Wileyfox Storm review: A cheap phone that’s not so cheerful

£200
Price when reviewed

Wileyfox Storm review: Specifications and performance

So what do you get for the extra £70 or so that the Storm costs over the Swift? A fair bit, as it turns out. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor runs the show, backed with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, plus support for 128GB microSD cards should that prove insufficient. If that wasn’t enough, the Storm also supports dual SIM cards, although, as you might expect at this price, there’s no room for a fingerprint reader or NFC.

This is reasonably promising. The Snapdragon 615 is found in a number of handsets, the most famous being the Motorola Moto X Play, which scored a quite respectable four stars when we reviewed it earlier in the year. Certainly, barring a baffling slow down during initial startup, the Wileyfox Storm runs smoothly and copes admirably with the day-to-day tasks of browsing the web, tweeting and general smartphone duties.

What about in our benchmarks? Well, here’s how it compares to other notable handsets in its price and spec bracket:

Wileyfox Storm

Wileyfox Swift

Motorola Moto X Play

Samsung Galaxy S4

Geekbench 3 single core

663

471

708

698

Geekbench 3 multi core

2,380

1,288

2,567

2,246

This is a marked improvement over the budget Wileyfox Swift, and safely justifies the extra £70. It’s also pretty similar to the Motorola Moto X Play, a handset that costs £50 more at the time of writing. The only fly in the ointment is the Samsung Galaxy S4 – yes, the S4 – which was the closest in numbers I could find in the entire chart. Suffice it to say that battling for stats with the flagship of 2013 isn’t a good place to be as we approach the start of 2016.

How about graphics-focused benchmarks? The same handsets slug it out again in the table below:

Wileyfox Storm

Wileyfox Swift

Motorola Moto X Play

Samsung Galaxy S4

GFXBench Manhattan 3, onscreen

5.5fps

4.1fps

6.2fps

5fps

Manhattan 3, offscreen (1080p)

5.5fps

1.8fps

5.8fps

5fps

More of the same here: expect no world-beater with the latest 3D games at high detail levels, but simple 2D titles? It should cope with those fine.

Wileyfox Storm review: Screen and battery life

The Wileyfox Storm packs a screen built by Korean electronics giant LG: an IPS 1080p screen, with a pixel density of 400ppi. Despite decent viewing angles and a reasonable heritage, the quality isn’t great.

Our screen tests revealed that the panel covered just 86.7% of the sRGB colour spectrum, and a relatively low contrast of 754:1. The screen doesn’t even go all that bright, with our tests revealing a maximum brightness of only 380cd/m2. That’s significantly dimmer than the panel on the Wileyfox Swift, which managed 552cd/m2.

Despite the dark screen, battery life was similarly unimpressive. In our tests, the Wileyfox Storm lasted a mere 7hrs 54mins before running dry. That’s around an hour worse than the Wileyfox Swift, which was bad enough, but at least you can change the battery on that phone – you can’t here.

From my day-to-day experience with the Storm I can say that this result is entirely fair: you can get through a day – sometimes – but I wouldn’t count on it. All else being equal, the battery life is lousy.

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