Android smartphones have recently flooded the market and there are so many to choose from, but the problem is; they are too expensive. This is where the HTC Wildfire comes in, it’s an entry level Android smartphone from HTC, it’s cheap, it’s small and sexy, and having spend some time with it recently, here’s a full review of the phone including my take and views on it, check it out.
I usually prefer an expensive smartphone, why? Because I wouldn’t prefer compromising on quality in any way! But after seeing the HTC Wildfire, I was literally blown away from what this tiny beast has to offer for it’s price. It’s perfect in a lot of ways you can think of. Let’s quickly go through some of the features then we’ll move on to the unboxing and hardware of the device.
- 4.16 ounces (118 grams) with battery
- Type: Capacitive touch screen with pinch-to-zoom capability
- Resolution: 240 x 320 QVGA
CPU Processing Speed
ROM: 512 MB
RAM: 384 MB
- microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
- Supports up to 32 GB
- 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
- Standard micro-USB (5-pin micro-USB 2.0)
- Digital compass
- Proximity sensor
- Ambient light sensor
- Bookmarks, Calculator, Calendar, Clock, FM Radio, Friend Stream, Mail, Messages, Music, News, People, Stocks, Weather, Settings (such as Profile, Ringtone, Wi-Fi™, Bluetooth®), and more
- Downloadable widgets
- Photos application for viewing photos and videos
- FM Radio
Audio supported formats
- Playback:.aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, mp3, .wav, .wma
Video supported formats
- Playback:.3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv
Power & Battery
Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 1300 mAh
- WCDMA: Up to 440 mins
- GSM: Up to 490 mins
- WCDMA: Up to 690 hours
- GSM: Up to 480 hours
- HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Android™ 2.1 (Éclair) with HTC Sense™
- 5 megapixel color camera
- Auto focus and flash
- Up to 114 kbps downloading
- Up to 560 kbps downloading
- IEEE 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth® 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate
- A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
- FTP and OPP (object push) for file transfer
- Other supported profiles: AVRCP, GAP, GOEP, HFP, HSP, PBAP, SPP, Service Discovery Application Profile
- Internal GPS antenna
- Google Maps™
- HTC Footprints™
- Internet sharing through USB
For a complete set of features head over to HTC’s website by clicking this link.
The HTC Wildfire comes in a sleek and small box, just like any HTC handset’s box, the size of the phone shown graphically on the box is the actual size of the phone itself. The phone comes along with some manuals, a data cable for syncing, a wall charger on which you can plug in your data cable for charging the Wildfire and a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone which are quite good, but it would’ve been great if they shipped some in-ear headphones with the Wildfire.
The phone is really small! I was surprised when I saw it for the first time, but don’t fall for it’s small size, it has a lot of things to offer!
HTC Wildfire offers things much more than what you would expect from an expensive Nokia. You might think I’m biased towards other handsets, but trust me, I’ve used phones like the Nokia N97 and this phone might compromise on some things like the hardware keyboard, but when it comes to software, Android 2.1 under the hood of this tiny device does it’s magic!
The phone looks a lot like the Nexus One from design aspects but it does have it’s differences which are quite noticeable, like the optical trackpad instead of the trackball used in the Nexus One. It has a volume rocker on the left hand side along with a micro USB port for syncing data and charging the phone.
On the back it has a 5MP camera with an LED flash which insures your pictures turn out bright in bad lighting conditions. On the top of the phone is a dedicated lock button to lock/unlock your phone or turn off the screen if you’re not using it and a 3.5mm headphone jack to plug in any other headphones you might have lying around. The phone feels great in hand and I had no problems navigating through menus or doing some tasks like text messaging, checking out Maps or just surfing the internet.
The Wildfire has four capacitive buttons; Home, Menu, Back and Search which are very comfortable to use but at times they do get in the way while you’re texting, which gets really annoying and takes some time to get used to. Just for comparison purposes and to give you an idea how small the Wildfire is, I’ve compared it with my Nexus One which I use as my daily driver.
The display is the only downside of the Wildfire, from the moment you turn it on you’ll realize that the resolution is somewhat mediocre, it’s a 320 by 240 pixels display which is quite fair for a device of it’s size but considering other high end devices like the Nexus One and the HTC Desire, the display on the Wildfire is just ok, nothing special. But the brightness and contrast ratio is quite good!
It’s not an AMOLED screen, it’s a regular TFT LCD display which is great for daily use and like other touchscreen devices the display fades under direct sunlight. The display has multitouch capabilities for pinch to zoom in the browser, photos and maps which makes the phone really fun to use. To give you an idea about the pixel density, I’ve added a picture comparing it to the Nexus One’s display, you can easily tell the difference between the two spot on.
HTC Wildfire runs on top of Android 2.1 but is heavily skinned by HTC with it’s Sense user interface. Sense UI makes the Wildfire a lot fun to use, it adds tons of great and useful widgets on the homescreen like HTC Peep which is great for checking out your Twitter timeline instantly and posting tweets, it also has a great messaging widgets to go through your recent text messages and the all famous HTC weather widget to name a few.
Even with the 528MHz CPU under the Wildfire’s hood, the phone is fast! There aren’t any lags and if you’re doing light tasks, the phone is highly usable and you won’t feel that the phone is slowing down or anything. The onscreen soft keyboard is very easy to use, the keys are well spaced and don’t feel crammed but if you have big hands then you might want to reconsider the phone a lot, at least I didn’t have any sort of problem typing with the onscreen keyboard.
The menus are plain and simple, just like on any other Android device, the apps are arranged alphabetically in order, but it would’ve been even better if you could customize the menu to place the apps wherever you want to in the menu for easy access.
When it comes to apps, Android isn’t an exception. With 10’s of thousands of apps on the Android Market, there’s pretty much an app for everything, but quite frankly they are not as good as you’ve seen on the iPhone but something is better than nothing right?
From social networking apps to Office suites, you’ll find every app you need. But since Pakistan doesn’t have access to paid apps from the Android Market, therefore you’re stuck with the free ones. Some paid apps are really really good, but you can always root your phone which is like Jailbreaking and gain access to paid apps outside the US.
Wildfire’s battery is just like any other typical smartphone, it will give you a solid day of battery life if you use it wisely. I tested out the phone with syncing on along with lots of Twitter updates, Facebooking, Emails, text messages and a few minutes of calls, I roughly got about a day of battery time and eventually the battery died out on me. But if you think battery is really an issue for you then you might want to give up on a few things, especially things which involves using GPS/Maps and EDGE a lot!
Wireless Connectivity and Sensors
The phone is loaded in every way possible! It has built-in Wi-Fi, it supports 3G and EDGE but since 3G is not available in Pakistan therefore you can just ignore it completely for now. It has a built-in GPS to get your exact location to street level on the provided Google Maps application and it even has a built-in compass for finding your direction!
And since Google Maps now works on street level in Pakistan, the Wildfire will get you places even if you’re totally unaware of major spots in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Call Quality/Ringer Audibility
I tried Zong and Telenor with the Wildfire, I did have a few dropped calls in certain areas where there was bad reception but the overall call quality is really good and the earpiece is loud enough.
The built-in speaker of the Wildfire is surprisingly loud! Ringtones in crowded areas were quite audible but it fails if you’re facing a parade of trucks passing by you, but you won’t get a lot of moments like those, for daily regular use, the Wildfire is perfect!
Would I recommend the Wildfire? Yes I would if you’re on a budget and want a taste of Android. But keep in mind that there are cheaper Androids out there like the HTC Magic and Samsung Galaxy i5700 but they are aging phones running Android 1.5.
The Wildfire is a new phone, packs quality hardware by HTC and it’s a phone which won’t disappoint the user in any way.
The overall quality of the phone is good, but since it’s a cheap Android smartphone, you will notice some sacrifices made by HTC, the screen is the most noticeable one. If you’re fine with having a low resolution screen but want a full blown version of Android 2.1 running on your device for a budget, then the Wildfire is the way to go!
Price And Availability
The HTC Wildfire is available in all major cities across Pakistan but the best place to buy the Wildfire is from HomeShopping.pk for Rs. 27,490.
If you want a full one year warranty then you might wanna go for Brightex, they are offering a one year software/hardware warranty but for a price of RS.35,000 or you can head over to HomeShopping.pk and save some extra bucks and get a one year software only warranty instead for a price of RS.31,000. My recommendation would be that you go for Brightex, those extra bucks for hardware warranty is worth it!