HTC Wildfire S Android smartphone
For the cost conscious caller
Review With HTC churning out a different handset for seemingly every demographic, the original Wildfire was ‘the weeny one’. The recent Wildfire S updates the concept with improved screen and processor, the latest (almost) Android 2.3 Gingerbread, plus GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G, at half the price of a high-end handset.
HTC's Wildfire S: offers a speed bump and a higher res screen over the original
The pricier handsets might be fighting each other to see just how big they can make a screen that will still fit the in the average pocket, but the Wildfire S makes a virtue of its petite proportions.
It’s ditched the optical navpad and the shortened 101 x 59 x 12mm casing surrounds a 3.2in screen with the traditional four Android buttons on a touch sensitive strip beneath it. There’s a long, slim volume rocker and microUSB power/sync slot on the side and on/off/sleep button with 3.5mm headphone jack on top.
The original Wildfire suffered screen envy compared to many of its rivals, delivering a none-too-sharp 240 x 320-pixel resolution. The new version has the same screen size but bumps that up to 320x480. Indeed, it looks much better, though it still suffers way too much glare in sunlight but responds sensitively to touches and presses.
5Mp snapper on the back but no front facing cam
The Wildfire S runs Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, which has only just been usurped by version 2.3.4, bringing video chat to Google Talk and a few other tweaks. Still, there’s no front-facing camera on the Wildfire S to take advantage of it, so that's not an issue.
Next page: Speed limits
£230 is budget?
is it just me, or are the budget smartphones going up in price, as well as spec?
Nice wee phone though...just a bit pricey for me (it would be used instead of the POS work gave me).
... why wait?
Root and install CyanogenMod. Works great.
You should know this about it
The "S" phones have a signed bootloader which makes it currently impossible to root this phone without a hardware device to turn the security off.
Why mobile phone cameras are shitty
It takes a lot of time and experience to take a camera sensor in a mobile and make the pictures it takes look good - they are definitely not plug and play, and the inbuilt processing pipeline for images also needs to be decent.. HTC can't be arsed to do that work, (Not sure which pipeline they use, not a good one would be an appropriate guess) so the cameras are shitty, as you say.
If you want a decent camera on a phone, Nokia are really the only choice for really good - they spend a huge amount of time on their camera tuning (well,as do their subcontractors). Samsung also do quite a bit of tuning work, so some of theirs are pretty good.
It all comes down to time and money - spend the time and the money and you get a good camera, don't and you don't.
Ever wondered why Nokia phones take so long to get to market? This is just one reason, some others being much better HW design and testing, and *very* thorough software testing. I
The processor is the big letdown. Its a Qualcomm MSM 7227 ARMv6 based jobbie.
That means the Wildfire S won't run Flash. Love or hate Flash, the fact remains that a *lot* of content for Android is Flash based (BBC iPlayer, for one).