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WileyFox Swift review

Wileyfox Swift header
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 129
inc VAT (SIM-free)

The Wileyfox Swift has a great design and a more secure, customisable OS, but its screen and camera can't match the competition

Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Screen Size: 5in, Screen resolution: 1,280×720, Rear camera: 13 megapixels, Storage (free): 16GB (12GB), Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 141x72x9.4mm, Weight: 135g, Operating system: Android (Cyanogen 12.1)

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Performance

The Swift’s performance is outclassed as well, as its quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset is clocked at the standard 1.2GHz rather than 1.4GHz like the 3rd Gen Moto G. In our benchmark results, this gave the Moto G a clear advantage, as the Swift only managed respective scores of 471 and 1,288 in the single and multicore tests of Geekbench 3 while the Moto G managed scores of 525 and 1,590.

However, the Swift has 2GB of RAM, whereas the entry-level Moto G only has 1GB (to get 2GB of RAM on the Moto G you’ll have to opt for the Moto Maker model). This gives the Swift a slight advantage when loading up apps, as it repeatedly beat the Moto G to the punch when we dipped in and out of our various installed programs. There’s not much in it, but those who appreciate reduced loading times will probably find the Swift doesn’t leave you hanging quite as often.

Wileyfox Swift side on

Web browsing, on the other hand, was a much more level playing field, despite the Moto G’s marginally faster Peacekeeper score of 731 compared to the Swift’s 639. Scrolling up and down complex sites like the Guardian, for instance, produced similar amounts of stutter from each handset, although the Swift was a touch jerkier when zooming in.

A faster clock speed didn’t make much difference when playing games either, as the Swift actually pulled ahead of the Moto G in the offscreen Manhatten test of GFX Bench GL, finishing the test in 112 frames (around 1.8fps) compared to the Moto G’s 105 frames (1.7fps). Of course, 0.1fps is hardly going to make much of a difference in day-to-day gaming, as both phones struggled to run a game of Hearthstone without choking over our character’s speech bubbles and various card animations.

Wileyfox Swift camera

Even simpler games like Threes! proved a little troublesome for the Swift, as swiping round the screen to form new numbers was rather jerky. However, other games like Alphabear worked absolutely fine, so it should still be able to play most 2D games without too much trouble.

Camera

The Swift may have the edge on performance, then, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with its 13-megapixel camera. Outdoor photos were either far too dark, making everything look rather dull and dingy, or too light, resulting in whited out skies. Photos were relatively detailed, though, with only the odd sign of some grainy noise reduction. I wouldn’t recommend using the Swift’s HDR mode, though, as this made our photos look very bleached and unnatural, adding a rather milky-looking filter across every single image.

Wileyfox Swift camera test^ Photos had a tendency to appear rather dark and dingy when shooting outdoors, and it struggled to capture any cloud detail

Wileyfox Swift camera test HDR mode^ HDR mode didn’t help matters either, as this made images look very washed out and unnatural

The camera app itself also isn’t particularly easy to use, as the onscreen viewfinder always appears as 16:9 even if you’ve set it to take photos with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This makes framing your photo rather difficult, as you never know where it’s going to cut off the picture. This became particularly troublesome when I moved indoors, as the top and bottom of my still life photos weren’t in view on the smartphone, so I didn’t know whether I had framed it correctly. 

That said, the quality of my indoor pictures was admittedly much better than those I took outside, as colours were much more natural and looked a fraction punchier than those I took on the Moto G. Likewise, the camera coped well in all lighting conditions, showing decent levels of detail regardless of whether our external lamp was turned on or off. The Moto G’s pictures are a fraction sharper, but the Swift produced less noise, opting for smoother edges over grittier-looking outlines. The Swift’s LED flash was also more effective than the Moto G’s, but this is a rather small consolation when the Moto G performs so much better outside.  

Wileyfox Swift camera test indoors^ Framing issues aside, colours were much more vibrant indoors and there was only a minimal amount of noise present

Conclusion

The Swift certainly has a lot of attractive features, not least its classy design, customisable OS and 16GB of storage (around 12GB of which is available to the user). However, its screen and battery life are decidedly lacklustre compared to both the 3rd Gen Moto G and Moto G4, and its camera is nowhere near as good or as easy to use. Wileyfox’s Swift is a good first effort, but it’s not quite cunning enough to claim Motorola’s crown.

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Hardware
ProcessorQuad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
RAM2GB
Screen size5in
Screen resolution1,280×720
Screen typeIPS
Front camera5 megapixels
Rear camera13 megapixels
FlashLED
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage (free)16GB (12GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NFCNo
Wireless data3G, 4G
Size141x72x9.4mm
Weight135g
Features
Operating systemAndroid (Cyanogen 12.1)
Battery size2,500mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£129

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