Wileyfox isn't a smartphone brand you've heard of before. They're an entirely new player from the UK hoping to muscle into the already packed Android market with, you've guessed it, smartphones that combine "good enough" specs with competitive price tags. The company is announcing two phones today, the Storm and the Swift, which run the Cyanogen flavour of Android in sleek, but not particularly adventurous packages. The £199 (about $315) Storm is the more premium of the two, boasting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. In the camera department, you'll find a 20-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel version up front.
The £129 ($204) Swift, meanwhile, is as an even more wallet-friendly affair. The resolution of the 5-inch display is slightly lower, and it runs on a less powerful Snapdragon 410 processor and 2GB of RAM. There's 16GB of onboard storage and, like the Storm, it comes with a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB cards. Keen photographers will also note that this model comes with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper -- a slight step down from the Storm. Both handsets will be available exclusively online in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Pre-orders start this week, with the cheaper Swift shipping in early September before its beefier Storm sibling arrives in October.
The company's approach reminds us of OnePlus. Wileyfox isn't promoting any "flagship killers" here, but they're operating on the same model of low margins and a "pure" user experience. There's no visible bloatware or unwanted services to increase the company's profits -- this is a small outfit that hopes to win consumers hearts before lining its own pockets. Even with this strategy though, Wileyfox has a mountain to climb. Motorola's Moto E and Moto G have smashed expectations for low cost smartphones, but even they face competition from Huawei's Honor line and UK own-brand phones by EE and Vodafone. Cyanogen OS is a clean, customisation-friendly version of Android, but the company has a lot of work to do to sway consumers from the more trusted smartphone brands.