Accessing the dial pad is as easy as pie – there's a big fat icon at the bottom of the home screen that takes you there. You can then start dialling a number or name (using the T9 predictive text method) and smartdial will work out who you're aiming for from your contacts.
Calls made using the Wildfire could be clearer; although not bad quality, callers' voices were a touch on the fuzzy side. We also had a couple of issues with dropped calls even when the reception was perfectly fine.
We're quite taken with HTC's polite ringer feature – if a caller isn't someone you fancy chatting with, simply turning the Wildfire over puts the ringer to silent until your voicemail kicks in.
Contacts are integrated with Facebook and Twitter should you wish it, which is great in that it means most of your contacts will end up with snazzy photo icons without you having to go through setting each one.
The only downside is that we ended up with a load of duplicates and no obvious or easy way to get rid of them.
As with many current handsets, favourite contacts can be saved to one of the seven home screens for quick access.
The HTC Wildfire is all about social networks being integrated fully into the phone's operations – this includes caller ID. If the person calling is also a Facebook contact, it'll tell you their latest status update and if their birthday is coming up.
This is great and all, but we're so used to just answering as soon as we glance at the name it wasn't something we found particularly useful.
PJ: I've always found smart-dial invaluable, and it's nice and easy to use on the Wildfire. When making and taking calls I do really miss the dedicated call and end buttons, though. Call quality is fine, no complaints.
The HTC Wildfire's contacts book is pretty good – I like having the favourites panel and it would be cool if it auto-populated using people you call most often – but you can see these in the call log anyway I suppose.
DS: I've not got Google contacts set up, so I imported mine from Exchange, which turned out to be a big mess thanks to not having to ever look at that address book before.
I did try linking them together, and the offered links mostly helped. However, I simply couldn't be bothered to do them all as there were loads; I imagine if you have the phone for a long period of time you might manage to do it eventually.
Call quality was decent though – although it was annoying how long it took to connect to people, and at times it failed on the first go, which was really irritating.