HTC Wildfire S

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A small category phone

If you’re one of those who think that today’s smartphones are simply bigger than they were last year and you want to buy a small one, you’ll be amazed to find that there are, in fact, such devices still left. The HTC Wildfire S is one of the few and it is a dwarf compared to what’s in stores these days. If you’ve only ever used flip phones up until now, however, this phone will be a nice transition for you. Several sites have already named it “Holiday gift pick” for 2011. The attractive price, well-built body and solid performance are enough to make you go for it. Here is what our tests have to say about the review of this product.

Slim design

As you’ve just read, the HTC Wildfire S is without a doubt one of the smallest smartphones with its 4″ x 2.3″ x 0.49″; and it’s also among the slimmest devices offered by today’s popular companies. These two dimensions make the product slip in and out of pockets with the utmost ease; holding it was, during our test, a very pleasant experience, because we didn’t feel as if we were holding a mammoth. The build quality is, as mentioned in the introduction, very good: the body has a matte rubbery back which protects the smartphone from scratches.htc-wildfire-s

Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS

The 3.2″ display of Wildfire S might not be to everyone’s taste, because it’s just too small than what they’ve owned so far. But we didn’t find that annoying or frustrating; instead we very much liked that it was a touchscreen with a 480 x 320 pixels resolution and support for pinch-to-zoom actions. All the standard buttons for home, menu, power volume and so on sit under the display; the camera, headphone jack and a microUSB port are placed on the rear, top and left side of the smartphone.

As far as features go, the HTC Wildfire S comes pre-installed with the usual stuff, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G support, speed dial, text and multimedia messaging and the list goes on. The OS is Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with an older Sense user interface that offers nonetheless ease of use and good looks. In the processor department, the Wildfire S is packed with a 600MHz ARM 11 version including a Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset. This translated into noteworthy performance when it came to speed and we were able to easily multitask; there were no lags to distract us from what we were doing.

5MP camera

Apps are made of Google e-mail, YouTube, turn-by-turn navigation, Peep (Twitter client), MyContacts and many more ready for you to play with.

The newest HTC smartphone ships with a camera that has 5 megapixel and is able to also record videos of up to 640 x 480 pixels. The pictures we snapped with the camera looked OK and so did the videos we shot, but if you want a smartphone with a great camera, don’t buy this one.

Internal memory is 512 MB and the available microSD card slot can hold up to 32GB. We found it to be enough to store our music, photos and various documents.

Some sound problems

When we called some of our friends to check call quality, everything went fairly well. What bugged us was background noise, even when we sat in an empty room. Our friends heard us both loud and clear.

The included 1,230mAh lithium ion battery delivered 6 hours of talk time and 13 days of standby life before it needed a recharge.

Review conclusion

In short, the review conclusion is clear: the HTC Wildfire S is a smartphone which, despite its small screen, deserves at least a try. And besides, you can get it for free with a $100 mail-in rebate and new, 2-year contract.