Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus review

Wileyfox is one of the newest brands in the smartphone industry, founded in the UK in 2015 by former Motorola and Microsoft managers. Now, Wileyfox launched its third generation of smartphones. Named Swift, there are three phones in the range: Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus and Swift 2 X. Here, we review the Swift 2 Plus.

The range as a whole is a bit confusing. The Swift Plus has the same screen size as the Swift, but has more storage and more RAM, while the Swift 2 X adds a bigger battery and has a slightly bigger screen with a higher resolution.

Price & Availability

Wileyfox is designed to be affordable. It claims to exist "because people like you are tired of paying over the odds for mobile phones. Of being bound by contracts for phones that are past their best and of paying a premium for brands that spend a fortune on flagship stores and ubiquitous marketing campaigns."

So it'll come as no surprise to hear that the price tag for the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus is a small one. It'll set you back £189 from Amazon, while the Swift 2 costs £159 and the Swift 2 X costs £219. Keep an eye out for Amazon price drops because they happen quite regularly for the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus, and could save you more than £50.

At £189, it's in direct competition with the likes of the popular Moto G5 and the Lenovo P2, which are £169 and £199 respectively.

Design & Build

Nothing about the Wileyfox's design is particularly surprising or innovative, but when you consider its price tag it's one of the best-looking phones you'll find in the budget bracket.

It has an aluminium rear casing with rounded sides that feel lovely in the hand, and slim bezels surrounding the screen contributing to its overall premium look and feel. It's available in Midnight, Rose and Gold, each with the lovely Wileyfox logo emblazoned on the rear.

The power and volume buttons on the right side of the phone are textured to help you quickly locate them, which is a nice additional touch, and there are no physical buttons on the front of the phone to contend with.

The USB-C charging cable provided is a gorgeous orange colour with a flat anti-tangle design that we love, too.

We noticed that the top and bottom portions of the rear case don't line up perfectly with the main body of the phone, which is a shame as it leaves a slight crack in the illusion that this is a premium smartphone.

The Swift 2 Plus is a departure from the original Wileyfox Swift, which had a smooth Sandstone Black casing with orange accents and an embossed logo that we really loved. It's a shame Wileyfox has gone for something more generic with the Swift Plus 2, but we understand that the new design is more likely to have a wider appeal.

The cover is non-removable, unlike the original Wileyfox Swift, so you won't be able to access the battery.

The Swift Plus 2 weighs 155g so is significantly heavier than the 135g of its predecessor despite having the same size screen. It is thinner, though, at 8.6mm down from 9mm.

We love that the Wileyfox Swift Plus is of the 5in variety, rather than the larger screens many manufacturers are opting for lately. It means it'll fit comfortably in your pocket while providing ample screen estate, and it's still easy to use one-handed too.

Hardware, specs & performance

The Swift Plus 2 has a 5in screen with a 720p resolution (that's 296 pixels per inch), which is the same as its predecessor and not too unusual for a budget phone.

That said, the Moto G5 has a brilliant 1080p HD screen, as does the Lenovo P2, which is part of the reason they both grace the top of our budget phone chart.

The IPS screen is made with Gorilla Glass 3, and we found it to offer a quality that, while not outstanding, will be enough for most. Whites appeared to be a little on the orange side when we first began using it, but it didn't take long before we stopped noticing it.

Inside the Swift Plus 2 is a Qualcomm MSM8937 Octa Core 1.4GHz processor, paired with Adreno 505 graphics and 3GB RAM. There's 32GB of built-in storage, of which 24GB is available to the user.

There's also a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 64GB, and there are two SIM-card slots too.

We found the Swift Plus 2 to be suitably speedy, launching apps quickly and smoothly.

Geekbench processor tests found that the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus is slightly less powerful than the Lenovo P2, but that it could handle graphics in the GFXBench tests more smoothly than both the P2 and the G5. Take a look at the chart below to see the scores.

There's a fingerprint sensor in the centre of the rear of the phone that falls naturally beneath the index finger. It's fast and responsive, so we found it a breeze to use.

NFC means you can use that fingerprint sensor in conjunction with Google Pay.

As mentioned, the battery isn't easily replaceable in the Swift Plus 2, but Wileyfox has increased it to 2,700mAh compared with the 2,500mAh of its predecessor.

We found that the Wileyfox's battery easily lasted all day on one charge, but only with moderate use. Lots of web browsing over 4G drained the battery a bit too quickly for our liking.

It does, however, have Quick Charge 3.0, which means you can give the battery a boost on short notice. 45 minutes charging via USB C can recharge 75% of the battery.

Camera

The Wileyfox's main camera on the rear is 16Mp, with autofocus and a dual flash. It can record 1080p HD video at 30fps, too. On the front is an 8Mp camera.

This beats the Lenovo P2 and Moto G5, which both offer 13Mp and 5Mp cameras on the back and front respectively.

In practice, we were reasonably impressed by the photographs we captured. Of course, it's not quite on par with the stunning flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8's camera offering, but it does capture bright and vivid colours in most scenarios.

It struggled on a cloudy day when we tried to capture a photograph of St Pancras, and was slightly grainy in low light, though.

Software

The Wileyfox Swift 2 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which is the latest version of Google's operating system. That's complimented by Cyanogen UI, which we find easy to use and intuitive, avoiding overcomplicating things with lots of unnecessary frills.

The app drawer is lovely, too. It's neatly organised in alphabetical order, making it super-easy to find what you're looking for.

We did have some issues with Truecaller, the default phone app designed to protect you from scam calls, including what seemed to be an in increase in calls from spammers, which seemed to defeat the point of the app. When trying to turn Truecaller off, we discovered that it's a mighty difficult thing to do and became quite frustrated with it.

Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7.1.1 5 in 1280x720 IPS touchscreen, 296ppi 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8937 octa-core processor Adreno 505 graphics 3GB RAM 32GB storage, up to 64GB microSD 16MP main camera, dual-LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps 8MP front camera 802.11B/G/N Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1 GPS NFC 2700mAh non-removable battery 71.9x143.7x8.6mm 155g
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1 5 in 1280x720 IPS touchscreen, 296ppi 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8937 octa-core processor Adreno 505 graphics 3GB RAM 32GB storage, up to 64GB microSD 16MP main camera, dual-LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps 8MP front camera 802.11B/G/N Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1 GPS NFC 2700mAh non-removable battery 71.9x143.7x8.6mm 155g

OUR VERDICT

Overall, we enjoy the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus. It's an all-rounder, with features you'd expect from a flagship such as its fingerprint sensor and gorgeous design. But when you dig deeper you notice the flaws that better reflect its price tag, which is a bit of a shame. Closer inspection of its design shows that it's a bit rough around the edges, and the screen quality and battery life are beaten by similarly priced rivals. Therefore it's a tricky one to offer a solid verdict on. For the price, you're getting a good phone that looks deceivingly premium, but you could opt for the Moto G5 for a better screen and similar overall features at a lower price.

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery

Price comparison from , and manufacturers