The Flyer is one of the better-looking tablets in the market. The unibody aluminium frame coupled with the choice of plastics used is eye-catching.
The 7-inch capacitive screen sports a resolution of 1024x600 pixels and is surrounded by a thumb-size black bezel so you don’t accidentally touch the screen no matter which way you use it. The screen does not use Gorilla Glass and doesn’t have any oleophobic coating either, so fingerprints can be a nightmare.
The Flyer is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon single-core processor running at 1.5GHz. This, coupled with HTC’s Sense UI 2.1, makes for a good user experience. The interface is slick with lots of fancy animations all over the place.
The notification bar has also undergone a major overhaul. It’s now divided into three sections, the first shows you the ten most recently used apps, the second gives you notifications like alerts, new messages etc. and the third is ‘Quick Settings’ that gives you little toggle switches for auto brightness, auto rotation and connectivity settings.
HTC offers digital pen functionality, which is operated using a single ‘AAAA’ battery, and can be used virtually, other than on the lock screen. You can also scribble and make notes.
Better music player
The Flyer comes with 32GB memory built-in with the ability to expand it to 64GB via microSD card. The music player has been redesigned for the larger screen giving you your playlist on the left and the ‘Now Playing’ screen on the right. HTC has only launched the 3G version in India that offers full HSDPA and HSUPA 3G support along with EDGE and Wi-Fi N. But if you’re expecting to make phone calls like on the Galaxy Tab, you’re in for a disappointment. While you can send and receive messages, phone calls are a no-go.
E-book reader too
There are lots of useful apps pre-installed in the Flyer. Reader lets you purchase e-books from Kobo. HTC bundles along some popular novels too like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Art of War to get started. Other apps include Task Manager, Sound Hound, Press Reader, Foxit PDF viewer, Friend Stream and one of our favourite games, Teeter.
The 5-megapixel shooter lacks a flash, and images appear a bit soft in spite of autofocus. The videos are jerky too. With data always on, we managed to get a full day’s worth of battery life, which is strictly average.
What we like
Useful apps pre-installed in Flyer, including novels.
Pen can be used all over
What we don’t
Doesn’t allow you to make phone calls unlike its competitors
No coating on the screen means fingerprints everywhere.
Images appear soft and out of focus
There's no denying that the Flyer is built well enough to rival the iPad. The UI is another area where it excels — the interface is slick and fast. Finally, digital pen support is a novel idea and while it may seem gimmicky, it works well. But these features alone aren't enough to justify its absurd R 39,890 pricing. The Flyer struggles to play hi-def content (even 720p), and the camera isn't up to par either.