Messaging on the HTC Wildfire is pretty basic. But what it lacks in features it makes up for in being very easy to use. The inbox features contacts' images which make it quite nice and colourful to look at and each contact has its own threaded messaging for an easy reminder of the conversation so far.

HTC wildfire

Writing text messages is similarly straightforward; the HTC Sense QWERTY keyboard is one of the best around.

It's obviously a little more spacious if you auto-rotate it to landscape mode, but portrait wasn't too cramped to use either – this is a vast improvement on the resistive Tattoo's T9 layout.

HTC wildfire

The predictive text learns words quickly and easily so you can be chatting in your own lingo in no time and the multi-touch display is able to register more than one letter at once, so speedy typing is easy.

Our only real issue with messaging on the HTC Wildfire is that sometimes there was a delay in receiving text messages, even with full reception.

Messages were stuck in the ether for several hours, even while we browsed the web over 3G and sent other messages of our own. We were using the HTC Wildfire on post-pay O2, and this could quite easily have been a network issue.

Setting up Exchange or Pop email is no problem as long as you have all the required information to hand. It's simply a case of filling in the fields onscreen and that's it.

HTC wildfire

Emails can be laid out either as a traditional inbox or threaded conversations – and it's particularly handy to be able to sort emails by date, or look through only unread emails.

PJ: Having used the HTC Tattoo, I really appreciated the bigger screen on the Wildfire when it came to writing text messages – it's wide enough to house a QWERTY layout rather than the numberpad style.

DS: I liked the amount of messaging options on the Wildfire – email, texts and Googlemail all landed easily. I don't Tweet very often, but it was very easy to get Peep to sync up all my stuff.

I agree with Ed though – messages were poor. I was using a Three SIM and messages frequently wouldn't send, with 'Message unable to send, retrying' coming up far too often.

I liked the keyboard more than I thought I would – I've not used a touchscreen keyboard for a while, and I was surprised how easily I got on without using a stylus.