Wileyfox offers discounted phones in exchange for running ads on lock screen with ‘Add-X’ software

Buying a new smartphone can be expensive and everyone wants to get the best that they can possibly afford without breaking the bank. As such, some of us might be willing to make certain compromises to either save some cash or to buy a higher-specced model than we might normally be able to afford. The question is, would you buy a discounted handset with the caveat being that the lock screen showed an ad every time you unlocked the phone? That’s a compromise that the UK handset company, Wileyfox, is hoping people are willing to make with the launch of its ‘Add-X’ ad platform.

Wileyfox is offering a discount of up to 42% on its handsets running the ‘Add-X’ software that places tailored ads on the lock screen of the phone. When setting the phone up for the first time, the user is asked for their age and gender, which is then used to decide which ad is most suited. The ‘Add-X’ software will show ads and exclusive offers, such as the Domino’s offer shown in the main image above. Other companies such as intu and Ministry of Sound have also signed up to ‘Add-X’. To unlock the phone, the user simply has to swipe right to begin using the handset as normal. The lock screen still features the date and time as you would normally expect to see.

Up to 42% sounds like a hefty discount, but what does it translate to in the real world? Take a look below:

Just like with Amazon’s devices with ‘Special Offers‘, you can choose to remove the lock screen ads at a later date by paying a one-off payment of £40, after which Wileyfox will send out an OTA update to your device to remove ‘Add-X’.

“Michael Coombes, CEO of Wileyfox said: “At Wileyfox we’re committed to shaking up the competition again, to give our customers the best smartphone for their budget.  And with Add-X we’re smashing expectations at an even higher level reducing the costs across our range upfront, while also giving the consumer even more ways to be “wiley”.”

Offering discounted hardware in return for placing adverts on the device’s lock screen isn’t exactly a disruption in the market but it could prove appealing, the lock screen is really just the gateway to get to the real functionality of the phone. I’ve been using a Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus for the last few days and can tell you that the ads are pretty un-intrusive with a couple of them even coming in useful. Who doesn’t like discounted pizza?

Wileyfox may well have found a niche for themselves in the UK market with its ‘Add-X’ platform. Wileyfox handsets are available from Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, and ao.com in the UK.

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About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).