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HTC Flyer. A Pill against Sameness

The official tablet press release can make you smile from the first line: HTC UNVEILS HTC FLYER™, THE FIRST TABLET WITH HTC SENSE™. Naturally, what other tablet could have featured HTC Sense but an HTC? Ok not all jokes aside. During the first two days of WMC 2011 (days zero and one) several tablets have been announced by Samsung and LG while other manufacturers like Motorola, Blackberry etc. have presented recently announced tablets. As we may learn by the LG example and its flagship and the tablet – the manufacturers are starting to re-invent the steam-powered laser wheel. Otherwise all the new products appear to be identical apart from the looks. But in case of tablets even the design is vastly the same. Despite this backdrop HTC managed to present an interesting tablet with a number of unusual features you can use in usual situations.

Brief specifications of the device:

  • OS: Android 2.2 (updateable up to Android 3.0) + HTC Sense
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Qualcomm
  • Memory: 1GB of system memory and 32GB storage space and a microSD slot
  • Screen: 7” touch screen, resolution 1034x600
  • Camera: 5MP with autofocus and a 1.3MP front camera
  • Network: GSM/EDGE, HSPA/WCDMA (data transfer only)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802,11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 3.0 (A2DP), GPS, 3,5 mm jack, microUSB
  • Supported formats: audio (AAC,  AMR,  OGG,  M4A, MID,  MP3, WAV, WMA), video (3GP, .3G2, MP4, WMV, AVI (MP4 и MP3-ASP), XviD (MP4 и MP3-ASP))
  • Battery: 1400 mAh

Of course, it is yet premature to speak of the performance - we need a closer look. As of today we may say that the tablet's features are not bad, as far as the processor is concerned – it is one of the best. I am not quite happy with the resolution of the screen (I would like to see higher values), but taking into account the not so big screen size (7" is not much for a tablet) – it leaves good impressions.

The design is agreeable, and, as you may know, I use this phrase to say that the looks are quite ordinary and usual. Though, to be fair, I would like to add that both the colors and the white inserts alongside the tablet's edges give him a slightly different look as compared to its counterparts.

The tablet is thin (13.2mm, 0.52in) and relatively light (415gr, 14.6oz)

There are several peculiar features in HTC Flyer. Firstly, due to the recently announced cooperation between HTC and the OnLive service the tablet features support for it. It means that you will be able to play any game available on OnLive. Moreover, you may connect Flyer to a TV set to transmit the picture on the big screen. You may also connect a wireless OnLive joystick and use your tablet as a gaming console.

More info on OnLive here.

Secondly, HTC Flyer is bundled with a special stylus (HTC Scribe technology). You may draw and make notes on any screen using this stylus (i.e. you do not need to start a special application before writing anything). Moreover, stylus gestures in certain application stand for certain actions. We will see closer into it in the tablet's review since I simply do not have anymore information.

Another feature of the tablet is the HTC Watch service. Having logged in the user can watch any stream movie, browse movie ratings, the library and other things. It is like a small social network concerned with cinema with a possibility to watch the movies.

And, of course, the main difference of HTC Flyer from other Android tablets is HTC Sense. Right now the interface looks interesting - I cannot really asses something I see on the stands so let us leave the interface for the full review. Though, rest assured, Sense will be user friendly.

Most importantly, the sales start and the price. In Russia HTC Flyer will be available in April for about 1000$. I am sure the tablet will not be left unnoticed due to one simple fact: while other manufacturers focus our attention on the hardware, number of cores and cameras, and their clocks, HTC offers a few interesting services with Flyer that the competitors do not have. And, all in all, it is the software and certain features that mainly constitute our user experience.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Artem Lutfullin (artem@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 16 February 2011

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