• Strong quality build
• Bright screen
• Useful stylus
• Not many 3rd party apps
• Poor battery life
• Dire camera quality
Even though when it first came out it was overpriced, it has steadily fallen in price and has gained an upgraded operating system, varnished with more optimised apps. Realistically, HTC is a year behind the iPad 3, but it is £200’s cheaper nowadays, which makes it a top mid-range tablet.
The HTC Flyer seems like one of the only tablets that has got better with time, when it first came out, it was expensive, even with an outdated operating system and lacklustre performance. Now, it is a cheap, mid-range tablet running Honeycomb and still has a great design, interface and screen.
Super LCD with 1024 x 600 pixels is a pretty good display, even in the current market. Even though iPad’s “retina” display is the dominate display right now, we wouldn’t say HTC’s display isn’t close to what the previous iPad 2 display was.
On a 7-inch screen, the colour seems more vibrant and resolution is clear – writing and media is crisp and we didn’t find any faults with the display, no bleeding on the screen, which shows HTC took care in the display quality.
The front design is different, because it includes touch-buttons away from the screen, like most smartphones have – even though some tablets have included touch buttons, most haven’t done them in the same format a smartphone would.
7-inch designs haven’t been the most popular choice in the markets, but it seems that we found more room for the tablet to fit in pockets and bags, unlike the large iPad’s and Samsung Tab’s.
Aluminium backing ensured us that this device would last a few drops, the feel of the backing is one of durability and strength.
The HTC operating system has always been behind the current one, by the time they got the Honeycomb upgrade, ICS was already on its way to many of the high-end smartphones and even some tablets.
That being said, Honeycomb is a good operating system, if not a bit outdated, it does a good job at multitasking and provided the HTC with more optimised applications.
We found the operating system to be a joy, but we sometimes scratched our head at some of Honeycomb’s erratic decisions.
Applications are great for Android and Honeycomb, back in its heyday, didn’t have many optimised apps. There have been a few more added, but you still find yourself looking at a barren market.
Apps that aren’t optimised don’t look nice on the HTC, we tried to avoid using them, but truth be told, you are bored without them.
The handy pen or stylus, whatever you prefer, works well on the HTC Flyer – even though it is very large, it feels comfortable and has good usability on the touchscreen.
HTC Sense is the skin HTC have used to remodel their smartphones and now to remodel their tablets, away from Android’s stock operating system. HTC is a gorgeous skin, and offers some good features.
HTC Watch allows you to stream movies onto your tablet, there is a good amount of choice and prices are okay, although a bit too expensive for our tastes.
Verizon have added 4G to the HTC Flyer, but only on one version of the tablet – this 4G works relatively well, although 4G is still in its growth stages, and when we could find 4G, it drained battery life.
High speed 3G makes HTC connections very quick and we were happy with the speeds we got while browsing the internet. You can also connect through Wi-Fi networks, which is a simple process.
5-megapixels seems like the average for tablets at the moment and most all of them work incredibly badly – HTC Flyers’ camera is no different and even worse than most of the competition.
With the camera giving us blotchy, grainy and basically awful images, even in bright sunlight, we didn’t even bother to try anything else with the camera.
The 1.3-megapixel front camera is okay for video calls, although any vanity pictures shouldn’t be done on this camera, as it’s even worse than its rear brother.
With estimations of around a third the battery life of the iPad 2, we already had bad hopes for the HTC Flyer – seems these estimations were about correct, as we only got about 5 hours with the 4000mAh battery.
HTC Flyer has a great build, good display and a nice stylus, but what it sorely lacks is good applications and a new operating system. While we found using the HTC Flyer okay, and the pricing now seems about right, we did see some features as lacklustre.
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