If your company wants a name that says you can outsmart rivals in the brittle Android handset market, you could do worse than Wileyfox.
That’s the moniker of a new phone maker from the United Kingdom. On Tuesday, it debuted a pair of mid-range smartphones built with Cyanogen, the operating system for Android stripped of Google’s imprint. Storm, the premium model, holds 32 gigabytes and runs on a Snapdragon 615 processor. It retails for £199 (around $312); the cheaper 16GB offering, Swift, is £129 ($202).
But the key spec for the devices is that they run on Cyanogen. The OS startup has raised plenty of money and hype, but has not yet spread to a wealth of devices. In May, manufacturing giant Foxconn joined a roster of investors — including Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures and Rupert Murdoch — in plowing money into the open source Google alternative.
Prior to Wileyfox, Cyanogen has been baked into phones from two hardware partners: Micromax from India and OnePlus from China. OnePlus, which sells premium phones at cheaper prices (like Wileyfox is doing), ran its original phone on Cyanogen but ditched it for a later model, preferring its own homegrown Android.
Wileyfox’s CEO Nick Muir is familiar with the Android world. He is an eight-year veteran of Motorola, ending his stint as general manager of its European division when Google owned the handset company. Still, he’s hawking his new devices in a knotty time for Android phones, when profits are hard to find at the high and low ends and nearly everywhere in between.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.