HTC Wildfire S review

Small format follow-up to last year's Wildfire.
Photo of HTC Wildfire S
£238.80 , SIM-free

The HTC Wildfire S is an update on last year’s Wildfire. Like its predecessor, the Wildfire S is aimed at the middle of the range, suitable for those who want Android but don’t fancy paying top dollar for a state-of-the-art handset. Anyone looking at the middle of the range has to accept some compromises – so basically, are the ones that are present here OK for you or not?

Small and perfectly formed?
Like its predecessor, the Wildfire S is small. It measures just 101mm tall, 59mm wide and 12mm thick. It’s very light too, at just 105g – which means it’s great for small pockets and for small hands.

But that small size does have its downside: a small screen. At 3.2 inches, the display of the Wildfire S is a bit too small for browsing the web with ease, and if you are a keen texter or user of mobile email you may find the on-screen keyboard rather cramped too. We certainly did. At 320×480 pixels, the screen resolution, is rather behind the times as well.

Leading the way
There’s good news in that the HTC Wildfire S runs on Android 2.3 – and there’s more to smile about in the smartphone’s respectable battery life. We managed to get through a full day on a single charge, which can’t be said for every smartphone by any means.

There’s support for 802.11n as well as b and g, which makes for some fast work on your home network, and the rest of the smartphone specs are all good with HSDPA and GPS leading the way. A 5-megapixel camera is a welcome inclusion, too.

Here comes the bad news…
But the inevitable compromises are plentiful. The 600MHz processor is a long way off the leading edge, and there’s only 512MB of both RAM and ROM. Fortunately, you do get a 2GB microSD card to fill with apps and data.

The version of the HTC Sense interface used on the Wildfire S has also been a little compromised, with some elements missing in comparison to what you’ll find on the latest handsets. There’s no Car Panel or HTC navigation software, for example, but the bulk of features are still present.

In the end, though, the handset’s overall size might be the biggest compromise of all. With a screen that’s quite squeezed, smartphone activities from media viewing to writing texts are all a bit on the squished side.

Company: HTC

Website: http://www.clove.co.uk

Contact: 01202 552936

Positives
  • Includes the latest Android 2.3 OS.
Negative
  • Low screen resolution; short on internal memory.

Verdict

The HTC Wildfire S is a neat little smartphone that fits nicely into the mid-range. This is a crowded sector, though, and as well as handsets designed specifically for it you'll find former flagship models at attractive prices. Shop wisely, and you can avoid the compromises of phones like the Wildfire S to get all the features you really want.