HTC’s new breed of Android 2.3 Desire S and Wildfire S Gingerbread entered the mobile arena with much furore last night.
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|HTC Desire S
The new HTCs running Gingerbread are updates to the original Desire and Wildfire, among the first Androids to hit Aussie shores last year.
And how times have changed. And not just for Android. HTC is also making its mark in the market here, which was reflected in the launch turnout last night at Sydney’s upmarket Quarter Twenty One venue.
So, down to the hard facts. What is the Desire S and Wildfire S bringing to the table that’s new and not already been done. And why would one want to buy it over the slew of Android’s hitting town every day?
As pointed out by Smarthouse last month, HTC have released dated handsets on to the market here, such as the Incredible S, months after Europe and the US.
The 3.7 inch WVGA touchscreen (480 x 800 res) Desire S is a “next gen” premium device and hits the sweet spot for people who want a “premium Android smartphone experience,” said Ben Hodgson, Manager, HTC Australia.
Specs-wise it comes with HTC Sense, super fast speed with 1GHz processor, 5 MP camera (front and rear), HD video, and “presents multimedia content brilliantly,” say HTC. And if you loved the Desire, this “stays true” to the original model, say its Taiwanese maker.
The device is made from single block of aluminium making it feel solid and natural in your hand through a slimmer unibody design.
And for multimedia junkies it delivers crisp virtual surround sound via SRS WOW HD and microSD memory card (which is SD 2.0 compatible) and also supports Flash 10.2.
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|HTC Wildfire S
Up close, Desire S lighter than the original model the screen is crisp clear – the res has been improved 30-40 per cent, say its makers, and seems far more responsive and instant in functionality thanks to Qualcomm’s upgraded 1GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor.
It also runs for longer (about 24 hours) without dying and the battery is bigger.
Gingerbread 2.3 has introduced 300 new Android changes including more widgets, skins and sounds.
Price-wise, it can be bought outright for $648 or on a $59 cap for $5 a month additional charge for the phone, identical to the Samsung Galaxy II if memory serves me correctly. (Hmm, funny that).
And what’s more, it will also be released just a day before the new Galaxy II
on May 31, which is getting its Aussie media debut tonight.
Wildfire on the other hand is the middle of the road option, “is affordable and compact without compromising the quality” and aimed at the younger market, Hodgson adds.
The 3.2 inch touch screen (320 x 480 res) Wildfire S is the small brother to Desire S and has some similar specs with 5 MP camera and the same microSD capability and also boasts a 600 MHz processor. So, almost as fast but not quite.
Wildfire S is also social networking friendly with Facebook ‘share experience’, Friend Stream (which groups friends’ networking updates including Twitter and MySpace together) and other extras including remembering friends birthdays and other vital information.
But, it does entertain and has really fast streaming to boot and offers mobile Foxtel capability offering up to 33 TV channels, straight to the Wildfire S screen.
It is also lightweight at 105 g (3.7 ounces) and comes with other quirks like digital compass and light sensor.
Both models offer the strong element of personalisation on the user interface which users love with HTC’s and these two new numbers are no different.
Price-wise, Wildfire can be bought for $360 outright but also come with plan although these have yet to be announced, probably before its release on July 19th.
Telstra has an “exclusive” grasp on both HTCs for now.
“The original HTC Desire was a huge hit with our customers and helped usher in Australia’s interest in Android-powered phones,” said Andrew Volard, Director of Telstra Mobile Products.
We’re equally pleased to bring the affordable and compact Wildfire S to our customers. It’s tailored especially for our younger customers with strong social networking features and lots of entertainment options including Mobile FOXTEL from Telstra.”