Hi. Many thanks for all r/r/c genuinely appreciated. Will always rate back not always immediately but I do get round to it. Also on Dooyoo with name hotrock4 where my reviews may also be found. Simon.
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HTC Wildfire S. As Smart A Phone As You Could Hope For The Price
Awesome Phone - Great Amount Of Technology Crammed Into A Small Space
Battery Life, And FM Radio Isn't Great, No Stylus Provided As Standard
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Value for money
Range of features
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For quite some time now I've been of the opinion "why would I want my mobile phone for anything other than making calls and sending text messages from". However whilst wandering past my local 3 Mobile store the bright lights and array of shiny new Android powered smart phones that my friends had been waving under my nose for quite some time now lured me inside for a browse.
Why I Chose the HTC Wildfire S:
I had a look around and the HTC Wildfire S seemed to be the one phone that jumped out at me that had the best compromise between tecnology and price. For £25 a month I could get the phone for "free" along with 2000 cross network minutes, 2000 texts, 5000 3 to 3 minutes and unlimited internet access. The internet access was the least of my worries to begin with until the salesman pointed out that I could use the HTC Wildfire as a mobile broadband router allowing up to five computers to connect to my mobile internet connection at any one time as well as using my phone online at the same time.
The main reason this was of interest to me was that we have no broadband connection at home and I have a PS3 which I have been wanting to get online with for sometime now and the Wildfire's router would allow this to happen as well as allowing me to cancel my mobile broadband dongle contract with O2 saving me £15 a month which wouldn't allow my PS3 to connect anyway. The internet connection speeds are by no means the quickest but nothing like as slow as my O2 dongle and definately on a par with my parents basic Sky Broadband package running through a proper wireless router being used on quite a new good spec desktop PC to give you some idea.
Now 3 do not offer the best coverage nationwide like O2 and Tesco seem to, but in my local area (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, for those that this is useful to) I get good signal everywhere I go so this is not of much concern to myself, I should imagine this would be the case for most towns and cities, however in some outlaying villages I may have to restart my phone or go outside to get a signal but I've never stuggled too much.
The phone is also quite compact being just 12mm deep, 101mm top to bottom, and 59mm in width. Along with the minimilistic look due to only 4 buttons at the bottom of the screen I find this phone to look quite sleek and stylish, definitely a phone I'm not ashamed to get out of my pocket when it rings or even to compare next to other smartphones.
Is It Easy To Use?
After tearing my most recent purchase from its box all I had to do was place the sim-card in the phone and then the battery on top of that and replace the back panel which was relatively easy to remove in the first place and easier to replace as I knew which way it needed to slide in order to clip on properly. A cursory glance at the instructions informed me I would need to give the phone a full charge (I believe 8 hours is initially advised to get the best battery life in future), there was enough power in the battery to begin with to allow me to play about with the phone for an hour or so to start working it out. The instructions were soon ignored as the phone is far easier to use than I first expected it to be, with the only thing I found worth mentioning was the fact you have to unmount the Micro SD card from the phones software before physically removing it from the phone to prevent loss of data which is a bit of a pain but with bluetooth and wireless transfer capabilities as well as a USB connection for a PC supplied with the phone I figure I would never really need to remove it from the phone anyway.
So yes definately easy to use with the screen being responsive but not over sensitive all be it a little difficult to navigate without a stylus at times especially with clumsy fingers like my own. The navigation of the functions on the phone is good all being logically laid out with all of the major functions being very easy to find.
What Does It Do?
To start the phone is supplied with, charger and battery as expected, USB cable for connection to PC and stereo systems which have the capability, a 2GB Micro SD card which gives plenty of storage for music and pictures etc, as well as a basic pair of earphones with a mic so the phone can be used handsfree along with them having a standard 3.5mm jack which is handy meaning most earphones can be used easily with the phone.
The HTC Wildfire S is powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) technology. This means you can shop for all the usual apps (more than 160,000 available at the moment) for Android powered phones as well as link it to your facebook, twitter, google accounts and any other social type network site you can download the apps for. All of which have so far worked well with no glitches or faults and best of all quickly. The 3.2 inch capacitive touch screen works well giving good control over scrolling around web pages, either being able to drag along slowly or swipe across the screen with your finger to fly right the way to the bottom, top or either side of the screen. I feel it worth mentioning at this point a normal stylus with a sharp hard point cannot be used with the capacative screen technology, instead a stylus with a soft foam type point to mimick the pressure of your fingers is required and isn't supplied with the phone.
The camera is 5MP with an LED flash offering great picture quality with a good bright flash at short range, the zoom doesn't offer much in the way of taking pictures of things at a distance but hey lets not forget this is primarily a phone with all the other technology crammed in being a very welcome bonus.
GPS technology allows the phone to pinpoint where you are on Google Maps, and also allows it to be used for navigational purposes with all the usual sat-nav perks such as places of interest (petrol stations, cashpoints etc) as well as a list of directions to save using a map book or the internet to get a hard copy of a list of directions together. The navigational tool uses voice technology allowing me to speak into the phone to find my desired destination, this usually works fairly well with my destination usually being displayed somewhere near the top of a list of similar sounding place names.
Text messages are easy to send using the on-screen qwerty keyboard once a stylus has been acquired, with the predictive text being very handy, allowing the user to hit quite a few wrong letters in one word. It has been programmed to expect users to hit the letter next to or above the one they want and this is taken into account so the predictive text isn't spitting out random words keeping frustration to a minimum. Another nice touch is messages are stored as conversations like a thread on a forum making it easy to look back on or reply to messages from any given contact on the phone.
The music program on the phone is easy to use and import music onto which was also another important consideration because I love my music with the phones speaker being good enough to deliver half decent quality sound without the tinny sounds of old.
Last but by no means least this same speaker supplies a decent in call sound quality, as well as the mic you talk into doing the same. Even in a stiff breeze I have no problems with calls without feeling the need to shout over the wind and deafen the person at the other end.
What Doesn't This Phone Do Too Well?:-
The main thing that will jump out at most people about this phone is the lack of battery life once a few apps are open and being used at once, or even if the phone is just in constant use for calls or texts it will need charging daily but usually does last the whole day so not too much of an inconveniance unless camping or staying away from home and forgetting to take a charger.
The FM radio on the phone requires a pair of headphones to be plugged in as an antenna which is a problem I thought would be solved by now with all the new technology crammed in, and even with the earphones plugged in the reception is sketchy at best. I found the best option was to download a digitally imported radio app allowing music to be listened to without earphones whilst providing digital quality.
This is really all I can personally fault this phone on which I consider to be very good especially with the amount of technology that has been crammed the manufacturers could have got this horribly wrong. They have only seemed to compromise on the the things that will actually keep this phone mobile and stop it being the size of a house brick.
Overall I have been most impressed with this phone and would definitely recommend it to friends and family, with the only warning being the battery life, so would also come with the recommendation of grabbing a car charger as soon as possible. The lack of stylus with a phone worth £150 was also a minor sore point as I see this is something that should be supplied as standard especially considering how cheap they are and the fact I had to go out of my way to buy one after returning home with my phone.
4/5 stars for the HTC Wildfire S losing one star for the lack of battery life and my over pickiness with the lack of stylus.
Well as it happens.....I've actually been eying these up as a ratherv more "economical" option to one of my favoured Nokia's. The lack of a stylus really doesn't bother me, although the battery life might - like you I thought I was a "basic" mobile user, but increasingly use the camera and would find find GPS handy too as I don't always have 'Mr Tom' in the car. All in all another Exceptional review, exactly fulfilling the Ciao guidelines. R.