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Telstra Wildfire comes with Swype

Telstra has launched its first prepaid Android and is sweetening the deal by including a Swype keyboard into its application suite.

Telstra and HTC joined forces today to launch the telco's first prepaid Android, the HTC Wildfire, highlighting a few features that set it apart from the more powerful HTC Desire.

The white Wildfire is a Fone Zone exclusive until 28 September. (Credit: HTC)

Among these features is Swype keyboard input, a global exclusive for Telstra on the Wildfire. This software lets users input text using swiping finger gestures across the on-screen keyboard rather than tapping individual keys. Swype has been used previously in Android phones by Samsung and Motorola, but its addition to the Wildfire software suite comes after an arrangement made by Telstra as an exclusive for its customers.

"We've been pushing hard to have Swype included on all our handsets for a number of years," said Telstra's Richard Fink. "Personally, as a consumer, as someone who has used Swype and loves it, I want to see it on every handset coming through."

HTC has also added a Bluetooth contacts importing tool to help new users transfer important data from older phones made by other manufacturers. The Data Transfer tool even helps you connect your Wildfire to your old phone with a step-by-step guide tailored to dozens of phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and Apple. The tool can transfer all contacts and calendar entries to be used in the Address Book and Calendar apps on the HTC Wildfire.

There's also a new baked in Flashlight app, for switching on the phone's LED camera flash, and an app called Share Apps, which makes it easy to let your friends and colleagues find the apps you use via messaging or social networking.

The HTC Wildfire will be available exclusively through Telstra from 24 August for AU$349 for use with a prepaid SIM, or on a contract for free at AU$49 per month. Customers who choose to buy the Wildfire outright should be aware that the phone is locked to Telstra at that price. There will also be two colour variants: Phantom Black and Glossy White, with the latter launching exclusively in Fone Zone franchise stores before getting a wider release on 28 September.