The Wildfire C - codenamed 'Golf' - is to be HTC's first truly entry-level phone that features Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0
Editor's Review of the Desire C
Meet the first truly entry-level HTC handset that offers the joys of Ice Cream Sandwich to phone buyers on a tight budget. Despite its budget label, the HTC Desire C still contains some nifty features, such as Beats Audio sound enhancement, a 5MP camera, and HTC's Sense UI 4.0. But with a lowly 600MHz processor, is it the best deal out there?
Design & Build
The build of the Desire C contradicts its name, as it's built like some kind of lovechild between an HTC One X and a Wildfire S. The rubberised chassis feels grippy and safe in the hands. Overall, it's a very good-looking little handset (as we'd expect from HTC), and even though you will have splashed out only around £150 on it, you can still feel proud to pull it out in public.
The 3.5" screen on the Desire C won't deter people familiar with iPhones, but the 320x480 HVGA resolution does make the phone feel a little dated. Many will associate Ice Cream Sandwich with crisp Super AMOLED goodness, but the display here hardly does its OS justice.
OS & performance
A major draw of this phone is, of course, the fact that it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, this isn't quite the version you'd be getting on higher-end phones. Flicking through home screens isn't quite as smooth, there are no 3D animations (they're battery-draining anyway), and there are fewer homescreens.
The Achilles Heel of this phone sadly has a big effect on its strength, and that's the weak 600MHz processor. With this lack of power, apps are slow to open, the screen sometimes forgets you're tapping it, and even opening texts takes a few seconds. Considering that there are perfectly budget phones out there with 1GHz processors, the processor here really is a major drawback.
Camera & Multimedia
The 5MP camera on the Desire C is one area in which this plucky little phone has bragging rights over rival phones such as the LG Optimus L3 or Samsung Galaxy Y. While the small processing power means that it takes a couple of seconds to activate. On the bright side, you can access it directly from the lock screen.
Sadly absent is a flash function, so forget about low-light shooting. While HTC Sense's options are decent, and include exposure, contrast, sharpness and ISO and white balance manipulation, these are once again counter-balanced by the lack of basic functions such as auto-focus. As such, it doesn't perform well outside of its ideal shooting conditions of static shots in bright outdoor areas.
The music player built into the Desire C will more than suffice for your acoustic needs. The player itself is within a 'Music' hub which also includes SoundHound and TuneIn Radio. What's more, if you get a good enough set of headphones, then you can also get the most from Dr Dre's Beats Audio enhancement, which really boosts the experience.
Battery life, Connectivity & Storage
The 1230mAh battery onboard here may not sound too amazing on paper, but it more than suffices given the small power demands of the phone. An average user can expect to get the best part of two days use out of it.
In terms of connectivity, the Desire C neither outdoes itself or lets itself down. WiFi b/g/n is onboard, HSDPA speeds of up to 7.2MBps, and Bluetooth 4.0 for super-speedy close-quarters file transfers. While NFC isn't necessarily an expectation in lower-end handsets, the Blackberry Curve 9320 proved that it can be done, so it's a bit of a shame not to see it featured here.
Storage is no issue here, with the perfectly acceptable 4GB on onboard space being boosted by a microSD slot allowing for a further 32GB. This is just as well, as the phone's nifty music-listening abilities will mean that you'll be quite happy keeping your personal sounds collection on here.
Much ado was made about the Desire C's Ice Cream Sandwich capabilities. But when the processor seems unable to keep up with its own OS, then you have to wonder whether it was worth force-feeding ICS into it.
The Desire C is a visually-pleasing handset with some good multimedia functions (particularly music-wise). Its processor pales next to similarly-priced handsets however, so if you're looking for a smoothly-running, entry-level handset, then you should look elsewhere.
HTC Desire C News
With the enigmatic – and oft-renamed - HTC Desire C finally unveiled today, the major networks have started rolling out offers for the phone. Following up on the news that T-Mobile will be selling the phone for £169, Orange have now also jumped on the bandwagon, offering the phone for £169.99 on pay as you go. Speaking […]
HTC‘s upcoming entry-level handset, which promises to let people indulge in the joys of Android‘s Ice Cream Sandwich at a reasonable price, has reportedly gone through several name changes, with the latest one being the HTC Desire C. The upcoming handset, codenamed ‘HTC Golf,’ was initially thought to be officially called the Wildfire C. Seeing […]
HTC is working on a new handset – codenamed ‘Golf’ – that is set to bring Android‘s Ice Cream Sandwich OS to the entry-level smartphone market. Soon to be renamed the Wildfire C (presumably due to its external similarity to the Wildfire phones) this phone will not pack anywhere near the same power as the […]
The HTC Golf has leaked as the company’s next entry-level smartphone, which is expected launch as the sequel to the HTC Explorer. HTC may have its new ‘Hero Device’ strategy, which we saw earlier this month at Mobile World Congress with the launch of the HTC One X, One S and One V smartphones. However, […]
HTC Desire C Specifications
107.2mm x 60.6mm x 12.3mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Size: 3.5 inches
Resolution: 320 x 480
Interface: HTC Sense 4.0
Some models (specifed on retailer listing)
External: microSD up to 32GB
A-GPS with maps
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and no Flash
Front facing camera
Battery Capacity: 1230 mAh
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player Beats Audio enhancement
Video supported formats