Reviewed: HTC Wildfire


19 Aug 2010

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The HTC Wildfire is aimed at a younger and more cash-strapped audience who want all the benefits of a Smartphone but at a fraction of the cost. It can be seen as a budget version of the HTC Desire and, considering the amazing quality of the Desire, that’s by no means a bad thing.

This phone runs on Android 2.1 with HTC’s stylish Sense interface, boasts a smooth, compact design and innovative social networking apps.

Look

The view of the back of a HTC Wildfire

Weighing 118 grams and at only 12.19mm thick, the phone’s slim design makes it easy to store it in your pocket or handbag. It’s available in four colours – red, black, silver and brown. It features an impressive 5.0-megapixel camera and an LED flash.

It also has an optical track pad, allowing for an alternative to the touchscreen interface. While HTC is aiming at a younger market, the phone’s design is sleek and professional looking, maintaining the look and feel of its predecessors.

Interface

The HTC phone in four colours - red, black, silver and brown

HTC’s Sense is back and is just as usable as ever. The interface allows you to access seven different home screens with ease. Users can sift through screens and menus using their fingers or the track pad.

The main home screen allows users to customise what apps they want quick access to and also allows them to be separated into folders. They can be removed from this screen just as easily, by pressing down on the app in question and dragging it to the ‘remove’ area.

The level of thought that has gone into its accessibility and customisation makes the HTC Wildfire an incredibly intuitive device.

Social

Friendstream on the HTC Wildfire

The phone’s focus is on social media, which it attempts to consolidate on Friend Stream. This app displays status updates from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr all in one stream and allows you to update all three of your own at once.

You can also untick certain ones if you only want to update one or two with the same status. Friend Stream also lets you filter statuses through text, videos and links.

The service is pretty convenient if you don’t want to keep clicking on several different sites and apps just to see all of your friends’ updates.

The contacts section includes phone numbers, Facebook pages and Twitter pages, further consolidating communications between friends. If one of your contacts calls you, it displays their profile photo, birthday date and their latest status update, which is a cute touch.

While it is nice to have these options in one area, this can make it so that people are doubled or tripled up in your phonebook, which can be a chore to sift through. However, you can always add your favourite contacts to one of the seven homescreens if this bothers you.

The phone furthers its social media focus with the ability to share apps. This lets you to either send an app directly from your phone to someone.

It also allows you to send a link to it to someone’s email address. Considering the growing popularity of the Android OS, this is a highly convenient function which should be included in every Android phone.

Camera

The camera shots on the HTC Wildfire

The camera has a lot of settings, which include the ability to change the brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness of the image. You can adjust the ISO and the white balance and you can use various colouring effects, such as grayscale, sepia, negative, solarise, posterise and aqua.

The camera itself takes excellent photos, however, as the screen resolution is only 240 x 320 QVGA, they don’t look too impressive on-screen. Once you upload them to your computer, you can experience the full effect of the images.

HTC Wildfire on the internet

The battery life, for me, lasted from about one day to a day and a half without charging. It does come with a power control widget, which can allow you to quickly turn on and off numerous settings that can affect its battery usage.

Overall, the HTC Wildfire is an excellent device. It’s a sleek and innovative phone that won’t hurt your wallet and it’s more than worthy to stand beside HTC’s impressive catalogue. The HTC Wildfire is available from Meteor and prices start from free to €79.99 on bill pay.