The HTC Flyer packs a 5 MP autofocus camera, which can take photos of 2592x1944 pixels resolution. You don't get a LED flash on it so low-light photography isn't an option even if you are the sort of nut to bring a tablet as a camera replacement.
The camera interface is very space efficient. Most of the controls are on the right side of the viewfinder, with the virtual shutter in the center. There’s a virtual zoom lever on the left. By default the viewfinder image is cropped so that it fills the entire screen, but you can switch that off (note that cropping reduces the resolution).
As with most HTC smart devices nowadays the Flyer too offers touch autofocus.
The effects button brings out a panel on the left with the usual set of color effects (sepia, solarize and so on).
The actual image quality on the Flyer that we tested is severely compromised by some lens issues. Almost the entire left side of the pictures looks smudged and out of focus with a lot of the detail in them smeared and fuzzy. On the other hand, colors look good, though not nearly as punchy as we like them. Contrast levels are acceptable. We guess, if you get a non-defective unit, the image quality produced by the camera will be ok.
And here's a macro photo, taken by the HTC Flyer.
Overall, the Flyer is definitely not the go-to device for amateur photography. Sure, it smacks the iPad 1 and 2 cameras around but hardly steps up to even some of the low-end 5 MP phones out there.
For comparison's sake we include the HTC Flyer in our photo quality compare tool. It's not that it's awful, it's just that the issues it has with the camera aren’t conducive to the comparison being fair. Still you can see how it fares against the Optimus Pad and the Xoom tablet. The Optimus Pad is superior to the Flyer as it offers great image quality.
The HTC Flyer records videos in 3gp format and can go as up as 720p resolution. Due to the insufficient processor power it can’t handle 1080p encoding.
The interface of the camcorder follow suit to the camera one. It's easy to use and you get all the settings on the right side with many customizable options like the video resolution, recording limit and adding effects.
Autofocus works here too, but only before you start shooting – then the focus is locked and won’t change even if you get closer or move back. Still, the Sensation had no problems focusing at even very close distances.
The quality of the video is nothing to shout about. Not to mention that our unit has obvious lens issues and smeared most of the detail in one corner like it did with photos.
There's no telling what the actual quality would be without the defective camera lens.
Here's a 720p video sample, made by the Flyer. Click the fullscreen button for better viewing. Keep in mind that YouTube applies some compression to the video, which takes its toll on quality.
Check out an untouched 720p@30fps video sample, made by the HTC Flyer.
The HTC Flyer enters our video quality compare tool to face the Motorola Xoom and the Apple iPad 2. Sadly even though it offers a better camera, resolution-wise it's no match even for the iPad 2's resolution detail.