HTC Flyer first impressions

HTC was kind enough to send me an HTC Flyer tablet today so I can try it out and give you all my impression about it given that I didn’t have a chance to go hands on with it during MWC11 in February.Most of the website content is about Windows Phone and Microsoft products but the one thing I hate the most is blogs/fansites who critique other products without even having any hands on user experience with devices. That’s why you see me post news and reviews of major Android devices and other Google related stuff every once in a while.

So how’s the HTC Flyer ? I’ve been using it for a few hours now and frankly I’m pleasantly surprised by the performance and overall user experience thanks to the HTC Sense UI for tablet which looks nearly identical to the Sense 3.0 UI of the HTC Sensation. The device is not running Honeycomb (Android 3.0) but Android 2.3.3 instead and on a single core MSM8255 SoC clocked at 1.5Ghz (and Adreno 205 GPU). Interestingly it’s as snappy as the Tegra 2 (dual-core Cortex A9) powered Honeycomb tablets I’ve laid my hands on so this once again shows that software/hardware optimization is more important than silly super high speced hardware most of the time. HTC has already promised that the Flyer will receive Honeycomb as an update later this summer so it will be interesting to see how it really stacks up against the more conventional android 3.X tablets. Anyway, I’ll post more about it in the coming days and keep an eye out on my YouTube channel where I’m currently uploading some HTC Desire HD videos (which I totally forgot to upload a few months ago) and where you will see more interesting stuff soon. HTC is also sending me and HTC Sensation later this week so I can check out the beastly Qualcomm MSM8260 SoC… If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below.

  • Steve

    By the way, why are 90% of the posts about Windows Phone 7 when Android has way more market share and there are lots more Android phones than Windows phones?

  • Steve

    By the way, why are 90% of the posts about Windows Phone 7 when Android has way more market share and there are lots more Android phones than Windows phones?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    I would love to but I’m alone so it’s a bit hard to try to follow both Windows Phone and Android at the same time. I try to do my best but it’s not easy.

  • http://netnate.net Matthieu Nate

    I do have a few questions about the flyer:
    - Do you have to return it once you’re done testing it? ^^’
    - How differenciated is it without a stylus (as I understand the tablet doesn’t feature a place to attach the stylus, right?)
    - Can you run… err… tablet apps on Android 2.x equipped slate devices?
    - How convenient is it in different usage scenarii :
       – Writing articles for short / long times
       – On a desk, in bed, on a sofa…
       – Videos playback (I don’t understand why tablets don’t always feature a kickstand)
       – Productivity (exchanging your notes between the device and your computer, and keep working on your computer from the notes you’ve taken on the device)?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    I’ll answer most of these question in the upcoming review but:

    - Yes the Flyer has to be returned
    - Yup no place to “attach” the Stylus (but the Flyer comes with a leather case where you can attach the Stylus)
    - Nope can only run the Smartphone apps with 2.X. That’s why the Honeycomb update will be intersting on this.
    - So far only HTC’s own notes application (wich also uses Evernote) supports the Stylus… Lots of sharing functiononalities that I have yet to try.. Android 3.1 should improve Stylus support and bring it to third-party apps.

  • http://netnate.net Matthieu Nate

    Thanks.
    And by the way, if you want to perform some autonomy tests. Please don’t just use softwares that run classic tests. Just tell us how you manage to use the device throughout the day(s) in a regular or intensive use.
    It’s an interesting device although it is said to feel heavy. I can’t wait to read that.
    (I wish you could keep test units, that would be an interesting retribution for for bloggers)

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yeah the only good way to test battery life is to use the device as if it was your daily driver (normal usage, no wacky stuff like playback videos for hours to see how long it last).
    Back in the days (end of 90s, early 2000s) OEMs used to give away the review samples (I still have tons of motherboards and GFX cards from some of my past work in another field). But things have changed now. There’s simply no way to make money with a Blog nowadays.