HTC Flyer – an Android alternative to the iPad?

by Klaus on July 22, 2011

in Tablets

HTC is a company that has built a solid and enviable reputation over the smartphone industry.  Their research and development team has enabled them to release innovative handsets that are usually the first of their kind.

This is no longer the case with the HTC Flyer as this is, in fact, their first Android tablet.  However, with HTC’s new tablet, they are in fact starting over and creating a new blueprint and standard for future Android tablets – one that does not use a Tegra 2 CPU as it instead pack a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor.  Since it also uses Android 2.3 Gingerbread, an OS that is specifically designed for smartphones, it is not limited to Google’s tablet-specific Honeycomb OS which is why almost every aspect and feel of a typical Android tablet has changed.

Regarding the physical design of the tablet, HTC opted for a little of the iPad look and giving it a curved aluminum back. Its elegant look makes it quite appealing.  The only problem with its design is that it has a narrow bezel that makes it quite difficult to hold securely without getting your thumbs over the screen.  However, this is not the case when the tablet is in landscape orientation as the bezels are wide enough to accommodate your thumbs.

Weighing in at 420g, the HTC Flyer is significantly lighter than the iPad 2 and Motorola’s Xoom.  Due to its lighter weight, it only comes with a 7-inch screen. However, it boasts a pixel density at 170ppi giving it a 1024 x 600 resolution on a 7-inch screen.  Even if it does not possess the sharpest of screens, the graphics is crisp and bright enough and its touch panel is extremely responsive.  It is great for watching movies and it is a little less obtrusive when brought out in public.

One of the good things about the HTC Flyer is its ability to capture drawing and doodling thanks to its digital pen – an optional extra at $80.  The reason as to why they made this optional is perhaps they are aware that not everybody is keen on doodling on a capacitive multi-touch screen.

The multimedia capability of the Flyer is nothing impressive.  Its internal speakers works well, but when compared to the iPad’s single speaker, the latter sounds considerably better.  However, if you plug in some headphones, you will notice the addition of an SRS sound enhancement that creates a vibrant stereo output.

The Flyer is also equipped with two cameras.  The 5-megapixel rear-facing camera is equipped with an autofocus and is able to capture decent photos.  It is also capable of recording videos at 720p.  Sadly, the unit does not come with an HDMI-out cable in the box.  One thing noticeably lacking with the rear-facing camera though is a flash, making shooting at low light conditions out of the question.  The 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, on the other hand, is great and perfect for video chats.

Overall, the HTC Flyer is quite impressive even if it does not sport a dual-core processor.  It seems that the extra CPU cycles have made up for this deficit.  Nevertheless, the unit delivers solidly and provides an excellent web-browsing experience.


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jakk @ Technology Blogged July 22, 2011 at 13:52

After using the device it’s not a viable alternative if your main factor of purchase is speed as the Flyer is a couple of frames per second behind whilst scrolling through menus.

richard July 22, 2011 at 14:44

These is a good review about HTC Flyer. I think its better if the manufacturer include all the HDMI-out cable.

richard July 22, 2011 at 15:04

HTC look cool but compared to Apple they have much a long way to go. They need to upgrade more with regards to speed issue.

karan July 22, 2011 at 17:58

Great review must say

[email protected] July 23, 2011 at 17:42

Android is always better than iOS. Android is open source 🙂 Awsome apps 🙂

kudos July 27, 2011 at 17:12

Hmmm.. i wouldn’t go as bold as saying Android is better than iOS. They both have good points and bad.
I have always been a fan of HTC though since the Diamond.

zack July 23, 2011 at 19:32

Truly a good alternative if cost is a factor

Wilma Pleathers July 24, 2011 at 12:04

Nice review. There is a lot of hype about Ipads and i am not sure whether they are good or bad. But after reading your post i think now that HTC Flyer is much better and i should go for it rather then ipad.

Lalit July 24, 2011 at 13:51

Excellent review on HTC Flyer but as far as an alternative of iPad is concerned, it is lacking. Although it has some good features, but screen size and speed are the main cocerns and I assume for these reasons it is priced lower than the top models such as IPad 2 and samsung galaxy tab 10.1.

Norb Winslow July 24, 2011 at 18:07

Finally HTC has stepped into the tablet’s competition market, as the first Andriod tablet, I would say HTC has done a pretty good job. However, its back seems to be a little bit sleek, which may easily slips from your hand. Anyway its a good tablet, and good review too!

Robin July 25, 2011 at 09:10

HTC Flyer is cheaper and a good tablet and I am sure HTC will bring more advanced android basd tablets in future.

Taylor July 25, 2011 at 10:39

Good comparison HTC flyer with Ipad. Though you have said some cons, I think extra CPU still makes this gadget excellent. I wouldn’t mind using it as an alternative to ipad.

Nobu July 25, 2011 at 15:12

My sister got an HTC phone like a few months ago. I think HTC is one of the best quality in electronic gadgets in the market. They have a very good reputation but not as much fame as other well known brands. But anyone who is very knowledgeable about quality gadgets know HTC. And I think the HTC Flyer is a really good choice for everyone and people who demand quality. I wanna buy that one!

Asad @ TechGlint July 25, 2011 at 15:55

I think HTC Flyer can be a decent alternative to iPad but it needs a very good marketing strategy so more people buy it.

Lauren Clarke July 26, 2011 at 12:07

I like the look of the HTC Flyer but I’m not sure it’s too small for my liking. I’m going to have the opportunity to compare one side-by-side with the ipad at the weekend so I will make a decision then.

Jason Cecabin July 28, 2011 at 15:19

How much does the Flyer cost?
It should be significantly cheaper than the IPAD 2.

If not, why would anyone choose this over the IPAD? becuase it is slightly lighter?
I agree that HTC is usually as good as it gets in terms of innovation and new products, i just think the Flyer falls a little bit short of what we typically expect.

yukara August 5, 2011 at 05:39

HTC is ready to compete with another android phone vendor. They have released some android phone with an affordable price.

Rob Benwell August 11, 2011 at 19:06

It must be hard being a Flash developer and seeing that all your knowledge is becoming irrelevant. But rather that being bitter why not become conversant with HTML5 since it is the future.

Incidentally Apple’s 30% “tax” at their App store is normally called a “profit margin”. You see when you have a store you cannot sell things at cost because there is this thing called overhead. And for app developers using Apples store brings in a lot more customers and is a lot cheaper than setting up your own store. I know this as a fact since I am writing this from my new vacation home I bought in part with the 70% if got from my successful app at Apple’s store.

Kathleen September 3, 2011 at 18:20

As a step-down version of the IPad, I would buy it. Of course, the price has to be right and any glitches worked out. I personally refuse to spend top dollar for the best-or-the-best, so this might be perfect for me – as a casual user.

Andri September 10, 2011 at 12:29

HTC is one of the leading brand for Android. Will check the product. Thanks for the review.

Alan Smith September 15, 2011 at 13:18

Now HTC try to capture the smartphone market by researching those type of things. Competition is very tough hope best service provider will win.

Graham Bell November 16, 2011 at 20:29

I like the HTC Flyer, I think it was a good idea for HTC to push the magic pen as well, especially on a 7 incher, they are more like the size of a paper notebook. Having said that I’m not really convinced myself about 7 inch tablets. I little like big mobile phones i always think. I am strangely tempted to buy a Flyer, it’s a great little package, but I might wait and see if the price goes down a bit, or maybe look on flea bay for one..

Prithvi February 24, 2012 at 17:05

HTC is more known for its high end smartphones.. Now, it has landed in the tablet market, i dont think HTC flyer got a huge response from the public.. Last 2 years have really been competitive for the new tablets which are arriving in the market.. Anyways nice review.. 😉


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