HTC Flyer review
A fine 7in tablet, and the lack of Android 3 doesn’t hurt it much, but the price is far too high
Review Date: 25 May 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £500 (£600 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
HTC is well known for ploughing its own furrow when it comes to mobile devices. It insists on using its custom Sense UI on Android smartphones, and its first tablet, the HTC Flyer, is no different. Where most modern tablets are opting for Android 3, this device plumps for a Sense-enhanced version of Android 2.3.
If that sounds strange, just wait until we get to the rest of the Flyer’s quirks. Instead of joining the 10in herd, it’s a 7in device like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and it doesn’t have a dual-core processor either – in its place there’s a fast, single-core 1.5GHz CPU. It comes with a stylus for old-school pen operation, augmenting the usual finger-driven tapping, swiping and pinching.
It’s definitely different, then, but the key question is: does this make it any better? Well, it certainly looks the part, and the 7in 1,024 x 600 screen is lovely. Anyone worried the stylus might mean reverting to resistive technology can breathe easy; it’s a capacitive unit, and a pretty bright one at that. We measured it at 379cd/m2, considerably brighter than the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Contrast isn’t bad either at 654:1, lending movies, games and pictures real punch and vigour.
We like the idea of the stylus, too. Tap anywhere on most screens and the Flyer takes a screenshot that can then be annotated using a series of pens and brushes. Hold down one button on the stylus and you can highlight text; hold the other and you can erase what you’ve just scribbled down. The selection of brushes and nibs, plus HTC’s Notepad app, will give your absent-minded doodles a whole new lease of life.
Build and design
As with most HTC devices of late, the Flyer is nicely put together. It’s hewn from a chunk of aluminium with white plastic bumpers at the top and bottom of the rear panel, and feels better made than the Galaxy Tab, which is built mostly from less classy, shiny plastic. It’s light enough to hold comfortably in one hand and use as an eBook reader, something you certainly can’t say of the 10in Android tablet crowd.
In fact, as it’s running Android 2.3.3, the Flyer feels more like a phone than the recent tablets we’ve looked at, and that’s an impression underpinned by the presence of the HTC Sense UI with its handy widgets and apps.
the Flyer’s frankly ludicrous price
Unless the price is changed, this tablet will be DOA.
If you really, really want a 7" tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab can be had for under £300 (3g version too).
Anyone else spending that kind of dosh will buy an iPad or A.N. Other 10" tablet. Why not?
Let's hope the instore prices are more realistic.
By Lacrobat on 25 May 2011
I am very disappointed with HTC here - the whole reason they've surged so strongly in the smartphone market is for offering near-iPhone quality for half the price - I was expecting more of the same with the Flyer, but they've embarrassingly lost sight of reality.
By Peter_Tennant on 26 May 2011
If I know HTC, they'll release a 'lower spec' but still very good tablet within 3-4 months, for about a third of the price.
Within a year, there will be about 10 different HTC tablets on all different platforms
By SteveSmith on 26 May 2011
For those looking at this on Amazon the price is now £479.99 and it is in stock! - http://amzn.to/mbWqgX
By weeweeman on 6 Jun 2011
Now £329 @ Carphone Warehouse
By Tatmeister on 31 Aug 2011
Now with Honeycomb
Hey, I bought it a couple of days ago for 2300 danish kroner - about 257 British pounds. I upgraded it to Honeycomb, and now i got me a wonderful tablet really cheap.
By Christensen on 22 Dec 2011
239 pound on amazon. Bagged myself a bargin.
By coreyvon on 14 Feb 2012
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office