The HTC Flyer Review

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 6/21/2011 4:05 AM EST


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  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    .. and should include the pen. Oh well. Reply
  • nitin213 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    At a recent roadshow in Singapore, HTC flyer was available for S$550 in a whispered deal (~US$460) and came bundled with the scribe and a cover.. I guess wait for similar deals in US if you really want it bundled.

    That said, I still went with an iPad even though i bought N1 immediately at launch. The key reason was quite simple... while numbers suggest that flyer is lighter, the smaller size meant it has much more heft and thus fingers get tired a bit faster (I was always holding flyer with a stronger grip). the scribe though useful addition wasnt always avlbl right away as there is no old-stylus style storage area on the tablet.. And lastly, the old adage.. never buy a first generation product from a company...I like HTC and am sure their next gen product would blow the competition, but flyer was not for me.

  • m.amitava - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I've seen that HTC Sense's facebook app captures higher res images of your contacts than the regular facebook app so that when you receive a call ( I am on a Desire HD on Gingerbread) from your contacts, their pic doesn't come out as a pixelated hash.

    So in that small way I do prefer the Sense implementation
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    HTC's whole FB contact integration system works better than the native one from the official FB app... That and the lovely lockscreen previews of calendar events, messages and music (plus app shortcuts now!) are the two biggest advantages that Sense has over stock Android. There's other minor things here and there (camera interface, motion sensing settings for the ringer, notification pane toggles, etc) but you can replicate most of them with market apps, and in some cases it's stuff that Honeycomb has addressed (and ICS surely will too). Reply
  • arbarath - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    nice tablet.. but too expensive.. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't pay more than $200 for this. 7", not 10". Gingerbread, not Honeycomb. Poor battery life. You'd think with the that much thickness, they could have fit a huge battery in it. Oh well... Reply
  • xSauronx - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I think 300 or so is a fair price with the scribe stuff included, tops, considering the size and screen quality. Maybe 250 (since the nook color can pack an ips panel in a 7" tablet for that)

    but 500? No way. Why do companies keep pricing their devices so poorly?
  • Souka - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    in attempt to recover part of development cost and because people keep buying them Reply
  • ap90033 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    I agree this is a rip off and not that great of a product... Reply
  • Cow86 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    In Europe the pen IS included with every purchase, and the 16 GB model goes vor 499 euro's here...after the conversion maybe not really better value, but it's worth noting anyway. Puts it 20 euro's above the Ipad 2 16 GB wifi though, and I'm not sure a lot of people would pay that, except maybe the niche that really wants the scribe. Reply
  • wintermute000 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    unfortunately with ipad parity pricing its a fail. no 3G option either, what's the point of 7" portability if its not always on. If it had 3G for 500USD you're at least in the ballpark.

    I say this as a happy original SG tab owner (here in Oz, they dropped the full 3G toting version to 300USD briefly, sold like hotcakes, guess why). It really made me appreciate the 7" form factor in combination with always on internet (gingerbread surprisingly isn't too bad as a tablet OS, aside from some apps that were never meant for the bigger res). But its too expensive.

    wonder if the bootloader is locked. If not the 3G version could be a nice value 2nd hand pickup in 6-9 months
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    What point is there in racing to get a $500 tablet on the market. The only people who are going to buy these things are the really dumb suckers. The same people who are most likely to be wiped out by the market changes coming over the next few years. $500 is way way wayyyy too much to be spending on what is little more than a toy. I hope all these companies fail, because the entire $500 tablet market is a malinvestment. Reply
  • bhima - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I can't believe they don't include the pen for that money though. It has to be hard to decide to purchase any android tab thats over the asking price of the asus transformer. Reply
  • ripBear - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    SenseUI was created to solve shortcommings of Windows Mobile. HTC ported it to Android in order to create a unique offer in this platform based on the positive reviews it got from WinMo implementation. Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Advertizing with audio that is enabled by a simple mouse-over means has been removed from my Flashblock Whitelist. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    None of our direct ads have mouse-over audio (it's a policy of ours), this must've been a network ad. Do you have any details on the ad you saw? A screenshot, description, linked URL, etc... If you can email me anything you have (anand AT anandtech DOT com) I'll send it on to our ad partner that can hopefully get it scrubbed from the site entirely.

    Take care,
  • LostPassword - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    if this thing can't even come out with honeycomb out the box, good luck getting updates. Reply
  • taltamir - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Puns are awesome, but you really shouldn't inform the readers every time you make one. Yes, we get it. And if we don't then that's ok too. Putting a (hey look I made a pun) after every one just detracts from the writing. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I didn't mind this... Although they felt like the comments editors sometimes introduce into their writer's articles, except here I think it was just Anand commenting upon himself. :p Reply
  • Nihility - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    It was tasteful. No problems with it here. Reply
  • aranyagag - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    99.999% of the time. I am the only person in the surgery wards, OPD, and OTs carrying a tablet. Because my Samsung galaxy tab (the original 7 inch version) can fit into trouser pockets (even though just barely). There are four other people in my department who have iPads (both versions 1 and version 2), but they are always, and I repeat ALWAYS left at home. The only time when another tablet comes into our domain is when somebody from another department comes in with a galaxy tab (7 inch). This is because THEY say that instead of carrying along and iPad it is easier to carry along their laptops.
    It seems, however, that Samsung must have done a lot of research before deciding the dimensions of of my tablet, because even with a cover it refuses to fit into any pocket. This means that while it may fulfill one aspect of my use-- Using the tablet while on rounds, the HTC flyer cannot be carried as easily and hence is not as useful.
    To summarise, I would like to quote something that my head of the department said oon seeing me use my tablet, "I have an iPad 2 , but it remains on my bedside table acting as a radio".
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Altho I agree that it's too expensive (specially for a service that may forever lag behind the pack in OS updates), I do hope it does well enough for HTC to release a Flyer 2 next year. The digitizer is intriguing, particularly if it gains more app support.

    Personally I don't have a problem spending $500 on a tablet, but I know companies like ASUS will have brought prices down across the board within a few months... And there's still plenty of innovation to come from devices like this and the ASUS Transformer (part of what makes Android great imo).

    If the smartphone market is still in it's infancy, the tablet market is barely out of the womb...
  • chomlee - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    499 for a 7" pad???? I was hoping HTC was going to be the company to break the IPad streak like they did with the EVO and Iphone. What a joke. These marketing people at all the tablet companies should all be fired, except for Asus. Asus is the only company to offer a decent alternative at a lower price. What kind of idiot are you if you are trying to compete in a market and say " are device is going to be smaller than the competition, not as good, and with much less battery life, but we are going to charge the same".

    They need to take a lesson from Asus and realize that you can't offer a device that is "almost" as good as the current leader and charge the same. You either have to be noticably better, and/or cheaper.

    Maybe the only reason why they did so well with the EVO was because loyal sprint customers couldn't get an Iphone.
  • ap90033 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!! Flyer=Fail... Reply
  • ap90033 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    Looks lame to me. To be so small it seems to have crappy battery life. Seems like the wanna be Tablet with a "special" UI that isnt really that awe inspiring. Its to big to be a phone, its to small to be a tablet. Its like a Phablet! I also dont get the reference to all the suck behind honeycomb. I have the Eee Pad with 3.1 and its GREAT. No issues, 9+ hours battery life and zippy performance. All for the low low price of $399 (that cheaper than the poser Flyer btw)... Maybe I am wrong here, but I feel a tablet and a phone are currently two different things. I bought a tablet as a fairly functional camera/browser/video/email/word processor type device and I have a Phone (HTC Evo running 2.3.3) for my phone and more on the go needs... Reply
  • grenzo - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    I bought the 3g+WiFi 32gb Flyer with pen here in Singapore for usd730. For weeks I was waiting for the arrival of the 10in tegra 2 honeycomb tablets but I found that I wanted my tablet to be more portable, something I can carry without a bag and hold with one hand while standing in the train. 1.5ghz with 1gb ram is plenty powerful for this device. Games like Gun Bros and Pocket legends perform very well. It would have been great if this was running honeycomb but very happy with what HTC has done with HTC sense. I can wait until HTC is ready to upgrade this to hc. In the 7 in space the Flyer is way ahead of the rest. Yes it seems a lot of money to pay for the specs, but in terms of real world use this is a fast smooth tablet with a great screen. Web browsing, email, news, weather, games, all work almost perfectly. Camera is bad but i can live with that. Pen is just a nice plus. Evernote integration is great but I use the screen keyboard more often than the pen.

    I saw a video comparing the browsing speed of this and the iPad 2 and at times this came out faster. They also showed that Angry Birds loads slightly faster on this device than the iPad 2 but they still dissed the Flyer because of its processor and OS. Its not just what's on paper but you have to see how it actually performs.

    The other Android tablets like the ASUS transformer offer more value for money but i don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a portable device that i will leave at home most of the time.

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