Interface:

We covered Sense 2.1 in considerable detail in our HTC Desire S review, and true to HTC’s past behaviors, the interface of the Wildfire S is virtually identical.

To offer a quick recap, you are given 7 home screens that can be customized. Key improvements are found in performance and app / setting management, with a staggered app drawer and quick settings accessible from the notifications pull down bar.


HTC's widgets add a huge amount of functionality and user-friendliness. Examples of these include the email widget, calendar and the ubiquitous clock widget.


Social networking on the handset is heavily skinned, with HTC's Friend Stream giving you access to all your Twitter and Facebook news from your homescreen and within its own app.


Email and messaging on the HTC Wildfire S offer the same functions as any Android handset, though HTC have tweaked the visual, keeping them in theme with the rest of Sense UI.


Speaking of messaging, the keyboard itself is one point of contention. Given the small screen, when in portrait, it remains virtually unusable unless stationary, and even in landscape our oversized fingers kept missing this undersized screen, instead making a b-line for the capacitive buttons, constantly returning us home when all we wanted to do was press enter. SlideIT provides some relief to this frustration, though HTC is normally good at delivering complete out of the box solutions.



Camera and Multimedia:

Considering the compact form factor, we're pleased to see a flash accompanying the 5MP autofocus camera on the HTC Wildfire S. With slightly under-saturated images being the default output from the handset and shutter lag being present, detail levels are nevertheless good. Thanks to noise suppression, low light shots aren’t too grainy and the flash performs well for small groups / objects, though nothing more ambitious.



Video capture caps out at VGA resolution. The output is of mediocre quality suffering from patchy frame rates. Captured video can be comfortably exported to another phone or YouTube, but will crack under any higher caliber expectations.

HTC Wildfire S Sample Video:



With a microSD card slot on board, you can store up to 32GB of music. The unit also has a 3.5mm jack and is relatively small, so using the HTC Wildfire S as a primary MP3 player is a realistic ambition, as is using it for video playback, though unless you’re a fan of eye strain, we’d probably prefer viewing at 20 minute sitcom over a 10 hour trilogy.



Internet and Connectivity:

The HTC Wildfire S offers quad-band GSM, dual-band 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. While web browsing on a small screen isn't ideal, thanks to the improved resolution of the display, the handset definitely trumps its predecessor on that front. Browsing is all done through the native Gingerbread browser with all your standard perks such as multi-touch and Flash support.



FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless