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HTC Wildfire Review




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
3.2″ TFT display @ 240×320 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.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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113 Responses

  1. Jon says:

    It being able to last almost 2 days is kind of impressive, compared to other Android phones out there.

    It really is a good buy. I’d get it myself if it weren’t for the small screen and the slower processor.

  2. chl says:

    Gives a pretty good idea where prices are heading Vs. specs though. Any idea what LG and Samsung next act will be?

  3. simplynice93 says:

    I almost decided to get a HTC wildfire but thanks to your review, i might think twice on getting this phone. To me, battery life is very important. I once had a nokia phone before that i need to charge after a day of use. Very frustrating..

  4. yuga says:

    @chl – Samsung has 2 Android handsets under 15k while LG has one.

    @simplynice93 – almost all Android smartphones I’ve used don’t last more than 2 days.

  5. simplynice93 says:

    @yuga – Thanks sir abe for the reply! I’m not thinking twice anymore. :D

  6. hubes says:

    does this model have number keypad for texting?

  7. Sunofa says:

    my hero kind of lags most of the time…
    Wildfire with the same specs as hero might also lag…

  8. manong says:

    well, the cheaper androids from samsung and lg are either not capacitive or don’t have multi-touch feature…

    though i won’t buy this coz of the crappy camera…

    the wait is still on for the “perfect” 15k android phone…

  9. manong says:

    crappy since it only shoots cif 15fps video and doesn’t have a 2nd camera for “facetime”…

  10. hapi says:

    Sir Yuga,

    Ciao! just want to ask you personnal opinion, if you are to choose between htc desire and the new samsung galaxy s, which one would it be? I’m trying to check different reviews for both phones, unfortunately, i find them mixed.

    Hope to hear from you, i don’t want to regret when i buy one of these smartphones only to find out later that its not worth the price.

    Thanks

  11. yuga says:

    @hapi – Galaxy S for features, Desire for look and UI.

  12. Mark Villegas says:

    Sir Yuga

    Some said that its resolution is kinda of a let down. I’m planning on jumping from a symbian phone into an android.. How is the resolution compared to a Nokia e63?

    Masyado bang pixellated yang wildfire?

    Thanks

  13. yuga says:

    @mark villegas – actually, the resolution is already good compared to a lot of smartphones. It’s a let down IF you compare it to AMOLED only.

  14. hapi says:

    @yuga – thanks Sir Yuga….

    More power to Yugatech

  15. Tetchie says:

    I’m upgrading my phone to this! Though Samsung Galaxy Spica is a little cheaper….I think I won’t regret choosing wildfire!

  16. NonesenseLife says:

    hi,can you help me sir abe.cause im planning to buy something this xmas and im pretty confuse what to chose a netbook or a smartphone like this

    tnx in advance.

  17. HTC Fan says:

    Hi, I’m actually torn between this reasonably priced phone and the HTC Legend. I’m really just after the thread messaging, Friend Stream and home screens of the HTC series.

    Would you recommend this pretty red one, or do you think the extra thousand pesos would be really worth it on the HTC Legend?

    I’d appreciate your honest feedback, Mr. Yuga.

    P.S. I’m also a fan of your blog, since you update quite frequently.

  18. nebula says:

    yung htc desire basta 2.2 pwede na 720p video recording

  19. islacom says:

    share ko lang before I had set my eyes on the HTC WILDFIRE, but after re-assessing the Better HTC Desire, I’m all set to buy the Desire, I already found 2 shops selling the best price for the Desire.
    Froyo 2.2 just sweetened the deal

  20. otrebzki says:

    pwde ba i-update to sa Froyo sir Yuga? tnx…

  21. ErickZ says:

    Hi Abe,
    Is the Swypeâ„¢ text input technology feature comes pre-installed?

  22. Tiger says:

    @islacom, what 2 shops has the best HTC desire price? And how much. Thanks.

  23. yuga says:

    @otrebzki – nope, no update yet.

    @ErickZ – nope, only saw that on the Galaxy S.

    @HTC Fan – if it’s just a couple thousand pesos, I’d go for the Legend.

    @NonesenseLife – if you have a laptop or a PC already, go for a smartphone.

  24. cebuano says:

    Hi Abe,

    Off-topic. Any news of the open-line Galaxy S? Thanks.

    • yuga says:

      @cebuano – read on the newspaper earlier that Samsung has released open-line Galaxy S today. Maybe the device is selling like hotcakes over at Globe they ran out of units.

  25. cebuano says:

    Thanks, Abe. That’s good news. I was beginning to wonder already if they’ll ever sell it because it was originally reported that the open-line ones will be available at the end of July. Thanks again.

  26. Tetchie says:

    SE XPERIA X10 mini/pro looks cute….now I’m having a hard time choosing a mid-range android phone. Maybe yuga can make a comparison between HTC wildfire, Samsung galaxy spica and SE xperia x10 mini pro? They’re pretty much in the same price range, though I’m not sure if all can be upgraded?

  27. ErickZ says:

    Hmmm according to the htc website: http://www.htc.com/www/press.aspx?id=137414&lang=1033

    [HTC Wildfire is the first Telstra smartphone to feature Swypeâ„¢ text input technology. Swype allows customers to glide their finger across a virtual keyboard to spell words, rather than tapping out each letter. This can make it even faster to compose emails, text messages and to search the web.]

    It appears, only units coming from Australia have this feature.

  28. Caloy says:

    Are there really that many apps that won’t/can’t run on the wildfire due to the resolution of its screen? I’ve been thinking about getting this or the desire, and among the biggest points is not just the screen size but the compatibility of apps because of the screen resolution. I know it’s weird to be comparing the two but if i can get away with spending 10 thousand less on an android phone with not too great a dip in the performance then why not?

    On a side note, does anyone know how much the open line galaxy s will cost?

    On

  29. Just got the Galaxy 5 for 10,400 for my Mom. Has 7 homescreens, as opposed to the 3 of the Spica at 2.1 (will have to check if it can be added, though)

    Snappy phone, indeed. It’s got the feel of a Corby phone, but pretty easy to use. It also has Swype. But the screen is pretty small.

    If I’d buy another phone after losing my Spica, I’d choose my Spica again, then root it to multitouch. ;)

  30. bench says:

    this is the phone i wanted to buy…happy nko sa tattoo ko but i needed a bigger screen..so by next year march nko bili ng new htc…either wildfire or desire…either way both of them are nice options..

  31. beef says:

    @HTC Fan – Like Abe said, if its just a couple of thousand pesos it’s a no brainer.. the Legend is a much better phone.. but correct me if I’m mistaken, the Legend currently costs much more than the 15k they’re asking for the Wildfire. If you found one brand-new under 20k then I think it’s a steal and that you should get it.. now.. now na..

    @Manong – well not many Android phones have a front facing camera so you essentially narrowed down your local choices na to the Galaxy S. Personally, it’s not a big deal for me since I never used the smaller camera in my last two phones.

    and oh.. If I turn the wifi off when there isn’t one in the area, I can get over 2 days on my Android.

  32. beef says:

    @bench – if you’re planning to get a new phone in March of next year pa (almost 6 months away).. you probably won’t be looking at the Wildfire or the Desire.. by then something else would have come down the pipe to have boys drooling for new toys..

    Just like laptops, 6 months in this industry is old and new models would have come to take center stage..

  33. do you have a pic of how crampy the onscreen keyboard is?

  34. patricia says:

    Sir yuga! do you have problems with the htc sense weather detecting your current location? mine says im in china even if im in mindanao ;(

  35. yuga says:

    @john ray – sorry didn’t get one. will try to post something.

    @patricia – so far, there’s no problem with the weather app.

  36. marie says:

    where can i buy htc wildfire? but not online. thanks!

  37. zhilo alexia says:

    hi, jst wondering, do u know wer can i purchase a red one?! the ones in d store are mostly black.
    thanks. i’ll appreciate an immediate reponse. thanks thanks

  38. ian says:

    i juST wanna i f i can make video calls using htcwild fire?

  39. ian says:

    i just want to know if i can make video calls using the htc wildfire im planning to buy it sana? if you purchase it on cash basis you can get it at 15990 at htc booth in sm fairview if installment at 16990 0 interest for 6 months via bdo credit card. while some sell it at 15500 cash

  40. lena says:

    hi yuga. im considering buying an htc desire. but having second thoughts on waiting na lng for iphone4. any enlightenment?

  41. jks says:

    wildfire or spica? why? please reply to this yuga

  42. denj_cute says:

    Hi Yuga,

    HTA Aria, kaylan po available sa pinas… sa plagay nyo magkano? almost same ito ng wildfire… diff. lng sa screen resolution, cpu and flash… thats why i mostly like ang aria over wildfire… tnxxx

  43. jks says:

    why wildfire? i seem to like spica more

  44. trojanzthor says:

    sir yuga, im confused on what phone to buy…

    Wildfire or Xperia x10 mini?

    p.s. im not fan of using phones for internet/web browsing.

  45. simplynice93 says:

    @jks – it’s useless to ask for advice if you already made up your mind. Don’t ask anymore..buy mo na lang.

  46. Culinarian_mom says:

    Hello!
    My hubby is buying me a new phone this week. So I’m still looking for a phone that suits my budget. My current phone is 4years old already! (So you can just imagine how old it is now,hehehe) Since it is 3.2 megapixel, I’m planning of upgrading it. I am not planning on buying any smartphone since they are a little bit expensive (need the money for a new laptop this December). But after reading your review on HTC Wildfire, i think I’m considering of getting one. You see, I never had any smartphone before, so do you think HTC wildfire is good for a starter like me?

    Any suggestions for a phone (p15k- p17k range) with good camera (as I don’t like bringing my digicam everytime I go out)?

    Thanks & God bless!

  47. jks says:

    @simplynice

    have not made up my mind yet, hence the word “seem”. i hope anyone can give me an advice on what phone to buy: spica or wildfire. thank you

  48. Euel says:

    Is the RED HTC WILDFIRE available in the malls already? I can’t find one in our local stores.

  49. Emir says:

    finding a black unit is quite difficult. I already went around Megamall, Galleria, and Market Market. All stores that have wildfire only have white ones :(

  50. Micks says:

    That screen res is tragic. 320×240? That’s the same as the E71!

  51. JKisaragi says:

    I hope one of our carriers here in the PH offer this one up with their plans. I’ll be sure to have one as a secondary phone if that happens. :)

  52. kathy says:

    hey the Cherry Mobile Nova has better specs than the Wildfire and cost less (17,500 vs. 11,500)

  53. chimaerarc says:

    Good day everyone! I’m planing to buy an android phone, and i’m still undecided whether to go for wildfire or samsung galaxy 5! any thoughts about this sir yuga?thanks!!

  54. me me me says:

    hi sir yuga. i am planning to buy an android phone. I like HTC so I narrowed my choices into two. Hero and Wildfire. Can you help me on what should I be getting? Thanks a lot sir. Please reply.

  55. edward says:

    my wildfire battery last only 4 hours, but im not complaining i am a heavy user and i use several application at the same time…hehehe

  56. leemar says:

    choose galaxy 5 instead of this, galaxy 5 is andoid 2.2 froyo, this wildfire is 2.1 eclair only.

  57. Josh says:

    @leemar – Is there an off shelf galaxy 5 with froyo? Afaik, its only eclair but upgradable to froyo.

  58. Angelo says:

    My wife has a Galaxy 5 and I got a Wildfire. Both are on 2.1 Eclair and no updates to 2.2 as of today.

    If your into gaming the Galaxy 5 is the phone for your as the Wildfire does not run any of the nice games I install on it.

  59. air says:

    which is the best deal given the price: LG GT540, Sony Ericson xperia x8 or HTC wildfire?

  60. Caloy says:

    @air: despite the LG promo fiasco, I still think that the LG Optimus One P500 is the best deal at the price range you’re looking for. Maybe you could even include the Cherry Mobile Nova.

    To answer your question directly though, if you’re only choosing among the three, the wildfire would be the best.

    (I’d still go for either the LG Optimus one or the Cherry mobile Nova though)

  61. iQ50 says:

    pwede ba mag skype dito? pwede video call or normal voice call lang?

  62. vantes says:

    pinag pipilian ko yung nokia c6-01 at HTc wildfire. aware na ako ngayon na mas maganda os ng HTC kaysa sa nokia.. pero kaya ako nahihirapan mamili sa dalawa kase dahil lang sa camera sa harap for video calling.. i mean.. it’s better to have a video calling capability even though you don’t need it.. rather than needing it then having no video capability at all..

    by next cut off bibili na ako ng phone.. pero depende pa rin naman kung may sale.. lol..

    but still.. HTC Wildfire is on the top of my list

  63. ithons26 says:

    Finally got the htc wildfire. sa megamall ko sya nabili. bought it for 15,900 k cause i upgraded the memory card to 8gb. 15k lang pag 2gb. so far happy naman ako sa wildfire. very responsive yung touchscreen nya. love the sturdy feel of wildfire, alam mo na matibay talaga pagkagawa. ok na ok pang browse sa internet ang bilis. about the screen resolution naman, wag mo lang itatabi sa super amoled screen and retina display talagang you can notice the big difference. hehe!

  64. paul says:

    @ithons26 – sir san ka nakabili sa megamall?

  65. ithons26 says:

    @paul- sa xsitemobile sa cyberzone. mura don. yung katabi nyang store kc 15, 900 k pa. yung desire nila 25k na lang kso kinulang ako sa budget eh hehe.

  66. leemar says:

    lg optimus one p500 na lang ang bilhin nyo, mas ok specs at o.s. ng lg compare to this wildfire.

  67. aaaahhhhhhh says:

    i really like this phone and i have it now

  68. graci says:

    @paul

    sir pwede ba youtube streaming sa wildfire?thanks.

  69. harold says:

    i’m torn between two phones.

    HTC Wildfire or Galaxy 5.

    Which do you think is better? Thanks!

    Note:

    globe is offering Galaxy 5 free on plan 1799 and add 6900 on plan P500.

  70. harold says:

    i’m torn between two phones.

    HTC Wildfire or Galaxy 5.

    Which do you think is better? Thanks!

    Note:

    Globe is offering Galaxy 5 free on plan 1799 and add 6900 on plan 500.

  71. jackie says:

    hi!
    sir yuga nu po mas maganda bilin LG optimus one p500 o wildfire? meron n po b update for wildfire? pwd n bang iupdate sa froyo?

    tnx :)

  72. jackie says:

    is it true na onti lang yung mga games na pwede iinstall?

    anu po bang android phone mganda bilin? madami pwd iinstall na applications

  73. ithons26 says:

    @jackie Kung mahilig ka sa games, Wildfire is sort of limited in this aspect. Sure it can play games, but it is handicapped by the screen resolution so not all games display correctly, some won’t even start at all. Overall lamang ang Optimus one sa screen resolution , ram, processor at battery life pero in terms of UI and Built sa Wildfire ako. But if you’re into games and watching movies get the Optimus one cause it has support for DivX/Xvid. Hope this help you :)

  74. jackie says:

    sir.yuga
    wala pdn po bang update ng 2.2 android para s wildfire?

  75. PPJ:) says:

    Elo!
    Anybody have news about the update to android 2.2 for wildfire??

  76. PPJ:) says:

    Elo!
    Anybody have news about the update to android 2.2 for the wildfire??

  77. Angelo says:

    Froyo for Legend and Aria already out. Still no Froyo for Wildfire.

  78. xc says:

    FroYo for Wildfire is out na. But some people have said that they had problems with the upgrade.

  79. emirage says:

    wow, that’s great news!
    Kailan kaya marerelease sa pinas?
    sabay sabay kaya sa lahat ng network providers?

  80. Angelo says:

    Froyo update now available for Philippines. Im now downloading as i post. Finally our Wildfire will breathe new life. Thanks HTC for the update.

  81. Erik says:

    Yep, checked for updates this morning and got a notification saying that froyo is now available! Im installing it right now, hope it brings some noticeable improvements to an already good phone

  82. Josh says:

    I also detected the OTA of Froyo. It’s about 60 MB. Has anyone tried it already? How is the performance?

  83. Josh says:

    I’ve successfully updated mine. Beware though the installation will take almost 30 minutes. It will make you think you bricked the phone.

  84. Angelo says:

    Tested the Froyo update the whole day and I did not see any significant improvements in the speed. There is little improvement in the performance but the real benefit is the ability to store apps on the SD card (I can now store that large Angry Birds game on SD). Another feature is the Portable Wifi Hotspot wherein you can use your phone as a portable router using your 3G connection. I recommend everyone to update.

  85. vince says:

    magkano na ba to ngayon? akala ko walang update ng froyo kaya undecided ako before.

  86. Josh says:

    @Angelo

    I agree although I think touch became more responsive (or much faster). The lags are still there but not that frequent compared to eclair. I already tried the wifi hotspot and it works! Did you try the new apps like navigation and places? There’s also Acrobat reader installed.

    @vince

    Froyo update has just been released this week. Price may be from 15k-17k.

  87. vince says:

    @Josh

    thanks for the info. I just got my tax refund eh. may pambili na. But is it true that some of the applications are not compatible because of the screen resolution?

  88. patricia says:

    My wildfire doesn’t detect the update. can i install the firmware manually or do i have to wait for the OTA update?

  89. Brader Lui says:

    Some of the games I’ve tried installing work but there are issues. Angry Birds has this startup issue where it goes blank on its home screen, you could just hear the music but the screen is blank. Googled a workaround and found out that locking and unlocking the screen helps. When I’m in the game, there is a noticeable lag. Checked my friend’s Angry Birds game installed on her Galaxy 5 and it didn’t have a lag at all. Forums say that it’s because of the Wildfire’s low screen resolution.

    Uninstalled Angry Birds.

  90. Mohammad says:

    I bought a htc wildfire but it doesn’t have office(word,excel,…) for typing. may u help me how I can get office and install?

  91. @Mohammad

    I think QuickOffice can allow you to view (but not edit) MS Office documents. I’m having trouble with it right now. It can’t even open a simple Word Document.

    The best you can do is do your document editing on the cloud. GoogleDocs works great on HTC Wildfire. I’m very much impressed with this one.

    Another option is Hotmail’s online MS Office. (I haven’t tried this personally, though).

    For both of those things to work, you need an account with them.

    Hope this helps.

  92. htc, lg or bb says:

    htc wildfire, bb curve or lg optimus p500?

  93. htc, lg or bb says:

    Sir Yuga

    Lg optimus p500 does not have Flash player right..dont u think this is a big disadvantage? comparin it to wildfire. plus, is the screen res of wildfire really bad?

    what should i get? htc wildfire, bb curve 8520 or lg optimus p500? thanksalot

  94. Sahil says:

    Hi Yuga Can you please tell me between sony erricson xperia x8, xperia mini, galaxy 500 or wildfire….please its important and as soon as possible, thanks in advance.

  95. Josh says:

    @vince

    sorry for the very late reply, that is also what I’ve heard. I tried downloading angry birds and it only displays a portion of the screen. I think there are patches for this but on a different ROM.

    @all

    has anyone noticed improved battery life with froyo? I just noticed one time with almost no use I got 70 hours, little use around 65 hours, and with a little wifi around 55 hours.

  96. Babsyboy says:

    @ brader lui

    Hi brader lui! i always play angry birds using my htc wildfire. this how to solve the screen problem of angry birds game for htc wildfire, once the game has loaded you will notice a portion of its background show on the screen, try to press the power button to turn the screen sleep mode and then push again the power button to let the screen light up, from there the whole angry birds logo and play button will now show-up and be playable. the angry birds game for htc wildfire is a bit lag, depends on the items shown on the game itself, but for me, still manage to finish the game even its lag. :)

    @ josh

    yep! i also noticed that battery life of wildfire when it upgraded to android 2.2, it really saves its battery, but for me, its not enough, they should still solve this problem because i always use mobile internet and the gps-a for foursquare. hehe! :)

  97. noel says:

    @josh
    for angry birds, when you start it, it’s at half screen. just lock the phone (press power key)wait a few seconds then unlock it. angry birds should be fullscreen

    @Babsyboy
    i use wifi and 3G a lot, for 3G only i get more than half a day (15 hours+) and almost 20 hours if wifi only on a full charge

  98. gerald says:

    txt me 09224372209 buyers only

  99. Zivis says:

    Anything and everything gadgets on installment visit http://www.shopinstallment.com HTC included

    Absolutely no Credit Card needed!

  100. Mike says:

    im seeling my brand new ntc wildfire s i got from smart for P9,800 contact me at 09209012016

  101. hash says:

    hi sir ask q lang kung magkakaroon pa ba ng update ang wildfire?

  102. god you guys like this hoe cus she looks good.

  103. jacky says:

    How can i connect to my Globe supersurf50 using this htc widfire a3333. I activated my gprs but still wont work.Thank u

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