HTC is a brand that has risen to the forefront of our collective minds alongside the rise of Google’s popular Android system.
The HTC Wildfire S is not one of the most recent phones that have come out from HTC, with it being released in early 2011 but when it came out, its features really brought HTC to the media’s attention.
It has now been largely overshadowed by the Samsung Galaxy S II, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S’ popularity, but this does not mean that it is to be overlooked for the quality smart phone which it is. After a few minutes of playing about on it, it is quite clear that this is an extremely easy-to-use phone that can hold its own against any of the bigger names at a lower cost. For these reasons, it’s certainly worth a closer look with a Mobilesplease review.
Overview & Handset
The handset of the HTC Wildfire S is made so that it sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, featuring a moulded rubber back. This gives it a nice feeling as the rubber on the back makes you confident that you won’t easily lose your grip.
The back also features a 5MP camera (with flash) that works quite well especially as it has a zoom function. The top of the handset has only the power button and a jack for headphones while the side features a volume control button and charging point. The front is quite simplistic with a touch screen and 4 capacitive touch buttons (Android Home, Menu, Back and Search). This makes for a seemingly big screen at 3.2 inches.
The entire design of the chunky handset feels very simple and solid. It won’t tax you weight wise with it only weighing 105g; however it is still heavy enough to not absentmindedly forget it’s there. It’s very atheistically pleasing without being too adventurous with the design and with the exception of the lack of front side camera, it is a wonderful design that keeps it nice and simple.
Running on Android 2.3 with HTC’s Sense UI on top, it feels quite effortless to get used to the HTC Wildfire S. Coming from someone who has never had an Android phone, I was quite surprised by how easy it was to pick up and use straight away. The touchscreen has a vibration feedback to it so that you can tell when you are pressing something. This makes it highly reassuring as a touchscreen to those like me who aren’t major fans of touch screens.
The lock screen is quite self explanatory with a simple swipe down to unlock. This leads you to the home screens where you can move left and right to cycle through them. Each has a number of apps and widgets within them.
The look of the actual interface could be better as is the case with some more popular phones such as the iPhone 4S, but I suppose this can be easily ignored as a problem. This is especially true if you are one who doesn’t want to tinker around too much with it as it is very user friendly from the get go. For those who do like to tinker about however, HTC has provided a myriad of options to change the look and feel of the device including skins, menus and sounds.
As good as the Android 2.3 system is though the thing that probably makes it just that little bit better is the HTC Sense system of the HTC Wildfire S. Battery wise it is one of the better Android phones out there with at least 430 minutes talk time.
The phone icon on the home screen allows you to go straight into your dialler and contacts. You are able to sort your contacts from ones that have come through your social network, which makes it easier to tell who has a number.
You are also able to spend your time sorting individual contact’s settings with ringtones, pictures and more. With this you are also able to link contacts such as those who don’t immediately link to their Facebook account and phone number. Making calls is of course very easy as is expected with any phone, it even allows users to put contacts on hold.
Texting and email are extremely easy to use with the QWERTY keyboard that pops up on screen when you enter the two messaging services. The keyboard also features an auto correct feature which is very useful for those who are horrible at typing. For the truly lazy however, there is always the option of the dreaded voice input. This however is more trouble than it’s worth as it struggles with sentences but handles single words with no trouble. If you are going to use the voice input, word to the wise: annunciate!
Connectivity, Apps & Internet
It only has a 600Mhz processor and no flash support, which limits it as an app phone and makes browsing the internet a pain. However once everything loads it is quite easy to get around. If you are looking for a browser on the go or an app phone I would go for a higher-end one such as an HTC Sensation.
With deals like a free handset on a contract of £10.50 for 24 months, it really isn’t a bad buy. As long as you are just looking for a quality phone with a few smartphone features. If you are looking however for a smart phone with superior connectivity, apps coming out its speakers and more customisation than you know what to do with, then you are probably going to want to look a bit more upmarket. Over all this is a great phone, easy to use, nice to hold, aesthetically pleasing, with great communication and personalisation. But it falls down with the internet and apps. It’s for this reason that I give this phone a three out of five.
Mobilesplease rating: 3 out of 5
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