HTC Wildfire: Quick Review

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, my HTC Wildfire has now been connected up. I’ve now been online since Wednesday, and I’ve been using the phone quite a lot since then! One of the reasons I wanted the phone to be connected this week was because we were visiting Phil’s parents. Although they do have a computer there, it’s a pretty ancient one and takes quite a while to load! Checking emails or – God forbid – Twitter there is a bit more of a mission.

So, now I’m all connected up, I can check GMail and Twitter as often as I like without having to go through anyone else’s computer! (Although, as the phone does have WiFi I can use a wireless connection if there is one).

Anyway, after having used the phone for a few days, how does it stack up against my old Samsung S5600? Well, first things first – I should say that the Wildfire is a lot more expensive. Even though it’s a “budget” smartphone, it’s still a fully-fledged Smartphone, whereas the Samsung I had was only half-way to a Smartphone. So, it’s not a fair comparison. It won’t come as a surprise to say that the Wildfire is better in pretty much every respect.

Well, that comparison over, I’ll just review the phone in general. First things first, build quality: it feels comfortingly solid in my hands, it doesn’t feel at all plasticy like some other phones I’ve tried. The touch screen is a joy to use, unlike the old Samsung: I think it’s the same type of touchscreen as the iPhone, which is the more expensive and responsive kind. Also, in general the whole package felt professional and good quality. In short, I feel like it’s going to last a while!

The battery life is also not bad. I’ve been using the phone pretty heavily each day for the past three days, and I’ve had to charge the phone up every night. That said, if I didn’t use the phone as heavily I could probably get away with much better battery life. It does speak well of the phone, though, that using it has been such a pleasure! – it’s not like the old Samsung where I could spend ages just trying to do something like, say, looking at Matthew’s blog (seriously, the only reason I had to spend a long time on the phone was because the phone kept on crashing. I’m not painting a good portrait of the old phone here, which is unfair because it’s not really for browsing – but I’m just pointing out the new one is good for that…)

I won’t really review the software because it’s pretty standard Android, with some HTC customisation. There are some minor annoyances but nothing that can’t be overcome or worked around. A lot of it at the moment is to do with my setup of the phone – I’ve got mail coming in twice (once via the Mail application and once via the GMail application), I’ve also got Twitter twice (again via two separate applications) but everything has been easy to use and once I’ve figured out what I want it will be great 😉

I should give particular mention to the calendar app. One thing I really wanted the phone for was to be able to manage my calendar (Google Calendar) from the phone directly. Well, it seems to work fine: the phone synchronises with Google, and seems to cache the info so that even when I’m not in range I can still see the calendar. I’m pretty happy with that.

I could go on, but I won’t (you’ll be pleased to know!) My conclusion, really, is that I love the phone and I think it’s fantastic. Exactly what I want: not over-the-top, but nonetheless good quality and does everything I want it to do. Spot on.

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