HTC Wildfire S Review


All consumers really want is a compact, attractive device with a decent OS and powerful features at a low low price. Could the HTC Wildfire S be the answer to their dreams?

Until HTC announced its flagship dual-core monster, the HTC Sensation, it seemed like 2011 was simply going to be a repeat of HTC in 2010, with popular handsets like the Desire and Wildfire reappearing as the Desire S and Wildfire S.

One year on, the Desire S failed to capture the same level of excitement as the original, especially with better models available like the Desire HD, Incredible S and the Sensation.

However, in the case of the Wildfire S, things have definitely changed for the better. At a much lower end of the market, this is a very important phone for HTC. With mass market appeal, the phone has to be good, given how it’s up against lots of competition.

The original Wildfire was small enough, but the Wildfire S is even smaller in every dimension, bar depth, where the phone has fattened out by four millimetres. It has also lost some weight, although the difference is hardly going to be noticed.

Screen dream

What you will notice is the screen. It’s the same size, but a higher resolution. QVGA (240×320 pixels) really doesn’t cut the mustard these days, unless you’re buying an incredibly cheap phone. The switch to HVGA (320×480 pixels) really does make a huge difference, just as the Sony Ericsson X8 did over the X10 mini. Not surprising, given there are now twice the number of pixels. The screen is capacitive too.

What you probably won’t notice, even if you already have a Wildfire, is the removal of the optical navigation control below the screen. Rarely used, HTC has removed it from the Wildfire S just as it did with the Desire S. It’s one aspect that surely won’t be missed.

The original Wildfire already had a decent camera and it’s unchanged here. Five megapixels is arguably all most people need from a cameraphone. In fact, it’s possibly more than most people need, especially if you’re going to be looking at the pictures on a normal monitor or emailing them. The camera interface is however more limited in features than the higher-end models, although you do get geotagging and face detection support. On the video side, the phone captures at VGA-resolution, meaning no HD or even widescreen.

The processor isn’t much different either, so don’t expect it to match the Desire S for speed. At 600MHz, it ranks quite far down on the benchmarking stats, but it still copes fine with normal operation. It’s only when running the most processor-hungry apps where you’ll notice things slowing down, which rules out the Wildfire S supporting Adobe Flash, an app that always needs plenty of power and memory.

A year ago, 512MB of RAM was high-end. Now it’s average, but it’s enough to keep most of your apps running in the background to ensure a quick jump from one to another (even using the dialler or sending a message requires the loading of the relevant app).

Sense of direction

HTC Sense is a big reason why you may opt for the Wildfire S over other affordable and similarly sized smartphones on the market. Admittedly it runs the older incarnation (V2.1) that lacks some of the very latest features, like being able to launch apps from the lock screen and there’s no fancy 3D page scrolling on the home screen, but you can still change the panel layouts, colours and skins. You can even choose different sound effects that play when using the phone.

  • yeah !wonderful article thanks for sharing

  • Great review ! But what other android phone are avaliable for this price ?


  • I like this phone, planning to buy it, but after reading comments, I am worried about battery backup. 🙁

  • James

    Just bought a Wildfire S to replace my Sony X10 Mini. Big mistake! This phone is so slow it lags about three button presses behind the user and the touch screen is very un-responcive. On the plus side the screen looks nice and the whole thing is neatly packaged. Total waste of my money!

  • blahdidiblahblah

    it is really expensive but i am prob gonna get it on a free contracy for 15 pounds a month:)

  • The 5 Megapixel camera and 3.2 inch HVGA display do it for me on this phone. I have to say this is th best HTC phone yet.

  • Tarek Pagol

    HTC Wildfire S is T-Mobile’s new budget smartphone for only $80, which is coming in
    August 3 and it is a 3G phone that offers Android Gingerbread (2.3) and
    the HTC Sense UI on a Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM and
    512 MB of internal storage, as well as Gorilla Glass to protect the
    touchscreen … I read this news here HTC Wildfire S 3G Android Smartphone for T-Mobile Review.

  • HTC phones are great, well done to HTC – your range keeps expanding and gets better by the model.

  • This phone is great, really fast and efficient.

  • I really love the looks of this device but cannot buy it. Too expensive for me 🙁

  • farhaant

    Hi to HTC can u pls suggest me how to reduce battery backup.

  • john

    I have recently purchased a htc wildfire s. the battery backup is so pathetic that it stays for only less than 5 hours.. i have swithed off my Bbackground data, auto sync and all possible applications running background.. i just use it only for browsing and calling.. i even tried installing battery saving applications but still no use.. can anybody tell be why it happens..

  • vipul mali

    wildfire S would have better better backup, but very disappointed. …