back to article HTC Wildfire S Android smartphone

With HTC churning out a different handset for seemingly every demographic, the original Wildfire was ‘the weeny one’. The recent Wildfire S updates the concept with improved screen and processor, the latest (almost) Android 2.3 Gingerbread, plus GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G, at half the price of a high-end handset. HTC Wildfire S HTC' …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £230 is budget?

    is it just me, or are the budget smartphones going up in price, as well as spec?

    Nice wee phone though...just a bit pricey for me (it would be used instead of the POS work gave me).

  2. Jacqui

    other than the flash

    the orange SF (almost) gives all of this - plus a larger screen for ~70UKP if you are an orange customer or can quote an orange mobile PAYG number :-)

    Why do droid phones have such shity cameras? The camera on my tocco lite

    is simply brilliant (when it works) but mt Racer is consistent shitty quality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why mobile phone cameras are shitty

      It takes a lot of time and experience to take a camera sensor in a mobile and make the pictures it takes look good - they are definitely not plug and play, and the inbuilt processing pipeline for images also needs to be decent.. HTC can't be arsed to do that work, (Not sure which pipeline they use, not a good one would be an appropriate guess) so the cameras are shitty, as you say.

      If you want a decent camera on a phone, Nokia are really the only choice for really good - they spend a huge amount of time on their camera tuning (well,as do their subcontractors). Samsung also do quite a bit of tuning work, so some of theirs are pretty good.

      It all comes down to time and money - spend the time and the money and you get a good camera, don't and you don't.

      Ever wondered why Nokia phones take so long to get to market? This is just one reason, some others being much better HW design and testing, and *very* thorough software testing. I

      1. Arctic fox

        Agreed, that is why I.........

        .........bought Mrs Arctic Fox Nokia's N8 for her birthday despite the os. She is delighted.

  3. misterPaul


    I don't really understand some of El Regs recent Android phone reviews. 70%? Did this phone lose points simply for being a budget phone? I struggle to find any phone at this price range which beats its quality specs and build quality. I get the feeling that this grading is made against top end smart phones, and not in the budget area

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I heard that the Nokia N8 can be had for around this price.

      This wildfire looks like total shit in comparison to an N8.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nokia N8

        I looked at the N8 before I settled on a second-hand Wildfire (old version) which I picked up unlocked for just over a tonne on ebay.

        The N8 was nowhere near as nice to use as the Wildfire. HTC's sense on Android is a great interface. Coming from a candybar phone (actually, a Nokia - hence the reason I looked into the N8) it took a good 5 minutes of head-scratching to get my noggin around the layout for the menus/buttons, so not THE most intuitive interface out there, and I have to admit that Nokia's phones have always been my favourite in the past, but in the price bracket I picked my phone up for, there was nothing else that could really touch it and once you've overcome that brief initial learning curve it's a doddle to use. I'm not a stranger to smartphones (I have an iPhone for work, but the HTC was for my own personal use and uses my 10 year old PAYG SIM which won't fit in Apple's micro-SIM slot)

        The touchscreen is more responsive than the iPhone - just try dropping the cursor midway through a word on an iPhone to edit the text, it's a PITA, whereas on the HTC it's fast and precise.

        The screensize is a bit of an issue when using the touchscreen keyboard with fat fingers when compared to the larger-screened more expensive rivals, but after using it for a little while it's become second nature and being able to press/hold to get the second characters on each key is much neater than Apple's ABC/123 toggle button solution.

        Nokia's have always been my number one choice, but I have to say this is perhaps the best phone I've used to date (and that includes the work-supplied iPhone). Apple's interface is probably fractionally more intuitive out of the box, but when you've learned your way around I'd say Android is a better OS. I'm waiting for Nokia to bring out a decent Android phone - now THAT would probably REALLY rock :)

  4. 7-zark-7
    Thumb Up

    Good budget option

    My wife bought the wildfire S to replace her HTC legend.

    Well made phone and feels really solid. Great 2g/3g/wi-fi reception compared with the legend with pretty good call quality. The Wildfire S seems to have roughly the same radio performance as my HTC Desire.

    Processor speed is respectable just dont plan on using live wallpapers. These kill the framerate not surprisingly.

    Headphones in the box are rubbish and PAYG included a 2gig micro sd card.

  5. Piloti
    Thumb Down

    Budget 'phone....

    " HTC’s budget Android update now comes with improved screen and processor ".

    Under which definition is £230 the standard for a budget 'phone ?

    It may be a budget specced piece of hardware, stuffed to the gills with software nobody wants, but it is wrapped up in a midrange to premium price.

    For that money, I can get a top spec' Nokia, which are still the best mobiles money can buy. Bar none.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Not enough of an improvement

    This is not enough of an improvement over my original Wildfire to upgrade to.

    One of the big pluses of the original Wildfire is the long battery life for a Smart Phone.

    At least the form factor is still good. Not all of us want to carry monster power hungry 4" screen behemoths. There are not many low end compact Smart Phones around for people who want to check the odd email or news on the go.

    1. Code Monkey

      I like it

      This is the sort of thing I'll be looking for at upgrade time. I like my Desire but it's just too thirsty and, well, too big. When the Desire was being fixed I realised how much I missed having a small phone.

      HTC seem keen on refreshing their handsets reguarly so with a year or so to run I'll be looking at the next revision.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Completely agree

      About the only possible advantage is the slightly larger screen which would allow some of the more fastidious apps out there to run (Not that I need them anyways).

      A wildfire does not give the same sort of browser experience as a high end phone, no doubt, but look, to me it's like Toyota Yaris, cheap end of thing, runs reasonably reliably but don't expect to outrun anybody.

      Actually a Yaris is probably more reliable than a wildfire - I've never had missed/drop calls till I adopted a smartphone (prev. trusty old school nokia) - but you get the picture ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nokia not all good

        My last Nokia missed about 7 out of 10 calls. Granted, that might be because it was in a very poorly condition having been landed on repeatedly during snowboarding trips, but right out of the box it was buggy as hell. If I received a text while opening a previous text (as you could easily do with a multi-part text) it would crash and completely freeze every time. The only way recover was to pull the battery out!

        So far (past 6 months) I've never missed or dropped a call on a Wildfire - much better track record to date.

        That's anecdotal evidence for you though. One person gets a good Nokia/bad HTC and the next person gets the opposite. Just be glad you're not the poor sod who got a bad Nokia AND a bad HTC

  7. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Processor Envy

    The processor is the big letdown. Its a Qualcomm MSM 7227 ARMv6 based jobbie.

    That means the Wildfire S won't run Flash. Love or hate Flash, the fact remains that a *lot* of content for Android is Flash based (BBC iPlayer, for one).

    1. RegGuy

      Re: Processor Envy

      As I write this you have two upvotes. Does an upvote mean great it won't run flash, or I agree the processor is a letdown?

      I'd be voting for the former...

  8. Paul Powell

    You should know this about it

    The "S" phones have a signed bootloader which makes it currently impossible to root this phone without a hardware device to turn the security off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This is a deal breaker then, till someone figures out how to do this easily.

      1. Danny 14

        not true!

        It isnt IMPOSSIBLE just very hard. I have a rooted desire S and have posted (amongst the others) on xdadeveloper my findings. S-OFF is the hardest bit to get, it depends where you get your phone from and who has been tampering with it beforehand.

  9. Miek


    I just want my 2.3 update for the desire.

    Aside from my woes, the Wildfire is a nice budget phone with a really crappy screen and a slow processor.

    1. Tadas Jelinek

      ... why wait?

      Root and install CyanogenMod. Works great.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many other options in that price range.

    For that price I would definitively get a Motorola Defy; awesome little phone (even better when you root it and debrand / customize it).


  11. Joel Mansford

    I'll stick with the Orange San Francisco

    £100 from Argos. OK, so you have to put custom firmware on it and you don't get HTC Sense but otherwise there's very few compromises on it - and it looks pretty good IMO.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Thumb Up

      What he said ^^^^^

      It's less than that in Orange shops now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better off getting a Desire

    You can snag them new for for £50 more, or under £200 for a decent second hand.

    Slap CyanogenMod onto it and you've got yourself a winner.

  13. Anna Logg

    the battery is NOT the same as a Wildfire

    For some bizarre reason Vodaphone phoned me yesterday and said I could have a 'free' upgrade, so I currently have my old Wildfire and a brand new Wildfire S in front of me, and the batteries are, annoyingly, very different physical sizes, even if the capacity is the same.

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