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Spark

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TWRP arrives for Galaxy Tab A 10.1, Wileyfox Spark and Spark+, and more

TWRP is the recovery of choice for most custom ROM users. You can flash ROMs, manage your files in a pinch, install custom themes, and backup/restore your whole device. TWRP is also incredibly portable, meaning it is easily ported to more devices. Five more phones and tablets are now receiving official TWRP builds, and three devices now have a unified build.

First off, the GSM (t6ul), Sprint (t6spr), and Verizon (t6vzw) models of the HTC One Max now have a unified TWRP build. This means there is one recovery that works on all three devices. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 LTE (2016) with S-Pen and Tab A 10.1 WiFi (2016) with S-Pen are newly supported.

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A bunch of devices receive CyanogenMod 13 updates, HTC One and Wileyfox Spark among them

CyanogenMod 13, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, was formally released back in March, but it's only just arriving for some devices, in the form of nightlies. The most notable of these devices are probably the original HTC One and the Wileyfox Spark, plus the Spark X - the Spark's bigger, more powerful brother.

The HTC One is being bumped up from CM12.1, which was based on 5.1 Lollipop, while the Spark and Spark X are receiving their first taste of the custom ROM, albeit not their first Cyanogen flavored taste though, since they run the in-house Cyanogen OS, which has recently been killed off.

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Cyanogen OS 13 is rolling out to the Wileyfox Spark and Spark+

There aren't a ton of devices running the commercial Cyanogen OS ROM these days, but the Wileyfox Spark and Spark+ are two of the most prominent (which really tells you something). These UK phones launched with Cyanogen OS 12 (Lollipop) earlier this year, but now Cyanogen OS 13 is finally rolling out.

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Wileyfox Spark review: Could do better

Phones have progressed enormously in the last few years. If I look at my beloved Nexus 4, bought new in 2012, it had a Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage. It cost me £279, or $349 in the US. For a phone of that quality, $349 was a stupendous price, much cheaper than comparable phones from Samsung, Motorola, or HTC. It kept me going for two years before the battery finally gave out.

Fast forward to this year. A tiny British company, Wileyfox, has released a phone, the Spark, with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage, for £89.99 ($120).

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Wileyfox Spark hands-on: For $120, this phone is astounding

In London today, Wileyfox, a tiny (CEO Nick Muir says it has 27 employees) British phone manufacturer, announced the Spark: a £89.99 ($120) phone that has razor-thin margins. Specs include a 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, and one 8-megapixel camera on each side.

When I first picked this phone up, all I thought was "for £89.99, damn that is nice." It makes you wonder how Wileyfox does it; its previous phone, the Swift, was similarly received with exclamations of "how?!" when it launched for £129.99.

Onto the phone: it's very light, weighing only 136g. The screen, an IPS 5-inch display, seems to be bright and responsive, and the buttons are clicky.

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Wileyfox launches new Spark range, cheap phones and incremental improvements

Wileyfox are known - or rather, unknown - for their cheap, but well-specced smartphones. The Swift and Storm launched last year to generally good reviews, praising the affordability, performance, and design of the two phones, while criticising cameras and the occasional build quality issue. Today, the British company is announcing a range of phones, named Spark, Spark +, and Spark X.

SPARK - banner_black SPARK - wf_sparks_x2

The Spark is the most affordable handset of the three, costing just £89.99 ($120) off-contract. Despite this, it has a 5-inch, 720p IPS display, 8GB storage, two 8-megapixel camera, and runs CyanogenOS 13, based on Android 6.0 Lollipop. The processor is a quad-core MediaTek MT6735A running at 1.3GHz, with 1GB of RAM onboard.

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