HTC Wildfire S (MetroPCS) review: HTC Wildfire S (MetroPCS)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 4.0

Average User Rating

2 stars 14 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The HTC Wildfire S is a beautifully built Android 2.3 Gingerbread handset with a decent 5-megapixel camera and lots of additional software features.

The Bad Without compatibility for MetroPCS' LTE network, the Wildfire S is stuck at slow-as-slugs 2.5G speeds. Its small size makes it trickier to maneuver the Web.

The Bottom Line Despite its small stature, the HTC Wildfire S is well-crafted and easy on the eye. Unfortunately, a slow data network holds it back.

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Is this the beginning of a beautiful relationship? MetroPCS is the next carrier to get the HTC Wildfire S, a petite, stylish, and relatively inexpensive Android 2.3 Gingerbread starter phone. While it's already available for T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular, the Wildfire is MetroPCS' first HTC phone, ever.

The all-white handset has a 3.2-inch HVGA touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and a 600MHz processor. It's small, a low point for some, but it's also nicely constructed and pretty packed with features, all things considered. Unfortunately, MetroPCS' far slower 2.5G network holds the phone back on the performance front, a real problem for anyone craving speed. It costs $179 without a contract.

Editors' note: Because it's almost identical to the version for T-Mobile, this review only covers differences in the HTC Wildfire S on MetroPCS. You can find more details in the T-Mobile review.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread runs beneath HTC's custom interface, known as Sense. I personally enjoy the graphical richness and extra capabilities that come with Sense, from access to system settings on the pull-down menu, to the way that the skin organizes apps. The Wildfire S runs an older version of Sense, 2.1, versus today's 3.5. While it isn't quite as advanced, this version of Sense still enhances the experience. Just look to the separate filter in the app tray that singles out MetroPCS' preloaded apps, for example.

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Where to Buy

HTC Wildfire S (MetroPCS)

Part Number: CNETWILDFIRESMETRO Released: Nov. 21, 2011

MSRP: $179.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov. 21, 2011
  • Talk Time Up to 430 min
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Combined with With digital camera / digital player
  • Service Provider MetroPCS
  • Weight 3.7 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.2 in
  • Sensor Resolution 5 pixels
About The Author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.