Here is a detailed user-review of HTC Wildfire written by Saurabh Pareek. It comprises of some camera samples of the phone, pros & cons and other advantages that made Saurabh go for it instead of some other phones that he short-listed, i.e., Samsung Galaxy 3, Galaxy 5, Sony Experia X8, X10 mini and X10 mini pro.
Go ahead, read it and let Saurabh know what you feel about his review via the comment form at the end of this post.
If you wish to go for a mid-range android phone, you can also check our past posts:
- Samsung Galaxy 3 V/s HTC Wildfire; Comparison, Price & Pics
- Review of Samsung Galaxy 3 Phone
- Samsung Galaxy 3 Unboxing Photos
Making the Right choice:
With 10,000 bucks in my pocket I strolled across the smartphone section of mobile stores looking for an Android. It was then that my eyes landed on this oddly named phone, HTC Wildfire. It was priced at Rs 15,000 (prices vary from 14600 to 16900 across stores). I started wondering if it was worth a 50% hike in the budget. Moreover, with the increased budget I would have more options open to me. So I took a plunge into the internet and shortlisted these five mid-range droids:- Samsung Galaxy 3, Galaxy 5, sony experia X8, X10 mini and X10 mini pro. Wildfire was the most expensive of the lot, but based on the extensive week-long research on the internet I took the call and went for it (besides, I couldn’t resist the raunchy name).
(Image via electricpig.co.uk)
I was excited to open the relatively tiny box as it had come after a lot of waiting. Apart from the phone, the box only had a Charger (which doubles up as USB data cable), a headset and a 2GB SD card (this explained the size of the box). Of course, there was a manual, but who reads it anyway .
The Wildfire Experience:
Two months later, I was glad to have taken the decision. The phone surpassed all expectations. As a non-smartphone (read: dumb-phone) user I had never had this kind of an experience before. The sense UI was very well overlaid on the Android OS and complemented it perfectly. I was overwhelmed by the sensitivity of the screen. Till date, not even a single touch of mine has gone unregistered. The screen transitions are impressively graceful & swift. These things can be fairly expected from an iPhone or the galaxy S but remember Wildfire costs almost half as much.
Following are some of the its very-impressive, Impressive and not so impressive features:
- Turn-to-mute, lift-to-tone-down
- Proximity sensor
- Smart dialing
- Social network integration: Facebook, Twitter and Flickr through Friend Stream
- 5 megapixel camera with LED flash (can both auto-focus as well as focus on touch) – check some camera samples below.
- 3G with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
- Multi-touch support (pinch-n-zoom capable)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and GPS receiver
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Android OS v2.1 (Éclair) with Sense UI (Upgradable to 2.2)
- 3.2″ capacitive touchscreen of QVGA resolution
- Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz CPU, 384 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Standard miniUSB port for charging and data
- Bluetooth with A2DP, file transfers
- microSD card slot, a 2GB card in the box
- Standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Flash-enabled browser
- Direct access to the official Android repository
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
NOT SO IMPRESSIVE:
- Poor screen image quality.
- No video-call camera or video-calling facility whatsoever
- CIF@15fps video recording (352 x 288 pixels) is below par
- No voice dialing
- No DivX or XviD video support out of the box
- No TV-out port
The WOW factor:
The Sense UI gives the phone 7 customizable home screens & each of these can be slid horizontally to view the next. Moving from the first to the last isn’t an issue as pinching on any of these home screens brings them all together in a single view, you can now touch any screen to expand it. The phone comes with a load of sensors, apart from the usual accelerometer it has a proximity sensor, which avoids accidental touches during a call, by locking the screen whenever the phone is held near the cheek. The phone’s mic also acts as a sensor when using applications like the ‘candle’ (here,the mic registers your breath and puts off a virtual flame on the screen when you blow at it, cool hmmm?). Accurate GPS reception, 5.0 MP camera, adjustable flashlight, animated screen transitions and effects, Intuitive virtual keypad and smart dialing add to its WOW affect
The Indian way of judging any device is to compare its features with its cost, aint it? So I got mathematical and applied the following formula on various phone:
“Value per Rupee” = (Fun + Function)/ Price
Wildfire was a clear winner, it scored over every other phone, including bigshots like Iphone, Galaxy S and Blackberry. I must admit that this phone has flaws of its own(mentioned later in the post) but I have used it alongside Galaxy S for a while and it performed remarkably well. The response time, Touch sensitivity and overall feel was as good as Galaxy S which costs twice as much. Of course it doesn’t stand a chance against the Super Amoled screen and the powerful 1Ghz CPU but, given its price, it stood tough in the competition.
In comparison to its expensive siblings like the HTC desire or the HTC legend, the phone seems a bit feeble. But I find it an unfair comparison, as wildfire falls under a completely different price slot.To me, the phone is practically flawless. Sadly, there is a single exception to it. The low cost of the phone doesn’t allow a secondary camera to be on board. This is a big put off especially when 3G is is being rolled out by the operators here. You should go for this phone only if you are ready to give up on video calling. Other little disappointments are (remember, I am being extremely critical here, given the price of the device I would very much ignore these hiccups)
- The QVGA screen, though decent, doesn’t do justice to the Android OS
- The CPU cannot retain the crispness of the text while scrolling
- The official Froyo (Android 2.2) or Gingerbread (Android 2.3) upgrade isn’t available for the device yet
- No voice dialing
- No T.V output
- Video recording @ 15fps isn’t exactly impressive
- The camera response is slightly sluggish, pictures are captured a few microseconds after you press the button. Also the pics get blurred at the slightest movement of the subject.
If you are looking for an Android, have a budget of upto Rs 20,000 and are ready to Sacrifice Video calling, then go for it..
Though it costs around Rs 15000, it is easily the best phone in the market under Rs 20000. For technology like this, you are getting it at throwaway prices. I would rate it ‘UNDER-PRICED’ and ‘STRONGLY-RECOMMENDED’.
If you have any questions or suggestions for Saurabh, do drop a line below.