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HTC Flyer review

Verdict

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)

Buy it now for: £223
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

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.

HTC Flyer

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.

HTC Flyer

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.

HTC Flyer - rear shot

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.

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User comments

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

Bizzare!

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

In stock!

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

http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/mobile-ph
ones/HTC-FLYER-WIFI/HANDSET

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

lovin amazon

239 pound on amazon. Bagged myself a bargin.

By coreyvon on 14 Feb 2012

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