Sep 20, 2011

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 13 Comments

HTC Wildfire S Review

Considering jumping to Android but don’t want to break your budget? Check out a first-time Android user’s review of the sexy HTC Wildfire S.

Released last June, the HTC Wildfire S was introduced to the market as the much-needed upgrade over the first Wildfire. Being new to Android phones, I was excited and hesitant at the same time to do a review for the HTC Wildfire S.

HTC Wildfire S

Firstly, I am more oriented with Blackberries and iPhones and have minimal knowledge with Android features. Second, I have nothing to compare it with since I haven’t really tried using an HTC phone before. Lastly, this is the first time I will have to review a phone, and note, a pretty-in-pink HTC phone! So why the hell not?! I would have otherwise wrote about another digital camera or what have you but with the privilege granted upon, let me share with you my thoughts on the phone.

Design

At first sight, I was completely sold with HTC Wildfire S’ sleek and stylish design. Comes in pink, black and white, this playful yet premium looking phone is well-suited for a personality that’s quietly brilliant so to speak.

The HTC Wildfire S is a featherweight mid-range phone, weighing 105g, that’s perfect for an on-the-go persona. It’s definitely lighter than your tall Starbucks coffee. Stylish as any woman would prefer, the HTC Wildfire S has soft, contoured edges, a two-tone finish and a slight chin at the bottom.

HTC Wildfire S 04 HTC Wildfire S 02 HTC Wildfire S 03

Maximizing the front panel with its 3.2 inch display, the only physical keys are the Power button on the top alongside the 3.5 mm audio jack and volume control found along with the microUSB port on the left side of the phone. You will find the Android touch panels at the bottom part of the screen, giving it a very minimalist look (no front-facing camera here). The metallic satin finish of the body on the front panel justifies its sophistication.

HTC Wildfire S

The back panel constructs a unibody plastic with matte finish for that playful experience. But beyond the fashion attributes, I think the back panel is designed as such to lessen the chances of getting scratches over time. The downside is that it easily absorbs dirt as compared to other phones with aluminum or glossy plastic back panel. Not to worry, because you can slightly dampen a cotton swab with water and soap to clean the cover and it will be good as new.

I did have some problems when I tried opening the back panel though. Unlike other phones that have a latch of some sort to remove the cover, this one has a tiny space located opposite the Power button and you need to pull the cover out directly. Given 10 times I tried opening the back cover, I had activated Power button 7 times. It could have been better if the slot was located somewhere else.

HTC Wildfire S

As with any small featherweight phone, durability is always a major drawback. Materials used for such phones are most of the time compromised. For just a couple weeks of testing out this HTC Wildfire S, I noticed that the ever so thin painted plastic separating the back and front panels, which I initially thought was made of rubber, started flaking off. Getting a case or a pouch for this phone is highly recommended.

Display and UI

I was particularly engaged upon unlocking the phone for the first time because of its UI. HTC is known for its customized UI called the HTC Sense, allowing you to modify the standard widgets and personalize them to suit your needs. I loved how it displays the current weather in a specific location.

HTC Wildfire S

Similar to the HTC Wildfire, there are seven panels where some of the most interesting HTC widgets like the FriendStream are found. In adherence to its brand image, it levels up your caller id by showing the caller’s social status updates.

HTC has also upgraded the resolution of the HTC Wildfire S to 320 x 480, but bumped down the colors to 256K so we’re still seeing some pixelation here.

Performance and battery life

HTC also upgraded the processor to 600MHz Snapdragon and it now comes with an Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread). It’s pretty responsive when browsing the web, texting and switching through panels but I noticed the screen doesn’t auto rotate as fast as expected.

Here’s the modestly impressive Quadrant score (766) of the HTC Wildfire S:

HTC Wildfire S Quadrant The HTC Wildfire S supports multi-window browsing, although I am not type who loves surfing, I do find the need once in a while. I appreciate how this phone allows me to Google and YouTube and read blogs at the same time. Browsing the net was fast and the pinch-to-zoom feature made my browsing experience more convenient.

HTC Wildfire S

Another major drawback of a small phone has something to do with texting. The spacing is too tight and I always tend to press multiple keys. It will take a while for you to get used to them, especially the special characters. The touch panels are very sensitive and because the screen size is maximized, I tend to press one of them, especially while texting and browsing. It takes some familiarization if you’re not used to typing on small screens.

For standard use of the phone (that is – regular texting and calling, browsing Facebook and Twitter, and taking photos once in a while), battery life lasts about two days. Although, I am surprised that the battery lasts longer than some phones I’ve used.

Camera

The HTC Wildfire S has a 5-megapixel camera found at the back panel. It has an auto-focus lens and a LED flash for low-light conditions. There’s no dedicated camera button and taking photos with the onscreen shutter button feels awkward.

Pictures are not that good though but I appreciate the additional features such as applying effects to an image instantly, without having the need to use a separate app. Here are some sample shots:

[nggallery id=19]

The phone also features ‘Snap, Tag and Share’ where you can directly tag and share a photo you’ve taken to your social networking sites.

Multimedia

If you’re a music enthusiast, this phone will not disappoint you. You’ll find its speakers pretty decent. It can support music files in different formats. It also has an FM radio but like most phones, you need the earphones connected in order to use it.

HTC Wildfire S

As for videos, I haven’t really tried watching high-res ones but watching Youtube videos are okay. No point in watching HD videos here due to its small screen but it would come in handy if you want to catch up on those downloaded TV series.

HTC Wildfire S

Gaming performance is as expected from a 600MHz phone. It’s not made for gaming but casual games are certainly playable although you would experience a bit of stuttering from time to time. You might want to move your install to your SD card for improved gaming experience.

Verdict

HTC Wildfire S

I’ll have to give this HTC Wildfire S a 7 out of 10. Its major strength is that is really DOES make it easier for me to connect with everyone else. It is very handy and can easily fit in my pocket or evening purse. My only concern would mostly be related to its physical features especially the paint chipping off. With everything else, I could safely say it’s a great smartphone that’s not so heavy on the wallet at Php13,990.

Oh, and I think it’s really designed for women especially this pink one!

HTC Wildfire S Specs:
600MHz Snapdragon MSM7227 CPU, Adreno 200 GPU
Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) with HTC Sense 2.1 UI
3.2″ 256K-color TFT capacitive touchscreen (320 x 480 pixels) HVGA resolution
Gorilla Glass display
7.2 Mbps HSDPA, 384 Kbps HSUPA support
Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
5 MP autofocus camera, LED flash, geotagging and face-detection
VGA video @ 24fps
418MB of user-available RAM, microSD slot (up to 32GB, 2GB in box)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot functionality
GPS with A-GPS connectivity; digital compass
Stereo FM radio with RDS
XviD video support
Li-Ion battery 1230mAh
SRP: Php13,990


  1. Ive bought one before, and true the keypads are so compressed.. takes a while to getting used to, especially if you’re a heavy texter

    Switched to galaxy SL.. if HTC wildfire S sells at around 14k, just add a bit more for a galaxy sl at 17k… and you’ll get a better/upgraded android phone…

    cant complain with the galaxySL… loving it

  2. nasa 12k na lang ito sa cmkcellphone. ok pangregalo sa gf mo. hehehe.

  3. i’ll rather buy the HTC Mozart, just a few bucks away from the price the this phone.

  4. Id just get a galaxy ace… 13k retail with better specs…

  5. At first, akala ko si Calvin ang sumulat. :) Nice review for a first time phone reviewer, sana ganyan din ako kagaling mag review ng phone someday, thanks Kristel! :)

  6. I’ve been using this phone for almost 5 months. I have the black color. The worst thing about this phone is its very, very short battery life. But everything works perfect for a tech-loving teenager like me.

  7. jobelle tagacay says:

    hello po.. ask ko lang po if it’s better than optimus one or galaxy fit?

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