HTC's Wildfire S is a capable budget phone, but its limited storage space could be frustrating and it's currently not particularly good value on contract.

- Barry de la Rosa , Expert Reviews 

Reviews summary

6.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 19 reviews

The HTC Wildfire S was released in May of 2011 to replace its popular predecessor, the Wildfire. The phone received some minor tweaking in its overall appearance, and the new version is slightly thinner and lighter than its previous incarnation, but not by much.

The major improvements the Wildfire S offers over the previous generation are in the hardware and software departments. The Wildfire S boasts an improved, higher-resolution 320 x 480 TFT capacitive touchscreen and an upgrade to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). However, unlike most phones running the Gingerbread system, the Wildfire S does not have a secondary front-facing camera to take advantage of the operating system's new video conferencing capabilities.

Show more

The phone's internal hardware underwent a few changes as well. The WiFi 802.11n standard was added to the Wildfire S for faster performance on home and business networks, and its Bluetooth capabilities were updated from 2.1 to 3.0. The phone also got a small boost in available RAM to 512 MB and a slightly faster 600 MHz processor.

Other than these changes, most everything else remained unchanged in the Wildfire's new incarnation. The phone still sports its 5 megapixel digital camera with autofocus capabilities and LED flash, though its video capture capability has improved to 720 x 480 over its predecessor's maximum of 352 x 288. The Wildfire S also includes the microSD memory card expansion slot, the stereo FM tuner, and GPS navigation capabilities that were present in the original Wildfire.

Overall, the added features may make the phone more attractive to a new buyer. If you're an original Wildfire owner, the Wildfire S probably doesn't offer enough new pizzazz to entice you to spend the money on an upgrade, even if you're happy to be out-of-contract.

Need to know: HTC Wildfire S

1. One of the smallest and lightest full-featured smartphones available on the market. (The Good)

2. Even with the improvements made to the screen, the overall resolution and display quality on the Wildfire S are still not quite on par with most other smartphones available. (The Bad)

3. Doesn't offer much in terms of internal flash storage and relies completely on external memory cards. The included 2 GB card isn't nearly sufficient for most users. (The Bad)

4. The lack of a front-facing camera means that no video conferencing, one of Android 2.3's primary benefits. (The Bad)


Specs summary

Screen
3.2"

The HTC Wildfire S's screen is 3.2 inches with 240 x 320 pixels resolution.

Processor
600MHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There's no secondary front camera.
Storage
512 MB

Internal memory is 512 MB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1230mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1230 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 15 days standby time, 430 minutes (2G), 350 minutes (3G).


Prices (Where to Buy)


Online Buying Options



Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Carriers Who Offer This Phone

Bell, Mobilicity, SaskTel, Virgin Mobile Canada

Review Sources Have a question?

Visit the HTC Wildfire S Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.


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Reviews summary

6.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 19 reviews

The HTC Wildfire S was released in May of 2011 to replace its popular predecessor, the Wildfire. The phone received some minor tweaking in its overall appearance, and the new version is slightly thinner and lighter than its previous incarnation, but not by much.

The major improvements the Wildfire S offers over the previous generation are in the hardware and software departments. The Wildfire S boasts an improved, higher-resolution 320 x 480 TFT capacitive touchscreen and an upgrade to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). However, unlike most phones running the Gingerbread system, the Wildfire S does not have a secondary front-facing camera to take advantage of the operating system's new video conferencing capabilities.

Show more

The phone's internal hardware underwent a few changes as well. The WiFi 802.11n standard was added to the Wildfire S for faster performance on home and business networks, and its Bluetooth capabilities were updated from 2.1 to 3.0. The phone also got a small boost in available RAM to 512 MB and a slightly faster 600 MHz processor.

Other than these changes, most everything else remained unchanged in the Wildfire's new incarnation. The phone still sports its 5 megapixel digital camera with autofocus capabilities and LED flash, though its video capture capability has improved to 720 x 480 over its predecessor's maximum of 352 x 288. The Wildfire S also includes the microSD memory card expansion slot, the stereo FM tuner, and GPS navigation capabilities that were present in the original Wildfire.

Overall, the added features may make the phone more attractive to a new buyer. If you're an original Wildfire owner, the Wildfire S probably doesn't offer enough new pizzazz to entice you to spend the money on an upgrade, even if you're happy to be out-of-contract.

Need to know: HTC Wildfire S

1. One of the smallest and lightest full-featured smartphones available on the market. (The Good)

2. Even with the improvements made to the screen, the overall resolution and display quality on the Wildfire S are still not quite on par with most other smartphones available. (The Bad)

3. Doesn't offer much in terms of internal flash storage and relies completely on external memory cards. The included 2 GB card isn't nearly sufficient for most users. (The Bad)

4. The lack of a front-facing camera means that no video conferencing, one of Android 2.3's primary benefits. (The Bad)

Own this phone?

Help inform others by sharing your experience with HTC Wildfire S

Rate It:

Reviews (6.4/10 Avg. rating)


Best suited for casual smartphone users

from Complex (4 years ago)

In the end, the HTC Wildfire S is practically the same phone as its predecessor, except with Gingerbread integration, an updated design, and minor U.I. upgrades. It offers great call quality, wireless options, and software features to provide a solid Android experience. Plus, the phone is attractive... More

In the end, the HTC Wildfire S is practically the same phone as its predecessor, except with Gingerbread integration, an updated design, and minor U.I. upgrades. It offers great call quality, wireless options, and software features to provide a solid Android experience. Plus, the phone is attractive and deviates from the phone-big-enough-to-be-a-tablet design HTC's known for.

Our biggest gripe centers around the underwhelming CPU, which is heavily accountable for the phone’s sluggish media performance. That could persuade casual consumers to seek higher powered options. Still, when taking T-Mobile’s unbeatable price options into account, you have a good mid-level phone best suited for the back-to-school and budget-balling crowd.

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A solid little phone that is comfortable to hold and use

from Phone Scoop (4 years ago)

It’s tempting to think that an inexpensive smartphone is going to suck, but that's not the case with HTC's Wildfire S. Even though it has some stripped down features (no front camera for video chat, no dual-core processor,) the features it does include work nearly flawlessly. It's a solid little... More

It’s tempting to think that an inexpensive smartphone is going to suck, but that's not the case with HTC's Wildfire S. Even though it has some stripped down features (no front camera for video chat, no dual-core processor,) the features it does include work nearly flawlessly.

It's a solid little phone that is comfortable to hold and use. The battery life was very good for a smartphone, phone calls sounded great, and signal performance was good.

On the media side of the fence, the Wildfire offers basic music and video tools that work. They may not have all the latest doo-dads, but what's there is done right. The camera, browser, and third-party apps all work well.

If you're on a budget, the HTC Wildfire S will set you back just $80. For the low sales price and fantastic usability of the Wildfire S, it is a hard little smartphone to beat.

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An amazingly great device for a mid-range offering

from SlashGear (4 years ago)

To wrap things up I’d have to give this device a thumbs-up. For a first time smartphone or first time Android user this would be the ideal device. Some might want something larger but for the size and everything you get it really is awesome. For someone coming from a feature phone or a Blackberry us... More

To wrap things up I’d have to give this device a thumbs-up. For a first time smartphone or first time Android user this would be the ideal device. Some might want something larger but for the size and everything you get it really is awesome. For someone coming from a feature phone or a Blackberry use to a smaller device and great battery life this would be a great first step. Then maybe the next phone can have one of those massive 4.3″ screens.

For now I will leave you with those last words, say good job to HTC for making such a sweet little device and I hope you all enjoy the photos below.

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It offers a compelling set of features at a price that's hard to ignore

from Engadget (5 years ago)

At the end of the day, the Wildfire S is a handset that many shoppers will choose based on its size (or color) alone. Fortunately, it's a rather good option. Despite its limitations, the phone offers a compelling set of features at a price that's hard to ignore. Yes, a faster processor, less glossy... More

At the end of the day, the Wildfire S is a handset that many shoppers will choose based on its size (or color) alone. Fortunately, it's a rather good option. Despite its limitations, the phone offers a compelling set of features at a price that's hard to ignore. Yes, a faster processor, less glossy screen, and more thoughtful button placement could make this phone truly outstanding, but the device provides a respectable balance when form factor is the biggest concern.

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7/10

HTC produces the best budget Android handset again

from T3 (5 years ago)

There’s no other way of putting it. This is the best budget Android smartphone out there. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s the best budget smartie. The screen is a touch low res, the version of HTC Sense old, but these compromises keep costs low. Want to save money but need a do-it-all mobile?... More

There’s no other way of putting it. This is the best budget Android smartphone out there. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s the best budget smartie. The screen is a touch low res, the version of HTC Sense old, but these compromises keep costs low. Want to save money but need a do-it-all mobile? The Wildfire S is it.

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The phone remains underpowered, but is still a compact and pocket-friendly Android handset

from Cnet (5 years ago)

The Wildfire S improves on the previous model by boosting the screen resolution and offering a more up-to-date operating system. It's very much the same beast, however, and the sluggish CPU -- which was just about forgivable when the original Wildfire launched last year -- feels behind the times in... More

The Wildfire S improves on the previous model by boosting the screen resolution and offering a more up-to-date operating system. It's very much the same beast, however, and the sluggish CPU -- which was just about forgivable when the original Wildfire launched last year -- feels behind the times in 2011.

With a flood of low-cost Android smart phones hitting the market -- including the superb Samsung Galaxy Ace -- HTC has a fight on its hands at this end of the market. Still, unless you're expecting a top-of-the-range device, the Wildfire S is worth a shot. Especially if you're not keen on gigantic, pocket-rupturing phones.

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7/10

A capable budget phone, but its limited storage space could be frustrating

from Expert Reviews (5 years ago)

While it's an upgrade on paper, the new Wildfire S doesn't look as smart as the original, and we weren't sure about some of HTC's custom installed software. It also suffers in comparison with the Motorola DEFY, which has a larger, higher resolution screen, and is the same price on contract. The Defy... More

While it's an upgrade on paper, the new Wildfire S doesn't look as smart as the original, and we weren't sure about some of HTC's custom installed software. It also suffers in comparison with the Motorola DEFY, which has a larger, higher resolution screen, and is the same price on contract. The Defy only runs Android 2.2, but a 2.3 upgrade is rumoured to be on the way - an official Orange version was leaked on May 17th, so the official update should be here soon.

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6/10

An inexpensive droid that offers some premium goodies

from GSMArena (5 years ago)

There’s no question HTC needed to update their lower midrange lineup. Maybe they could’ve done better than the Wildfire S and probably they’re already working on it. Meanwhile, they’re ready to give a good enough deal to users who don’t necessarily need to squeeze every last drop of speed and perfor... More

There’s no question HTC needed to update their lower midrange lineup. Maybe they could’ve done better than the Wildfire S and probably they’re already working on it. Meanwhile, they’re ready to give a good enough deal to users who don’t necessarily need to squeeze every last drop of speed and performance out of their phone. The Wildfire S is a charming little handset that will rather be friends with than try to impress its potential users.

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Not powerful enough for advanced use

from Digital Versus (5 years ago)

As a fairly minor upgrade of the original WildFire, the WildFire S takes HTC's compact and affordable mobile one step further. It's a functional consumer smartphone that won't disappoint.

As a fairly minor upgrade of the original WildFire, the WildFire S takes HTC's compact and affordable mobile one step further. It's a functional consumer smartphone that won't disappoint.

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A good phone that could have been better

from PhoneArena (5 years ago)

The HTC Wildfire S is a neat, compact smartphone. Naturally, with the small form-factor comes some loss in functionality, specifically applying to the usability of a virtual keyboard on its 3.2" screen. The other drawback comes in the form of the underpowered processor resulting in lag. On the flip-... More

The HTC Wildfire S is a neat, compact smartphone. Naturally, with the small form-factor comes some loss in functionality, specifically applying to the usability of a virtual keyboard on its 3.2" screen. The other drawback comes in the form of the underpowered processor resulting in lag. On the flip-side, screen quality benefits from decent resolution while Gingerbread with HTC Sense serves up a user-friendly treat. This makes for a good phone that could have been better.

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JUNK

(4 years ago)

Problems with the phone from day one. Started a few weeks after getting the phone, garbled calls and dropped calls even when sitting down. I would make a call and it would keep ringing on my end when the other party as answered and could hear me. I never Could get the missed call notification to wor... More

Problems with the phone from day one. Started a few weeks after getting the phone, garbled calls and dropped calls even when sitting down. I would make a call and it would keep ringing on my end when the other party as answered and could hear me. I never Could get the missed call notification to work. You will be lucky to get 12 hours of battery that includes one 10 munite conversation. I called Bell so many times they were on speed dial, try this try that. No mater what they would not replace the phone.

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1/10