Wileyfox is an interesting company, a UK based company, comprised of ex-HTC employees and others, they make interesting devices, and great prices and now, they’re working on something else, and they’ve taken a page out of Amazon’s book, It’s Called Add-X.
Add-X, or added Experience, is, much like Amazon’s Fire lineup, you can buy a device from them for less money because it has ads on it. With Wileyfox though, they’re going for a little bit of a different path. Wileyfox will curate all of the advertisements, nothing raunchy, no gambling, no adult explicit material, no lending programmes etc, this is all family friendly stuff and once they’re comfortable that they’ve worked up enough of a portfolio of what the person is into and what they’re not, they can start tailoring those more.
One interesting thing is that when I asked them, they specifically said that none of your data ever leaves Wileyfox, they don’t sell your data for ads, it’s all done in-house and they take a minute cut of the profits, instead where the majority of that money goes is actually up front, to knock a fair amount of cash off the sticker price.
Take the Wileyfox Spark+, a device that normally sells for £119, the add-X version of that device? £69. The exact same phone, except that they have knocked £50 off of the upfront cost, and pass that saving on to you, that makes the Spark+ cheaper than it’s much less capable little brother, the Spark, and, as anyone who has used a sub-£100 Android phone, the experience isn’t great, this, on the other hand, is a much better experience.
Much Like Amazon, Wileyfox let you remove the advertisements, for a flat fee of £40 throughout the product line, whether you get the Spark+ or the swift 2 X, it is just £40 to remove ads, and in the case of the Swift 2 X, it makes it cheaper than the retail Swift 2 X (Swift 2 X retails for £219, Add-X with removed ads works out at £179, so you get the same phone, with a little bit more work, for £40 off, solid.
Wileyfox is introducing add-X variants of their entire lineup apart from the lowest end spark device, and that is perfectly fine with me. After spending a few hours with them, I can say that I expected to hate the advertisements, and think of them as gaudy, but I honestly quite like the look of them, they aren’t as in your face as the Amazon ads, and they aren’t as terrible as the banner ads on the internet, but even so, if you don’t like them, they’re one click and £40 away from freedom.