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HTC Flyer review

HTC Flyer review
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Conveniently compact and light for travel, yet amazingly powerful, the HTC Flyer tablet with a 7" display and a superfast 1.5 GHz processor is perfect for web browsing. To make it even better, it features Adobe Flash support, multi-window browsing with pinch to zoom, and a clever quick look-up that lets you tap into Wikipedia, Youtube and other web resources.
Review On : HTC Flyer
June 10, 2011

By Nigel Chew

At A Glance:
Pros:
+ The Magic Pen
+ Great screen

Cons:
- Not Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
- Pricey

RRP: (RM 2260 – 2340 /RM2069 - 2149 (AP))
Local Distributor: SIS Distributions
Contact: 603- 5569 8878

10 June 2011 - HTC made a name for itself with releases of its innovative and cutting edge devices. Today we will be looking at the company's new 7-inch tablet to see if it can live up to the standards that HTC has set for themselves.



In the Box:
-HTC Flyer
-Charger
-USB Cable
-White Pouch Case

Exterior, Contols and Screen

HTC opted for a three colour scheme for the HTC Flyer, which we are not particularly fond of, as the white plastic covers at the top and bottom of the device does not quite match the otherwise sleek grey finishing of the device’s body. At 195.4 x 122 x 13.2 mm, this 7-incher is a bit on the heavy side at 420 grams. That said, we had no real issues using it even with one hand as the curved sides made it easy and comfortable to hold. Because of its size, it also fits easily into your pockets, and we really appreciate the white pouch that HTC included as part of the retail package.



The 1024 x 600 resolution screen manages to provide enough clarity and detail to be looked at for hours on end, even for outdoor usage, as the HTC Flyer is intelligent enough to adjust itself accordingly to overcome the scorching bright lights of the Malaysian sun. The HTC Flyer comes with 1GB of Internal memory, but as usual, this can be bumped up with microSDs of up to 32GB.



The 4000mAh battery performed a lot better that we could have anticipated, with standard usage of about two days running before it dried up. There is also an optional sleep mode which turns off 3G and WiFi signals to help conserve power when the device is locked, which means that you will not be getting any push notifications unless you turn the tablet back on.



Features

Right off the bat, know that the HTC Flyer is running on a smartphone variant of the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), as opposed to the tablet-ready Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). This is not a major issue of course, as the Honeycomb still has issues to be ironed out, so while the Gingerbread is older, it gets the job done. In fact, it gets the job done well, as the responsiveness of the device made the usage experience a pleasant affair.



Now, you must be wondering about the stylus that came with the HTC Flyer. Remember, this is not some stylus that’s used because the HTC Flyer has a resistive touchscreen(It is a capacitive one, by the way). Rather, the Magic Pen, as HTC calls the stylus, had a lot of thought put into it to fully complement and further enhance your usage of the device.

The stylus is primarily used for note-taking, and with the built in Notes app, you are not just limited to writing and typing, but also inserting photos, images as well as video and audio recordings. This is a great companion to have if you’re an academic or journalist.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, which is why you are also able to scribble right on the HTC Flyer’s interface, with a plethora of tools at your disposal ranging from pencils and brushes to express your artistic side. When you’re done, you can save it as an image file which is ready to be shared.

The Magic Pen felt responsive and accurate most of the times, though we would have liked it if we didn’t have to manually tweak the pressure sensitivity.



Camera, Video and Audio

Just as with most cameras on modern smartphones, the HTC Flyer’s offering doesn’t quite buck the trend. The overall picture quality left a lot to be desired, as it struggled to render anything at higher resolutions. The only way to have half decent image quality is to knock down the resolution to much lower levels.

On the plus side, the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera fares slightly better during video calls, provided there is good lighting present. It’s also fun to mess around with the Snapbooth application, which allows you to distort and generally play around with your self-portraits.



The video recording wasn’t able to wow us either, which is a given, considering that it uses the same image sensor. A quick check at the specifications reveals that the HTC Flyer is able to record at 720p, which in reality is just some upscaling of the video in question.



Connectivity

The HTC Flyer covers just about every basic connectivity feature you can think of, primarily WiFi and HSPA+. That said, despite 3G data connectivity support, there are no voice-calling functions present on the device by default. You can however send plain old text messages.



On the plus side, making VOIP calls via Skype was a cinch, and with its built-in front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, video calls are an option as well.

Physical connectivity on the HTC Flyer is nothing to write home about, as it comes with the usual microUSB port, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack, For the asking price, we would have really loved to see a HDMI port, but sadly you’re going to have to look at other options for that, such as the Motorola Xoom.



Verdict

While the HTC Flyer is definitely a competent device on its own, the Magic Pen opens up a whole new world of usage options. While there are some setbacks that prevent the device from passing with…flying colours, the HTC Flyer is a great companion to have if you can answer its asking price.

Conclusion:The HTC Flyer soars high with features, and has an asking price to match


Editor's rating:
Good


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