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06/27/2011

Review: HTC Wildfire S

Wildfire At a time when most phones are boasting large touch screens, a new arrival on the smartphone marketis doing the opposite.

The HTC Wildfire S is one of the smallest Android phones available in Canada, measing in at a tick over 10 cm in length and a tad under 6 cm in width.

With a 3.2-inch touch screen, the first thing you notice is that the screen is on the small size - but so is the rest of the phone compared to some of the newer models sporting screens above the 4-inch threshold.

My thumbs and fingers found it a little tough to be precise when typing, however. Using the Wildfire S is much more pleasant than on another small smartphone, like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini.

In any case, the HVGA display looks pretty good and everything is still quite readable. Not once did I find myself squinting to read text like I was reading the fine print on a lottery ticket.

The handset feels as sturdy as any HTC phone - which are all quite solid, actually. Although the Wildfire S is lean, it doesn’t feel cheap, despite having a plasticky panel covering the battery on the back. Speaking of the battery, the phone held its charge longer than average.

HTC's Sense User Interface is installed as a standard feature - and it will quickly become the user's favourite feature making the Android system easy to use and navigate.

Packed inside is a a 600 Mhz processor coupled with 512 MB of ROM and the same about of RAM. Also included in the box is a 2GB microSD card. The 5 MP camera and flash provides for average shots.

Sure, the processor isn’t blisteringly fast compared to other models on the market, but this phone isn’t designed to be a powerhouse for intensive gaming. Nor will it be pumping HD video to a TV.

But where the Wildfire S does come up a little short is in the on-board storage area. After loading it up with a buffet of apps, the phone started to prompt me to clear space.

The disk cleanup utility is handy, but power users may want more breathing room, in terms of storage.

But with a price of $0 on a three-year term from Bell, this phone is priced at the entry level category where affordability and general fatures are key.

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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