HTC Flyer Tablet Review
I got the HTC Flyer in Taiwan on my Computex Trade Show trip and have been playing with it on and off on top of all the other gadgets I have. Finding the time is the hardest part. In any case after a couple of weeks of use, here are my thoughts and review of this little tablet.
The HTC Flyer is a 7" Tablet using the Android 2.33 Gingerbread build. Many expected the Honeycomb build in it but it wasn't to be. The Flyer uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5Ghz single core CPU and comes with 1GB of RAM. It also comes with 32GB of Storage. The storage will depend on where you buy the unit from. I also got a WiFi plus 3G version and paid roughly $700+ USD. It's a very expensive tablet comparing to others out there with bigger screens. It is also a bit heavy, weighing in about 421 or so grams. Dimensions around 195.4 x 122 x 13.2 mm. It is not a bad size and feels good holding it. The display is a LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors and resolutions to 1024X600 pixels. The display is quite good and crisp. The HTC Flyer also comes with a carrying pouch. The battery power is 4000 mAh, a decent power considering the size of the tablet. My unit also came with a Pen which can be used to scribble notes etc. It is available as an option in a lot of countries like the U.S. More on that later.
Other hardware and features include - Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3G Radio, Micro USB port, 5MP rear and 1.3MP front camera, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, HTC Sense UI, Multi-touch input method, Handwriting support, Touch-sensitive controls with rotating icons.
The HTC Flyer is a neat little tablet that functions quite well for people on the go. The build quality is quite good which has a nice aluminium back with plastic at the front and bottom. You can add a SIM card and Micro SD by removing the plastic cover at the top. I felt this was a bit difficult and felt like I would break it. You have to put a bit of pressure with your thumbs to open it. The front has a nice 7" display and the screens resolution is quite crisp and bright. I was very impressed with HTC's new Sense 3.0 UI. The lock screen is pretty neat. Has a little ring and you just pull it upwards to unlock the device. You can have up to 4 shortcuts in the lock screen. The weather animations are fantastic. Once you unlock your screen you have your usual Android OS screen. There are also some nice widgets that are included with the flyer with HTC's own implementations. Accessing menus and playing with the tablet had no visible lag and overall the device seemed snappy.
HTC's notification screen is quite good and well implemented as they have added a few things more than the stock Gingerbread. Tells you everything at a glance including a list of apps for fast switching and a quick settings tab where you can change things like WIFI, GPS Bluetooth etc.
The Flyer comes with a bunch of HTC Sense software. For e.g the HTC Hub is where you create an account and you are given access to scenes, skins, wallpaper, sounds and a bunch of other cool stuff. I found this useful. One thing I didn't like is the fact that you need a SIM card to access the hub even though I had my Wi-Fi on. Why you need a SIM is beyond me.
HTC Likes is another one of those unique HTC software. It is a selection of Likes from other users for things like Apps etc so you can see which are the most liked programs on the Android market. Other programs include Photo Stream a social networking hub for Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and Flickr. Connected Media is a program where you can stream music, photos and videos to a DLNA compliant device. HTCSense.com is a portal where you back up your device to the cloud and remotely track and wipe your device or locate it if its stolen. Locations is a navigation and maps program which also works offline saving you data charges when you are roaming. And finally HTC Watch is a service that gives you a library of movies, trailers, TV shows etc. It offers a choice of renting or buying videos. I only was able to test out the trailers as I couldn't get access to the premium movies and the picture was gorgeous without any buffering on my Wi-Fi setup.
The Flyer Pen:
The HTC Pen is a neat little gadget and I certainly had fun playing around with it. It's useful for note taking and scribbling etc. will work on most of the UI but doesn't work on some parts. It is also pretty handy to take screenshots. All the UI screenshots you see are taken with this function and it works well.
Scribble some notes, then share it via email, or any social networking sites. There are 2 buttons on the pen. The top button when pressed is used as an eraser and the other button is used as a highlighter. If you are a lot into note taking, the HTC Pen is tightly integrated with Evernote a popular note taking program which stores all your notes in the cloud and keeps it in sync. Overall the pen worked quite well and can be very useful for note taking junkies.
The battery life of the HTC Flyer is quite good. With a lot of use it lasted close to 7 hrs esp with a lot of video viewing and browsing etc. So when compared to an iPad it is actually not too bad. But generally it should last you the whole day with a lot of use and if you use it sparingly it can last a few days easy. Again this will depend on what you use and how you use it.
I was quite impressed with the HTC Flyer. Its a cute little tablet and easy to hold and take along unlike the bigger tablets. Although I would have liked to see the Honeycomb build of Android, the Gingerbread implementation of the tablet is quite good. I didn't have any crashes and I didn't notice any lag. It was quite snappy for a single core processor. The HTC Sense 3.0 UI is impressive and I like it much better than other implementations like the Samsung TouchWiz. I did like the HTC software bundled and the experience was good. I would highly recommend this product only if the price was cheaper. For what it is, it is overpriced and you are better off buying an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. If HTC brought their price down by say $100, the Flyer would be a great buy! But if you have the money and want good portability, then this device is for you.
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