HTC Wildfire review

The low-cost version of the HTC Desire arrives

The definitive HTC Wildfire review
The definitive HTC Wildfire review

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The HTC Wildfire comes with a WebKit browser onboard – it's actually pretty good; generally loading speeds were fairly nippy although sometimes images would take a few seconds longer than we'd like.

HTC wildfire

Multiple windows come as standard and switching between them is just a two-command affair.

The screen is a bit small for browsing full web pages, so zooming is a must; multi-touch zoom worked well and we could zoom in quite far before the text and images became distorted by pixellation.

HTC wildfire

The HTC Wildfire also features a 'find on page' option, which makes wading through text-heavy web pages much easier.

Switching between Wi-Fi and 3G is fairly easy – the HTC Wildfire won't auto-connect to those annoying BT Openzones but will remember any Wi-Fi you've connected to before to save you entering passcodes a second time.

If you are planning on switching between 3G and Wi-Fi regularly, we'd recommend adding the HTC power control widget to one of the home screens. It's a one-stop shop for controlling your 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connections.

This can also control your automatic updates, screen brightness and push notifications if you need to save battery. To manually switch connections, you'll have to go into the Settings menu.

One benefit of the HTC Wildfire over some handsets like the iPhone is that you can watch Flash content on it as you browse the web; this means you aren't restricted to a specific YouTube app, for example, and can play Flash games and watch embedded videos on web pages like BBC News.

HTC wildfire

However, Flash won't work on every site, and will be a little choppy at times – we're looking forward to the Android 2.2 upgrade that brings Flash 10.1 and a much better browsing experience.

PJ: The web browser renders really quickly over Wi-Fi – much quicker than I've been used to on my handset. It's a shame there's no autofill in the address field, and it's a bit annoying that the URL bar locks to the top of the webpage – especially when you're zoomed in.

DS: I liked using the internet on the Wildfire a lot – it was quick and easy to use. However, I found my Wi-Fi kept dropping out for no reason when at home, which meant that speeds were a bit lower.

I shared a couple of websites through Facebook, and it worked really well – although this seemed to tax the Wildfire a little bit too much at times, causing a few error messages.