HTC Flyer review – Pen pal

GSMArena team, 06 July 2011.
Pages: «12345678910»

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Premium retail package

The HTC Flyer retail package features a dedicated charger (without it the Flyer can sit for hours on a different charger and hardly fill up the battery), a USB cable and a carrying pouch.

The pouch is made of imitation leather and has a magnetic lock. All the items inside the retail package are white (as the tablet itself), which does seem kind of Apple territory but nowadays is becoming more and more an HTC thing too.

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HTC Flyer retail package

There isn’t a complimentary memory card in the bundle, which isn't such a big deal considering the ample32GB of on-board storage. What we do miss though is a set of headphones. We guess HTC traded those for the carrying pouch, which isn't the best call. After all, the Flyer is the right size for listening to music or watching movies.

HTC Flyer 360-degree spin

The HTC Flyer measures 195.4 x 122 x 13.2 mm and weighs 420.8 g. It's very compact and truly portable for a tablet. As stated earlier, it’s actually pocketable even if it is a little on the porky side, weight-wise. That's not to say it crosses the line but is still heavier than you'd expect.

Design and construction

HTC has almost patented the stylish aluminum unibody construction , which is stunning - especially on a bigger handset like the Flyer (yes it's actually compact enough to be called that) - so this tablet is definitely a looker.

It feels great in your hand and both the finish and body materials are top notch. It's comfortable to hold and feels sturdy.

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HTC Flyer side by side with the HTC Sensation and the BlackBerry Playbook

We do like aluminum casings. Plastic is okay but just can't beat the premium feel of cold metal.

The body of the Flyer is curved at every corner and has slightly pronounced top and bottom edges to protect the screen when you place it on its face. The back is curved and mostly made of aluminum.

The 7" 16M-color capacitive screen offers good brightness indoors but is too reflective to comfortably use in the open. Even on the highest settings it feels shy in direct sunlight and will make you wish for a parasol or something.

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HTC Flyer LCD display

Other than that, when indoors, colors are punchy and contrast is good, so the Flyer does have a good display overall.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC Flyer 0.18 169 921 0.41 409 1002
Motorola XOOM 0.12 216 1853 0.21 436 2041
Apple iPad 2 0.18 167 925 0.55 429 775
Apple iPad 0.21 178 834 0.53 410 776
HTC Incredible S 0.18 162 908 0.31 275 880
HTC Sensation 0.21 173 809 0.61 438 720

Above the display in landscape mode are the secondary video-call camera and a status LED, which lights up when you turn the camera on. It is a 1.3 MP unit, good enough for Skype video calls and the likes.

HTC Flyer
Secondary camera, light sensor

There are a total of 8 capacitive buttons on the Flyer. HTC has conveniently decided to put them in two sets for use in both landscape and portrait mode. They are the Home, Menu and Search keys along with a dedicated Scribe button. When Scribe mode is active, a touch with the stylus to the Scribe capacitive button will open up the settings menu. More on that later.

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Capacitive buttons

The right side of the tablet features the volume rocker and two sets of microphones. They are positioned at the top and bottom of the side. They are probably meant for stereo sound recording during video capture.

The volume rocker has nice press and is large enough for comfortable use.

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Left side of the HTC Flyer

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