Wileyfox Copies Asian Smartphone Strategies

Wileyfox is a relatively new UK-based smartphone maker, focusing on the low end of the market. Its launched its first devices, the Swift and Storm, in 2015, and has now returned with the Spark, Spark+ and Spark X.

All three of the new phones run the Android-based Cyanogen OS on a quad-core 1.3GHz Mediatek processor. They are dual-SIM devices, with 4G connectivity and expandable memory. The Spark has a very low amount of local storage – 8GB – but is expandable with 128GB cards. The Spark+ and Spark X have 16GB of storage and can support 32GB cards.

Both the Spark and Spark+ are 5″ models, while the Spark X is 5.5″. They all have 1280 x 720 resolution, up to 420 cd/m² of brightness and a 650:1 (Spark/Spark+)/800:1 (Spark X) contrast ratio. The panels are supplied by HannStar and the phones use Asahi’s 2.5D Dragontrail cover glass.

Batteries are removable in all models. The Spark and Spark+ use 2,200mAh batteries and the Spark X uses a 3,000mAh battery.

Finally, the phones are differentiated by their RAM and cameras. The Spark has 1GB of RAM and 8MP front and rear cameras. This is boosted to 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera on the Spark+ and Spark X.

Wileyfox will only sell its new phones in Europe. The Spark and Spark+ will go on sale in July, for £70 ($95) and £90 ($120), respectively. The Spark X will be sold in August for £105 ($140). Prices are ex VAT.

Analyst Comment

Although the Spark has already been the subject of criticism for its low storage – less than 2.5GB is available after updating pre-loaded apps – the other models have had a much more favourable reception, with praise for their price:performance ratio. Wileyfox is adopting a strategy similar to Xiaomi, in that regard. (TA)