HTC Wildfire R70 announced with triple cameras and ancient microUSB port
HTC still makes phones. While it remains much more focused on the VR market, the company has woken up from its long slumber and announced a new phone for the Indian and Thailand markets: the HTC Wildfire X. If you want to read HTC’s recent history, read this article. After months of inactivity in the mobile space, HTC’s new CEO Yves Maitre recently stated in an interview that the company will launch a 5G phone this year. This was expected to be made in cooperation with Qualcomm. The company’s last phone launch under its own manufacturing were the HTC U19e and Desire 19+. In August 2019, it announced the HTC Wildfire X for the Indian market. However, the Wildfire X was not an HTC phone in the true sense, as HTC had made an agreement with Indian device makers Lava, Micromax, and Karbonn to use its licensed brand name for new phones, and the Wildfire X had actually been made by Lava. The new HTC Wildfire R70 is a similar phone. In India, it will be made by one of HTC’s brand partners. The Thailand / international variant may be made by HTC itself, or it may be developed by another local OEM/ODM. Here is the specifications list for the Wildfire R70:
|Specifications||HTC Wildfire R70|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|RAM & Storage||
|Fingerprint Sensor||Back-mounted fingerprint sensor|
|Android Version||Android 9|
The only thing that jumps out from the HTC Wildfire R70’s specifications listing is the specifications of the primary camera. It’s using a 16MP sensor with 1.4-micron pixel size, which means the sensor is bigger than run-of-the-mill 16MP sensors out there. It also has a 6P lens, and a bright f/1.7 aperture. The 1.4-micron pixel size should lead to relatively good photos in low light, if the image processing is up to scratch.
The rest of the phone doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The MediaTek Helio P23 is a three-year-old SoC, as it was announced back in 2017. HTC or local Indian device makers could have chosen to use a much more powerful SoC such as the MediaTek Helio G70 (which is used in the Realme C3), but they chose not to. As it is, the performance won’t be anything to write home about as there are no big CPU cores, and the GPU itself is very, very weak as well.
The Wildfire R70 has a 6.53-inch HD+ display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The display size is good for the Indian market; the resolution, not so much. The single RAM and storage option is absolutely miserable as the phone is only available in a 2GB RAM/32GB storage variant. There is a microSD card slot, but it’s unclear if it’s a dedicated slot in addition to the dual nano SIM slots.
In terms of connectivity, the phone has single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, and a deprecated microUSB port that device makers, even in the budget range, are starting to move away from. In terms of software, it’s running Android 9. I am not aware how that was even possible to achieve in a phone announcement in February 2020.
HTC didn’t reveal any details regarding the Wildfire R70’s pricing and availability, but the phone will be available in India and Thailand, at least. Much as users might hope for even more competition to challenge what increasingly looks like a brilliant Xiaomi-Realme competitive duopoly, the Wildfire R70 won’t save HTC’s brand name or do it any favors, unless it’s priced at about ₹7,000 in India, which is unlikely.