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July 04, 2011

HTC Flyer in the flesh, first impressions

The elusive HTC Flyer made a quick stop-over at home over the week-end. It’s been out since last month although HTC Philippines did not really made any official launch event (which should have been done along with the Sensation and Wildfire S).


The HTC Flyer is a pretty solid tablet — think HTC Legend, Desire S or iPad1 build quality. It’s got a bit of heft to it due to the construction material which is mostly aluminum.

The 7-inch form factor seems like a good fit for a tablet that you want to always bring along with you outside — not too bulky nor too heavy to carry around the whole day.

The HTC Flyer does not come with Android 3.0 Honeycomb but the usual Gingerbread flavor for smartphones along with a custom Sense UI. It works nice and you get the impression you’re actually just using a big-assed phone but those who have tried Honeycomb will notice the difference in usability. I’m hoping HTC would release a Honeycomb update for this unit soon.

Despite its capacitive screen, HTC took the plunge and included a stylus. It’s not use for navigation but for taking notes and sketching on the screen (you can actually just make sketches on the screen whichever window or home screen you’re at, then save the screenshot for later). There’s even a dedicated touch panel for a paint palette that pops up form the side to allow you more paintbrush or sketching options. It’s an old but still intuitive approach that could attract a small segment of the market.

One biggest issue with the Flyer is its suggested retail price. At Php36,990, it would have been a great alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab if they released it in 2010 but at today’s Android tablet pricing, anything beyond Php30k it’s already bit much over budget of most people. It’s still comparable to the 32GB iPad 2 WiFi + 3G at Php35,990 though.

HTC Flyer
7-inch display @ 600×1024 pixels
1.5GHz Qualcomm processor
32GB of internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD card
3G, HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
1GB RAM
5MP camera w/ 720p video
1.3MP secondary front-facing camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
Bluetooth 3.0 w/ A2DP
Dolby Mobile and SRS sound
HDMI out
GPS w/ aGPS support
Android 2.3 w/ Sense UI

If you’re looking to get a cheaper HTC Flyer, Top Electronics is selling them for only Php30,000.

7" HTC Flyer tablet announced
Poll: What's your Android tablet of choice?
HTC Flyer lands, priced at Php36,990

24 Responses to “HTC Flyer in the flesh, first impressions”

  1. Mikhail says:

    Any chance it will be upgraded to Honeycomb without Sense UI? he he. I’d prefer the MediaPad for my first tablet, decent built and spec. I hope it will be available soon.

  2. YuYu says:

    looks nice albeit it looks like an over-sized HTC phone.

  3. NineSwordz says:

    Resolution fail. The MediaPad is already 1280 x 800 px + IPS Screen. And TOO expensive for a 7 inch tablet.. although it looks nice.. but the MediaPad is sexier, I think. Damn! so many tablet today.. XD

  4. Anti RH Bill says:

    Get an ipad! Simply the best!

  5. Jonaflormicfren
    Twitter: daniojr
    says:

    Very good, making it better.

  6. Ryan Ang
    Twitter: kline_zeus
    says:

    While true that it looks like an oversized phone, it’s one of those devices that you need to feel/try to believe.

    Size is just right, (although the Sammy 8.9 might be the perfect size) and heft is pretty nice too, think iPhone4(flyer) vs galaxy S(galaxy tab).

    Honeycomb has its hookups and the rumor is that this will also have the OS upgrade anyway.

    What needs to be fixed is the functionality of the stylus. Bring in better inking/creative apps and this will be a great tablet for the enterprise and the creatives.

  7. techniko says:

    which is a better buy, samsung galaxy tab or acer iconia tab? samsung GT has 3g and good hardware but it has smaller screens (7 inches) and froyo os. acer iconia tab a500 on other hand has larger screen, dual core processor, honeycomb os but poorer camera, and acer has a bad reputation concerning their product durability// now what should i buy? hope u can help me decide.

    by the way, they’re my choice because they belong to same price range.

    • itsmeagain says:

      To answer your question here’s what I like abou the acer iconia a500 (although a501 with 3g is now available in the UK);

      1. It has USB port, I have connected USB flash drive, 500GB USB HDD (both FAT32 formatted to be recognized by the device, and USB keyboard at this stage, and all devices work. I can root it an install an app to recognize NTFS formatted drives.

      2. It doesn’t have 3G which costs a bomb but if i’m out I can use usb modem (arguably cheaper and both it and 3G are as unreliable for connections).

      3. It has a 10.1 inch screen, 7 inch is not pleasurable for surfing or for anything else.

      4. Honeycomb is a joy

      5. I’m not a photographer, If I want a camera I’ll buy a real camera. But the cam on it is good enough for my purposes

      6. Samsung UI is an always will be a pain in the ass.

  8. itsmeagain says:

    Anyone who expects HTC do upgrade android on this device anytime soon is delusional. HTC would have to be one of the most usless organizations with respect to android upgrades. Check out all HTC facebook sites and lookat the millions begging for 2.3 upgrades after HTC already promised such months ago. HTC may provide decent hardware but are hopeless on the software side.

    These 7 inch devices never make sense to me. Still too small for browsing with pleasure. I’d rather go for a 10.1 inch and to date the ACER Iconia A500 is best value / performance / felxibility for money today.

  9. carlo says:

    7″ is perfect size for a tablet IMHO, bigger than that, use a laptop.

  10. Diesel
    Twitter: hamed_eh
    says:

    Is it the 3G version or wifi only? And does the 3G version support text messaging and gsm calls? I really need to know. Somebody answer me. Thanks! :)

  11. ralph says:

    ARCHOS G9 80 or 101!! :)

  12. baste says:

    simply too much, well that’s odd for me to say when we’re buying smartphones in the 25k to 30k ranges hehe

  13. Night says:

    Overpriced. 23-25k would have been the ideal price for this to sell here.

  14. @Diesel – It’s the 3G version. It only allows data connectivity; no gsm calls.

    • Diesel
      Twitter: hamed_eh
      says:

      Awww! Bummer! IT would have been great if it did, just like the Galaxy Tab did. So no GSM calls. What about SMS?

  15. Ken Tamayo says:

    It actually has SMS capabilites, just no calls ;)

  16. Robert Tan says:

    HTC FLYER Rules…I will upgrade from my galaxy Tab!

    Robert Tan
    http://www.rianingpesos.com.ph

  17. jo
    Twitter: jabapial
    says:

    Need help with video calling! It doesn’t see to work (SKYPE & YM) said it’s not compatible when downloading the ym plugin. HELP!

  18. Microwave ADMin says:

    Sorry for being a grammar nazi but bad grammar rankles. Wondrin’ why you fliptards love to commit the double past tense error, like “although HTC Philippines did not really **made** any official launch event”. The correct usage is “did not MAKE”.

    Anyhow I chanced upon this site from Google. Great tab, the Flyer, though correct grammar would do justice to it.

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