I have just acquired myself the new HTC Wildfire. I did my research before, mainly from yanky technology review websites, but as much as they were a help, they were not exactly in layman’s terms. So, I am going to attempt to give you a simple review, highlighting just the main, important things, especially for a young South African.

Everything I did read on the phone was positive, and I definitely concur. The number one phrase used to describe this Android operated phone was “The HTC Wildfire is the lovechild of HTC Desire and the Nexus One”.

The phone is great. It is touchscreen, which has its flaws, especially when you’ve got fat fingers, as do I; but HTC have come to the party. They are known for having good touch screen technology; and the fact that the phone does a lot of thinking, suits me down to a tee. If you push a few wrong letters by accident, the phone can generally work-out what your trying to say. Not only that, it is predictive. If I had to type “Intel” it will offer me a few options, which get narrowed down the more letters I add. You, as the user, are also able to select the word you want to use, from its options, instead of it deciding for you.

The screen itself, made of gorilla glass (appropriate for the name of the phone -I think) is a really nice, and accessible size, and lets you enjoy all your apps and the internet, in pretty much its full potential.The weight of the phone is nice and light, weighing in at a mere 118g. As a whole, it measures 106.8 x 60.4 x 12 mm. It has a 5 megapixel camera, with flash, and a few play-around settings for you who like taking photos in black-and-white, negative, etc. One of the bonus points for me was the FM radio. Being a radio personality myself, and a brand manager of a radio station, I always love listening to the radio, and that was one fault I found with my Blackberry Curve, amongst many others.

Moving on to the operating system. The HTC Wildfire uses Android 2.2, updated from Android 2.1 (Eclair), which is fantastic. I’ve never used an Android operating system, so was a little nervous before hand; but it is so easy. For those of you who are unsure what Android is, it’s Google’s operating system for mobile phones. The amounts of applications that are available to download from Market (the Android version of Blackberry App World), is unbelievable.

For a business and media person, as well as a social media lover (such as myself), who’s not on the biggest budget, this phone is ideal. It has the usual email feature; but also has Kindle, Adobe Reader, an Office Suite, Google Reader, Google Maps, and a few other great features. The HTC Wildfire is also a 3G phone, which was an extra thumbs up from me.

Most of the cellphone networks have got great specials on it at the moment. R99 a month on their top-up contract packages, that gives you from R99 – R135 free airtime (depending on your network) a month. This sounds awesome, and almost too good to be true. This is where I was slightly conned. The HTC Wildfire uses quite a lot of data. On my package I get 30MB of data free a month, for the first three months. That data lasted me one day; and I hardly used any apps. I downloaded three applications, and only used the one -Twitter. Be careful, if buying this phone, if you are unable to afford an extra R250 -odd rand a month, on your contract (or even on prepaid for that matter). Buy data packages, though. They seem a little pricey, but compared to the price you pay, when the data is charged straight to your airtime, it is worth it.

So, if you’re looking for a good phone, that is solid, reliable, and has great features, and is fairly affordable; the HTC Wildfire is your perfect buy.

Jonathan Duguid (@theDramaKing)

  • thanx for this review, helps a lot. Am watching the Android phones closely for my Upgrade end of year. But because of the price on the HTC’s , Samsung Galaxy S seems to be a choice too. Not sure though as I was not a Samsung fan, but I guess the best will be to head over to Vodaworld and test them side by side 😉

    PS: hope to see more Tech reviews in the mag too.

    • Neelz

      Working on getting Tech to be reviewed…look out for the Xbox Kinect review in the June mag 😉

  • Jonathan Duguid

    Thanks for your comment, Morne.
    Glad I could aide to your decision making. Head through to Vodaworld, and check them out. I, personally, am pretty happy with my HTC, but have to admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of Samsungs. Good luck with your decision! If you get the Samsung, do let us know how it is.
    …and Neelz seems like he’s on top of the Tech in the mag!
    Keep well.
    jD

    • no problem & thanx, will keep u posted. By that time we probably have 3 more phones to choose from 😉

  • Matt

    This review is rubbish! Market place has a decent amount of apps! But pails in comparison the apple app store with 300 000 apps! The operating system is total rubbish and confusing! The apps available are also crap because the SDK (software development Kits) supplied by google to app creators are exspensive and horrible to use! Therefor all devepers stay away and spend their time on apple apps!
    I guess the writer of this review needs to experience a few more phones then just BB and the HTC!

    • disagree with you here. My dad has a HTC Desire and it’s amazing what you can do with it, including apps. Android’s market is gonna catch up very soon, don’t worry.
      Also, it’s not all about the OS. Look at the phone features & see at what you get.
      Google some facts. I can post some links if you like. 😉

    • Charl Gottschalk

      I have to agree. I had a Samsung Galaxy S, and it was revolting. The OS is in fact in my opinion a load of crap. I actually worked with the SDKs for a while (or tried to at least) and quickly gave up.

      I would much prefer a Blackberry over an Android phone, but nothing comes even close the an iPhone. I recently got my iPhone 4 and can’t seem to put it down…my all time favorite toy, next to my iPad.

    • Charl Gottschalk

      @Matt, I wanted to tell you this, but thought I’d keep it clean for the sake of this site, as this isn’t your everyday “forum” where you get to talk like you want.

      Hopefully this would clarify my 1st reply to your comment a little too….just in case you thought you were building an army with me “agreeing” with you.

      Let’s be clear, your comment is YOUR opinion, and mine is MY opinion. And even though I agree with you on the Android OS being “crap” (in my case, crap means that it doesn’t come close to iOS). Android isn’t actually crap in the full sense of the word, else you wouldn’t get any phone using it, we should (as I did) remember that again, that is our opinion. I know of many who own Android phones who love them. I guess its all a matter of personal taste. Since we are talking about a Google product, let’s take their search engine for example…uh…Google. Google is my favorite search engine, and I don’t like Bing at all, but one of my co-workers prefers Bing. Knowing that, you won’t see me telling him that he needs to “experience” more search engines before choosing. He can make his own decisions and that is his prerogative <- is that word too big for you?.

      One thing to note though, the Android market boasts a wider collection of apps. This is because Google doesn't limit developers and their apps like Apple does. And they don't have country specific stores. So you can find games for Android which you would struggle to find for iPhone if you lived in S.A.

      I'm gonna stop now, at the end, maybe YOU should "experience" more websites with facts before commenting on something you clearly know very little about, because the Android SDKs aren't rubbish, in fact they are some of the best SDKs available for developers, it just requires a learning curve which was clearly to steep for you.

      "Don't throw down now", I also decided not to learn it, but that's because I had given up my Android phone for an iPhone.

      Have a great day Matt! You rock…

      P.S. "The writer of this review" is Jonathan Duguid. But you would have known that, had you read to the end where it says:
      "This entry was posted by Jonathan Duguid"

      Cheers

  • Jonathan Duguid

    Thank you Matt, for your comment.
    First of all, let me start off by saying, you do have a point, to a certain extent. The iPhone is great. This review was not necessarily a stab at the iPhone, nor others, except the Blackberry Curve (a little bit). I am a Mac guy, and most of the technology I use is Apple-based. Having said that, I tend to agree with Morne in his comment about Android catching up quite quickly. I then also have to asK if you actually read this review properly? This review was looking for a pretty affordable phone for young South Africans, who want all (or most) of the options. If you can tell me where I can currently get an iPhone for R99 a month, and get R135 airtime, I will happily trade in my HTC and take up the offer. The HTC Wildfire is a fantastic phone for what you’re paying, and the applications and options are great. I think you ought to read something properly, such as this review, before looking like a doos on the internet. And, please, if you’re going to try and slander my review, try and be constructive, and more so, learn to spell -it makes you look even more stupid.
    jD

    • Charl Gottschalk

      Even though I didn’t like my android phone, and don’t think I’d own one again soon, it is true that many android phones are good value for money. It’s gonna be a while before android can really compete with iOS, but, we are willing to wait.

      I liked your review. I found it informative and not as “techy” and full of buzz words like most. You highlight what we want to know…

      Thanks.

  • Jonathan Duguid

    Hi Charl,
    Thank you for your constructive feedback, unlike our friend Matt. I’m glad you like the review, and I’m sure our readers will benefit from your input into this discussion. As I said to Matty, if the iPhone was available on the same package that my HTC Wildfire is on, I would snap it up in a second, as I know it is a far greater phone. I think your advise on the Samsung Galaxy will also aide Morne in his decisions about getting a new phone. Thanks for your comments.
    jD

    • Charl Gottschalk

      Only a pleasure jD.
      Maybe I can gooi in a little “tech”, just in case someone took our friend Matt seriously.

      In the case of the HTC (all of them), it has a user interface built on top of its core OS called Sense UI, but you already knew that. This makes navigating and using Android considerably easier than Android itself as with the Galaxy S.

      It took me a day or two, but after that, I had no problem whatsoever using it and finding my way around.

      All phones, especially smart phones are confusing for anyone in the beginning. Hell, when I got my very first phone, the legendary Nokia 5110, there was a learning curve as with any phone, and device for that matter. Just maybe, the learning curve for Android was a little too steep for our good friend, and that’s why he’s slandering the OS and your review. Maybe many things he attempts has a learning curve too steep for him…we won’t know.Wait, wait…let me stop there….

      I am a hardcore converted iPhone user today, but before that, when I still had my Galaxy S, I thought it was awesome. Before that I had a BB Storm and thought it was the best invention ever. Before that I had a Sony Ericsson Aino, not a smart phone, just a phone, but I thought it was the best thing I ever held in my hands.

      HTC has a way of making awesome stuff better, so I firmly believe that the HTC Wildfire will be a cool phone.

      I just hope something better than the iPhone comes out soon, coz I’m up for an upgrade in a couple of months.

      Cheers

  • Neelz

    and so the REAL ReviewMe.co.za begins 😀

  • Morné (@rustymh)

    hehe what a laugh… I’ll just agree to say, yes we all have our own taste.

    Thanx Charl for the Samsung Galaxy S feedback. Never had it in my hand before but will check it out anyway just for the sake of it.
    One thing that worries me is battery life. I really don’t want a phone which you have to charge every single day and I think that HTC might have a problem by the looks of the Desire for example. I don’t know maybe the Wildfire don’t have a problem.
    Obviously if you are on the Internet all day, you can expect to charge it every day.
    Jonathan, please update us on some findings on the battery life if you don’t mind. 😉

    thnx

  • Pingback: The iPhone 4 Experience()

  • Jonathan Duguid

    Hi Morne,
    The HTC Wildfire battery life is pretty decent, but as you say above, if you are on the net all the time, then expect the battery to get chowed quickly. I find that it can last a good 17 hours or so, on a busy-ish day of use.
    jD

    • Morné (@rustymh)

      Cool, thanx jD seems normal 😉

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