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HTC Wildfire S review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £202
inc VAT

HTC's Wildfire S is a capable budget phone, but its limited storage space could be frustrating and it's currently not particularly good value on contract.


Android 2.3, 3.2in 320×480 display

The new Wildfire S is 6mm shorter and weighs 13g less than the Wildfire it replaces. Its screen has the same 3.2in diagonal, but its 320×480 resolution is an improvement on the previous model’s 240×320 pixels. We can’t help but feel the looks have taken a step backwards, though, due to the tacky chrome strip around the screen and the removal of the handy directional optical pad. The phone’s shorter body also makes it trickier to hold in one hand and use with your thumb – it feels slightly cramped.

HTC Wildfire S

There’s no doubt that the specifications of the S have been improved. For a start, you get Android 2.3 rather than 2.1, so along with noticeable improvements in speed, you get improved text selection, battery management and the ability to place SIP calls, amongst other things. The processor is also a faster 600MHz model, up from the 528MHz chip in the old phone, and there’s now 512MB of RAM rather than 384MB.

However, we noticed the S only has 150MB of space left for apps, and as it ships, 28MB of this is already taken up. This leaves very little room for further programs. As not all apps can be moved to the SD card, you’ll soon find yourself running out of room. This compares unfavourably with phones such as Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc, which has around 380MB of free app space.

HTC Wildfire S back

Even though the phone’s screen has a higher resolution than the original Wildfire’s, the colour depth has dropped from 16M to 256K shades. We didn’t notice much degradation in display quality, probably because the increased resolution makes up for the reduced colour depth. Images are far crisper than on the original Wildfire, and there’s no pixellation in fine text.

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Price £202
Rating ***


Main display size 3.2in
Native resolution 320×480
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 5-megapixel
Video recording format 3GP
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
GPS yes
Internal memory 150MB
Memory card support microSDHC
Memory card included 0MB
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, HSPA, WCDMA
Size 101x59x12mm
Weight 105g


Operating system Android 2.3
Microsoft Office compatibility none
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support MP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, MIDI, WAV, OGG, M4A
Video playback formats 3GP, 3G2, MP4, WMV
FM Radio yes
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories charger, USB cable
Talk time 5.8 hours
Standby time 15 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 19h 50m

Buying Information

SIM-free price £202
Price on contract £20-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplier
Contract/prepay supplier

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