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Wileyfox returns with three more affordable smartphones

Meet the Spark family.
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Fledgling British smartphone brand Wileyfox debuted its first devices last autumn, and one of them ended up being seriously good value for money. Not to lose momentum following these initial launches, the company is back today with no less than three new handsets. At the most affordable end of the scale is the £90/€120 Spark, with the £115/€150 Spark + and £130/€170 Spark X making up the rest of this new family of devices.

Gallery: Wileyfox Spark | 13 Photos

As you might expect, the Spark doesn't sport a killer spec sheet, but for under £100 you get a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek chip, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. These components sit behind a 5-inch, 720p LCD display, with 8-megapixel cameras on both sides of the dual-SIM device, powered by a 2,200mAh battery. Jump up to the pricier Spark + and you're looking at the same processor married with double the RAM and storage (2GB and 16GB, respectively). Similarly, the display and battery capacity are identical, while the rear camera sensor gets a bump to 13 megapixels.

Gallery: Wileyfox Spark + | 10 Photos

The daddy of the range is the £130 Spark X, which increases the screen size to 5.5 inches (still at 720p resolution) and the battery capacity to 3,000mAh, but is otherwise the same inside as the Spark +. Continuing Wileyfox's existing software partnership, all the new smartphones run Cyanogen OS 13, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Gallery: Wileyfox Spark X | 12 Photos

The cheapest Spark is available to pre-order from Wileyfox and other online retailers today, with deliveries expected from July 12th onwards. The Spark + and Spark X won't be too far behind, though, launching towards the end of next month about a week apart.

With Swift stock beginning to run out, the Spark + and Spark X are sort of its spiritual successors. Both come in at around the same price point and have comparable specs, with the main difference being you have more than one screen size to choose from. Though it's the runt of the litter, the £90 Spark is potentially the most interesting of the lot, purely because launches in the sub-£100 category are few and far between. That's Moto E territory, though the Spark is slightly more expensive and significantly better equipped.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All three of Wileyfox's new devices remain true to its first. By that I mean you'll find the nice, grainy charcoal plastic of the backs of the handsets, as well as the contoured fox face logo and orange accents (including the earpiece, this time). The white versions don't have the same sandy texture, but upgrade the rims and logo to a striking gold color.

The Spark, despite being quite light, is well built and sturdy, making a good first impression. On the spec front, however, it's hard not to interpret Wileyfox's switch from Qualcomm to MediaTek processors as a step back, at least in terms of brand clout. Wileyfox is confident about performance, though, but with only 1GB of RAM and less than 4 gigs of user-accessible storage, the Spark may be compromising too much in its push for affordability. Especially when the Spark +, for £25 extra, gets you double the RAM, storage and a higher-spec rear camera.

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