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HTC Wildfire S review

6.4/10 AVG.
RATING



6.4/10
Informr score
The HTC Wildfire S currently has an Informr score of 6.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 19 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Following in the footsteps of the original Wildfire, the S edition has a higher resolution touchscreen display for crisper onscreen imagery and improved web browsing. It also has a five megapixel camera with LED flash, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and a plucky 600MHz processor. Its dinky size and excellent functionality means that it continues to fly the flag for affordable Android phones. If you like the look of the HTC Desire S but want to get something a little cheaper, this is the mobile for you.

What's good

  • One of the smallest and lightest full-featured smartphones available on the market.
  • 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.

What's bad

  • 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 lack of a front-facing camera means that no video conferencing, one of Android 2.3's primary benefits.

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.

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.


Operating system
Android
Processor
600 MHz
Screen Size
3.2"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GSMArena

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...

- GSMArena Team, GSMArena
Complex

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...

- Alex Bracetti, Complex
Phone Scoop

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...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop
SlashGear

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...

- Cory Gunther, SlashGear
Engadget

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...

- Zachary Lutz, Engadget


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


HTC released the Wildfire S on April 24, 2011.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC Wildfire S user manual here.


HTC backs up the Wildfire S with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Wildfire S has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Screen Size
3.2"

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

Processor
600 MHz

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 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 430 minutes.

Wildfire S Specs

Overview
Release date April 24, 2011
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA 7.2
variations
SIM card size
Yes
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz
Internal Storage 512 MB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.899 W/kg
Body: 1.21 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1230 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging Unknown
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 430 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Unknown
Colors Black, Gray, Purple, Brown
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 cm (4 x 2.3 x 0.5 in)
Weight 105 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 262k
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 3.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Unknown
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Unknown
Home Key Unknown
Mute Key Unknown
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Optical pad, Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard Unknown
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Unknown
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing No
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, OPP/FTP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization OTA
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
720 x 480 pixels
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, RTF, PPT, PPTX, JPG, TIFF, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable (YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): HTC Marvel, HTC A510

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Related Links Manual (PDF)
HTC Wildfire S Reviews
Where to buy HTC Wildfire S
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