HTC Flyer 7
We took a look at the HTC's first Tablet PC attempt the HTC Flyer 7 and asked what was good about it and what left something to be desired...
By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012
Bright display. Excellent image quality
Pen stylus for better writing experience
HTC user interface looks great
HD video recording
Expensive in comparison (Nexus 7)
Both cameras are medicore at best
Not running the latest version of Android
Terrible battery life
The Flyer continues unabated for up to twelve hours of consecutive use. This offers a very definite advantage over the majority of other Tablet PCs on the market right now.
The HTC Flyer, released last May, has already become one of the most popular Tablet PCs on the market. The HTC Flyer is likely to be one of the first Tablets you encounter if you’re looking to purchase one for yourself. Lets have a look at what’s good and what’s not so good about the Flyer...
With a 7-inch screen capable of displaying 1024 x 600 pixels, the HTC Flyer has one of the better displays on the market today, its perfect for watching online media content, downloads and videos from the camera and displays everything in a typically high resolution fashion that it is easy to become accustomed to.
The HTC Flyer is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Making use of a maximum 32GB hard drive, a 1.5 GHz processor and a whole Gigabyte of RAM, the Flyer can be used for almost any purpose you can imagine and still function adequately. Of course, nobody buys a Tablet PC to replace their desktop, so don’t expect to store your life story in photographs or your entire CD collection on there and you won’t be disappointed.
Connectivity-wise, the Flyer is compatible with standard Wi Fi, Bluetooth and 3G, which gives you a range of options for browsing the net, file sharing and connecting to other computers/networks.
The HTC Flyer runs Android. 2.3.3, in case you wondered.
NOTE: In February 2012, when this review was first posted, the Flyer would have set you back about £400. Today however, it is more like £274 (and that’s for a new one. Second-hand models start at £180). Given this very impressive drop in price, I can now unhesitatingly recommend this model.
As you have no doubt surmised by now, there are a great many things to recommend about the HTC Flyer.
The Flyer comes equipped with a pen stylus, which not only offers an improved writing experience, but also makes the apps easier to access. In addition, this is an improvement on the (vastly more common) touchscreen, as you won’t end up with greasy fingerprints clogging up that beautiful display. The stylus pen is highly sensitive (whereas some touchscreen functions on other Tablets are infuriatingly unresponsive), but it is also precise, meaning that you are unlikely to open the wrong program by accident, a common complaint among Tablet users.
The HTC Flyer is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Making use of a maximum 32GB hard drive, a 1.5 GHz processor and a whole Gigabyte of ram.
Another point worth mentioning is the battery life. A lot of Tablets peter out rather pathetically after only six or seven hours of use (which can be a bother for a device that is mainly designed to be portable), but the Flyer continues unabated for up to twelve hours of consecutive use. This offers a very definite advantage over the majority of other Tablet PCs on the market right now. Such long battery life is ideal for the commuter, long distance traveller or anybody who spends some office hours away from the office.
As previously mentioned; the screen is absolutely stunning. Exceptionally well lit, high resolution images can only add to your viewing pleasure whilst also aiding the commuter who wishes to read or enjoy video content on her travels.
Whilst the Flyer is a tremendous achievement, there are, of course, some negative points. Sadly, both internal cameras are mediocre at best and, whilst the screen may be a thing of beauty, the picture and video quality simply fails to do it justice.
What Other Users Say
There are user 81 reviews over on Amazon.co.uk, of these (make sure you’re sitting down for this) 74 are listed at 4/5 or higher. Only 5 reviews gave this Tablet a rating of 2/5 or less.
‘Richard Lewis’ (presumably not the American comedian of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ fame) posted the best review I found. Awarding a perfect score of 5/5, Mr. Lewis listed pretty valid counterarguments to all the Flyer’s naysayers. You should read it first if you are planning to buy this Tablet.
In conclusion, the HTC Flyer is, without a doubt, one of the best Tablet PCs around today. It is small (122mm x 195mm x 13mm), lightweight (at a dainty 420 g) and quite durable. The available software is among the most advanced around and the great battery life, precise stylus pen and brilliant display all add to the Flyer’s undeniable appeal.
The sad truth is, that with an RRP of nearly £600, the HTC Flyer has effectively priced itself out of the consumer market. Although certain sites (predominantly Amazon) list the Flyer near or around a far more reasonable sum of £340, the high retail price placed on the Flyer has seen its appeal diminish among those with a limited income. Also: for that high an asking price, it would not be at all unreasonable to expect much better cameras.
The HTC Flyer is an excellent machine, but it is priced much too highly to ever be considered a ‘bargain’.
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