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Wileyfox Spark is a dirt-cheap phone for selfie addicts on a budget

With its bottom-end price and 8-megapixel front camera, the UK brand's new phone is well suited to the vain and short of cash.

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Andrew Lanxon
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Andrew Lanxon

Lead Editor, CNET Advice, Europe; Lead Photographer, Europe

Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

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Love selfies? Hate spending money?

Step right up and cast your eyes over the Wileyfox Spark. This 5-inch phone comes with an 8-megapixel camera stuck on its front and will set you back only £90 when you buy it SIM-free directly from the Wileyfox website. It's not currently available from any network or retailer, so you won't be able to try before you buy -- but hey, that's what we're here for.

You will have to make a few sacrifices for that rock-bottom price. The screen resolution is a mere 720p, it has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and you only get 8GB of storage. That's a very underwhelming list of specs, but it should cope fine with essentials like tweeting and snapchatting -- and you really need to keep that low price in mind.

Mobile gamers should look elsewhere, as the weedy 1GB of RAM isn't going to put up with much.

Hands-on with the dirt-cheap Wileyfox Spark

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There are three versions of the Spark, all of which have the same processor and front-facing camera as well as 4G connectivity, dual SIM-card slots and expandable storage with up to 32GB microSD cards. I've detailed the differences below:

  • Spark (£90): 8-megapixel rear camera, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, 2,200mAh battery
  • Spark+ (£115): 13-megapixel rear camera, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, 2,200mAh battery
  • Spark X (£130): 13-megapixel rear camera, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, 3,000mAh battery, 5.5-inch 720p screen

All three phones run an adapted version of Android called Cyanogen. It looks and feels much like Android, and indeed the phone has access to all of Google's services, including the Play Store for apps. It's more customisable than most Android versions though, allowing you to tweak colours, layouts and even fonts to your heart's content.

The Spark's rubberised, matte-black back looks pretty neat and feels comfortable to hold. There's plenty of grip and the 5-inch size is easy enough to wrap your fingers around.

While the Spark isn't going to light up the lives of those of you lusting after the ultimate in smartphone technology, its low price makes it a fair option if you want a no-frills handset simply for a spot of WhatsApp messaging.

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