OK I've had a bit to drink, but I'm not happy. I have met two people today who have been sold a Wildfire by their operator when they called up to ask for a Desire. Obviously I am not the only person touting the wonders of the Desire (even though I have a non-Sense (Froyo) Nexus One myself), and word has got about.
I turned up at a new customer's house today, to set up/demo a Desire. I said "So you've got a Desire!", to which he replied "Yes. Well it's Wildfire now, not Desire." The implication being that he was updating me on the news that the Wildfire was the new name/replacement/updated version of the Desire.
Oops. Of course I liked the fact that this handset was nice and compact.
What I didn't like was the fact that one of the Desire's most impressive feature - the super-bright, super-firey, super-contrasty super-resolution screen, was not there at all. Instead a regular, dare I say a poor, old fashioned low resolution LED screen. The screen is definitely not special, and is certainly a weak point of this phone. Text is very pixelated. It is *not* *good*.
and the other great feature of the Desire, the thing that makes it great and wonderful (other than Android and Sense, which without this, are good but a bit slow), is that 1GHz SnapDragon processor. Well, of course that's not there either. Instead we've gone back about two years to a 528Mhz processor.
The above was Vodafone. This chap had been sold on the idea of the Desire via an existing customer of mine who has one, but he ended up with a Wildfire instead. Later tonight it transpires that a friend's girlfriend has a Wildfire on its way too, having asked for a Desire also. She is with T-Mobile.
My problem isn't that the Wildfire is not a Desire, or that the Wildfire is a bad handset per-se. It's that the operators are selling the Wildfire to people who are asking for the Desire. Being an idealist, and a major open source fanatic, I am disturbed by the fact that this could ruin the adoption of Android, on the basis that people will be left feeling unfulfilled. The Desire, and Nexus One, are perfect implementations of the Android platform. The Wildfire is definitely not. It's a cost cutting exercise. Pressing "View Details" on a contact on the Wildfire results in a ~600msec delay, for example, and let's not forget that horrible screen.
If one of these new Wildfire customers were sat at a pub alongside a new iPhone 4 customer, I know for sure who would feel superior and who would feel immediately inferior! These are people asking for the best Android handset and being sold something else, yet still thinking that they have got the best of Android. Google should be taking action!