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Wileyfox Swift 2 X Review: In Depth

The Good

  • Full HD screen
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Solid cameras
  • Rugged design

The Bad

  • Cyanogen RIP
  • Still basic performance

Wileyfox Swift 2 X Review: Wileyfox’s first 2017 smartphone is a slightly rejiggered version of the Swift 2 Plus, sporting a fresh new Full HD display and a bigger battery for just over £200. Here’s our in-depth Wileyfox Swift 2 X thoughts.

UK mobile brand Wileyfox has launched some solid and pleasingly affordable phones in the past couple of years, concentrating on the budget end of the market. At the end of 2016 we were suitably impressed by the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus, which offered a solid media experience and some lovely design work for just under £200. In fact, we made it our best value phone of 2016, thanks to its all-round satisfying experience and low asking price.

Which is why we’re so surprised that a follow-up phone, the Wileyfox Swift 2 X, was revealed just a couple of months later.

Here’s our full review of the Wileyfox Swift 2 X, which costs £30 more than the Swift 2 Plus and offers a couple of specs upgrades. We’ll compare the two phones throughout this review, so you can figure out which one might be best for you.

Read next: Wileyfox Swift 2 X specs, UK price, release date and comparison

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: Design

The Wileyfox Swift 2 X is a step up in size over the Swift 2 Plus, rocking a 5.2-inch display compared with the Plus’ 5-inch panel. Thankfully there’s not much difference at all when it comes to the phone’s dimensions however, so the Swift 2 is still pleasingly easy to use one-handed. Especially considering how many mobiles these days come packing a massive 5.5-inch panel.

As before you can expect a solid metallic frame, which feels rugged enough to survive all kinds of punishment. It’s definitely a more premium design than we’d expect for this price, proving that budget doesn’t necessarily mean plastic fantastic. That metal constructions means the handset doesn’t open up, so you get a SIM tray fitted into the phone’s edge. This can hold either two SIM cards or a SIM card and a microSD memory card.

Around the back of the Swift 2 X you’ll once again find a fingerprint sensor, which is easy to find with your index finger when you clutch the mobile. And while it isn’t the fastest for unlocking your phone, it’s impressively accurate for a budget sensor. Like other sensors, the only time it struggles is when your hands are dirty, wet or sweaty.

Check out our Wileyfox Swift 2 X unboxing and hands-on review for a closer look at the phone’s look and feel.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: Screen and media

Wileyfox told us that the whole reason it launched the Swift 2 X was because some users were disappointed with the Swift 2 Plus’ screen – specifically, the 720p HD resolution. Hence, you get a fully-fledged 1080p display on this updated handset.

When you stick the Swift 2 Plus and 2 X side-by-side, there’s isn’t really a massive difference as far as their media chops go. The Swift 2 Plus’ display is still pleasingly crisp, even if it’s not Full HD, and certainly does the job for enjoying movies and games on the go. You have to look pretty close to make out individual pixels. And while the Swift 2 X’s panel is definitely sharper, there’s little difference in other areas. For instance, the Swift 2 X still enjoys solid contrast levels, although colour vibrancy is rather subdued, so don’t expect punchy visuals.

As for audio, the Swift 2 X is still perfectly acceptable for kicking back with a YouTube video with your bestest bud. You get expandable storage for carrying around a decent-sized media collection, if you don’t want to stream your video and music.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: OS

The Wileyfox Swift 2 X sports the exact same Cyanogen OS setup as the other Wileyfox Swift 2 phones, but in the very short period between the Plus and the X launching, Cyanogen has sailed off into the frigid mists of oblivion.

Thankfully Wileyfox is on the case, so you can expect these phones to receive an update in the imminent future which removes the base Cyanogen OS and replaces it with Android. Don’t worry about this massively changing the overall experience, because you should get a very similar setup after the update. The only real difference should be the slashing of a couple of features – namely the AudioFX app and the Themes.

We’ll update when this update comes through to our review sample.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: Performance and battery life

Performance is identical on the Wileyfox Swift 2 X compared with the Swift 2 Plus, with a Snapdragon 430 processor and 3GB of memory packed inside. What that means is you can expect reasonably smooth everyday running, with apps loading quite quickly and games playing at a decent frame rate considering the budget asking price. We did see the occasional little stutter or pause here and there, but nothing unexpected and nothing that impacts your enjoyment of the handset.

For the more geeky of our readers, the Swift 2 X gave us an AnTuTu score of 46541. In other words, it’s on par with the Moto G4 Plus and other mid-range mobiles at this price point.

That slightly bigger design means the Swift 2 X also has a larger battery stuffed inside. We found that on the ‘balanced’ battery mode, this handset comfortably made it through a full day of regular use. We even made it through a day and a half if we didn’t go crazy. And as before, you can switch to different battery modes (such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘performance’) depending on what you’re doing, to prolong the remaining life when needed.

With Quick Charge 3.0 support on-board, the Swift 2 X also powers back up to full in just under an hour and a half.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: Cameras

Wileyfox’s camera tech on the Swift 2 Plus really impressed us, again given the low asking price. Unsurprisingly the 16-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie cam haven’t been tweaked on the Swift 2 X, so you get the same solid results in most shooting conditions.

Check out our Swift 2 Plus review for more info and samples, but to cut a long-ish story short, the Swift 2 X’s cameras are fast and quite accurate. You get full manual controls, although the auto mode is solid in most respects, while you can also shoot up to Full HD video.

Wileyfox Swift 2 X review: Verdict

The Wileyfox Swift 2 X isn’t really a leap in specs compared with the excellent Swift 2 Plus, but for anyone who demands Full HD visuals on their mobile, this certainly delivers. If you spend a lot of time watching video and playing games on your handset, then the extra £30 is just about justified – especially given the extra battery life. For everyone else, the Swift 2 Plus offers the same solid budget design, performance and camera tech.

You can grab the Wileyfox Swift 2 right now for £219 from the Wileyfox website.

Read next: Best budget phones for £50, £100, £150 or £200


Screen size5.2-inches
Screen resolution1920x1080
OSCyanogen (for now)
Rear Camera16-megapixel
Front camera8-megapixel
ProcessorSnapdragon 430
Bonus featuresFingerprint sensor