The HTC Wildfire S is quite similar to its predecessor: The Wildfire. Like the older handset, it's an Android smartphone with a 3.2-inch display — the same screen size as the original but with a slightly higher resolution and a smaller body. The Wildfire S is lighter and slightly faster than the original Wildfire.
The phone targets budget-conscious shoppers, but despite this it stills feels extremely well built, with a lightweight aluminium body.
The original Wildfire's screen had a resolution of 240x320 pixels. The Wildfire S bumps this up to 320x480. However, the screen is difficult to view in sunlight and text is not rendered especially well.
The Wildfire S runs version 2.3 of Android — AKA 'Gingerbread'. Like HTC's other Android phones it runs the Sense user interface overlay, which includes a variety of skins and seven home screens..
Most of the usual HTC extras are included, though it omits the car panel (designed to be used while driving), the "My Shelf" app (for storing and reading e-books), and the Swype keyboard (for faster text entry).
Despite the bump from a 528MHz processor to 600MHz and an increase in RAM from 384MB to 512MB, the HTC Wildfire S is not noticeably faster than the Wildfire. Most operations take a second or two longer than on more powerful smartphones.
The phone's battery life is fairly standard for an Android phone. It will last more a full day on most occasions, though you will obviously get more use by fine-tuning the synchronisation settings.
In Australia the HTC Wildfire S can be bought through Telstra for $360.
Overall the phone offers decent value for money. If you're looking for a relatively compact and affordable smartphone, you are likely to be pleased by its excellent construction and easy to use software.
Review: Ross Catanzariti.