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Cyanogen Gets Boost From Wileyfox, a British Handset Newcomer

A third hardware partner for Cyanogen, the Android without Google.

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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).

 Storm, a new phone from Wileyfox running on Cyanogen
Storm, a new phone from Wileyfox running on Cyanogen
Wileyfox.com

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.