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HTC Wildfire S budget Android phone catches fire in hands-on photos

The Wildfire S is the successor to the HTC Wildfire, a budget smart phone packing Android power into a dinky little frame. Click here for our hands-on photos.

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Richard Trenholm
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The HTC Wildfire S is the successor to the HTC Wildfire, a budget smart phone packing Android power into a seriously dinky little frame.

The Wildfire S is lighter than its predecessor, making it very light indeed. It's a pocketable little pebble of a phone, with a dinky 3.2-inch display. The new phone has an improved screen, offering 320x480-pixel resolution, up from the original phone's 240x320-pixel screen. That means the screen is bright and detailed, and measures up to the capabilities of Android.

Google's Android operating system lets you add apps to the phone to personalise it, as well as browse the Web, watch video, and much more. That's a lot of power in such a little phone.

The small screen still won't be to everyone's taste. The increased detail is good for browsing the web and watching video, but there's only so much that can physically fit in the screen. You'll be doing more scrolling with this phone than one with a larger screen, and HTC hasn't added any features specifically aimed at making the most of a smaller display.

That said, the new HTC handsets feature an improved version of Sense on top of Android 2.3. This includes new options for sorting your apps, including a filter to just show the apps you've downloaded yourself from the Android Market, or the apps you use the most. You can also rearrange the widgets on your home screen by dragging the one you want to the centre of the screen.

The Wildfire S will launch with a version of Android Gingerbread. It could be version 2.3 or the forthcoming 2.4, depending on where Google is up to with making 2.4 available. If it's 2.3, HTC promises an update will be sent out to the new phone as soon as 2.4 is go.

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For comparison, here's the Wildfire S next to the new Incredible S.
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The power button and headphone jack at the top.
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The volume keys and USB connection.
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The Wildfire runs Android 2.3 and Sense, including this option to filter apps.
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You can view all your home screens...
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...and drag them into the order you want.
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The Wildfire S has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash.

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