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Wileyfox Spark X Smartphone Review

Michael Moser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 12/10/2016

Competitive. Wileyfox is launching its fifth smartphone, the Spark X. It offers dual-SIM, LTE and a large battery. For a 5.5-inch phone, it has great ambitions, as its price tag is below 200 Euros (~$211).

For the original German review, see here.

The British manufacturer, Wileyfox, is launching their fifth smartphone for the local market, the Spark X. This will expand their portfolio with a further phablet for a cheap price of around 180 Euros (~$190). The device offers an 11.4 Wh battery, sufficient storage space, LTE and dual-SIM functionality and a 5.5-inch frame.  

The test model must compete with a lot of other devices in the below 200-Euros (~$211) category. For comparison, we will consider the LG X Power, the Acer Liquid Zest Plus, the Blackview R7 and the Lenovo Moto G4 Play.

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Wileyfox Spark X (Spark Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 267 PPI, capacitive, 5-point multitouch, IPS, NIT: TYP 420, MIN340 (LCD+TP), Dragontrail-Glass, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 11.29 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: microSD (microSDHC up to 32 GB), Brightness Sensor, Sensors: A-GPS; Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Compass, OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM Quadband (850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz), 3G Dualband (900/2,100 MHz), Upload max. 5.76 MB/s; LTE CAT 4 Triband (800/1,800/2,600 MHz), Upload max. 50 MB/s, Download max. 150 MB/s;, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.75 x 154.35 x 78.6 ( = 0.34 x 6.08 x 3.09 in)
Battery
11.4 Wh, 3000 mAh Lithium-Polymer, removeable, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 10 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 3 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 352 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 290 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix Auto-focus, LED flash, CMOS sensor, Video @ 1080p/30fps
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix CMOS Sensor
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual QWERTZ keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, USB charge/data transfer cable, warranty note and quick start manual, Android Version 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Cyanogen 13 UI, 24 Months Warranty,
SAR body value: 1.306 W/[email protected] (CE)SAR head value: 0.632 W/[email protected] (CE)
Dual-SIM, 2x Micro-SIM notification LED (Red/Green) for email, SMS; other notifications, missed calls UKW-Radio
, fanless
Weight
163 g ( = 5.75 oz / 0.36 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
179.99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Wileyfox Spark X is made of synthetic material and has a black, removable back. The model should also be available in white soon, but at the time of testing only the black version was provided. The cover has a slightly rough texture and is comfortable to hold. The design impresses with individual, small highlights. The case is quite slim at 8.75 mm. Sadly, the Android system keys are soft keys (virtual on-screen elements), instead of being hard keys (integrated into the case). This is especially annoying as the lower case edge is quite spacious. The device is lighter than most other models: 163 grams means our test model takes second place after the LG X Power (139 grams).

We like the clean workmanship and even gaps. The sturdiness of the device should be improved: the phone creaks slightly when we bend it, but the screen is prone to showing distortions as soon as pressure is applied.

The device offers a removable battery and slots for microSD and microSIM cards. Hot-swapping is not possible, as the slots are covered by the battery.

Size Comparison

154.3 mm / 6.07 inch 77.4 mm / 3.05 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 175 g0.3858 lbs154.35 mm / 6.08 inch 78.6 mm / 3.09 inch 8.75 mm / 0.3445 inch 163 g0.3594 lbs152 mm / 5.98 inch 78 mm / 3.07 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 197 g0.4343 lbs148.9 mm / 5.86 inch 74.9 mm / 2.95 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 139 g0.3064 lbs144.4 mm / 5.69 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 137 g0.302 lbs

Connectivity

The internal memory measures 16 GB and, of this amount, 11 GB is free for use. The device has 2 GB RAM (typical for its class). The Blackview R7 can trump these numbers with 32 GB storage and 4 GB RAM. The internal memory can be expanded by using a microSD card (up to 32 GB supported). In fact, in our test, the device worked fine with a 64 GB card. Sadly, these memory cards are primarily for the storage of media, as apps are only sometimes movable to a SD card. A few benchmarks and even the Dropbox app refused to comply with the App2SD program. USB-OTG works without issues.

Software

The Spark X and all other Wileyfox smartphones have one thing in common: they all run Cyanogen as their OS. This is not pure Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but rather an offshoot thereof. CyanogenOS 13 bases on the open-source CyanogenMod. It offers basic apps, like email or browsers (not from Google). The system can be individualized more: the "Edge Swipe" gesture allows the user to change songs or adjust the brightness. Apps can be closed by holding the "Back" button (must be turned on in developer options - which, in turn, is activated by tapping the "Build Number" eight times). Considering the latest news, pure Android might have been the way to go.

Android 6 Marshmallow has been modified.
Android 6 Marshmallow has been modified.
The Spark X uses...
The Spark X uses...
...like all the smartphones from Wileyfox...
...like all the smartphones from Wileyfox...
... Cyanogen as OS.
... Cyanogen as OS.
Edge Swipe
Edge Swipe
AudioFX
AudioFX
Telephone app
Telephone app
Truecaller
Truecaller

Communication and GPS

The Wileyfox Spark X supports tri-band LTE Cat.4 at up to 150 MB/s (download) and max 50 MB/s (upload). Quad-band GSM and dual-band UMTS are also provided. During the test, the LTE reception was decent in the O2 network. The 802.11 b/g/n WLAN standards are supported and Bluetooth 4.1 is provided.

In our WLAN test, the Linksys EA8500 reference router is set a meter away from our device. Our test model does a great job, but the LG X Power is even faster. In our current test scenario, we send 10 streams simultaneously with a data block size of 4 MB.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.1 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Wileyfox Spark X
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46 MBit/s ∼98%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼100% +11%
Wileyfox Spark X
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.3 MBit/s ∼90%
GPS test - indoors
GPS test - indoors
GPS test - outdoors
GPS test - outdoors

The GPS module of the Wileyfox Spark X is rather slow. The satellite lock with the GPS test app was only possible next to the window (after the device had already been identified outdoors). It could take up to a minute to get a fix. The accuracy of the module was up to 9 meters to the house and 4 meters on the balcony.

In our test, we took the test model for a ride with the professional bike navigation device, the Garmin Edge 500: the recorded paths differ by a mere 600 meters for a 12-km route, but the differences are noticeable upon a closer look. The device records significant deviations, especially when crossing a bridge. However, this is acceptable performance for a personal phone.

GPS Garmin Edge – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge – Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge – Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge – Riverside
GPS Garmin Edge – Riverside
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Overview
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Overview
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Crossing
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Crossing
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Riverside
GPS Wileyfox Spark X – Riverside

Telephone and Speech Quality

The manufacturer has barely changed the telephone app. It offers the same functions as the standard Google app: a dialing pad, call logs, contacts and groups. Thanks to the dual-SIM functionality, the user can use up to two Micro SIMs simultaneously and switch between them at any time.

The speech quality of the Wileyfox Spark X is meager, as on our end, we hear distorted voices. Our call recipient enjoyed better fare as the audio quality for them was decent with a few background noises.

Cameras

Front camera
Front camera

The CMOS sensor of the main camera offers 13 MP and the Wileyfox Spark X is equipped with LED flash and auto-focus. The videos are recorded in Full HD at 30 frames per second. This is standard for this class of phones. The camera app takes a second to load and the live picture is also slightly delayed. We believe this to be due to the overburdened CPU. The pictures are decent, although at times, the camera needs a little long to capture them. We recommend manually adjusting the picture to achieve the best image. The lens is not ideal for snapshots as the color temperatures are too cool, resulting in a slight blue tinge. This is especially noticeable with low-light pictures, as dark content in pictures drops to VGA quality. The front camera uses max 8 MP and requires a properly lit subject to produce decent captures. With room lighting, the camera struggles to produce pictures without strong blurring, low details and pale colors. However, as this device is so cheap, a poor camera is acceptable.

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

For an exact analysis of the color accuracy of the camera, we used ColorChecker Passport. We check the quality of the main camera with pre-defined lighting conditions. In the central region, pictures have decent details. At the edges, the details drop off a cliff: words are no longer legible on colorful backgrounds and the picture appears washed-out. The colors are surprisingly accurate but lack saturation and seem washed-out.

Reference card - photographed
Reference card - photographed
Reference card - detailed
Reference card - detailed
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.

Accessories and Warranty

The manufacturer provides the phone, the battery, a slim USB cable and a short manual. The Spark X delivery does not include a power adapter.

The warranty runs for 24 months and the battery is insured for 6 months.

Input Devices and Interface

The standard Android QWERTZ keyboard has the numbers set as secondary characters for the first row of letters. This saves space and allows the keys to be well-dimensioned. As expected, the keyboard can be customized extensively.

The sensitivity of the touchscreen is good, even into the corners. The sliding properties are also great. The automatic content rotation takes a second. The pressure points of the buttons are quite clear, but the volume rocker is a little rickety.

Keyboard portrait
Keyboard portrait
Keyboard landscape
Keyboard landscape

Display

Subpixel
Subpixel

With a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, the test model is typical for its class. The Blackview R7 can exceed expectations with an FHD resolution. Still, content is displayed clearly on the screen and the highlights of the display have to be the high brightness (average 542 cd/m²) and balanced illumination (96%). In this case, not even the Blackview R7 can outpace our test model. In the APL50 test, we measured a brightness of 552 cd/m² in the middle of the screen. With active ambient light sensor, the brightness was still around 550 cd/m². The deviations from the max value are negligible. 

534
cd/m²
545
cd/m²
546
cd/m²
543
cd/m²
554
cd/m²
546
cd/m²
541
cd/m²
534
cd/m²
535
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 554 cd/m² Average: 542 cd/m² Minimum: 20.09 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 554 cd/m²
Contrast: 815:1 (Black: 0.68 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.2 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 6.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.24
Wileyfox Spark X
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
LG X Power K220
IPS, 1280x720, 5.3
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Blackview R7
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Screen
-2%
-9%
1%
-39%
Brightness middle
554
381
-31%
414
-25%
412
-26%
552
0%
Brightness
542
352
-35%
420
-23%
414
-24%
526
-3%
Brightness Distribution
96
85
-11%
94
-2%
94
-2%
91
-5%
Black Level *
0.68
0.2
71%
0.33
51%
0.42
38%
0.64
6%
Contrast
815
1905
134%
1255
54%
981
20%
863
6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.2
7.3
-40%
8.1
-56%
5.6
-8%
11
-112%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.7
21.2
-98%
13.8
-29%
9.7
9%
20.8
-94%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.8
7.4
-9%
9.6
-41%
6.9
-1%
14.3
-110%
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.26 97%
2 110%
2.4 92%
2.21 100%
CCT
7118 91%
8417 77%
7754 84%
8422 77%
12996 50%

* ... smaller is better

The black value of 0.68 cd/m² (APL50: 0.69 cd/m²) and contrast of 815:1 are below-average for an IPS panel. Subjectively, these are sufficient for the price class. Clouding is barely noticeable. It can be minimal with monochrome, black pictures.

The colors of the display can be improved: green is heavily toned and this is noticeable due to the slight color tint. The gray levels and gamma are decent, but they also produce a blue tint.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Gray Levels
CalMAN Gray Levels
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation

Outdoors use is possible with the Wileyfox Spark X due to the high brightness levels. Life is made difficult by the reflective screen, but thanks to the IPS technology at least the colors are stable, even at extreme viewing angles. In this case, only the brightness drops.

Outdoors use
Outdoors use
Outdoors use
Outdoors use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

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
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 73 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 23 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. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9409 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The test model uses a 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT6735 64-bit SoC with an integrated Mali-T720 MP2 graphics chip. Both have 2 GB of RAM. Although this middle-class hardware can be found in many of the competitors, our test model is able to take the lead in some cases. However, in the PCMark benchmark, the test model places under the others. Only the Blackview R7 uses the stronger MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 and can consistently place ahead in benchmarks. 

In everyday use, the modest performance does not make much of a difference. The device works smoothly and reliably. Some apps need a second to start up.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
32729 Points ∼11%
Blackview R7
50572 Points ∼17% +55%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
30676 Points ∼10% -6%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
28399 Points ∼10% -13%
LG X Power K220
30432 Points ∼10% -7%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
1700 Points ∼5%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
611 Points ∼12%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
835 Points ∼19%
Blackview R7
1155 Points ∼26% +38%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
831 Points ∼19% 0%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
716 Points ∼16% -14%
LG X Power K220
860 Points ∼19% +3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
172 Points ∼2%
Blackview R7
518 Points ∼5% +201%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
172 Points ∼2% 0%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
42 Points ∼0% -76%
LG X Power K220
165 Points ∼2% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
209 Points ∼3%
Blackview R7
590 Points ∼8% +182%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
209 Points ∼3% 0%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
53 Points ∼1% -75%
LG X Power K220
201 Points ∼3% -4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
10441 Points ∼12%
Blackview R7
12585 Points ∼15% +21%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
9768 Points ∼11% -6%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
9256 Points ∼11% -11%
LG X Power K220
10103 Points ∼12% -3%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
4680 Points ∼1%
Blackview R7
10334 Points ∼2% +121%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
4333 Points ∼1% -7%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
3858 Points ∼1% -18%
LG X Power K220
4330 Points ∼1% -7%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
5334 Points ∼2%
Blackview R7
10762 Points ∼5% +102%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
4944 Points ∼2% -7%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4432 Points ∼2% -17%
LG X Power K220
4960 Points ∼2% -7%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
8.4 fps ∼0%
Blackview R7
17 fps ∼0% +102%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
14 fps ∼0% +67%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
5.2 fps ∼0% -38%
LG X Power K220
8.4 fps ∼0% 0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
15 fps ∼0%
Blackview R7
17 fps ∼1% +13%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
8.4 fps ∼0% -44%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
9.6 fps ∼0% -36%
LG X Power K220
15 fps ∼0% 0%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
3 fps ∼1%
Blackview R7
4.7 fps ∼1% +57%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
6 fps ∼1% +100%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
1.8 fps ∼0% -40%
LG X Power K220
3.1 fps ∼1% +3%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
6.7 fps ∼2%
Blackview R7
4.7 fps ∼1% -30%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
3 fps ∼1% -55%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4.1 fps ∼1% -39%
LG X Power K220
6.6 fps ∼2% -1%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
1.9 fps ∼0%
Blackview R7
2.5 fps ∼0% +32%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
4.4 fps ∼0% +132%
LG X Power K220
2 fps ∼0% +5%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
4.8 fps ∼0%
Blackview R7
2.5 fps ∼0% -48%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
1.9 fps ∼0% -60%
LG X Power K220
4.1 fps ∼0% -15%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
3007 Points ∼15%
Blackview R7
4364 Points ∼22% +45%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
3813 Points ∼19% +27%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
4283 Points ∼22% +42%
LG X Power K220
3759 Points ∼19% +25%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
10 Points ∼0%
Blackview R7
10 Points ∼0% 0%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
10 Points ∼0% 0%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
551 Points ∼27% +5410%
LG X Power K220
10 Points ∼0% 0%
Graphics (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
292 Points ∼1%
Blackview R7
655 Points ∼2% +124%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
286 Points ∼1% -2%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
313 Points ∼1% +7%
LG X Power K220
290 Points ∼1% -1%
Memory (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
773 Points ∼10%
Blackview R7
1030 Points ∼14% +33%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
450 Points ∼6% -42%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
741 Points ∼10% -4%
LG X Power K220
521 Points ∼7% -33%
System (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
1222 Points ∼7%
Blackview R7
1971 Points ∼12% +61%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
1090 Points ∼7% -11%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
1035 Points ∼6% -15%
LG X Power K220
1092 Points ∼7% -11%
Overall (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
227 Points ∼3%
Blackview R7
338 Points ∼4% +49%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
192 Points ∼2% -15%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
603 Points ∼7% +166%
LG X Power K220
200 Points ∼2% -12%

Legend

 
Wileyfox Spark X Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Blackview R7 Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid Zest Plus Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto G4 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 APQ8016, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG X Power K220 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash

The preinstalled browser is quite fast. Once again, the Wileyfox Spark X is only beaten by the faster Blackview R7. We still recommend the installation of the faster Chrome browser.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
3239 Points ∼6%
Blackview R7
3885 Points ∼7% +20%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
2697 Points ∼5% -17%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2773 Points ∼5% -14%
LG X Power K220
2657 Points ∼5% -18%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
12625 ms * ∼21%
Blackview R7
9748.3 ms * ∼16% +23%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
12910 ms * ∼22% -2%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
12952.9 ms * ∼22% -3%
LG X Power K220
13196 ms * ∼22% -5%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Wileyfox Spark X
20.745 Points ∼6%
Blackview R7
25.349 Points ∼7% +22%
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
18.028 Points ∼5% -13%
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
17.094 Points ∼5% -18%
LG X Power K220
18.133 Points ∼5% -13%

* ... smaller is better

Our reference microSD memory card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M401, works well with the test model, but the device cannot use the full potential of the card. The Lenovo Moto G4 Play manages to do a much better job than the Spark X. The internal eMMC memory of our test model is not as fast as those of others. However, while writing small blocks, the Wileyfox Spark X can score some points. In everyday use, the user should expect some waiting periods.

Wileyfox Spark XBlackview R7Acer Liquid Zest PlusLenovo Moto G4 PlayLG X Power K220
AndroBench 3-5
42%
-7%
55%
-3%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
20.59
11.87
-42%
16.17
-21%
51.1
148%
18.17
-12%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
39.5
15.56
-61%
27.68
-30%
65.5
66%
32.08
-19%
Random Write 4KB
15.57
11.4
-27%
7.95
-49%
28.31
82%
7.32
-53%
Random Read 4KB
12.26
28.02
129%
20.25
65%
17.9
46%
18.78
53%
Sequential Write 256KB
37.91
122.67
224%
39.51
4%
43.95
16%
43.74
15%
Sequential Read 256KB
194.78
247.58
27%
178.65
-8%
144.12
-26%
196.81
1%

Games

Fans of mobile games can come to terms with the Wileyfox device if they like relatively hardware-light games or are happy setting the details to low. Asphalt 8: Airborne and the strategy game, Banner Saga 2, run fluidly but they suffer from the occasional stutter. The load times are quite long, especially for the latter. If you want a better gaming experience with higher details, we recommend choosing a smartphone with a stronger SoC.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Banner Saga 2
Banner Saga 2

Emissions

Temperature

The Wileyfox Spark X heats up negligibly while idle. We measure a max of 38.5 °C at the bottom of the front side. At load, the phone hits 40.5 °C, but on average it is decent at 37.3 °C. The back never gets uncomfortably warm, as it is a max 34.9 °C.

Max. Load
 35.6 °C
96 F
35.6 °C
96 F
39.9 °C
104 F
 
 36.8 °C
98 F
36.5 °C
98 F
40.5 °C
105 F
 
 36.7 °C
98 F
36.6 °C
98 F
37.6 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 40.5 °C = 105 F
Average: 37.3 °C = 99 F
34.4 °C
94 F
33.9 °C
93 F
35.6 °C
96 F
34 °C
93 F
34.6 °C
94 F
36.3 °C
97 F
32.7 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
37.2 °C
99 F
Maximum: 37.2 °C = 99 F
Average: 34.9 °C = 95 F
Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.3 °C / 99 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 40.5 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.2 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.9 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat-map front
Heat-map front
Heat-map back
Heat-map back

Speakers

Pink noise measurement.
Pink noise measurement.

The mono speaker is on the lower back of the device, which means it will often be covered up. The sound is nothing great but acceptable for the price. The modest sound has little bass and poor middle notes. The equalizer dubbed "AudioFX" can not change much about it. At least the high notes are linear and the max volume does not distort the sound output too much. Music fans will want a pair of headphones or external speakers. These can be connected to the test model using the distortion-free 3.5 mm audio jack or the Bluetooth technology.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.638.22525.435.23125.334.44032.932.55033.643.16331.631.68028.429.91002725.612520.826.41602231.420021.333.425020.837.131521.243.240019.446.550019.554.363017.759.480017.965.3100017.869.9125017.369160017.467.9200016.766.6250017.264.9315018.264.2400017.965500017.665.4630017.766.3800017.869.61000017.970.71250018.164.81600018.254.5SPL3078.7N1.341.9median 17.9median 64.8Delta1.310.617.919.719.617.919.618.619.519.617.617.521.317.62019.223.22017.715.620.717.715.516.621.915.517.218.214.417.218.120.315.918.128.930.425.328.91424.611.81414.929.511.914.916.432.413.516.418.934.214.718.922.238.813.422.225.843.914.425.83046.910.63036.853.1836.84056.98.94039.856.39.839.83956.183936.952.68.136.936.553.66.536.535.453.86.435.437.756.46.237.74058.15.74044595.74443.658.65.743.638.6545.838.63246.15.8322437.25.62451.167.620.851.17.121.20.37.1median 35.4median 52.6median 8.1median 35.4810.33.6824.323.124.324.322.32122.722.322.720.322.622.723.723.229.623.721.221.922.221.219.119.32019.117.617.118.517.620.120.12120.130.630.931.930.616.71616.516.718.218.317.318.217.817.618.317.81719.517.31719.529.216.419.527.13917.827.130.643.414.830.63850.915.73842.35616.442.345.66015.845.647.861.713.647.850.963.114.850.950.26312.650.252.264.711.252.252.86510.952.853.4669.753.452.4659.652.448.6619.748.64153.69.44134.147.69.434.129.743.79.429.761.774.426.161.712.828.50.812.8median 38median 50.9median 14.8median 3814.216.82.814.232.435.631.335.231.735.82627.639.436.236.234.228.627.725.425.121.32323.326.122.532.222.440.121.346.418.454.617.563.217.564.317.268.316.871.117.372.817.47216.673.117.37317.672.917.674.117.772.717.473.117.772.917.972.118.173.918.175.829.884.31.357.6median 17.7median 721.61231.653.425.432.925.33032.937.233.640.631.640.428.432.42729.220.823.82222.521.327.720.834.621.240.619.448.919.55517.760.417.969.217.874.917.380.117.477.116.773.717.27518.275.517.974.217.674.917.778.717.882.717.97718.166.818.264.83088.51.371.5median 17.9median 69.21.315.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseWileyfox Spark XLenovo Moto G4 PlayBlackview R7Acer Liquid Zest PlusLG X Power K220
Wileyfox Spark X audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.71 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 6.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 50% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 69% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto G4 Play audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (67.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 59% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Blackview R7 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.5% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 9.8% lower than median
(-) | mids are not linear (15.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 11.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (42.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 99% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 0% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 99% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 1% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Liquid Zest Plus audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.28 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 39.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (1.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 39% of all tested devices in this class were better, 14% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 63% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

LG X Power K220 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 39.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (31.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 87% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 8% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 91% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 6% 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

The Wileyfox Spark X is conservative for its class. The Lenovo Moto G4 Play can do a little better and saves more power. The test model requires 0.53 to 1.86 W while idle and a max of 4.21 W at full load. We hope these values indicate a long battery life.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.06 / 0.16 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.53 / 1.76 / 1.86 Watt
Load midlight 3.97 / 4.21 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Wileyfox Spark X
3000 mAh
LG X Power K220
4100 mAh
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2800 mAh
Blackview R7
3000 mAh
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
5000 mAh
Power Consumption
2%
3%
-115%
-16%
Idle Minimum *
0.53
0.64
-21%
0.68
-28%
1.83
-245%
0.83
-57%
Idle Average *
1.76
1.3
26%
1.58
10%
3.21
-82%
2.06
-17%
Idle Maximum *
1.86
1.34
28%
1.61
13%
3.45
-85%
2.08
-12%
Load Average *
3.97
4.18
-5%
3.36
15%
5.67
-43%
3.53
11%
Load Maximum *
4.21
4.87
-16%
3.91
7%
9.16
-118%
4.49
-7%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery life is quite good, especially in comparison to the competition. There are exceptions like the Lenovo Moto G4 Play, which lasts longer despite having a smaller battery. The "compact 3,000 mAh battery offers more power on-the-go" according to Wileyfox. In fact, the Spark X does quite well in our WLAN test. The brightness is set to 25% (150 cd/m²) and we ran a script, which loads websites with HTML5 and JavaScript content. The device lasts 11:15 hours, which is great. FHD videos drain the battery after 13 hours - long flights should not be a problem. At full load and max brightness, the Wileyfox Spark X dies after 4:24 hours.

In everyday use, the runtimes should last two to three days. As the battery is removable, hardcore users can pack a second battery to keep going after the first one depletes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 01min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 15min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 57min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 24min
Wileyfox Spark X
3000 mAh
LG X Power K220
4100 mAh
Blackview R7
3000 mAh
Lenovo Moto G4 Play
2800 mAh
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
5000 mAh
Battery Runtime
42%
-39%
11%
21%
Reader / Idle
1381
1998
45%
H.264
777
683
-12%
WiFi v1.3
675
987
46%
412
-39%
630
-7%
815
21%
Load
264
365
38%
306
16%

Pros

+ good battery life
+ bright display
+ removable battery
+ stylish design and material choice
+ decent workmanship

Cons

- poor camera
- weak performance
- slow work tempo
- Android command keys are on the display despite the thick border
- low display resolution relative to the screen size
- no adapter for charging
- modest speech quality

Verdict

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

Wileyfox writes about the Spark X: "Best display size and battery life make this phone your dream multimedia partner". Overall, the Spark X has clear strengths to offer: the long battery life, removable battery, good workmanship and decent material choice. The bright, crisp display is impressive and the cheap price is alluring. 

The Wileyfox Spark X focuses on certain features: stylish design and long battery life for a cheap price below 180 Euros (~$190). Anyone who is looking for a cheap phone should take a look at the Wileyfox Spark X.

There is also a lot to criticize about a cheap phone: the modest performance, slow work tempo, meager speech quality, bleak photos (especially in poor lighting), lack of a power adapter, low resolution (only 720p) and sturdiness issues. If you can live with these criticisms, then perhaps this is the device for you. If not, the competition in this category is fierce and there are many options available.

Wileyfox Spark X - 11/29/2016 v5.1(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
76 / 75 → 100%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
39 / 60 → 65%
Weight
91%
Battery
94%
Display
82%
Games Performance
10 / 63 → 15%
Application Performance
30 / 70 → 42%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
54 / 91 → 59%
Camera
58%
Average
68%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Wileyfox Spark X Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2016-12-10 (Update: 2018-05-15)