HTC Wildfire S review: S-size droid

GSMArena team, 18 May 2011.
Pages: «12345678»

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

The image gallery also applies for the Sense treatment

The gallery has the usual list-with-thumbnail structure. The Albums app automatically locates images and videos, no matter where they are stored. Images and videos stored in different folders appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder – which is an effective file management solution.

Each sub-album has a thumbnail of the latest image. There is also a camera shortcut, but it’s only available once you start browsing any of the sub-folders.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
The Albums app works with Facebook and Flickr

At the bottom of the main album there are three virtual buttons – one for the actual folder list, another for Facebook and, one for Flickr. These two display images from either account or those posted by your friends.

Sharing a photo on the HTC Wildfire S is very easy – tap the share button and pick your preferred sharing method. There’s everything from sharing via Bluetooth or email, to posting on Facebook, Twitter or photo sharing sites like Picasa and Flickr. You can also upload videos straight to YouTube.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
Browsing the image gallery

In the HTC Wildfire S image folders you can choose between grid and filmstrip layout (flip the phone horizontally and the accelerometer will take care of the rest). You are also able to mass delete images, but still no mass copy-and-paste options.

You can’t copy/paste images from folder to folder either – you’d need a proper file manager for that.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
Sharing images is easy • Basic image editing tools

HTC Wildfire S supports multi-touch and you can take full advantage of it while browsing your images. You can zoom to 100% with a simple double tap on the screen. The implementation here is extra smooth too.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
Smooth finger-sweep browsing of images and pinch zoom

Video player does XviD but has some limitations

Video files can be accessed in the All videos subfolder in the Gallery or from the Videos shortcut in the menu, they launch the same thing.

The video files can be viewed as a grid or filmstrip and can be shared over MMS, email, or YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
The Videos app is part of the Gallery • Playing video

The video player interface on the HTC Wildfire S offers a full screen toggle (stretch / crop video to fit the screen) and you can scrub through the video too. There are no subtitle, DLNA and SRS support.

The video player does OK in general - WVGA MP4 videos were no problem. The player handled all of the XviD videos up to VGA resolution (and few WVGA). Most of the DivX files didn’t though. MKV files are a no-go too. Given the resolution and the hardware we think the Wildfire S gives you the best it is capable of.

Eye-candy music player

The standard music library view is the Artists section, but you can easily switch to one of the other six tabs beneath, which are for Albums, All Songs and Playlists.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
The music library

The now playing interface is a Cover-Flow-like visualization of the current playlist – you can swipe sideways to skip songs or go back. You can opt to view the full playlist if you need to skip more than a few phones.

HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review HTC Wildfire S Review
The new player interface is nice • Player controls in the notification area

Two shortcuts in the top corners act as toggles for shuffle and repeat. From the context menu, you can share a song (over Bluetooth, email or message) and you can set it as a ringtone.

FM radio

The Wildfire S is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a pretty simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and allows you to mark some of them as favorite. It also supports RDS and allows loudspeaker playback.

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The FM radio UI

One thing that annoyed us about the radio is that it takes quite a while to start and stop – about five seconds.

Passable audio quality

The HTC Wildfire S will hardly set the world alight with its audio output, but it's not too bad for a low-end handset.

When connected to an external amplifier the achieved results are pretty good, except for the intermodulation distortion, which is a bit high for that scenario.

Performance is similar when headphones are connected - intermodulation distortion rises a bit higher, but the rest of the readings are more than the price tag could demand. We are especially impressed by the stereo-crosstalk reading, which is one of the highest we have seen (with headphones plugged in, of course).

Unfortunately, volume levels on both occasions are pretty low so the Wildfire S will probably not be the audiophile's favorite. It might do a pretty solid job for you if you are not too pretentious though.

And here come the full results so you can see for yourselves:

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
HTC Wildfire S+0.15, -0.79-81.384.10.0260.131-81.3
HTC Wildfire S (headphones attached)+0.56, -0.34-81.083.10.0260.324-68.1
Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660+0.11, -0.46-83.785.60.0180.091-82.2
Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660 (headphones attached)+0.28, -0.16-83.685.60.0170.387-39.0
Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570+0.11, -0.45-83.085.30.0220.077-80.6
Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 (headphones attached)+0.88, -0.24-82.484.70.0230.427-43.7
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace+0.11, -0.47-84.986.80.0250.084-82.1
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace (headphones attached)+0.82, -0.22-84.586.70.0830.628-42.3
LG Optimus One P500+0.17, -1.69-85.687.20.0210.301-86.2
LG Optimus One P500 (headphones attached)+0.19, -1.36-85.486.90.0210.643-46.5
Nokia C6-01+0.07 -0.37-88.288.10.0073 0.017-89.4
Nokia C6-01 (headphones attached)+0.48 -0.25-88.187.80.016 0.362-71.7
Samsung S5260 Star II+0.08, -0.51-85.685.60.00500.071-61.2
Samsung S5260 Star II (headphones attached)+0.80, -0.28-85.485.40.0130.449-42.7

HTC Wildfire S
HTC Wildfire S frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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