services like iTunes and Google Play Music should be able to take advantage of the higher-quality output. 

Truecaller Integrated Dialler is also available on both smartphones. It identifies spam calls and blocks them. Protected Apps allows users to secure apps in folders with a password lock, to make sure friends can’t go creeping on your Facebook.

Wileyfox is selling the Storm and Swift directly through its store page, similar to the OnePlus 2 or ZUK Z1’s business model. The devices will be available in the next few months, alongside a range of accessories. You can check out the Storm here and see the Swift here.


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