HTC is well known as one of the best handphone brands particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Recently, I just got myself an HTC Wildfire, one of the cheaper HTC Android phones with the HTC Sense installed. So here’s my review of things so far.
As far as smartphones go, this is perhaps the most cost effective Android phone where you get virtually all the same features that the higher priced handsets have, minus a few nuances though. The build is very sleek, without sacrificing too much on screen size, and it is light enough not to notice when you carry it in your pocket. Excellent design there.
I’ve compared the HTC Wildfire to two other budget smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy 5 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro (both excellent phones), and the HTC Wildfire came out tops for me. While being cheaper, the Samsung Galaxy 5 has a mediocre camera at only 2 megapixels, and in order to upgrade the Android OS, you need to send the phone back to the service center.
Likewise, the Xperia X10 Mini cannot be upgraded on the fly. The HTC Wildfire was certainly upgradable though, and I managed to upgrade it from Android 2.1 to 2.2 through direct download via mobile network. This hassle to upgrade the Android version was the deal breaker for me concerning those other two phones.
Upgrading freeze loop
It wasn’t without a hitch though, and after upgrading, my HTC Sense process launcher froze and just would not launch, and the phone kept getting a “Force Close” message and getting stuck in an endless loop. If this happens to you, interrupt this loop by hitting the Search button and in the search box, type “Settings.” Your phone Settings will appear as one of the choices (which your phone thinks you are looking for). Now, go to your Settings and reset your phone back to its original factory settings. You will lose your downloaded apps, but you’ll also stop the freeze. Once your phone restarts, your phone will still be on the upgraded Android version.
The battery of the Wildfire is modest, at 1300 mAh, but still a tad better than the standard 1200 mAh for most other low – mid range phones. Of course, in practice, all smartphones use up their batteries like water, and all in a day’s use.
The resolution of the HTC Wildfire also leaves me somewhat desiring for better, but when you consider that the Samsung Galaxy S has a steep price all because of its display and screen, I can’t really complain – The display makes for the price difference in today’s smartphones.
The 512 MB ROM and the 384 MB RAM were also fairly ok, and it was far more than the Xperia X10 Mini or the Samsung Galaxy 5. If you are going to be downloading a lot of apps in the Android Marketplace, you’ll soon realize the need for a decent level of ROM and RAM in your mobile phone.
All in all, I would have to conclude that the Wildfire is still the best budget smartphone for now, although with the pace of handphone technology constantly on the move, I would have no idea what it would be like in a matter of months. But if you are scouting for a budget phone that has all the features, then you can’t go wrong with the HTC Wildfire.
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