HTC Wildfire Android Smartphone AnnouncedWritten by Rob Nichols on May 21, 2010 · Filed under Tech
Over the last year or two HTC has come from relative obscurity to becoming one of the leading smartphone providers on a global scale. The latest addition to their impressive arsenal of Android phones is the HTC Wildfire, which just got its UK release date courtesy of T-Mobile.
The Wildfire is really HTC’s attempt at producing a budget smartphone aimed at the likes of cash-strapped students and the like. Being released on the 14th June, the Wildfire will be available from T-Mobile on a two-year contract costing £20 a month. Other carriers include Virgin Mobile and Three, however their launch dates and pricing is yet to be disclosed.
Aesthetically the phone looks not all that different to the HTC Desire, which has proved hugely popular since its recent release here in the UK, featuring a similar button layout and optical trackpad. However, the overall size of the phone has been reduced making it a more pocket friendly phone in more ways than just saving you money. The display is a 3.2” 240×320 QVGA which is dwarfed by the Desire’s 480×800 WVGA beauty. The phone is also available in a variety of colours including red and white along with the usual bronze colour of the Desire and Nexus One.
So it’s an HTC smartphone running Android 2.1 with HTC’s popular Sense UI, and it looks similar to the Desire, so what really differentiates this budget phone from its big brother? Well, this is where it all gets a bit technical. You see, as opposed to the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor found in the Desire and the Nexus One, in this model you are restricted to a 528Mhz processor. Whether or not that is sufficient to be carrying out any serious tasks on Android is a topic, which is up for some real debate, but rest assured, for basic tasks such as making calls, SMS, web browsing or checking your e-mail it should provide plenty of punch, particularly when you couple it with a whole 512Mb of ROM and 384Mb of RAM.
The Wildfire thankfully, features the same camera as the Desire, which is a good thing considering the target market is the out and about student who lets face it, requires a decent camera phone more than any other generation. Plus, whilst we’re on the topic of out and about, you will also be pleased to hear that the battery on this device is only slightly inferior to the Desire and keep in mind the Wildfire requires less juice than the high powered Desire.
With a 1300 mAh Li-Ion battery, you’ll be good for up to 690 hours of standby time and 440 minutes of talk time. In terms of connectivity, the phone features 3G, GPRS, EDGE and the usual Wi-Fi 802.11 B/G, but sadly no N. Although you do get the benefit of Internet sharing, or tethering, which is also available via USB like with the HTC Desire.
At this point, well probably a while before now, you are probably thinking that this is just a watered down, less good version of the Desire. For the most part you would be right, but for a few mouth watering new features. First of which is the upgraded caller ID system which now includes the callers Facebook status and a birthday reminder all in a neat layout which is hardly intrusive.
Secondly, is the app sharing facility that allows you to recommend apps and games with your friends, all integrated into the intensive social networking aspect of the phone, which again illustrates the phone being aimed at youth. Thirdly, and perhaps my favourite new feature, is the intelligent ringer system that automatically lowers the ring volume when you lift the phone to your ear and mutes when you flip the phone face down and conveniently informs the caller of your hectic calendar.
Some more familiar inclusions into the array of software features found on the Wildfire is the Friend Stream service which integrates your Facebook and Twitter accounts into one easy to manage interface. There are also dedicated apps such as Facebook for HTC Sense and HTC Peep for Twitter. You’ll also find the same G-sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor found in the Desire.
So, with a budget Android smartphone measuring a modest 2.4”x4.2”x0.48” and weighing in at a lightweight 118g (4.16oz), I, along with plenty of other HTC fans and potential smartphone buyers, am sorely tempted by the HTC Wildfire. A huge range of exciting software coupled with some sleek looking and highly capable hardware makes for a great phone at a relatively low price. Perhaps the only drawback is the limited processing speed but for the average user it should be more than sufficient for the simplistic social networking features.
UPDATE: If you’d like to know more about this mobile phone, then be sure to take a look at our HTC Wildfire review!