HTC Wildfire S Review

August 4, 2011
23

Welcome to the smallest member of the HTC Android family, one that fits directly in the palm of your hand, comes in at least a couple of cool color combinations, and beats out the whole rest of the world in mid-range competition. This is the HTC Wildfire S, the newest in a lovely line of HTC devices announced back in February, plus more since, these being thus: myTouch 4G Slide, Sensation, Flyer (tablet), and Facebook phones - ChaCha (aka Status on AT&T) and Salsa. Will the HTC Wildfire S stand up with the impressive lineup HTC has already released this summer season? Let's take a look!

Before we continue, let's have a look at our hands-on video so you know how incredibly handheld this device is, how the UI is looking, and what's under the boot. This video shows yours truly taking the device out of the box for the first time as well as starting it up and exploring the contents:

Hardware

This being the smallest HTC device on the block, one might think that it's squished, tinier than it aught to be, too small for Android. While this may be true of the competition whose devices are essentially the same size with basically have the pixel resolution in the display, here the HTC crew have provided a start screen for such a small device on a TFT display that looks rather bright and nice. The only complaint I've got about interactivity is the small area in which now the four Android menu buttons and the buttons at the bottom of the display (for apps, phonecalls, whatever you might put there.) This area has many different things now in very close proximity, a situation where a person with above-average sized fingers might find tapping to be rather inaccurate.

On the other hand, the rest of the display is just the right size for tiny computing. As this device is rolling out with a 600Mhz processor on a single-core chip, we won't be using it for too many high-quality apps. On the other hand, its size and its ability to use music apps like Spotify and DoubleTwist (a shortcut for DoubleTwist is included on the device out of the box), this handset is perfect for day-to-day media interaction. The speaker is loud, the construction is creak-free, and the plastic making up most of the casing is not quite as nice as HTC usually comes out with, but isn't the worst we've seen as far as quality goes either. Having the ability to get a different color combination in this device is a plus as well.

Software and Performance

In your apps drawer, you'll find your usual set of Google-set items including the Android Market, FM radio, Camera and Camcorder, and easy to use apps such as Gallery, Calculator,Music, Phone, and Peep for your Twitter activity. You've also got Slacker radio built in for some streaming music action, HTC's Weather app for some excellent and totally simple GPS-location-based weather reports, and "My Device" which will give you, the new-to-smartphones user a full guide on how to get acquainted with your new device.

You'll find that you're able to run the simplest apps plus a few slightly-higher-functioning apps like Angry Birds without a hitch. Unfortunately the internal storage on this device is relatively low, and it's not immediately apparent to brand NEW to Android users how to push their content over to their external memory, that being the 2GB microSD card that comes with the device. Once they DO figure out such a thing, then do the smart thing and upgrade to a much larger 32GB card, they'll be doing just fine from that point forward.

As far as performance goes, you'll not find the Wildfire S winning any contests, but the results are certainly OK for a 600Mhz single-core, that's for sure.

Qualcomm

AnTuTu

Linpack Pro

Smartbench 2011

Vellamo

Camera and Battery

The camera quality is OK, certainly no competition for the higher-range 8 megapixel cameras we've seen come out over the past few months. A 5-megapixel camera on the back of the device takes decent photos and 640x480 video at 24fps. Made for sharing, looks pretty good for day to day activities, not made for professional capture, if you know what I mean. Have look here:

5-megapixel photo example

640x480 pixel 24fps video example

Wrap-Up

This is THE perfect phone for a new Android user. Not only will they be treated to an easy to use interface with the fun extra bits HTC offers (such as the world-renowned weather widget, of course,) they'll have a tiny screen with bright colors and relatively sharp picture to do it with. This device will both impress a new-to-smartphone user and make them wanting more Android in the future. Not only that, they'll want to stick with HTC because of the ease in using that one single big time draw: the weather widget again! Customization is tuned directly to new users, and with such a compact device that's not much bigger (and in some cases smaller) than feature phones on the market today, they'll want to continue sizing up.

In addition, those who've used Android in the past and want to down-size for one reason or another would be wise to take a peek at the Wildfire S. Because I've got more than one Android device sitting around here for testing, i plan on using this little beast for short trips and those that I don't plan on being out of the house for more than a couple hours. Email, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, photos, video, and all the rest of my basic communications work on here just fine, leaving only big-screen interactions like video chat (this device doesn't have a front-facing camera) and video viewing for the bigger guns. Well done, HTC, what a cutie!


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  • nesko we

    nice post, more info to http://www.tabletpricereview.com/2011/08/htc-flyer-android-tablet-review.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vrinda-Krishnan/100002631264097 Vrinda Krishnan

    A great android device at its price http://india-mobilewatch.blogspot.com/2011/07/htc-wildfire-s-affordable-android-phone.html

  • Moneglia

    i have a wildfire s without the branding and it is even a bit smaler… just the 1cm where the logo is printed on ^^

  • Vrinda K

    It’s android’s b’day tomorrow… guys.. let’s wish
    http://india-mobilewatch.blogspot.com/2011/10/happy-bday-android-phone.html

  • Lizzya06

    this is a terrible phone, even if you put things on the sd card, they are still in the internal memory which holds hardly anything, I am constantly uninstalling what ever I install, the only good thing is the camera, the ringer on the side is way too sensitive & is always being on vibrate or silent, the htc customer service isn’t that great either, I much prefer my old samsung, I have learned a hard lesson, not to listen to the sales person, read read read reviews first, but I see they are only putting up favorable reveiws, hope this one makes it so people can be warned, stick with samsung.

  • Shuff

    Very helpful post!  Is is possible to push the apps that came with the phone to the SD card?

  • Shuff

    Very helpful post!  Is is possible to push the apps that came with the phone to the SD card?

  • Nikeishatt

    The ringer volume and speaker volume is way too low even when it is placed on the highest setting.

  • Lololol

    In the “camera and battery” section, you never actually said what the battery life is.

  • floresjose25

    i have this phone and personally i find it to be a great phone for a first time android user! :)

  • qonor

    I moved to HTC Wildfire S from a first gen MyTouch (HTC Magic). I love this phone. I just wanted a phone with more snap, and the Wildfire S delivers, and it fits in my pocket better. Delivers music, web, streaming casts, and videos just right. Screen is great for quick meetings with clients that need a visual. I also didn’t feel the need for a bigger phone since I have a lap and desktop.
    Cons; soft keys and volume rocker are super sensitive, and I miss my track ball.
    Pros; better business phone, but fast enough to keep the kids happy.

  • Kaelafox20

    Ive had this phone not even a week and i camt even begin to count the times i have had to delete things bc my internal storage is low. Its really annoying and makes me miss my blackberry

    • Lizzya06

      sorry to hear about your problems, I have learned to start researching & looking at other people’s opinions for my next one, the only problem with this is that everyone writes negative things & not much positive, there certainly has to be more positive things to say, however, I can’t wait to go back to a samsung, also I have become completely unhappy with tmobile & their declining customer service, I refuse to have at&t or verizon so I am looking into sprint

    • Schyrack

      That’s so true. I must delete my whole phone to use anything on here. So much for a 4G phone

    • James St. James

      I totally agree with you. I moved from a Blackberry and NEVER had to worry about internal memory….until I got this phone. As you mentioned, I am deleting and clearing caches almost three time a day. This phone SUCKS.

  • Swarupa Rv5579

    I had the worst experience with this mobile..as soon as i bought it..in a week i got some software issue which is not resolved.In a span of 3 months ..my mobile started restarting itself..the cc says mother board problem..nt sure why there is mother board problem for a new piece..now they had serviced the piece but then the problem is not resolved yet..the service is so bad..its at its worst..i seriously suggest not to go for HTC..

  • ClaireJane

    DO NOT GET THIS PHONE! I have had it for only a few months now and ive had more problems with it than any other… Its been in the shop getting fixed more times than I have had it in my hand. Don’t make the same mistake I did and keep your money. honestly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001861821077 Kyer Bustamante-Quon

    my review is mostly negative: as stated by others, i have downloaded 5 apps…in a sea of 50 that come with the phone, yet i am constantly being told i’m running low on storage…despite 3 of my 5 apps ALREADY on my 32gb sd card!!!  DO NOT GET THIS PHONE!!!!  i despise most of the apps that come with the phone and i can “clear data” and “force stop” on many, they are still on the phone…taking storage space.
    the quality of the pics is excellent!
    youtube keeps buffering!!
    downloaded videos play nicely!
    as soon as i can afford it, i will be changing phones!

    • ClaireJane

      same happens me.. ive all these apps dont know what they are, dont use them and  cant get rid of them!! so frustrating! and then some apps i get wont save to my Sim card to save space?! ahh!! HTC need to stop producing new cheap but unmerchantable quality phones every week and just make good quality phones! 

      • James St. James

        Same problem here. WHY can’t I remove some of these apps that are pre-installed?! I could care less about airG Chat, Books, SCVNGR, Talk, and Virgin Mobile Live!

  • James St. James

    I want to know why I can’t remove some of the apps that came with the phone. As a previous commentor stated, I too downloaded about 6 apps and then moved them over to the SD card. During a night out with friends, I was prompted to uninstall or move apps because of a lack of internal memory. WTF?! I had a Blackberry previous to this phone and NEVER did I have a problem with memory. I had this phone for about a month and I am ready to move to something else. DO NOT GET THIS PHONE.

  • http://twitter.com/SunsetDaily Sunset Daily

    Horrible product. Never works. They are tweakers and they steal icons….plus, they talk shit from behind a computer which I get…because they are pussies that can only talk shit from behind a computer…

  • poopfaceturdhead

    When I first got this phone it was great…then it went downhill. The internal memory sucks, and I swear is shrinking by the day. The SD card Is useless since very very few apps can be moved to it, it no longer loads photos from text messages, no longer email photos, no longer displays the weather, and as of lately, the web on it has been moving at the pace of a three-legged box turtle.