HTC Flyer Review

When I first heard off the HTC Flyer (also know as the HTC View 4G on Sprint) in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress I wasn’t really sure what to think about the product. HTC didn’t allow the press to handle it and the device’s specification left me puzzled about it competitiveness compared to all the more powerful Android Honeycomb tablets all over the show floor.

With Honeycomb tablets being all the rage this year it was definitely surprising to see HTC launching a relatively small Gingerbread tablet powered by a single core CPU with the main differentiator being its n6trig active digitizer and Stylus. I admit, the Flyer didn’t look good on paper. I quickly dismissed this as a dead on Arrival product that only saw the light of the day because HTC was willing to use nVidia’s Tegra 2 SoC and decided to stick with Qualcomm which ultimately resulted in the company only being able to use Gingerbread instead of honeycomb (Android 3.X is only now being made “compatible” with SoC’s other than the Tegra 2).

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HTC Flyer Camera samples

The HTC Flyer has unfortunately one major hardware flaw: it’s totally crappy 5Mp camera on the back. I’ve been using the Flyer for nearly a week now and I simply can’t snap a good look picture or shoot a viewable video with the device. At first I thought that my review sample had a busted lens or sensor but unfortunately that’s not the case; the main camera is just crap. Pictures are muddy with no detail , same for the videos.

The most ridiculous part of all of this is that the front facing 1.3Mp camera seems to have a better lens and shoot better quality videos (but a a slightly lower framerate) and has better color reproduction. Check out the samples after the break:

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HTC Flyer hardware tour Video

I’ve just uploaded a hardware tour video of the HTC Flyer Android tablet showing you how the device physically looks like and the build quality (full specs here). The unibody aluminum chassis is reminiscent of the iPad but the Flyer is a lot smaller because of its 7″ screen. HTC really did a good job here in terms of build quality and I was pleasantly surprised by the screens viewing angles. The device, unlike all other Android tablets on the market has an active digitizer allow the use of a stylus thanks to the N-Trig G 3.5 chipset. The only major flaw is the proprietary micro-usb connector. Yes, HTC did it again but this time it’s even worst than before because you just can’t plug-in a regular micro-usb at all unlike past HTC devices where a normal mini-usb could still be used on the HTC ExtUSB connectors The connector is apparently HTC’s new proprietary ExtMicroUSB connector and it actually works with regular micro-usb cables. Oddly enough my old HTC HD2 cable wasn’t fitting but my Samsung ones correctly pug into it. Check out the 7 minutes long video after the break:

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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.

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