HTC Flyer Honeycomb Android 3.2 update leaked

I have to give credit to HTC for sticking to their promise of updating the HTC Flyer to Honeycomb in a timely manner. The company is apparently on the verge of rolling out this massive update because a beta version of it has just find its way on the internet and can already be installed (painful process) if you own one and wish to mess around with your beloved tablet. As I noted in my HTC Flyer review the device initially shipped with Android 2.3 because Google required OEMs to use NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset on their tablets (their was no code compatible with other SoCs). Now that Android 3.X can be run on Qualcomm’s offerings HTC managed to make it working on the relatively modest single core MSM8255 clocked @ 1.5GHZ (the same one found in the HTC Titan and probably other high-end Mango handsets).

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Qualcomm Adreno 205 vs Adreno 220 / HTC Sensation vs HTC Flyer, HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S

Here’s s quick compilation of benchmark results comparing the Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU vs Adreno 220 GPU found in the HTC Sensation (as part of the MSM8260 SoC). The are several things to note here: First, the Adreno 205 found in the HTC Flyer and HTC Desire HD are most probably not clocked at the same speed (The MSM8255 is clocked at 1Ghz in the Desire HD compared to1.5Ghz in the HTC Flyer). Secondly, THe screen resolution are different on each handsets:

- HTC Desire HD: 800X480
- Samsung Galaxy S: 800×480
- HTC Sensation: 960×540
- HTC Flyer: 1024×600

Thirdly, the driver versions are obviously not the same on all devices so you shouldn’t take those results as granted, they are just an indication of how these GPUs stack up against each other in synthetic benchmarks. The now famous and awesome PowerVR SGX540 is also included in the mix. Check the results after the break:

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HTC Puccini 10 inch Honeycomb tablet passes the FCC certification

The rumored successor to the HTC Flyer tablet has just recently passed the FCC certification. The HTC Puccini which is said to be running Honeycomb (Android 3.X) and a 10″ screen was initially rumored to launch in June but has yet to be officially announced by the Taiwanese manufactured. The Puccini will most probably be one of the first Honeycomb tablet powered by a Qualcomm SoC to hit the retail stores (an MSM8260 or APQ8660 and LTE/Wimax radios depending on the SKU). Android 3.X was only Tegra 2 compatible at launch that’s why most OEM have launch NVIDIA powered tablets this year and HTC who’s a close partner with Qualcomm decided to only launch the MSM8255 powered Flyer with Android 2.3X and wait until Honeycomb is finally ported to Qualcomm’s SoC before shipping an Android 3.X product.

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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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HTC EVO 3D & HTC EVO View specifications partially leaked

CTIA is shaping up to be big for Sprint who is apparently scheduled to unveiled its new line up of WiMax enabled Android devices on March 22. The first one is going to be the HTC EVO 3D which seems to be the CDMA/WiMAX version of the long rumored HTC Pyramid. The EVO 3D will be powered by an MSM8660 SoC and its Adreno 220 GPU which you can see in action in my MWC video here. It will also pack 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM and and glasses free auto-stereoscopic 4.3 qHD 960 x 450 3D display , similar to the one found on the LG Optimus 3D which I showed you here. It will also have a 1730Mha battery, 1080P hdmi output for regular 2D content and 720P 3D output, a 5mpix camera & 1.3 Mpix front facing one.

As I said before; Windows Phone 7 doesn’t necessarily need more powerful hardware right now but when you look at the specifications above (and most other high-end Android devices to be released soon) and factor in the fact that Microsoft is being sluggish with the OS updates I personally  think that most people are not going to buy an WP7 handset in the coming months. Now if Microsoft was more reactive then things would be different but only 2 updates a year? That’s not going to cut it.

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HTC Flyer preview: Hardware specifications and thoughts

First off, big thumbs down to HTC who only allowed those, who were able to go to the press event, to get a closer look at the HTC Flyer yesterday and even those present at the event weren’t allowed to touch it… (I had a meeting with MS at the same time so I couldn’t be present at HTC’s announcement). So everybody else was left with 3 devices running a promo video behind a glass (see video after the break). Anyway, so what is the Flyer all about? Well, I’m still trying to figure out what went through HTC’s mind here and why they decided to make this weird Android 2.4 tablet instead of going for a Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 Honeycomb product like every other major OEM. The company definitely seems to be in so kind of identity crisis and thinks that it’s more important for them to push out their brand name with recycled hardware (HD2-HD7, Desire HD -> Incredible S, Desire S etc..) instead of pushing the hardware forward or even updating the current device with their latest software version so that we won’t have to buy exactly the same hardware (re-branded and renamed) just to have the latest version of Android and Sense. But I then remembered something: HTC has always done this back in the Windows Mobile days. Every single WinMo phone that came out after the original HTC Touch was the same frigging hardware internally and all that changed was the TouchFlo version (their last innovative product was the HTC HD2). The same is happening now with their Android devices and this is seriously starting to piss off some people. Now when you think about it, the MSM8255 that was first introduced in the Desire HD is still one of the best SoC out there so there was no real reason to change it and personally think that what Samsung and LG are doing is just overkill given that Android doesn’t seem to take any real advantage out of the crazy processing power found in their newly announced handsets.. The main problem here is that HTC is going to market those new devices as something brand new super phones when they are in fact just recycled Desire HD’ with smaller screens.

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HTC Flyer tablet announced

HTC has just introduced it’s new 7 inch Android 2.4 tablet with a pressure sensitive capacitive stylus today. The HTC Flyer definitely looks like a weird offering compared to the bunch of Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 powerhouses that are coming out in the coming weeks. The device is powered by a single-core 1.5Ghz SoC (from Qualcomm I guess) has 1Gb of Ram, a 7inch screen with a resolution of 1024×600, 32Gb of internal storage and a new version of Sense. and will support the OnLive gaming service that HTC invested in a not long ago. I will go hands-on with it later today to see what it’s all about because so far it looks really disappointing to me. Full press release after the break:

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