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Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators

Nokia 5 or 6?

Last security update in my 6 was on January 1st, not too bad I'd say. Metal back, feels solid and works well. Price is very reasonable too.

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Unhappy

Bah

It was a toss up between the Moto 4 and my Swift 2, which obviously own out. Really impressed apart from poor CS, which to be honest I can live with, as I could the supposedly compromised performance and screen. Pound for pound far better than previous Samsungs. and certainly not landfill Androids.

I hope I can eek another year or so out of it now, but I am sorry it didn't work out. I can't think of what I would replace it with if I happened to smash it today, in fact I'd be tempted to keep an eye out for fire sale stock.

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What a pity, indeed. We have two Swifts, and on my recommendation there are two more Swifts and one Swift 2x in the neighbourhood. I was already thinking to upgrade to a Swift 2x (or “Swift 3") ...

Now, maybe Nokia 6 (2018) or 7 will be my next one.

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Unhappy

Shame, it did what it said on the tin

That's a great shame, it was good to have a 4G phone with a removable battery, FM radio, 3.5mm socket and two SIMs, all at a very competitive price. Waste a grand on an iPhone X and you'd get none of those basics.

I wonder whether any Swift updates and replacement batteries will now be available?

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Silver badge

Re: Shame, it did what it said on the tin

I wonder whether any Swift updates and replacement batteries will now be available?

The batteries are without doubt an OEM part, rather than custom made for the Swift alone, so a bit of searching should turn up plenty of sources for the next few years. A twenty second Google suggests the Swift may have the same battery as the Ulefone U0008 (who probably made the Swift in the first place?).

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Re: Shame, it did what it said on the tin

> it was good to have a 4G phone with a removable battery, FM radio, 3.5mm socket and two SIMs, all at a very competitive price.

My Moto G5 has all of these. Shame that what it doesn't have is any updates.

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Silver badge

Re: Shame, it did what it said on the tin

My Moto G5 has all of these. Shame that what it doesn't have is any updates.

Well, that never-wrong source of information, the internet says that they are rolling out Oreo to the G5 and others shortly?

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Re: Shame, it did what it said on the tin

Replying to myself: Finally, my phone received an update - to the November 2017 security level. So, I take back that bit about not getting any updates, as it finally happened.

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I have the Wileyfox Storm, and have been very happy with it over the last 2yrs, and I see no reason to get rid of it anytime soon. I was a little concerned after COS was dissolved, but they released an update to a new OS to sort out that issue, and security updates every few months, with the last one being Jan 2018.

My only downside with the phone is that the camera isn't great and can struggle to focus... But that's why I have a digital bridge camera... to take proper shots rather than crappy snaps with a phone camera... and no matter what any manufacturer says... all phone cameras take inferior shots when compared to any reasonable camera. They're about on par with the low end digital compact market... and we're talking cameras that cost £40-60, but phones still can't compete with optical zooms.

But the one thing I loved about the Storm, in fact the whole brand... was the extra layer of security & privacy features built in. Things that stock android simply cannot or will not do. Because of that I was going to replace my Storm with another Wileyfox next year... I guess my search for a decent replacement has to start over again.

RIP Wileyfox, you showed us what can be achieved and I am sad that you didn't penetrate the market better... I keep telling people about your phones... But you can't compete with the dumb brand mentality of some people. I spent ages convincing a family friend that a swift 2 was her best value for money option as her old Note 3 was failing... She took it all on board and then went out and bought a shitty £99 samsung POS because it was cheap, and that means VFM to her stupid mind. You can't fix stupid.

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Stop

Nuts

So that would explain why the batteries suddenly went out of stock just a few days after getting the email to say they were available again. Not so much no stock but no shop...

I have an original Swift and it does everything I need and more. I guess I'll keep it untill the next big android security scare and then maybe risk LineageOS. Their support was not much use though, but then I don't know of anyone else who's better.

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Silver badge
Mushroom

Well

bugger

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Anonymous Coward

Damn

Not surprising in the end, as support and new product were clearly drying up for some time (my wife's Swift 2 Plus is currently away for repair - I guess we can bid it adieu) but I loved WF whilst it lasted.

Just replaced my Storm last week (with a Xiaomi A1 - nice) as the battery life became tragic after the Nougat update but I will miss the form factor and build quality, if not the slow camera and woeful compass. £200 for two years of decent phone was a bargain in my book though.

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Silver badge

Re: Damn

I'm very happy with this £140 Motorola G4.

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Bugger

Bought Swift 2X in November to replace 2 which has smashed screen. Fingerprint reader stopped working mid Jan so I sent it in for repair on 22nd January.

Hopefully there will be an update on phones in for repair.

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Bugger 2.

My daughter's phone is with them for a free screen replacement...

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Hurrah!

My phone had been delivered back to me fixed yesterday!

Looks like they just updated some software rather than a hardware fix, maybe there was a wonky android patch released.

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Unhappy

Colour me surprised... NOT !

I totally love my old-stylee WileyFox Swift. It's pretty much note-perfect in terms of features, and price point.

Their customer service on the other hand ... it would give too positive an impression to use the words woefully inadequate.

If history has taught us anything, it's that attention to detail trumps technical prowess. Ask Sony how Betamax worked out for them .....

I really, really wanted them to do well.

On a more pragmatic note, where can I find a dual-SIM quad-core phone with a 5.5" display that can take an SD card, and has a removable battery and (the only 2 features missing on my Swift) a fingerprint sensor and NFC capability for less than £150 ? (Seeing as my WF Swift was £129 in 2015)

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Lenovo Dual Sim + MINI SD card & removable battery

I have a really nice K10e70 with 8GB & 4G - If you come to Hong Kong you can have it off me for a mere HK$700 (about 65 Quid).

SWMBO gave me her iPhone and I really didn't need access to 2 SIMs any more!

alt.n7-5otohv2g(at)yopmail.com

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Re: Colour me surprised... NOT !

"On a more pragmatic note, where can I find a dual-SIM quad-core phone with a 5.5" display that can take an SD card, and has a removable battery and (the only 2 features missing on my Swift) a fingerprint sensor and NFC capability for less than £150 ? (Seeing as my WF Swift was £129 in 2015)"

This might suit you:-

https://www.motorola.co.uk/products/moto-e-plus-gen-4

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Facepalm

So what's next?

Presumably there will be no more updates unless someone waves a magic wand and takes over.

Apologies for asking silly questions, but what are the options for Swift owners? Can it be updated from another source, or switched to a different operating system?

Or is it equivalent to running a laptop with Vista on it, usable but potentially increasingly dangerous, and good only as long as the battery lasts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: but what are the options for Swift owners?

Lineage OS ?

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Silver badge

Re: So what's next?

"Apologies for asking silly questions, but what are the options for Swift owners? Can it be updated from another source, or switched to a different operating system?"

There are official LineageOS ROMs for the Swift - https://download.lineageos.org/crackling - and Storm - https://download.lineageos.org/kipper .

There are other ROMs for the Swift 2 at xda-developers: https://forum.xda-developers.com/swift-2/development (Swift 2, has an unofficial LOS 14.1 ROM last updated in September)

xda-developers device-specific forums should also have instructions on bootloader unlocking (if they didn't ship unlocked, I don't know), recovery install and ROM flashing, it's not that hard but make sure to follow the instructions carefully if you've never done it before (or even if you have!)

Dunno about any other models.

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Silver badge

Sad News

As a very happy Swift and then Swift 2+ owner I'm very sad to hear this, although I suspect that the writing was on the wall once Cyanogen went kaput.

I hope they all find new jobs very quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: I hope they all find new jobs very quickly

as "quickly" as they got back to me after they snafu'd things up (i.e. never) ?

Or possibly better .....

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Unhappy

Re: RE: I hope they all find new jobs very quickly

It's never nice when anyone loses their job - I've been there and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Disappointing

I'd argue the Swift2 was probably one of the best phones around today off the shelf. The (mostly) no crapware policy was a welcome change to any of the alternatives. The price point was excellent too.

Honestly can't think of any plus points for the otherwise overkill $800 handsets that have become dominant. I'd take an old Nokia 6150 or similar in preference to a phone more expensive than my PC!

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Anonymous Coward

The Pro looked like the beginning of the end for them

They were planning to launch a Windows Phone; even Microsoft seems to have given up on Windows Phone. Pity, really, as I like my Storm.

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sad to see

My GF has a Swift 2 and is very happy with it. Very neat device for the price at the time, well made… I would have gotten one too had it not been for the Cyanogen issue and Nokia reentering the market.

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Anonymous Coward

Fox! I wiley wanted one as well.

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Double bugger.

Brought a Swift 2x a couple of weeks ago.

So may look to use my 30 day refund with Amazon to get a replacement.

Was thinking something not quite right as no security updates received.

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Silver badge
Joke

waitaminute

waitaminute, what is this administrator bloke on about?

"...in terms of distributing monies outside of Russia, that tap was proverbially turned off."

I mean...that's a very odd placement of "proverbially", there. The turning off is proverbial, fine, but the tap isn't? Is he telling us there's an actual physical Russian money tap somewhere - and one which has only *proverbially* been turned off? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Re: waitaminute

It's the tap that's used to water the magic money tree.

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Silver badge

Damn.

.. was recently looking at cheap droiders to use as a tracking device for one of my dogs, and WileyFox were on the shortlist. If they get sold off at a discount now there will be no ongoing support, they might still be.

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Silver badge

Good riddance

After reading a glowing review here, I bought a WileyFox phone.

They took my money, claimed they tried to deliver the device (which was specifically advertised as being packaged to fit a letterbox), claimed it back of the distributor before I could get to the warehouse, then completely failed to respond to repeated requests for either the phone or a refund. Fuck 'em.

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Potentially good phone, ruined by a dreadful company

I had the Wilefox for a grand total of 5 days. From the little of it I used, I was pretty impressed. It was snappy, fully featured and looked great. However, it wouldn't charge. Once the battery died, it became a brick. Wouldn't charge, wouldn't reset, wouldn't turn on. I've had issues with hardware before (although this seemed pretty common), and it happens, no big deal.

I got in contact with Wilefox by email (which is the only way to contact them); and heard nothing. Nothing at all. Emailed them again: nothing. And again: nothing. Emailed them asking if I could send it back for a refund: nothing. Sent the phone back to Amazon who refunded it. The Amazon review are pretty much entirely a cut and paste copy of my experience with them.

Probably a decent phone (although, honestly, not better than a lot of lower end phones - I have a moto G5 plus, which was slightly cheaper than the Wileyfox and is a lot better), but an absolutely terrible company.

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Re: Potentially good phone, ruined by a dreadful company

I had this same issue. The Swift 2 doesn't charge from flat, from a USB socket. Needs a mains to USB adapter with a bit more kick. Agree though, the support elements are (were?) dreadful. Mate of mine sent a phone back to get the screen replaced. The only record of the RMA were held on Twitter ffs!

However at 50 quid a phone I am largely of the opinion they were expendable devices, not worth the hassle of repairing even.

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I was very happy with my Spark Plus, a simple phone that did very thing I wanted. The main thing it was lacking was volume. Until it was updated, never has run as well with the full Google interference, even though I turned off as much as I found. Would have been nice if they warned it the 'update' was to full android.

I've looked into reverting to Cyanogen or later, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through.

The main appeal to me was that it wasn't a full Android phone, I think they lost their point when Cyanogen ended.

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I have never seen a Wileyfox in the wild and a quick office poll around me says no-one else has either.

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Good intentions, bad execution.

Im just about to exit this phone.

Not happy.,

1)their choice off gorilla glass was great but then cutting a hole in it and leaving the burred edge exposed was ultimately going to result in a cracked screen. 3 days into ownership.

2)making the battery removable but not selling a replacement battery......What can I say!!!

3)Made worse by the fact only special deep usb connector would stay in securely. Many a late wakeup has been the result, and dieing 5 minutes before a motorway junction as the usb connector had come free was my last issue(1 hr late into a new office)

4)changing the boot screen from black to white, meaning i now needed 5% charge before I could turn on the phone as the boot process drained so much power it powered straight off again.

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Sorry to see them go. I had a Wileyfox Swift 2 + which ended up in the Pacific. Very happy before that though.

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Business As Usual

Wileyfox has a new owner and it is business as usual. Despite contacting the news desk there has been no mention of this on The Register but you can find out more on https://www.techradar.com/news/wileyfox-relaunches-with-cheap-phone-deals-including-a-free-amazon-echo-dot

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