HTC Wildfire review

We review the HTC Wildfire — probably one of the most highly anticipated budget smartphones to surface in quite some time

Rating: 
4.5
Pros: 
Android 2.1, HTC Sense UI, decent processor, loads of apps, well designed and realised device
Cons: 
The screen resolution is very low and therefore quite a disappointment
Verdict: 
The HTC Wildfire is a brillant device and the combination of Android 2.1 and HTC's Sense UI is a match made in heaven. So, as long as you don't mind a slightly rubbish screen you'll be very happy with the HTC Wildfire

There’s been a proliferation of budget smartphones hitting the market over the past few months and all of which promise to bring smartphone attributes, such as connectivity, social networking and speed to users for a fraction of the normal cost usually associated with high-end devices.

But are they actually any good, or just a cheap – and altogether inferior – alternatives? We take a look one such device, the HTC Wildfire.

If you’ve seen any snaps of the HTC Wildfire, and you’d have to have been under a rock for the past month not to, you’ll know that it looks a hell of a lot like the HTC Desire – just without all the high-end jazz and trimmings.

However, the Wildfire isn’t a device to be taken lightly and does feature both Android 2.1 and a processor that’s on a par with the found in the HTC Hero. So in this sense, it’s as good as the Hero, but as we all know the Hero is pretty much done and dusted, Android 2.1 update or not.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a Hero, should you be looking at the HTC Wildfire instead? Well, probably not. For starters, there’s none of the glitz and glammer associated with the Wildfire like there was with the HTC Hero – and this is immediately obvious once you get the device out of the box.

For example, the HTC Wildfire’s non-AMOLED, 240 x 320 pixel screen is very disappointing and pixelated.

So if you’re used to higher-end AMOLED screen-touting smartphones like the HTC Hero, this will come as quite a big disappointment.

Fortunately, HTC’s Sense UI and the Android 2.1 OS make up for this and work seamlessly on the Wildfire to create an engaging and intuitive user experience – in fact, you’d probably be hard pressed to tell the difference between the Wildfire and the Desire after a heavy session in the pub.

As expected, you get all the Android 2.1 delights, such as Friend Stream, access to the new-and-vastly-improved Android Market, a load of new onboard apps and widgets – like News and a dedicated Google search bar – as well as all the operational improvements Android has introduced.

In short, Android 2.1 is brilliant and it works flawlessly on the Wildfire – and if you’re used to 1.5 or 1.6, you’re in for an even bigger treat.

On the physical side of things, the HTC Wildfire does look like a mini version of the HTC Desire and this is definitely a good thing as the Desire is a very well designed device.

Specifications

Typical Price Free on contract
UK Launch May 2010
Network TBC
Frequency Quad-band
Phone Style Touchscreen
Thickness 12mm
Length 106.8mm
Width 60.4mm
Weight 118g
Built-in Memory 384MB RAM / 512MB ROM
Additional Memory microSD 32GB
High-speed Data HSDPA,EDGE
Connectivity Wi-Fi,Bluetooth,USB
Screen Size 3.2-inch, 240 x 320 pixels
Screen Colours 16m
Camera 5 megapixel
Designer Lens No
Camera Resolution 2592 x 1944 pixels
Flash Yes
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/AAC/WAV
Song Storage Yes
Radio Yes
Speaker Yes
Video Calling No
Internet Yes
Browser HTML
Games Yes
Battery Standby 690 hr

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