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HTC Flyer Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Dual-core processors are all the rage nowadays with tablets, but HTC decided to forgo using one with the Flyer, and instead, it’s graced with a single-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with 1GB of RAM. Honestly, it manages to get the job done with a decent amount of responsiveness with all functions – and it doesn’t have the lagginess in portrait that’s associated with what we’ve seen so far with Honeycomb tablets. Considering the elaborate 3D effects in play with its interface, the Flyer doesn’t particularly slow down with its operation, which is what you would want to see with something with a fast processor like this.

Refreshingly, we can seemingly overlook the HTC Flyer’s lack of Honeycomb from the onset mainly because the Taiwanese company again showcases why they’re probably the best in the business when it comes to customized software experiences. Employing the most up-to-date version of their popular Sense UI, which is running on top of Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, we’re enthralled to be greeted with an experience that caters to the tablet form. Furthermore, the makeover has plenty of glitzy looking 3D visuals and transition effects to make you really wonder how it’s not bogging down the tablet one bit. Combining the fact that it’s compatible with HTCSense.com, that means you can still maintain certain aspects of the tablet all from the comfort of any internet connected computer.

Providing us a total of 7 available homescreens, our first impression of the new Sense UI is that it closely resembles Dell’s Stage UI – especially when HTC’s widgets completely encompass the size of a single homescreen. Showing off its graphics processing power, there are some neat looking 3D effects when you navigate between homescreens, and if you quickly flick it towards one direction, you get a snazzy looking carousel effect. As for the widgets, they’re actually identical to what we’ve seen with past Sense enabled devices at their core, but we truly adore the continued functionality they have to offer – all of which are accessed directly on the home-screen. Finally, you can still execute the usual pinch gesture while on the homescreen to jump into helicopter view, which allows you to view all the panels simultaneously and rearrange them to your liking.

The carousel effect - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
The carousel effect - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
The carousel effect - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
The carousel effect - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review

The carousel effect

The HTC Flyer employs the most up-to-date version of the popular Sense UI - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
The HTC Flyer employs the most up-to-date version of the popular Sense UI - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
The HTC Flyer employs the most up-to-date version of the popular Sense UI - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
Helicopter view - The HTC Flyer employs the most up-to-date version of the popular Sense UI - Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
   

Helicopter view

The HTC Flyer employs the most up-to-date version of the popular Sense UI

Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
Main menu - HTC Flyer Review
Main menu - HTC Flyer Review

Main menu


HTC didn’t stop by just presenting us with some fancier looking visuals and widgets, but rather, they decided to improve certain aspects of the platform to give the user even more control. Specifically, the notifications panel now offers access to some quick settings, mini-music player, and some of the most recently used apps. Additionally, HTC has taken the liberty of improving the lock screen as well since you can get things like the current weather conditions, plus the ability to jump into specific apps upon unlocking the tablet. Of course it’s super useful! And we truly admire how HTC is able to kick things up a notch to give users an engaging, yet tasteful experience. Combining those elements with its high-level of personalization, there is absolutely plenty of things to admire with this one, and at the same time, we’re eager to see how it’ll transcend with Honeycomb down the road.

Notifications panel - The improved lock screen - HTC Flyer Review
The improved lock screen - HTC Flyer Review
The improved lock screen - HTC Flyer Review
The improved lock screen - HTC Flyer Review

Notifications panel

   

The improved lock screen



Organizer and Messaging:

Nope, HTC didn’t stop just at the homescreen with the Flyer, but it retooled some of the core organizer apps to make the experience fitting for a tablet. With things like the Calendar app, it utilizes a familiar two-panel scheme in landscape that’s commonly employed by many tablets – and of course, it effectively works! Being Android and all, we’re greeted with the usual set of features with the calendar; like the ability to sync calendars.

The Calendar app - HTC Flyer Review
The Calendar app - HTC Flyer Review
The Calendar app - HTC Flyer Review
The Calendar app - HTC Flyer Review
The Calendar app - HTC Flyer Review

The Calendar app


Spreading the love to even more things, other core organizer apps also get their much-needed makeover to make them extremely useful – while sprinkling a dash of creativity. For example, the calculator now smashes together both the basic and advanced panels all on one screen. Likewise, the Clock app has one tremendous overhaul with its presentation since it carries along the desk clock, world clock, alarms, stopwatch, and timer.

Calculator - The Clock app has a tremendous overhaul - HTC Flyer Review
The Clock app has a tremendous overhaul - HTC Flyer Review
The Clock app has a tremendous overhaul - HTC Flyer Review
The Clock app has a tremendous overhaul - HTC Flyer Review

Calculator

   

The Clock app has a tremendous overhaul


Besides the cramped space of its on-screen landscape keyboard, we’re still satisfied with the overall messaging experience thanks to the always fantastic and ideal Sense keyboard. Literally, it’s near perfect solely due to the fact that it offers quick access to common numbers and symbols directly on the main layout. More than responsive in keeping up with our pace, we prefer using the portrait keyboard since its length is manageable with our thumbs – much like what we experience on any smartphone in landscape.

The Sense keyboard of the HTC Flyer - HTC Flyer Review
The Sense keyboard of the HTC Flyer - HTC Flyer Review

The Sense keyboard of the HTC Flyer


Strange as it may be, but we actually find the layout of HTC’s Mail app more ideal than the one we find with Gmail – that’s because the Gmail experience is unchanged from what we see with smartphones. Not only does the HTC Mail widget offer us a small preview of our messages, but the actual app is laid out in the same two-panel layout that’s evident throughout most core apps. Naturally, the left panel displays our inbox, while the right one will load the selected email – thus, giving us that tablet-optimized experience.

Gmail - HTC Flyer Review
HTC Flyer Review
HTC Flyer Review
HTC’s Mail app - HTC Flyer Review

Gmail

  

HTC’s Mail app


The stylus for the tablet, which, unlike in other parts of the world, is sold separately by Best Buy, unlocks some additional functionality that’s not necessarily common with today’s modern tablets. The stylus doesn’t replace your finger when it comes to navigation or making selections, but rather, it’ll allow you to jot down notes or scribble on something important. At any time, you can tap the display with the stylus, which then takes a screenshot of whatever you’re doing on-screen and displays it within the Scribble app. In here, you can start “scribbling” and click the stylus icon in the bottom right corner of the display to change the scribe tool, color, and density of its mark. In addition, you can run the notes app that mimics the look and feel of an actual notepad. Of course, you can type things up using the on-screen keyboard, write or draw something with the stylus, and import additional content like photos, audio, and documents.

Now what makes the stylus different from your usual plastic one, is the fact that it can distinguish certain degrees of applied pressure – thus making your markings either light or dark. Moreover, holding the bottom button on the stylus allows you to highlight text, while the top one places it into erase mode. Without a doubt, not everyone will find it a necessity, but if you’re an artistic person or want some flexibility with note taking, then this is undeniably a solution that might appeal to you. On top of that, HTC has added Evernote integration, which allows you to seamlessly sync your notes with the cloud and have them accessible from every computer.

The Scribble app - HTC Flyer Review
The Scribble app - HTC Flyer Review
The Scribble app - HTC Flyer Review
The Scribble app - HTC Flyer Review

The Scribble app

HTC Flyer Review
HTC Flyer Review
HTC Flyer Review


21 Comments
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posted on 27 May 2011, 07:20

1. why (unregistered)


why that camera? why?

posted on 27 May 2011, 07:43 2

2. i like htc flyer (unregistered)


omg falling inlove n_n

posted on 27 May 2011, 08:07

3. bossmt_2 (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Lets see list of tablets that have price as a pro,

iPad2
Acer Iconia

List of tablets where price is a con
Flyer,
Xoom
GSlate
Playbook

All those tablets are either the same price or within a 100 bucks of the iPad. The ones that are more expensive than the iPad are the Xoom (non-wifi) and the GSlate, both which work (or will work) with their carriers 4G networks something the same featured iPad cannot do. Also both the Xoom and GSlate can be purchased on Contract for the same price or cheaper than the iPad2 wifi. only. Playbook and Flyer are the same price and while in some ways the iPad2 has better features, in others it doesn't.

This is disregarding that you did not mention the Transformer, which is 100 BUCKS LESS than the iPad2 Wifi.

I mean I don't come here and expect to agree with everything posted here but a little continuity and intelligence would be nice.

posted on 28 May 2011, 00:49

13. Skidro13 (Posts: 58; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)


Price of 32gb ipad2 wifi= price of 32gb xoom wifi

posted on 17 Jun 2011, 17:09

19. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 264; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


flyer is a 7 inch tab without android 3.0/1, plus the stylus isnt even included, 399.99 should be the price

posted on 27 May 2011, 08:28

4. khoonoh (unregistered)


1 simple question. Can the flyer make a phone call?

posted on 27 May 2011, 10:37

5. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Unfortunately you can't, but then again, there are a handful of VoIP options that should get the job done.

posted on 27 May 2011, 10:37

6. lazarus101 (unregistered)


the version reviewed here is the Wi-Fi only one. The 3G version that is already in sale in Europe can send text messages and use the mobile data network but it does not support phone calls.
Allthough, having an unlocked bootloader i wouldn't bee too surprised if some smart hackers will be able to unlock the phone functionality in the near future.

posted on 27 May 2011, 11:34 1

7. doubler86 (Posts: 318; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


With Google talk any android tablet can make calls as long as it has wifi

posted on 27 May 2011, 11:36 1

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5580; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I have had the Flyer for 3 days now, and the only real Con that I would say it has is the marginal camera (and no flash). The Sense U.I. is way better than Motoblur on the X. Also, the HTC implementation of the e-mail client is more user-friendly (I like the 2 panel format). Un-bundling the stylus is a bit of a nickel-and-dime exercise, but maybe as more competitive 7 inch tablets are available, the stylus will be bundled.

As it is, IMO, HTC has a hit (even if it doesn't have a dual-core CPU inside). Personally, I would have scored the Flyer as an 8.5.

posted on 29 May 2011, 11:51

16. LionStone (Posts: 445; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Yep I agree, at least 8.5...I've had it since the day before the scheduled launch and its a great device! Comes loaded with a few classic books, able to rent/buy movies, the pen is pretty accurate and very easy to use, the grippers on the end are nice to give it a lil somethin to hang onto in landscape. (ie. Guy next to me on the plane dropped his ipad twice) This thing is snappy as all get out, and the Zoodles app is great for the kids...which I ended up giving it to my daughter for her birthday. Ill check out a few others when they come out, but I wouldn't mind getting another one for myself as its the perfect size and weight for traveling and everyday use.

posted on 27 May 2011, 11:36 1

9. doubler86 (Posts: 318; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


The Flyer is really great. I've used our store's display a lot. The camera on the one I used is actually pretty good (both front and back). Plus the white rub on the back makes it really easy to hold with one hand. Definitely is great tablet and definitely like they said the best 7" out there.

posted on 27 May 2011, 15:28

10. markhiggins96 (unregistered)


how can you mark it down for not having the stylus bundled with it !! its an optional extra you dont have to have it !! thats like marking down a tablet for not having a protective case with it

posted on 27 May 2011, 20:51 2

11. cheetah2k (Posts: 772; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


WTF? an 8??

You people at PhoneArena really need to get some consistancy with reviews

After playing with one myself I see too many - Cons:

1. It has a fat plastic bum which looks and feels totally out of place (like a mistake and an after thought) - The whole body should be aluminium and uniform shape
2. No dual core, and its still laggy. A Dual Core snapdragon would have been nice.
3. No Honeycomb... Reminds me of the Dell Streak 7.. Yuk!
4. Large gap between aluminum body and screen (good dirt collector)
5. The plastic ends just don't meet well with the aluminium chassis
6. No 3G?? WTF? even the iPad was released in Wifi + 3G versions on release
7. The whole package looks like a rush job IMO.. The screen feels un-even during use (may have been a defect on the one I used?)
8. Rubbish camera.. Seriously, this could have been so much better.
9. Really, its nothing special. I'd wait for Samsung's 8.9" Tab offering.

Pros:

1. 1Gb Ram
2. Useable out doors with the bright LCD
3. Having Gingerbread on board means more compatible apps
4. Personally, I love 7" tabs.

posted on 27 May 2011, 21:26

12. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 977; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


i like the flyer. its a good tablet to have for WiFi. i also like the AT&T tablet thats coming out soon. i plan on getting a tablet, but there are so many choices and each one has it flaws

posted on 28 May 2011, 05:09

14. rmdoubleu (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Dec 2010)


What about OnLive?

posted on 10 Jun 2011, 13:28 1

18. mnemosyne (unregistered)


I know cameras are on almost everything but seriously who is taking photos and videos with a tablet. I have an iPad 2 and it's a pain in the butt to hold up just to do that sort of thing.

posted on 17 Jun 2011, 17:14

20. hellopeople (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 May 2011)


ill take an ipad over this

posted on 17 Jun 2011, 17:17

21. ArmageddonX (Posts: 96; Member since: 11 May 2011)


This review makes me want the HTC Puccini even more... HTC is so awesome...

posted on 03 Jul 2011, 09:22

22. Pete.H (unregistered)


recently baught a Motorola Xoom , i have sold it already because android 3.0 isn't anything special , hoping on buying HTC Flyer , because it has sense 3.0 and it will be easy to carry around collage.

Not having 3g is not a problem for me , wasnt going to buy a 3g model anyway. save money buy turning my HTC incredible S into a personal Hotspot. i like the fact that it has a stylus , not liking the fact you have to pay more for ( sound like Apple.. )

People moaning about the camera ? dude who cares about a camera , i'm not a photographer and even if i was i would spend my ££££ on a big super camera.

Pro's it uni-body / aluminium - some one mentioned that its stupid it has plastic bits?? well how do you expect the radio waves to pentrate metal with efficent connectivity? dumb twat

Any way Honeycomb ( Android 3.0 ) is nothing special like i said , it has homescreens and thats about it , very boring , nice marketplace view but thats it , not many special Apps for it ect , feel slightly forgotten when purchased , left on your own.

posted on 10 Oct 2011, 02:10

23. missbritania (unregistered)


I've only had the Flyer for a few hours but I must say I really love this thing. It runs so smooth and the apps are great. I love the taking notes on it too, its perfect for school!

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HTC Flyer Wi-Fi

HTC Flyer Wi-Fi

OS: Android 3.2 2.3.3
view full specs
Display7.0 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels (170 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8255, Single core, 1500 MHz, Scorpion processor
1024 MB RAM
Size7.70 x 4.80 x 0.52 inches
(196 x 122 x 13 mm)
14.80 oz  (420 g)

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