There has been much talk about LG’s upcoming departure from the smartphone market, and while nothing is really official yet, some say that the writing has been on the wall for years (Please see the Update below). It isn’t the only big name in the market whose future has been in question for a long time. Sony and HTC are also in line for that fate though it seems that HTC has found a sliver of hope in the past months. Now it is even launching yet another mostly forgettable device just to prove it’s still alive and kicking.
The Wildfire is one of HTC’s older brands that has silently vanished into the background during the company’s many rebranding efforts. It revived that name two years ago with the Wildfire E and has now curiously chosen to follow it up with a “lite” version, as if the HTC Wildfire E weren’t lite enough on its own. That said, the HTC Wildfire E lite, a.k.a. Wildfire E1 lite in other markets, does step down a bit in specs while retaining the exact same appearance as the non-lite model.
In fact, everything is pretty much a downgrade except for the 5.45-inch 1440×720 HD+ screen. The MediaTek Helio A20 has half the cores and the storage has half the capacity at 16GB. The rear dual cameras are made up of an 8MP main shooter and a 0.3MP depth sensor. Thankfully, it retains the 3,000 mAh battery of its predecessor.
The one thing that does get an upgrade is the Android version, now using Android 10 Go Edition. Although it is no Android One, there are some implicit guarantees when using this configuration for Android, especially when it comes to devices with more constrained hardware.
At around $100, the HTC Wildfire E lite almost makes for a decent Android Go phone from a well-known brand. It will, however, be competing in markets like Russia and South Africa where more established brands, especially those from local manufacturers, hold stronger sway.
UPDATE: The previous title of this piece suggested that LG has officially confirmed its departure, which is not the case. We apologize for the inaccurate representation that of LG leaving the smartphone market while it is not officially announced.