It’s a little hard to size up a smartphone like the HTC Wildfire when you’ve been using its better sibling (HTC Desire) and given it good marks. Check out our full review of the HTC Wildfire after the jump.
However, if you take into consideration the price point at which the Wildfire has been set, it would definitely be a good contender for an entry-level Android phone.
Then again, when you compare the specs of the HTC Hero against the Wildfire, you’d realize they’re like fraternal twins, separated only by wide gap in the retail price (~Php15k vs. Php22k) and an odd form factor.
The Wildfire follows the same great design and construction as most of HTC’s Android smartphones to date — thin, sleek with a combination of matte and glossy finish all around. The plastic back panel also has a band of brushed-metal finish on the middle part to give it an elegant design accent.
The bottom section has a bit of a subtly curved end — not as much as the Legend or Hero but more like that of the Desire. The circular optical trackpad is smack in the center at the bottom end with a row of touchpad-engraved buttons just above it — similar to the ones we’ve seen on the Google Nexus One.
The display is bright but not too crisp and while that LCD screen does the job well, I missed the AMOLED display quality of the Desire or even the resolution of the Legend or the Hero. Still, the brightness level of the screen looks better than any of the units in the Xperia X10 line we’ve tried.
The Wildfire is HTC’s comes with Android 2.1 Eclair pre-installed and despite the conservative processing power, the handset seems snappy and fairly responsive. You get 7 panels or homescreens on the HTC Sense UI. Check the short video clip below and how it looks like.
The smaller screen real estate did have an impact on the on-screen virtual keyboard — looks a bit cramp so texting could be a challenge if you’re used to bigger screens. You get used to it in time though so it’s not a big issue.
HTC Wildfire specs:
Qualcomm MSM 7225 528MHz processor
3.2â€³ TFT display @ 240Ã—320 pixels
384MB RAM, 512MB ROM
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP
3G/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
5MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
FM Radio with RDS
GPS w/ aGPS support
1300mAh Li-Ion battery
The specs on the Wildfire is actually decent and complete with all the necessary connectivity options. There’s not much internal storage here (384MB) but expansion via microSD up to 32GB is possible (card sold separately).
The HTC Wildfire comes in a variety of colors — black, brown, red and white. We especially liked the red one.
The built-in 5MP camera isn’t impressive but somewhat decent. The AF works but has a hard time to focus on subjects especially on low light conditions. Video capture didn’t perform as well too. It’s got the same over-all performance as the HTC Desire we tested here.
Battery life is also not impressive. The unit barely lasts 2 days on a single charge with light internet use and normal voice/SMS use.
What really made the HTC Wildfire and attractive smartphone, aside from the solid construction and design, is the price-point of the handset. The introductory price is almost half that of it’s better sibling, the HTC Desire. Even the similarly spec-ed HTC Hero was first sold at Php33,999 back in December.
The Wildfire’s suggested retail price of Php17,500 (with some stores selling it for as low as Php15,000) makes it an attractive buy for an entry-level Android handset. It’s not the cheapest in its category but the combination of a good set of specs and solid design puts it near the top of the heap for an affordable Android smartphone.