Not too long ago, a pair of new Cyanogen OS handsets were unveiled, from a brand new UK-based company, dubbed Wileyfox. Joining the new ZUK Z1, Wileyfox’s Swift and Storm join the ever-expanding club of handsets powered by Cyanogen OS. For those unfamiliar with Cyanogen OS, it’s built from the famous CyanogenMod build of Android, itself an after-market tweak of Google’s vision with a slew of extra features and a focus on simplicity and stability. Cyanogen OS 12.1 is the latest version of the operating system, based off of Android 5.1.1 and the Wileyfox Swift is the smaller of the two new handsets. The 5-inch Swift will be available throughout Europe starting September 22nd for â‚¬179 or £129.
The Swift is a 5.0-inch, 720p affair that’s designed to be affordable, without making too many compromises in the realm of specifications. As a result, the Swift features an HD display, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a quad-core Snapdragon 410, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage and dual-SIM functionality. Not bad for a phone that costs less than £150 in the UK and â‚¬200 on the continent. This makes the new Wileyfox Swift one of the cheapest devices available, especially considering the up-to-date software, and the speed at which Cyanogen OS updates have appeared for the OnePlus One, the very first Cyanogen-powered device that launched last year.
Cyanogen OS is quickly becoming a thorn in Google’s side, signing up partners that we’re sure Google would rather be under their wing, instead of the upstart born out of a custom ROM. Still, with Google Play Services, and the Play Store still sending revenue back to the internet giant, we’re sure they’re not too worried, and the open source nature of Android’s code base allows this sort of thing to happen freely. As budget smartphones go, a device with up-to-date software and fairly respectable specs for this sort of money is a good deal. Whether or not the stock Android look and feel is a pleaser for those looking for a cheaper smartphone however will be the tough sell.