HTC Flyer: Can It Hold Up Against Honeycomb Tablets?

When we see the brand HTC we associated them with their incredible smartphones, with their bright beautiful touch screens to their powerful hardware. Now HTC has put all their focus into their new tablet. The question is can the HTC Flyer compete with the other Android tablets or will this tablet be pushed to the side?

Display
Just like any other HTC product you get the beautiful bright screen, It’s 7 inch Gorilla Glass screen is a little thicker and heavier as well at 14.82oz. The screen packs touch-sensitive keys which was great all I needed to do was swipe the screen gently for it to move to the next screen with no hesitation. The body is alumni with white plastic inserts on the back; portrait orientation was easily done thanks to the grip edges which I love.

The power / lock button is on the top left, the volume button is on the right edge, you also have a 3.5mm headphones socket on the top, and a microUSB port on the bottom. You have two options to charger the Flyer, with the plug HTC’s AC adapter, or with a regular microUSB cable. You are better off with the standard AC adapter, charging with the microUSB cable took forever.

On the back holds a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera together with stereo speakers, the camera took great pictures but as soon as I had to zoom in the pictures became a little fuzzy. The speakers are pretty weak; I couldn’t put the volume to the max. The lower plastic section pulls off to reveal the microSD card Internal storage is 32GB, but the WiFi-only Flyer has half that, at 16GB. Both pack WiFi Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, an ambient light sensor, g-sensor and digital compass, as well as a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls.

Hardware
As you all know the Flyer is running old software, Android 2.3 Gingerbread (which my phone runs on) the setup is a little different from the phone format the Android home screen now works in both portrait and landscape orientation. Both get a carousel-style interface, with endless rotation; flick the home screen fast, and the perspective pulls back to show the eight panes spinning. A pinch-zoom gesture shows all eight thumb nailed. You also have, Friend Stream with Facebook and Twitter feeds just like the smartphones. I did have a problem with Twitter at times, when I would tap on the icon my Twitter home page would come up then disappear and go back to the Flyers home screen, I did this a couple of times until I finally was able to get to my Twitter home page.

There’s also Amazon’s MP3 store app, HTC Hub for wallpaper, ringtone and other downloads, HTC Likes with suggestions, Locations, the Teeter game, a Task Manager app and WiFi Hotspot, for sharing the 3G connection with up to eight WiFi-tethered clients. You also have email app, but it’s the same email app as your smartphone.

You tube is also on the Flyer and works great, but when I would watch a video on another website like IGN the video would play then freeze but the audio would still be playing within a few minutes the video would jump to match the audio, I did this a couple of times in different areas and still got the same result, which I found frustrating.

Now the HTC Flyer also has a stylus which is called the “Magic Pen” (pen does not come with the Tablet it’s sold separately for $80) for text entry, annotation and sketching, but my review unit did not come with the pen so I’m not able to give you a review on it (sorry).

When the HTC Flyer was announced I couldn’t wait to get it, but then Honeycomb came out which is a much faster software than Gingerbread which made me think twice. I think the Flyer is a “cute” tablet, can it stand up against the new tablets? In my opinion… No. The HTC Flyer is going for $499 retail price, to pay that amount for a tablet with old software is not worth it; I’ll just pay the $499 for a Honeycomb tablet.

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