Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... in my pocket. These days mobile phones are far too bulky, but this phone fits great. The next thing I like about this mobile phone is ... more
SOOO BLUMMIN SLOW! - Save you pennies for something else ;)
Member Name: nickbrown60
Advantages: Looks Nice, Lots of Features
Disadvantages: Terrible battery life, Screen scratches rather easily - Not very easy to use.
>>> Product details <<<
The HTC Wildfire is a nice looking handset with a large touch screen and having only one button the front of the phone, a very similar design to the iPhone 3. It is described to be a feature packed handset that does everything that the top of the range type of phones will do at a fraction of the cost. It runs the Android operating system that allows applications to be downloaded from the Android market - Very similar to iTunes. It has the usual camera on the back of the phone that is rated at 5mp and the usual features that you get with smartphones such as internet browsing and downloads with music playing capabilities.
>>>Opening the box<<<
I chose the phone on the Tesco mobile Network as it came with a free £20 top-up and the phone was the normal high price on all other networks, obviously one of Tesco's marketing techniques being used here. The box was rather small and looked of a high quality being wrapped in the normal Tesco mobile box covers, when I opened it I found -
* Charger with the USB type adaptor built in
*Headset for music and hands free
*Boring but handy instruction manuals
The phone was very simple to set up and I shouldn't think that anyone would need any instructions to set it up for the first time; however a quick flick through the instruction manual confirmed that if you did need any help that it is all in there. All I had to do was pop in the battery and put the back cover on, put it on charge and turn it on once fully charged. I was greeted with the Android set-up page with a few questions to get started which was easy to do, I just entered the time, date and other information such as email address and passwords. Once this short questionnaire was complete my phone was ready to use. I had already noticed how nice the screen was to use and the touch screen was very easy press without needing excessive pressure.
>>> First impressions on the handset<<<
The handset looked well-made and it certainly was a nice looking phone. The on and off button is on the top with a port next to it for plugging in earphones. There is the usual volume up and down button on the left side of the handset with a charging port just under them. Everything looked well thought out and it felt quite strongly built. The touchscreen is made of a strong type of glass like the iPhones and it seemed rather strong at first. The unit is rather compact considering everything it does and it is rather thin allowing the phone to be kept in a slim pocket. The screen size is a rather large 3.2" - The bottom of the touch screen has four touch activated buttons used for navigating through the menus.
The main menu on these HTC phones is very confusing and it pretty much consists of up to seven main pages that you access by swiping you fingers left and right. You can set these pages up to your own preference with certain application shortcuts and clocks, calendars and yep I've confused you all already.... I certainly was at first too.
>>>Using the delightful device<<<
Time for that special first phone call! To make a call you simply choose the phone application from the main menu and up comes the keypad on the screen. Once you have installed all of your contacts on this phone you can simply spell someone's name by using the letters on the on screen keypad, their name will be seen and you simply press it to make a call. Alternatively if you do not have the contact saved in the memory you can easily dial the number manually using the large number buttons on the keypad. The first call I made was to Tesco Voicemail as I don't have many friends, well slight exaggeration but this call was needed to set my voicemail up. I noticed that the handsets speaker was very clear and it held its reception very well throughout our house which is notorious for poor signal coverage. As I recorded my personal voicemail and listened to the playback it was very clear that the microphone was of a good quality and it sounded extremely clear, so far so good! During the phone call the options stayed on the screen to allow for muting the microphone and entering the main menu to do other tasks. There is also a speaker phone built in for hands free, simply click on the screen icon and it turns on.
I was very pleased with the text interface on this phone and it resembled the normal MSN conversations that you have on the computer, all text messages are stored and are shown as one long conversation. My memory is pretty useless and by the time I have pressed reply on a normal phone I have forgotten what the person has said resulting in me having to go back through the menus to re - read the text, that's where this phone is useful! I could simply read the texts and write my reply at the same time, result! The onscreen keyboard on this phone is rather small and I found it quite easy to press the wrong button which can be annoying, there is also a spell checker built into the phone which highlights the incorrect words and it displays the alternatives, very similar to Microsoft word and I found it rather useful.
>>> Applications from the Android market <<<
Now this has to be the biggest copy of the Apples iTunes that I have ever seen. The Android market is a place you can buy many applications from, many are free but if you want to purchase any non-free applications then you can register your debit card to make the payments. I never registered my card on this as I hate giving out my bank details and getting surprise charges for items that I never remember purchasing in a moment of madness. However if you do want to register it is very easy and I am sure that it will be very safe as Android is now an extremely well-known name in the world of technology.
I only ever downloaded the free applications such as Facebook, Twitter, eBay and the odd mini game. All of the applications seemed to work very well on the Wildfire phone and I never had any problems (At First!) The Facebook seemed to work very well but I did notice it being slightly slow even when in a good coverage area.
I wonder if a Dooyoo application will be made one day. That would be handy!
>>> Phone Features <<<
Wi-Fi and 3G - The phone has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity which is very handy if you are in the house or at a Wi-Fi hotspot and you do not want to use your allowance from your phone company. The Wi-Fi is very easy to connect and the phone would automatically connect to a network that you have already connected to in the past automatically. I'm sure that the 3G connectivity would have been very good if I had been able to use it, unfortunately when I owned this phone Tesco mobile did not support 3G and it was a total pain when away from a Wi-Fi connection.
>>> Camera <<<
The camera seemed okay for a phone camera but it was nothing special for a 5 Megapixel, the phones information on the stand in Tesco boasted being able to do video calls but the phone does not have a camera on the front to allow face to face chat. How on this planet can you have a face to face conversation with someone when you do not have a camera facing your face? It's beyond me. Normally video phones have two cameras that can be switched, one on the front and one on the back. Sure you can see the person on the other end (If they have a normal person's type of video phone) but they are staring at your feet! The video camera on this phone is not too bad but it could certainly be better, if you move the phone quickly the image will blur and it absolutely hates night shots, if you plan on taking photos in the dark even with night mode turned on this phone will not provide, it's hopeless. The flash is rather good but it can sometimes blur the picture, however this is a phone with the added convenience of a camera so I should not complain too much. The video calling problem could be that of Tesco's advertising as maybe the phone is not made for it and they have got it wrong, who knows! However I know a friend did try his which was the same model and he had the problem that I just mentioned.
>>> MP3 Music player <<<
It is very simple to transfer music onto this phone from the computer using the cable provided, if you are like me and enjoy listening to music on the go this phone is very good. The interface is great and it is very simple to use with good quality from the earphones provided. There are many applications available to edit songs and even to make videos while adding music as a background track. The HTC's built in speaker is very good and goes pretty loud without affecting the overall quality which is quite impressive. It does not crackle and is good with both music and hands free phone calls.
>>> HTC Sense <<<
Now this is rather cool, HTC have built software into their phone that basically joins up all of your social networking sites to make it easier to navigate and contact friends. As soon as you register your Facebook account on the phone it will automatically add all of your Facebook contacts into your phonebook with everyone's number and email ready for easy contact whether you want to email them from the phone or text, call etc. In all honesty I found this feature very annoying as I have quite a few Facebook people added that I truly do not no anymore and when searching for close friends phone numbers all of these other people that I'm likely to never contact get in the way. It is a good idea but in my opinion it is a gimmick.
>>> Nicely designed case <<<
The phone is made very nicely and it is light to hold, I dropped mine a good few times and I found that the phone bounced rather than smashing like some other well-known smart phones. The phone is very durable and I even dived into a swimming pool with this in my pocket once, very random I know but it was a warm day.... That's my excuse! The phone even survived this incident after drying out and was fully functional.
>>> GPS <<<
This phone has a GPS receiver that is built in allowing use of navigational applications such as Satnav and phone finding apps. I did try the satnav application out once but the battery drained so quick that it was not worth using, looking back I should have used an in car charger to prevent this from happening and it certainly would not be a problem if one of these was used. You can also use Google Earth which is very handy at times, especially when trying to find an address.
>>> Disadvantages <<<
I owned this phone for about four months and I would have kept it longer but I could not stand the slowness of it at this time. When I first had the phone it was not exceptionally quick but it was bearable. Once I started filling it with photos and music it just got slower and slower resulting in a very annoyed Mr Nick. I could not stand the performance anymore and it was time to get an iPhone, I had out lived my HTC. Facebook was taking an age to load and the phone was crashing on quite a regular basis, I thought it may have been a virus or a fault but it had crashed from day one every now and again, it just got worse and worse. Also the phone had been slow to start up from being off since day one so I doubt there was any way I could have avoided the problem, at the end of the day a phone is for using!
>>> Battery <<<
Now in all honesty this is the phones absolute biggest downfall, if you actually want a phone that is not constantly on charge I highly recommend that you do not purchase one of these. I admit to being a big user of a phone and I do phone and text quite often but getting only about 5 - 6 hours from a full battery in my opinion is ridiculous. Bearing in mind that I actually never had 3G connectivity switched on and always turned off features that were not in use, I quite frankly think that a phone should last at least a day with a good amount of usage. The phone did however charge pretty quickly at around an hour but that's not the point and I shouldn't have had to carry a charger in my pocket everywhere I went when owning this phone, it always seemed to let me down at the moments I needed it most like the time the car broke down and the phone had half battery when I left the house, two hours later she was flat and so was my tyre.
>>> Screen Quality <<<
The screen is not of a great quality and this certainly does not help when watching videos. I did not noticed this too much when I first owned the phone, it was only when I upgraded that I noticed it was rather lacking in that area. The screen being made of plastic is very easy to mark on this phone and after four month of use it was hard to see the screen when in sun light due to the scratches, I do recommend if you purchase one of these that you use a screen protector of some kind.
>>> Overall opinion <<<
Now it would be unfair to totally put down the HTC Wildfire as in all honesty it is a feature packed phone with features that you would pay very much more for with other brands. The phone performed generally very well at first but gradually got worse, if you do not use your phone for much more than calls, texts and the odd Facebook - picture session then this would be great if you can put up with the battery life. It could well be that mine was faulty and maybe others are having better luck with theirs?
Would I recommend this to a friend? I probably would for the money but I would say definitely get an iPhone over this, I know they are more money but they are definitely worth the extra, this gets three stars from me and that might be slightly too generous. I have learnt in life that it's very often that the old saying 'You get what you pay for' applies to many purchases, especially with electronics. Since owning an iPhone I certainly have not looked back but if you want a descent phone that does most tasks then this could possibly be one to consider.
Here are some of the phones features and specs;
*3.2" TFT Touch screen
*Android 2.2 OS
*Quad band for multi country use
If you have any questions about this phone please do ask.
Thanks for reading,
Summary: An okay phone but it could certainly be better
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