HTC Wildfire S Review
The original HTC Wildfire was a budget device aimed at consumers looking to purchase their first smartphone, but it had some fatal flaws, the biggest of which being the low screen resolution. At only 240 x 320 pixels the Wildfire screen was inadequate even to run some Android apps. With the emergence of the younger sibling, the Wildfire S, HTC have addressed the weaknesses of its predecessor and attempted to produce a budget handset that can do the job.
The use of metal casing gives a sturdy feeling to the Wildfire S and a classier finish than you might expect for a budget device. Measuring 101 x 59 x 12.4mm and weighing 105g the Wildfire S is a compact and lightweight smartphone for those who prefer something smaller to put in their pocket, although it may feel a little too petite for users with larger hands.
The Wildfire S has the same 3.2 inch screen size as its predecessor but with an improved resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. Whilst this is not earth-shattering and no match for the premium handsets, it is nonetheless a significant improvement on the Wildfire.
Running Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread operating system the Wildfire S has seen a software upgrade, but hampered by its low-tech specifications is unable to capitalise on the additional features and functionality Gingerbread offers. A further hindrance to the HTC Wildfire S is the low powered 600MHz processor with 512MB RAM. Although it betters the 528MHz CPU of the Wildfire it is still insufficient to provide a smooth and fluid user experience and is unable to run the latest Android apps.
As we have come to expect from HTC the Wildfire S OS is overlaid with a Sense UI skin. In other HTC models such as the Desire S this combination of Sense and Android is silky smooth but by virtue of the inadequate processing chip the usually fluid Sense interface is liable to judder on the Wildfire S.
In terms of connectivity the Wildfire S has a micro-USB port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G and there is a microSD card slot so you can expand on the internal storage of 512MB.
The 5 megapixel rear-mounted camera of the Wildfire S is largely unchanged.
It does come with an LED flash which is useful in low-light conditions and has geo-tagging and face-detection features.
As you would expect from an entry-level device the pictures captured are of average quality but good enough to capture the moment if you have no stand-alone digital camera to hand.
The Wildfire S also records video in VGA format at 24pfs.
With its small build the Wildfire S cannot support a large battery but its 1230mAh rechargeable battery does provide an average day’s use before losing power. This is in keeping with most smartphones but a little disappointing given the low-tech demands made on it.
Wildfire S Price
The HTC Wildfire S is a budget smartphone costing in the region of £135 SIM free or £99 for Pay as You Go. 24 month contracts are available from as little as £7.50 per month depending on the conditions and supplier of the contract.
HTC have taken some steps to improving the failings of the Wildfire in its successor but even for a budget handset the CPU is still inadequate resulting in a poor performance from the Wildfire S.