HTC is preparing appears ready to either crawl back from the brink or to go out with a bang based on widely reported leaked renders and specs purportedly linked to the relaunch of the Taiwanese manufacturer's once-popular Wildfire series of budget smartphones. The devices in question would be the first in the long-dead series since way back in 2011 and will reportedly be billed as the HTC Wildfire, Wildfire E, Wildfire E Plus, and Wildfire E1.
Wildfire E and E Plus
The HTC Wildfire E and Wildfire E Plus, if the images here are accurate, are essentially identical on the outside. Each is shown in a matte black coloration with vibrant orange accents in the power button, rear camera surround, and in the HTC logo. The cameras are arranged in a horizontal configuration with a dual-LED flash and, according to the rumored specs, are rated at 13-megapixels and 2-megapixels while the front is rated at 5-megapixels.
There's a fingerprint scanner placed just above the HTC logo and, at least outwardly, the only difference seems to be the size. Both come equipped with a screen bearing a 1440 × 720 resolution at a ratio of 18: 9, with sizeable bezels above and below countered by drastically reduced edge bezels. In the smaller Wildfire E, that's been listed at 5.45-inches compared to the 'E Plus' at 5.99 inches, adding just a few millimeters of overall size to the larger handset.
It's a modern-looking design that's not entirely unique amid today's budget handsets but definitely takes inspiration from previous HTC gadgets and other recent smartphones released or rumored from the company as it clamors to regain its footing.
The overall design of the two abovementioned handsets does not at all match up with differences on the inside. Both will purportedly deliver Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, headphone jack, and dual SIM support. Each also brings a mediocre 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 3000mAh capacity battery to the table. For processors, HTC has gone with two entirely different chips.
The HTC Wildfire E is rumored to be equipped with an octa-core Spreadtrum SC9863 SoC clocked at 1.6 GHz. The larger gadget is purportedly built around the same chipset found in the Nokia 2.2, namely the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22. That's clocked at a more capable 2 GHz.
Not more of the same?
Contrary to what the naming conventions in use here might suggest, the HTC Wildfire and Wildfire E1 are entirely different from their nearly identical counterparts. That represents a sharp break from some of HTC's past practices — and from arguable failures of HTC in the past due to an overabundance of devices that didn't quite meet expectations on top of somewhat confusing branding.
The HTC Wildfire E1 is closer to the devices it shares its model designation with. The leaked images show that it bears a similar design, albeit curvier and without the orange accents and no dual-camera array. Instead, a 16-megapixel snapper is included on the back while an 8-megapixel camera is included at the front.
The bezels here are much slimmer too and the differences internally are relatively small as well. Underneath the waterdrop-notch bearing 6.088-inch (1560 × 720) display panel, HTC is said to have used the same chipset as the Wildfire E Plus but with 3GB of DDR4 RAM instead of 2GB. Other specs go unchanged from the HTC Wildfire E Plus.
Finally, the HTC Wildfire, if the speculation and leaks have been accurate, would be the most powerful of the bunch thanks to its 2.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 SoC. That's going to be backed by 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB storage, as well as a bigger 3,500mAh capacity battery.
Other components used in the Wildfire are expected to be better too. That includes larger camera sensors at 16-megapixels and 5-megapixels on the rear joined by a 16-megapixel selfie snapper. The selfie camera is embedded in a waterdrop notch under the device's 6.217-inch display. That has a ratio and resolution of 19:9 and 1520 × 720, respectively.
The external appearance of the HTC Wildfire doesn't line up with the other three gadgets and likely isn't finalized yet since there's no branding included.
If that does remain unchanged through launch, the HTC Wildfire will keep a distinctly HTC-like curve and edges but will take on a modern, all-screen design with ultra-slim bezels matched by a slightly larger 'chin'. The color used in the render is a rainbow gradient but it's not clear whether HTC will launch the device in that color either.