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How to bag a budget phone for almost half-price, with Wileyfox’s clever Add-X scheme

UK smartphone brand Wileyfox is slashing the price of its affordable phones, by adding non-intrusive adverts to handsets.

Wileyfox has impressed us since its arrival in 2015 with the launch of some solid budget devices. Fan favourites include the Swift 2 Plus (which won our best value phone of 2016 award) and the revamped version launched earlier this year, the Swift 2 X.

As stiff competition to the likes of the Moto G5, Wileyfox phones pack some solid features and respectable specs, completing a satisfying user experience. And now the brand is set to really whisk things up in the budget mobile marketplace, as it’s offering handsets for close to half the original price.

In order to get a cut-price Wileyfox phone, you simply need to agree to the new Add-X scheme which it’s rolling out from today. If you sign up, you’ll receive a fully fledged Wileyfox device, with one small change: when you unlock your phone, you’ll see an advert or piece of promoted content provided by the Outbrain service.

In our hands-on time with one of these Wileyfox Add-X mobiles, we saw a handful of different ads. Some of them offer discounts and special deals on products and outings, while others are headlines from publications signed up to Outbrain. You might see a preview of a Buzzfeed article for instance, or an offer from Amazon to trial its Audible service for free.

These banners can be dismissed with a quick swipe, which either unlocks your phone ready for use or calls up your chosen security lock screen. Alternatively, you can scroll through more content, or dive into anything that interests you for more information.

Wileyfox assured us that this Add-X panel will learn your interests passively, in order to tailor content. Nothing about you will be stored by Wileyfox however, beyond your gender and age. Good news if you’re paranoid about shady forces accumulating incriminating data about your disgusting habits and interests.

Bypassing this optional screen is pleasingly quick and easy, so it’s certainly no hardship if you want to save a serious chunk of cash. And with all of Wileyfox’s smartphone line-up included in the scheme, barring the most affordable handset (the £89 Spark, which isn’t very good anyway), Add-X is a very enticing offer for consumers. All the same, if you decide to opt out, you can still pick up a full-priced Wileyfox handset without any added Outbrain activity.

Interested consumers can grab the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus with Add-X for just £120, rather than the original £190 asking price.

You can also grab the Swift 2 with Add-X for £100 rather than £160.

Meanwhile the Spark X is just £80 (originally £140) while the Spark+ is £70 (originally £120).

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