Wileyfox Pro is the last one of a dying breed. The last Achilles standing. The last Windows-powered smartphone that you can find on the store shelves in 2019. And now when it's price has gone down, it's probably the best moment to snatch one for yourself. Before it becomes a museum curiosity.
Debuting in 2017, the device was priced at $257 (£199.99), which many thought to be an unpardonable robbery. However, in January 2019, the price tag went down to only $78 (£59.99). A pretty nice New Year's present, considering that the demand for the gadget saw a moderate rise throughout 2018.
But to be honest existence of Wileyfox Pro is already a miracle and insanity on its own, considering that Windows 10 Mobile support has been halted in 2017 and fully aborted in January of 2018. So is there any reason for this relic chimera to exist? Let's see.
What is it good for?
Wileyfox Pro is labeled as a business phone, according to the manufacturer. And just like almost all things that have "business" prefix in them, Wileyfox Pro makes a weak impression and leaves a bland aftertaste. Really, there's almost nothing to be loved about it.
The tech specifications can boast of:
- 16GB of expandable internal memory storage.
- 2 GB of Ram.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with 1.1GHz.
- 8MP rear camera/2MP front camera.
- Adreno 304 GPU for graphics.
- 5-inch HD display (Gorilla Glass 3).
- Micro SD/Micro Sim slots.
- Battery with 2100mAh.
It's an acceptable, but quite a humble tier, especially for the phone that used to cost $257. It has a decrepit micro-USB port, and it takes an eternity for the gadget to charge the battery. To use it successfully in the morning, you'll have to leave it all by itself absorbing the electric juice for the entire night.
The Gorilla Glass 3 display is resistant to slight scratches and even falling on the ground (to an extent). But at the same time, you can barely see what is going on this 720p screen, unless you're looking at it from the straight angle.
Performing a load of work, especially when running a couple of apps simultaneously, seems to be an impossible mission for Wileyfox Pro as well. Glitches, freezes, stuttering and the ominous "loading..." message will plague your workflow constantly. Which of course completely sabotages the "business phone" status of the gadget in question.
Another unavoidable drudgery is setting up all the Microsoft accounts: without them, you won't be able to download the last update patch, which wasn't preinstalled by Wileyfox. The process takes at least 1 hour (or even more) and demands truly satanic patience.
To top it all off, the battery life is short and miserable. Its "stamina" is limited to 1.5-2 hours of intensive work, after which it goes finally dead and can be reanimated only with another life-saving dosage of electricity.
On the brighter note, the phone is quite nice to touch and hold. You can operate it with just one hand. The plastic case is smooth and soundly built: it won't smash at least the first two times you drop it on the floor. Built-in access to Office 365 software and its components: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, etc. could make a great addition as well. If it wasn't for the costly fee — the cheapest package comes at $6.99 monthly ($69.99 annually).
Is it worth buying?
Considering how many defects and shortcomings the phone has and also the fact that its OS is completely out of support, the answer is: more likely no than yes. At least it is recommended to keep it as a backup/substitute phone in case your main gadget gets damaged.
The only redeemable qualities of Wileyfox Pro are its analogue control buttons under the display; its compact size good for holding in it in your palm; 8MP/2MP cameras, which are enough for some of the selfie-snappers and its budgeted price.
It will be a tough challenge to use Wileyfox Pro for business purposes and even a tougher one when it comes to entertainment, especially gaming. A big pile of popular Android apps won't be available. And the low technical performance of its hardware together with the dead operational system will make you want to search for an Android device of the same price. And that's the best what you can do.
Although the company claims that Wileyfox Pro isn't losing its "popularity" among consumers, the fact that the price was lowered that much says way more than any promo-statement. At the same time, the running joke in the community of smartphone enthusiasts says that Wileyfox will have to give out their Windows phones for free pretty soon. Storing units costs money too.
- Low price.
- Analogue buttons.
- One-hand size.
- Miserable performance.
- Unsupported OS.
- Weak battery.
- Outdated design.
- 2MP selfie camera.
You can check the phone here.