HTC has a terrific track record with Android phones, being pretty much at the head of the queue both in terms of the amount of models it has produced, and also in the quality, especially with its flagship Desire handset.
The Wildfire features many of the Desire's pluses, including an excellent 3.2in capacitive touchscreen, HTC's intuitive Sense user interface and the FriendStream widget, which pulls together all of your messages from social networks, emails and text. It cuts corners on the 528MHz processor however, which can be a little laggy on occasion, and the price is still relatively high compared with other budget Androids.
It runs on Android 2.1 and has a 5Mp camera, but this being HTC, it's not quite as good as the spec suggests, and is beaten for sharpness by the likes of LG's Optimus GT540.
Reg Rating 90
More Info HTC
Best known for its Wi-Fi and network accessories, Chinese brand Huawei is nonetheless no stranger to handsets, churning out a fair hew of them for other companies to re-badge. The Ideos is its first own-brand Android smartphone for the UK. It's a neat little handful with no skin on the standard Android UI but at least it has the latest version, 2.2 Froyo, installed from the off. Since there's no additional skinning, in theory it should benefit directly from future updates from Google, without the need to wait for manufacturers to make their own tweaks.
Similar in style to HTC's Tattoo, the screen measures 2.8in and offers 320x240-pixel resolution, so it's not the sharpest, but it's okay. Perhaps more importantly, it's capacitive and decently sensitive, so using it is never a chore.
It’s packing a 528MHz processor and 256MB of memmory, so it's not the fastest, in fact it's consistently slow, and the bog standard 3.2Mp camera only goes a little way to make up for it.
Reg Rating 80
More Info Huawei
Next page: LG Optimus GT540
I find it very surprising that you have rated the HTC Wildfire at £230 above the Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) at £100. Having tried both, the ZTE Blade leaves Wildfire distinctly poor. Not only is the OSF 2.3x cheaper than the HTCW, it also has a 600MHz CPU vs. 528MHz, and 512MB of RAM vs 384MB. Most importantly of all, HTCW has a 320x240 screen vs 800x480 on the OSF!
How on earth could you rate the HTCW at 90% and OSF at 85%??? There's just no contest between the two.
The other thing that really should be mentioned is community support. In general, the cheaper the phone is, the more it is community hacked and the more available useful things like custom root roms with extra features are. And given it's high spec and unbelievably low price, the OSF seems set to be the most community-loved Android phone for a long time to come.
Orange San Francisco
But surprised to hear the SF described as it was. All the reviews I've seen so far have descibed the screen as comparable to hansets costing much more,and given the price for 2.1 and OLED ,plus payg availability it's the handset I'm planning to get. In video test it aslo seems pretty nippy.
Come on, 800x480 oled screen with gps as well for 99 quid !
Don't have to use Orange
You can unlock the San Francisco for free - there is a code generator in the public domain. Else you can pay £1 on ebay. So, do what I did and choose another operator which charges sensible prices - e.g. T-mobile - 600 minutes, 500 texts, unlimited landlines and 3GB internet on 12 month SIM only contract for £7.50 per month. Or, if you don't want to use it as phone, and can live with a maximum of 384Kbps and 1 gig per month get a PAYG SIM from T-mobile and buy a six-month internet top-up for £20.
PS San Francisco is so much better than the other phones, so review flawed, particularly in relation to the amount of RAM and the OLED high-res screen. And going to a decent Orange-free ROM is a fifteen-minute job for a Reg reader.
The SanFran is also easily unlockable and rootable with a decent community behind it, which are already working on a 2.2 ver.
Resistive vd capacitive
I really don't understand the continual bashing of resistive screens (beyond the fact that resistive is not the Apple way).
I use both, and I far prefer the resistive.
So far the only con I have found to resistive is it can't do multitouch, fair enough, as the user interface isn't designed to take advantage of such a feature, it's not an issue.
The pros are huge. I can use it wearing gloves. If you have finger nails then you can still use it without having to angle your fingers in a way would would be a bit odd when holding the phone.
When you're not wearing gloves, the benefits starts to really appear - accuracy.
You can click on a 2mm high text link on a web page, amongst a sea of other text links, and get it 99% of the time, because you are using a narrow tapping thing like your finger nail.
Plus you can see what you are tapping right up to the point you hit it, because said fingernail is fine and narrow. Not got fingernails, well pick up anything you like from your desk. Biro lid, matchstick, car keys, anything you like, it'll work (taadaa!).
Take a capacitive one, requiring the contact of a squashy finger tip, and you'll be hard pushed to hit anything smaller than the size of a bus with any accuracy. Is it any wonder that the way to navigate "back" is such an easy gesture?
The iPhone4 might have a seriously impressive number of pixels per inch, but you can't use them to resize a webpage to tiny proportions if it has a lot of links close together, the most you can do with it is enjoy some nice font anti-aliasing.