- Barry de la Rosa , Expert Reviews
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.
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.
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)
Reviews (6.4/10 Avg. rating)
Best suited for casual smartphone users
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,... Full review
A solid little phone that is comfortable to hold and use
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 d... Full review
An amazingly great device for a mid-range offering
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 ph... Full review
It offers a compelling set of features at a price that's hard to ignore
HTC produces the best budget Android handset again
The phone remains underpowered, but is still a compact and pocket-friendly Android handset
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 kee... Full review
A capable budget phone, but its limited storage space could be frustrating
An inexpensive droid that offers some premium goodies
Not powerful enough for advanced use
A good phone that could have been better
Prices (Where to Buy)
Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- HTC Wildfire S Manual (PDF)
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