I like the HTC Flyer, it’s a bit like a cross between a tablet and a phone, you could call it a ‘Tablone‘ (by the way if no one has used that word can I claim it?).
The problem is that despite having a slot for your sim card and text messaging abilities you can’t actually make real phone calls on it, which is a shame because if you could (like the Samsung galaxy), the HTC flyer would be in the top one of my fav tablets, or Tablone’s.
Even despite this glaring oversight the HTC Flyer is still a really good device. The HTC / Android Operating System (Android 2.3.3, skinned with HTC’s Sense 2.1 for Tablet) is user friendly and like all HTC phone/tablet systems is intuitive and easy to navigate around. The 17.8cm (7″) inch screen might seem a bit small, but it’s actually just right for Apps like the iPlayer and Netflix, and because of its size, practical enough to put in your coat pocket without having to be constantly aware of its presence.
Something you can’t do with an iPad, Xoom or Galaxy Tab.
It has a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, which much like virtually every phone / tablet camera out there is competent, but spectacularly unspectacular. It’s good enough for snaps and pics in good light, but try getting a good shot of the lead singer of The Maccabies from 40ft in the middle of a gig and the results are not going to be that brilliant.
The Flyer’s main USP (unique selling point), is its accompanying stylus/pen, this can be used to write, highlight and draw on the screen of the device. It sort-of works, and the principal behind the system is excellent.
My only reservation is it’s easy enough to highlight things in other ways, (or share a web page, or copy and paste) that it might be something that is useful occasionally, but may end up in the back of the drawer next to the egg timer and fudge toffees that no one likes.
Maybe it comes from the feel, as when you draw or write on it’s surface there is a certain cohesion that is missing, eg, like when you use an old fashioned pen to write something on, eg an old fashioned piece of paper. It feels a bit weird, like signing for a package. Also, there’s a small bag included with the Flyer, but it would have been good to be able to attach the pen to the device somehow, maybe like a DS stylus pen does.
Having said that it does integrate nicely with cloud storage Apps, especially Evernote and anything that can encourage you to save your work ‘on the cloud’ should be applauded, as I found out to my cost recently.
The 1.50khz processor while not ultra-whizzy, is more than fast enough to cope with smooth video playback and multiple open apps at once. Overall pretty good, and something that will both help your workflow away from your desk, and be fun enough to keep you distracted when you are at it (or should that be the other way around?).
It’s practical enough to be a constant companion, and if you really want to phone someone you can always Skype them. As far as ‘Tablones’ go it’s in a class of it’s own.
The HTC Flyer can be picked up for around £230
For more info visit www.htc.com/uk