Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... but when played through the speakers it is lacking. At the end of the day the HTC Wildfire is quite a dated phone now and can only be f... more
"Quietly brilliant"? Certainly.
Member Name: bubbles50
Advantages: value, durable, size, weight
Disadvantages: battery life, camera,
I am not one to buy 'new' phones, preferring to let the market test them for a while before I buy it. With the HTC Wildfire, I made an exception after playing around with it in shops and hearing good reviews of other, older, HTC products and bought this phone not long after it came out.
The initial price of this phone, of about £240, is in my (perhaps biased) opinion too much - with various special offers and discounts I managed to buy this on Pay As You Go for just £135 which is a wee bit less than what it is worth but certainly a much more fitting price.
The battery life is not great: this being my first 'smart' phone having to charge it every night takes some getting used to, but for just £10ish you can buy a spare battery and charger and have a spare battery in your bag in case it runs out whilst you are out. There were originally Apps designed to extend battery life, which then clashed with similar functions put in place by a later system upgrade: some experiencing 7 hour battery lives may be experiencing this problem. With constant internet (moving between WiFi and mobile internet), 20-30 texts and about 20 minutes of phone calls per day it lasts about a day and a half for me.
It feels very fragile: a very cheap case can change this, a plastic case allowing it to bounce when dropped instead of becoming scratched.
Sometimes the screen can tilt (go from landscape to portrait) when you hold the phone differently but dont want it to change orientation: while you can turn off automatic tilt there is no (obvious) way to have it enabled but not automatic.
Another small irritation is that if the phone is off the alarm will not sound: something which many older phones managed!
The ring tone volume, although sufficient, is not as loud as some other phones, so this is something to consider if you are prone to leaving your phone on the other side of the house! The in-call volume is fine fine, and easy to change with the button on the side of the phone (which it is annoyingly easy to accidentally press, although when you place the phone on 'vibrate only' using this button the phone vibrates to indicate as such so if you accidentally do so you know to reverse it).
As for playing music, through headphones it is fine however through the phone speakers it is normal poor-quality that can be expected from a mobile phone.
There is not a separate button for the camera, which is something I cherished in Sony Ericcsons, and the camera (5MP) is of OK but not high quality: good enough for if you want a quick snap when there isnt a camera to hand but even for my low-level photographing it is not suitable as a camera substitute.
The camera screen has gotten clearer in the most recent update by Android, however it is still not the most clear resolution screen on the market. The screen itself is a bit smaller than other Android/HTC phones and as such Android apps, if poorly designed, may not all fit onto the screen: particularly annoying when the most important button for that app is in the bottom 4mm of the designer's screen and therefore not anywhere on yours! However most app designers seem to be recognising this and it is becoming a more rare problem as the Android app market grows. the screen itself is nice and bright, and the phone has a handy "automatic brightness" setting where it chooses what it deems to be the appropriate brightness in different situations and works great.
Another small irritation is that when the battery goes below 15%, the LED light flashes. This same LED light flashes to tell you when you have received an email etc, however can be turned off for all of these functions - it cannot be turned off for the low battery warning! If, like myself, you do not care about a low battery until it is at 5% this can be quite irritating for the hours between 15% and 5%!
The operating system itself can get a bit laggy: ensure that you are not storing all of your apps in one of the two possible storage areas and clogging up all of its space or that you don't have too many apps on your phone or running at once, and it normally speeds up to a decent speed.
The connections to facebook, gmail, google chat and youtube are, in particular, great features of this phone. the smart calling feature, where you type either a name, a number, or part of a name or number (which could appear in the middle or end of a name!) is very useful. the weather app, and the sheer number of different alarms you can set, are incredibly useful (if only the alarm worked when the phone is off!)
Searching google is very fast, there is an in-built pdf reader and google maps is fantastic for navigation: you can turn your phone into a free sat nav, which I have used on both bike rides and car journeys.
though many hate touchscreens, it really doesn't take more than a couple of days to get used to, and the predicitve texting and rotate for a larger keyboard are very useful, and the keys are larger than those on a Blackberry etc which, for me, makes it much easier to use.
For a budget smartphone, I got a great deal. I would not have paid the original RRP, though. It is small, light, fast, powerful and has proven fairly durable so far. If you can deal with a smaller screen and a slower battery life, and only one push button, go for it!
Summary: A great little smartphone for those on a budget, without compromising on quality.
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