HTC Wildfire review

Price when reviewed

Using the low resolution 3.2in 240 x 320 TFT screen of the HTC Wildfire after the top end smartphones we’ve looked at recently comes as something of a shock to the system. Everything suddenly looks fuzzy and indistinct – it’s almost like going back to watching the snooker in black and white after watching it in colour.

If it gets off to a bad start, however, the Wildfire certainly does its best to compensate elsewhere. Essentially, it looks and feels like a mini Desire, and that’s no bad thing. Two tone soft-touch plastics in bronze and brown (it looks better than it sounds) wrap around a glass-fronted display, and the same optical trackpad control beneath the screen as on the Desire.

More important than this, however, is that the Wildfire boasts multitouch support, which we rarely see in budget Android devices. The Samsung Galaxy Portal, which is otherwise a great value smartphone doesn’t have it, nor did the LG InTouch Max or HTC’s previous budget Android offering, the Tattoo.

HTC Wildfire

Another feather in the Wildfire’s cap is that it features Android 2.1, which means you get Google’s excellent free satnav tool, among other minor upgrades. But it’s HTC’s Sense UI modification that really steals the show. Again it’s similar to what comes with the pricier Desire, complete with seven customisable home screens and the ability to pinch-zoom out for a quick overview of them.

The People app’s contact management is as excellent as ever, cleverly amalgamating data from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Gmail, and offering its own suggestions for linking contacts from the various sources together. Friend Stream completes the package, publishing updates from the various social networks in one neat list.

Despite a good list of other features, however, (FM tuner, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, proximity and light sensors) there is one major compromise – performance. This stems from the processor: it’s an older generation 528MHz Qualcomm processor, and it shows in our speed tests. Loading up the BBC homepage took an average of 42 seconds, well behind the pace of most modern smartphones (even budget ones), and results from the SunSpider benchmark proved similarly slow, giving an overall result of 58 seconds.


Cheapest price on contract£30
Contract monthly charge£15.00
Contract period24 months

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted8hrs
Standby, quoted28 days 18hrs


Dimensions60 x 12 x 107mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity384MB
ROM size512MB
Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Front-facing camera?no
Video capture?yes


Screen size3.2in
Resolution240 x 320
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familyAndroid

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