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Wileyfox Spark+ (Plus) Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 12/12/2016

Clever Fox. The Wileyfox Spark+ is establishing itself in the entry-level mobile market by using classic features: removable battery, dual SIM functionality and a microSD card slot. This market segment is bristling with competitors and our test model will have to prove itself against them in our in-depth review.

Wileyfox Spark Plus

For the original German review, see here.

Wileyfox might be a young British company, but as their name implies, they move fast: they are launching their new smartphone, the Spark+ for 150 Euros (~$159). This device boasts of a 5-inch IPS screen, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It also features a removable battery, two micro SIM slots and a microSD card slot. In terms of price, our test model is placed around the middle in the Spark series. The cheaper model offers far less storage and the more expensive model shines with a larger display. The operating system is Cyanogen OS (based on Android 6). 

Our test model is currently available only from the manufacturer or the online supplier, Amazon, for a price of 149 Euros (~$158). This pits it directly against other cheap, entry-level devices such as the ZTE Blade V7 lite, the TP-Link Neffos C5 or the Archos 50 Power. We are adding middle-class devices, such as the Lenovo Moto G4 Play and the HTC Desire 530, to our comparison list to get a more accurate reading of what this device is capable of.

Wileyfox Spark Plus (Spark Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 32 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: 3D G sensor, proximity sensor, E-Compass, Wi-Fi Direct
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1,800, 1,900 MHz), 3G (900, 2,100 MHz), 4G LTE (800, 1,800, 2,600 MHz) CAT 4, SAR head: 0.612 W/[email protected] (CE), SAR body: 0.633 W/[email protected] (CE), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.65 x 143 x 70.4 ( = 0.34 x 5.63 x 2.77 in)
Battery
8.4 Wh, 2200 mAh Lithium-Polymer, removeable, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 352 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13.4 MPix (Auto-focus f/2.8, 1080p video @ 30 fps)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix (Fix focus f/2.0, 720p-Video @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker on the back, Keyboard: virtual, USB cable, Cyanogen OS, Designs, UKW-Radio, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
134.5 g ( = 4.74 oz / 0.3 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
149.99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Although the case of the Wileyfox Spark+ is composed entirely of synthetic material, the sturdiness is still fine: the case bravely resists our attempts to bend it. It merely creaks slightly under pressure. The back of the device (sandstone black) is removable. Underneath, we find the removable battery and 3 card slots. The cover is slightly rough and easy to smudge or leave fingerprints on. Nonetheless, it is comfortable to hold and the back has a certain appeal thanks to the color and the stylish, copper-colored fox logo of the manufacturer.

The manufacturer uses a curved pane of Dragontail glass to protect the screen of our device. As the case is also curved, this 2.5D glass is more of an optical design element than anything else.

The measurements of the device are 8.65 x 143 x 70.4 mm (~0.34 x 5.6 x 2.8 in) and weighs 134.5 grams (~4.7 oz). Overall, the Spark+ meets all the standards typically set for entry-level devices.

Size Comparison

146.9 mm / 5.78 inch 70.9 mm / 2.79 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 140 g0.3086 lbs144.4 mm / 5.69 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 137 g0.302 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 148 g0.3263 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 141 g0.3109 lbs143.8 mm / 5.66 inch 70.2 mm / 2.76 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 135 g0.2976 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 70.4 mm / 2.77 inch 8.65 mm / 0.3406 inch 134.5 g0.2965 lbs

Connectivity

The three card slots we mentioned previously are a big deal, as they allow the user to use dual SIM cards and a microSD memory card (to expand storage) simultaneously. Officially, the phone only supports microSD cards up to 32 GB, but we used our 64 GB card without any issues. The internal storage measures 16 GB, of which 10.7 GB is free for the user (the rest is for the OS and system).

The somewhat clumsy micro USB port does not support USB-OTG. Wireless transmission is possible thanks to Chromecast (no Miracast). Sadly, the internal compass of our test model did not work.

The smartphone has a small notification LED, but it can only light up red or green. As is typical for entry-level devices, the Spark+ has no fingerprint sensor. However, there are exceptions to this rule as the ZTE Blade V7 lite offers this sensor for a similar price.

Software

The device uses Cyanogen OS (version 13). This OS is based on Android 6.0.1 and offers a special design package. The user can choose whether or not to use this package. Wileyfox has not made any major software adjustments, which means that unnecessary programs do not come pre-installed on this device. In comparison to the standard Android, the system can be customized further, thanks to the extra individual options. We also like the ability to quickly swap between the previously-used App and the current App, by pressing the right navigation key for a short time.

Home screen
Home screen
App drawer
App drawer
Quick settings and notifications
Quick settings and notifications
Previously opened Apps
Previously opened Apps
Settings
Settings
Software version
Software version

Communication and GPS

The two SIM slots of the Wileyfox Spark+ support LTE CAT 4 (150 MB/s download, 50 MB/s upload), but only one SIM card can use the data connection at a time. The reception quality in urban areas was acceptable.

Contrary to the official specifications, not only does the test model support the 2.4 GHz frequency, but also the 5 GHz frequency. However, the range is very limited and our connection with the 5 GHz network was much worse than with a 2.4 GHz network. With max 87.1 MB/s receiving and 74.2 MB/s sending speeds, the Spark+ communicates at an acceptable level for an entry-level device with the reference router, the Linksys EA8500. Middle-class smartphones, like the Lenovo Moto Z Play, easily outpace our test model. Thankfully, Bluetooth 4.1 is included for wireless communication.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
515 MBit/s ∼100% +491%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼23% +39%
Wileyfox Spark Plus
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
87.1 MBit/s ∼17%
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.1 MBit/s ∼9% -46%
Coolpad Modena 2
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
44.5 MBit/s ∼9% -49%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
435 MBit/s ∼100% +486%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼26% +51%
Wileyfox Spark Plus
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
74.2 MBit/s ∼17%
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼12% -28%
Coolpad Modena 2
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.4 MBit/s ∼11% -35%
GPS indoors
GPS indoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

According to the "GPS test" App, the Spark+ works very accurately outdoors (accurate up to one meter/~3 ft). The accuracy indoors is up to 4 meters (~13 ft). The communication with satellites appears to be quite fast.

Do these great numbers hold up in actual use? To test this, we took the smartphone for a bike tour with our professional navigation GPS, the Garmin Edge 500. The Spark+ performed decently, but in some difficult parts, like river crossings or underpasses below the railway, the test model deviates from the path recorded by the reliable Garmin GPS. However, the Spark+ can offer a decent performance for everyday use.

Garmin Edge 500 - Path
Garmin Edge 500 - Path
Garmin Edge 500 - Underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - Underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - Turning Point
Garmin Edge 500 - Turning Point
Wileyfox Spark+ - Path
Wileyfox Spark+ - Path
Wileyfox Spark+ - Underpass
Wileyfox Spark+ - Underpass
Wileyfox Spark+ - Turning Point
Wileyfox Spark+ - Turning Point

Telephone and Speech Quality

Telephone App: Dialling Pad
Telephone App: Dialling Pad
Telephone App: Contacts
Telephone App: Contacts

The telephone App of Cyanogen OS is a tweaked version of the standard App from Android Marshmallow, since, despite the different layout, most of the features of the Apps are the same. The App is broken into three tabs: a dialling pad, a caller log and a phone book, which includes a "Favorites" list and a search bar at the top. Furthermore, the device offers a "Truecaller" feature, which should help the user identify callers from unidentified numbers. 

While calling normally, the audio on both sides was clear and audible. There was only a single indication that our test model was an entry-level: the sound was slightly dull. If the integrated speaker is turned on, the sound gets a little worse, but the audio remains coherent on both sides, as long as the Wileyfox caller is in a quiet environment.

Cameras

Webcam (click for original)
Webcam (click for original)
Main camera (click for original)
Main camera (click for original)

The main camera of the Wileyfox Spark+ offers a resolution of 13.4 MP and an f/2.8 shutter. When using the phone for daylight photo shoots, the images look good (relative to its price) with decent details and sharpness. The weaknesses of the camera become noticeable when capturing shots of plants (scene 1). As conditions worsen, the image quality drops: the autofocus can no longer adjust the sharpness of the image reliably and the pictures turn blurry. As the camera lacks an image stabilizer, many shots end up shaky (scene 3).

The webcam on the front offers 8 MP, but has no autofocus. Outdoors, photos have a lot of details in good lighting conditions. In poorer conditions, the details disappear.

Videos can be recorded in Full HD with the main camera. In bright lighting, the videos are quite nice, but following the pattern above, as soon as the conditions worsen, the videos become much less attractive. The webcam works very similarly to the main camera, but records videos at a lower resolution of 1280x720 pixels.

The camera App can be launched with a double-click on the power button (from standby mode). However, it is not always comfortable to use, as the user has to tap on very small buttons to activate many features. Different modes, such as "Night Capture" or "Party", can be selected with the vertical swipe gesture, but hand-held HDR captures turn out shaky (even in daylight).

ColorChecker colors photographed. The bottom half of each patch shows the original colors.
ColorChecker colors photographed. The bottom half of each patch shows the original colors.
Except from the test picture
Except from the test picture
Test picture (click for orginal)
Test picture (click for orginal)

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories and Warranty

The smartphone is delivered with high-quality packaging. However, this packet only includes the phone, a flat USB cable (60 cm/~24 in), a picture manual and a multi-lingual warranty handbook. A headset or power adapter are not included in the delivery.

For an extra cost, the manufacturer offers a protective sleeve for the phone (red or black for 14.99 Euros/~$16) and a protective glass display pane for 11.99 Euros (~$13).

Wileyfox guarantees the device for 2 years and limits the warranty on the battery to 6 months.

Input Devices and Interface

Out-of-the-box, the Wileyfox Spark+ has a standard Android keyboard. Thanks to the precise touchscreen and powerful vibration, the user can input their commands reliably. The user can also use swipe gestures to type. The power button and volume rocker are made of synthetic material, but they have clear pressure points and are seamlessly integrated in the case.

We like that the touchscreen can be activated by tapping it twice. The reverse is also possible: two taps on the status bar will put the phone in standby mode. Both functions must first be turned on in the display settings.

We did not notice any major hiccups while using the phone. While scrolling, there were slight issues, but most users will not even notice these. The relatively long loading times of the Apps are more noticeable. Complex games or benchmarks take incredibly long to start up.

Vertical keyboard
Vertical keyboard
Horizontal keyboard
Horizontal keyboard

Display

Subpixel ordering
Subpixel ordering

The 5-inch display of the Spark+ has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels (typical for this class). The pixel density of the phone is 294 PPI, which ensures that the content shown on this screen is sharp. If you look at the IPS panel closer up, the pixel structure is noticeable.

The average brightness of 471 cd/m² is quite good with a white picture. When we measured the brightness again with evenly distributed bright and dark areas (Average Picture Level/APL 50), we found the brightness to be between 456 cd/m² and 467 cd/m² near the middle of the panel. When the brightness sensor is turned on, the display can reach up to 475 cd/m². The display does not have a PWM control; therefore we did not notice any flickering. We dislike the uneven illumination and the relatively slow auto-brightness control. 

512
cd/m²
466
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
512
cd/m²
456
cd/m²
429
cd/m²
513
cd/m²
484
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 513 cd/m² Average: 470.8 cd/m² Minimum: 21.59 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 456 cd/m²
Contrast: 1060:1 (Black: 0.43 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.13
Wileyfox Spark Plus
IPS, 1280x720, 5
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
IPS, 1280x720, 5
TP-Link Neffos C5
IPS, 1280x720, 5
HTC Desire 530
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Archos 50 Power
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
Brightness middle
456
312
-32%
508
11%
375
-18%
412
-10%
304
-33%
Brightness
471
302
-36%
491
4%
376
-20%
414
-12%
311
-34%
Brightness Distribution
82
79
-4%
89
9%
91
11%
94
15%
83
1%
Black Level *
0.43
0.15
65%
0.58
-35%
0.32
26%
0.42
2%
0.31
28%
Contrast
1060
2080
96%
876
-17%
1172
11%
981
-7%
981
-7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.5
8.2
-134%
7
-100%
6
-71%
5.6
-60%
5.9
-69%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.5
16.5
-200%
14.1
-156%
9.5
-73%
9.7
-76%
14.3
-160%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.2
9.2
-188%
6.1
-91%
4.5
-41%
6.9
-116%
4.6
-44%
Gamma
2.13 103%
2.29 96%
2.15 102%
2.26 97%
2.4 92%
2.51 88%
CCT
6691 97%
9017 72%
8068 81%
6975 93%
8422 77%
7088 92%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9705 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

For an entry-level device, the display has a great calibration. The color temperature measures 6,691 K and is close to the optimal of 6,500 K. There is no blue tinge. The average Delta-E values are also quite close to the ideal with 3.2 (grey levels) and 3.5 (colors). The optimal range should be lower than 3.

Grey levels (sRGB)
Grey levels (sRGB)
Mixed colors (sRGB)
Mixed colors (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)
Color space (sRGB)
Color space (sRGB)

The relatively high display brightness ensures that the content is legible outdoors. Reflections can easily cause issues, so we recommend avoiding them at all costs.

Outdoors when it is cloudy.
Outdoors when it is cloudy.
Outdoors with reflections.
Outdoors with reflections.

Although our test model has an IPS panel, the viewing angles are not always great: the diagonal viewing angles show deviations to warmer or cooler color tones. Furthermore, the content gets brighter or darker depending on the angle. Other entry-level devices show similar problems (see HTC Desire 530). We appreciate that the colors never invert.

Viewing angles from the left ...
Viewing angles from the left ...
... and right.
... and right.

Performance

On the inside, a Mediatek-MT6735-SoC, with 2 GB of RAM, keeps the device running. The quad-core chip uses 4 Cortex A53 cores, which run at 1.3 GHz. The ARM-Mali-T720-MP2-GPU is responsible for graphics processing.

The results of GFXBench and 3DMark are especially good. The Spark+ hits the top of the tablet in the practical on-screen tests. In Androbench, we noticed a weakness: the write speed of the internal memory is relatively weak (especially the sequential write speed of 12.24 MB/s). Only the Lenovo Moto G4 Play has a faster  memory card slot, but our reference memory card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (THN-M401S0640E2, UHS-I Class 3, max. read: 95 MB/s, max. write: 80 MB/s), is never pushed to its limits. Compared with the others, the Spark+ has an above-average performance in the browser tests.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
32459 Points ∼12%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
23822 Points ∼9% -27%
TP-Link Neffos C5
32681 Points ∼12% +1%
HTC Desire 530
23561 Points ∼9% -27%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
28399 Points ∼10% -13%
Archos 50 Power
23996 Points ∼9% -26%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
10 Points ∼0%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
592 Points ∼29% +5820%
TP-Link Neffos C5
638 Points ∼31% +6280%
HTC Desire 530
10 Points ∼0% 0%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
551 Points ∼27% +5410%
Archos 50 Power
9 Points ∼0% -10%
Graphics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
292 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
174 Points ∼1% -40%
TP-Link Neffos C5
281 Points ∼1% -4%
HTC Desire 530
231 Points ∼1% -21%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
313 Points ∼1% +7%
Archos 50 Power
173 Points ∼1% -41%
Memory (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
781 Points ∼12%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
487 Points ∼8% -38%
TP-Link Neffos C5
991 Points ∼16% +27%
HTC Desire 530
300 Points ∼5% -62%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
741 Points ∼12% -5%
Archos 50 Power
643 Points ∼10% -18%
System (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
1177 Points ∼7%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
801 Points ∼5% -32%
TP-Link Neffos C5
1199 Points ∼7% +2%
HTC Desire 530
742 Points ∼5% -37%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
1035 Points ∼6% -12%
Archos 50 Power
911 Points ∼6% -23%
Overall (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
225 Points ∼3%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
448 Points ∼5% +99%
TP-Link Neffos C5
683 Points ∼8% +204%
HTC Desire 530
149 Points ∼2% -34%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
603 Points ∼7% +168%
Archos 50 Power
176 Points ∼2% -22%
Geekbench 4.0
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
805 Points ∼6%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
1690 Points ∼6%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
602 Points ∼10%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
2903 Points ∼15%
TP-Link Neffos C5
3443 Points ∼18% +19%
HTC Desire 530
2922 Points ∼15% +1%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4283 Points ∼22% +48%
Archos 50 Power
2824 Points ∼14% -3%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
3246 Points ∼7%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
1910 Points ∼4% -41%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2738 Points ∼5% -16%
HTC Desire 530
1796 Points ∼4% -45%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2773 Points ∼6% -15%
Archos 50 Power
2116 Points ∼4% -35%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
13578.2 ms * ∼23%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
19234.4 ms * ∼32% -42%
TP-Link Neffos C5
12783.4 ms * ∼21% +6%
HTC Desire 530
17470.6 ms * ∼29% -29%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
12952.9 ms * ∼22% +5%
Archos 50 Power
18480.5 ms * ∼31% -36%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
20.4 Points ∼6%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
12.729 Points ∼4% -38%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.209 Points ∼5% -11%
HTC Desire 530
12.1 Points ∼4% -41%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
17.094 Points ∼5% -16%
Archos 50 Power
13.16 Points ∼4% -35%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
9 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
4.9 fps ∼0% -46%
TP-Link Neffos C5
14 fps ∼0% +56%
HTC Desire 530
4.8 fps ∼0% -47%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
5.2 fps ∼0% -42%
Archos 50 Power
4.9 fps ∼0% -46%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
15 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
8.2 fps ∼0% -45%
TP-Link Neffos C5
8.3 fps ∼0% -45%
HTC Desire 530
8.9 fps ∼0% -41%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
9.6 fps ∼0% -36%
Archos 50 Power
8.6 fps ∼0% -43%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
3 fps ∼1%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
3.4 fps ∼1% +13%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.1 fps ∼1% +103%
HTC Desire 530
1.7 fps ∼0% -43%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
1.8 fps ∼0% -40%
Archos 50 Power
1.6 fps ∼0% -47%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
7 fps ∼2%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
1.8 fps ∼0% -74%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2.8 fps ∼1% -60%
HTC Desire 530
4 fps ∼1% -43%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4.1 fps ∼1% -41%
Archos 50 Power
3.6 fps ∼1% -49%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
2 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
2.5 fps ∼0% +25%
Archos 50 Power
0.87 fps ∼0% -56%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
4.7 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
1.2 fps ∼0% -74%
Archos 50 Power
2.5 fps ∼0% -47%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
853 Points ∼20%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
618 Points ∼15% -28%
TP-Link Neffos C5
810 Points ∼19% -5%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
716 Points ∼17% -16%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
172 Points ∼2%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
101 Points ∼1% -41%
TP-Link Neffos C5
167 Points ∼2% -3%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
42 Points ∼0% -76%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
209 Points ∼3%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
124 Points ∼2% -41%
TP-Link Neffos C5
203 Points ∼3% -3%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
53 Points ∼1% -75%
Archos 50 Power
122 Points ∼2% -42%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
9722 Points ∼11%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
7026 Points ∼8% -28%
TP-Link Neffos C5
9291 Points ∼11% -4%
HTC Desire 530
6583 Points ∼8% -32%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
9256 Points ∼11% -5%
Archos 50 Power
6981 Points ∼8% -28%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
4659 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
2645 Points ∼0% -43%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4223 Points ∼1% -9%
HTC Desire 530
3871 Points ∼1% -17%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
3858 Points ∼1% -17%
Archos 50 Power
2581 Points ∼0% -45%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
5268 Points ∼2%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
3070 Points ∼1% -42%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4906 Points ∼2% -7%
HTC Desire 530
4261 Points ∼2% -19%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4432 Points ∼2% -16%
Archos 50 Power
3001 Points ∼1% -43%
AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
20.03 MB/s ∼23%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
12.62 MB/s ∼14% -37%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.89 MB/s ∼22% -6%
HTC Desire 530
18.22 MB/s ∼21% -9%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
51.1 MB/s ∼59% +155%
Archos 50 Power
MB/s ∼0% -100%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
39.66 MB/s ∼41%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
22.77 MB/s ∼24% -43%
TP-Link Neffos C5
39.11 MB/s ∼41% -1%
HTC Desire 530
35.56 MB/s ∼37% -10%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
65.5 MB/s ∼68% +65%
Archos 50 Power
MB/s ∼0% -100%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
5.78 MB/s ∼2%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
8.26 MB/s ∼3% +43%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.85 MB/s ∼3% +19%
HTC Desire 530
8.96 MB/s ∼4% +55%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
28.31 MB/s ∼11% +390%
Archos 50 Power
8.78 MB/s ∼4% +52%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
12.94 MB/s ∼7%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
18.24 MB/s ∼10% +41%
TP-Link Neffos C5
17.16 MB/s ∼10% +33%
HTC Desire 530
11.82 MB/s ∼7% -9%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
17.9 MB/s ∼10% +38%
Archos 50 Power
26.47 MB/s ∼15% +105%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
12.24 MB/s ∼3%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
70.33 MB/s ∼18% +475%
TP-Link Neffos C5
52.43 MB/s ∼14% +328%
HTC Desire 530
55.76 MB/s ∼14% +356%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
43.95 MB/s ∼11% +259%
Archos 50 Power
41.43 MB/s ∼11% +238%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark Plus
144.03 MB/s ∼16%
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
187.34 MB/s ∼21% +30%
TP-Link Neffos C5
145.77 MB/s ∼16% +1%
HTC Desire 530
126.99 MB/s ∼14% -12%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
144.12 MB/s ∼16% 0%
Archos 50 Power
199.7 MB/s ∼22% +39%

Legend

 
Wileyfox Spark Plus Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V7 Lite Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
TP-Link Neffos C5 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC Desire 530 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto G4 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Archos 50 Power Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Due to the modest resolution, the Mali-T720-MP2-GPU can run most games with ease. In “Asphalt 8”, we observed slight stutters at the highest settings, but the game does run. The details need to be reduced slightly for the game to run smoothly. Less demanding games, like “Angry Birds 2”, run on the Spark+ without any issues.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2

Emissions

Temperature

While idle, the device can reach up to 39.7 °C (~103 °F). The Wileyfox Spark+ heats up significantly near the navigation bar (with slight load). At constant load, the temperatures rise above 40 °C (~104 °F) over larger areas, but they never get critical. Subjectively, the temperatures feel acceptable.

Max. Load
 39.5 °C
103 F
39.8 °C
104 F
41.4 °C
107 F
 
 40.9 °C
106 F
39.8 °C
104 F
41.7 °C
107 F
 
 40.7 °C
105 F
40.8 °C
105 F
41.9 °C
107 F
 
Maximum: 41.9 °C = 107 F
Average: 40.7 °C = 105 F
33.6 °C
92 F
36.3 °C
97 F
38.8 °C
102 F
35.8 °C
96 F
36.8 °C
98 F
42.2 °C
108 F
35.9 °C
97 F
36.5 °C
98 F
40.6 °C
105 F
Maximum: 42.2 °C = 108 F
Average: 37.4 °C = 99 F
Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.7 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.9 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.2 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 34.8 °C / 95 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Wärmebild Wileyfox Spark+
Wärmebild Wileyfox Spark+

Speakers

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The mono speaker on the back of the Spark+ lacks volume: it can reach a maximum of 76.4 dB(A) in our pink noise test. This will make it too quiet for most noisy environments. The output sounds good, but the deep notes are not noticeable. The disadvantage of positioning the speaker on the back is that the user might accidentally muffle it while holding the device and the sound changes noticeably, depending on the position of the speaker.

The AudioFX App allows the sound to be tweaked and different profiles can be saved for the speaker and the headphones. The audio quality via the 3.5 mm jack is decent. The internal amplifier turns off after a few seconds with a quiet click.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.638.42525.4333125.3354032.929.85033.640.66331.630.48028.426.21002724.412520.827.91602229.220021.331.125020.836.131521.238.940019.442.550019.55163017.756.980017.963.5100017.867.5125017.366.6160017.463.3200016.762.7250017.264315018.263400017.962.6500017.661.9630017.763.8800017.866.81000017.970.31250018.162.31600018.251.2SPL3076.4N1.336.4median 17.9median 62.3Delta1.310.842.539.632.442.541.235.531.341.236.834.831.736.846.9272646.947.927.339.447.934.526.536.234.52924.528.62927.928.625.427.925.222.721.325.225.321.323.325.326.422.822.526.426.819.922.426.8342021.33444.121.518.444.158.632.817.558.668.241.817.568.274.850.617.274.875.151.316.875.173.149.317.373.173.248.417.473.27448.716.67477.651.417.377.676.550.917.676.577.551.417.677.578.55317.778.575.449.717.475.477.252.417.777.268.54317.968.564.538.718.164.554.929.818.154.987.46229.887.46814.51.368median 68.5median 43median 17.7median 68.516.411.91.616.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseWileyfox Spark PlusHTC Desire 530
Wileyfox Spark Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.39 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 6.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 58% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 31% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 74% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HTC Desire 530 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.38 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 41% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (4.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (32.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 89% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 6% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 92% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram for comparison (checkboxes above can be selected!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption, the test model places itself right in the middle of the comparison devices. The HTC Desire 530 needs more power than the Wileyfox Spark+, while the ZTE Blade V7 lite needs less.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.003 / 0.32 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.87 / 2.13 / 2.27 Watt
Load midlight 4.74 / 4.77 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Wileyfox Spark Plus
2200 mAh
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
2500 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
HTC Desire 530
2200 mAh
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2800 mAh
Archos 50 Power
4000 mAh
Power Consumption
32%
-4%
-30%
25%
-31%
Idle Minimum *
0.87
0.63
28%
0.72
17%
1.58
-82%
0.68
22%
1.66
-91%
Idle Average *
2.13
1.37
36%
1.87
12%
2.59
-22%
1.58
26%
2.88
-35%
Idle Maximum *
2.27
1.71
25%
2
12%
2.66
-17%
1.61
29%
3.46
-52%
Load Average *
4.74
2.82
41%
5.99
-26%
5.22
-10%
3.36
29%
3.96
16%
Load Maximum *
4.77
3.36
30%
6.45
-35%
5.67
-19%
3.91
18%
4.34
9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Despite the average consumption of the Spark+, the devices performs the WLAN battery test poorly and lands in last place. The battery is not very large (2200 mAh) and the competitors offer more: although 7 hours is not a bad run time, the device is outclassed heavily. The Lenovo Moto G4 Play offers 50% more battery life, as it is especially conservative.

The Spark+ has no power adapter, which means that the user will have to procure one. For a full charge, the user will need to wait around 4 hours. It is not possible to reduce this load time by using a more powerful adapter, as, according to the technical specifications, the phone can only be charged with a (max) 5-watt adapter. We noticed that the remaining time to charge the battery fully was never accurate.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 59min
Wileyfox Spark Plus
2200 mAh
ZTE Blade V7 Lite
2500 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
HTC Desire 530
2200 mAh
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2800 mAh
Archos 50 Power
4000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
419
517
23%
453
8%
425
1%
630
50%
592
41%

Pros

+ sturdy case with good workmanship
+ precise touchscreen
+ removable battery
+ 2x Micro SIM and 1x microSD slot
+ LTE functionality
+ fluid interface
+ comfort features of Cyanogen OS
+ bright display with accurate colors
+ cameras are good in daylight ...

Cons

- … but poor in low-light situations
- no USB-OTG-, NFC- or Miracast support
- no fingerprint sensor
- compass does not work in test model
- modest performance of internal storage
- no headset or power adapter are provided
- long charging time of battery

Verdict

In review: Wileyfox Spark+. Test model provided by Wileyfox Germany.
In review: Wileyfox Spark+. Test model provided by Wileyfox Germany.

The nice packaging of the Wileyfox Spark+ is an indication that this phone aims to do more with less money. On the other hand, the package contents show the limits of an entry-level device. The smartphone has to sacrifice some features, such as a fingerprint sensor or USB-OTG, but the manufacturer has made sure that the workmanship is good. We like the bright display, the precise touchscreen and the photo quality with good lighting conditions. The two micro SIM slots and single microSD slot will be attractive points for some buyers. The smooth interface and sufficient performance round off the package.

The Wileyfox Spark+ offers a lot of smartphone for very little money. The device lacks some extra features and has poor picture quality in darker surroundings.

The hardware of the test model is similar to the 150-Euro (~$159) ZTE Blade V7 lite, but the important difference is that ZTE has an aluminium case and a fingerprint sensor. Unlike our test model, the ZTE device has an integrated battery and lacks a third card slot. It also suffers from a darker display.

Wileyfox Spark Plus - 11/21/2016 v5.1
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
73 / 75 → 97%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
37 / 60 → 62%
Weight
94%
Battery
89%
Display
85%
Games Performance
10 / 63 → 16%
Application Performance
28 / 70 → 40%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
53 / 91 → 58%
Camera
63%
Average
68%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Wileyfox Spark+ (Plus) Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2016-12-12 (Update: 2018-05-15)