Wileyfox Storm review: A cheap phone that’s not so cheerful
Small-time British smartphone manufacturer Wileyfox is attempting the seemingly impossible. In a world where global giants Samsung and Sony are struggling to make money, it’s trying to chip out its own small niche, by offering low-cost, feature-packed phones in the mould of the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. Its latest offering is the Wileyfox Storm.It’s the firm’s second smartphone – the follow-up to the Wileyfox Swift, which as we noted in our review, wasn’t particularly swift – and, appropriately, it has far stronger innards and a larger, 5.5in screen. Despite that, it still isn’t all that pricey: you can get your hands on a Storm today for £200, and you don’t have to gain an exclusive invite to buy one either.
The question is: is it worth even that modest price?
Wileyfox Storm review: Design
From the front, the Wileyfox Storm resembles a cross between the LG G3 and the Nexus 4. The handset is dominated by its 5.5in screen, and although it’s quite angular for the most part, the top and bottom ends of the handset have a gentle curve to them. It isn’t a bad look by any means, but it is pretty non-descript. One minor deviation on the front is an LED flash to go with the front-facing camera. It’s intended to alleviate the graininess of low-light selfies, but it’s distracting: a small circle of white and yellow in an otherwise clean, black frontage.
Flipping the Storm over reveals a more distinct design. The back is finished in “sandstone black” – black and speckled, in other words. It’s constructed from soft plastic, and has a felt-like texture that feels odd, but offers enough grip that you never feel in danger of dropping it, despite its size.
In the centre of the back is a plastic embossed logo of a fox, which isn’t a million miles away from the distinctive alien head on Alienware laptops. Unlike the Wileyfox Swift, the backplate isn’t removable, which is a slightly odd oversight, given it isn’t a metal unibody design. The home button glows when you have a message, which is a nice understated touch, though.
In short, the Wileyfox Storm is a smart enough, mid-range handset, but it’s no flagship design to rival the likes of LG, Samsung and Apple.