The HTC Wildfire …

Most know the HTC Wildfire as the, for want of better words, dumbed down version of the HTC Desire. It may well be that, but it features some pretty cool software encase in a rather sexy package too – petite at 118g, sleek and packed with lots of smartphone features including HTC Sense UI, Android 2.1 and 528Mhz processor…I have to say I rather like this device.

It contains all the good bits of the Desire and a rather tasty 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and 3.2-inch touchscreen, but the screen it does have a noticeably lower resolution display and I did miss the larger screen I had become accustom to. I will stop the comparisons there as I don’t think it fair to continue on that route and instead take this device on its merits … smart, sexy and sleek (yes I like alliteration).

The device is reassuringly easy to set up – after a few steps you’ll have your email, Facebook, Twitter, Fouresquare etc all set up to the device. In addition, the device hosts seven nifty customisable screens that allow you to spread out your widgets over each screen e.g. one for your apps, one for calendar and so on. I also love the HTC’s leap View, where all your home screens are displayed on one screen – produced by simply pinching the screen.

One of my favourite features of this device is the responsiveness of the touchscreen. I’ve always been disappointed with the touchscreen quality I have experienced on many non-iPhone touch screens, usually jumpy and unpredictable… this is, in contrast, fast, accurate and smooth. The optical trackpad however, took some getting used to and I found myself making random mistakes – rather annoying.

The Wildfire has been my gateway into the previously unknown territory of the Android Market and I have to say, I liked it. One of my bug bears has always been that I have had the misfortune, or fortune, of using the Apple App Store. What do I mean by this? Well, others pretty much pale in comparison, whether it is because of the lack of good apps, poor search functions or lack of a good basic format. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Androids apps and the over all experience of using the store. OK, so it doesn’t have the number of apps an iPhone has yet, but the ones they do have, work well and many of the good ones can be found there. Also, with thanks to the recent addition of the Angry Birds game and subsequent media storm surrounding it, we can now look forward to many more high profile games on the device too.

My verdict – a great smartphone on a budget and one that certainly won’t leave the geeks amongst us bored, packed with many of the great features you would expect to see in its bigger siblings and packed into a petite and sexy package. I would give the device 7/10.

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