HTC Flyer – Honeycomb update
When it launched, the HTC Flyer was based on the Gingerbread Android 2.3 smartphone OS, rather than the tablet-centric Honeycomb, although an update is due in the near future. However, for the time being, the Flyer is still stuck in a Gingerbread-flavoured rut and the dated look and feel aren’t helped by hollow plastic ends on the rear, which make it feel more like a big phone rather than a tablet.
While Android Honeycomb is still relatively new, Gingerbread actually offers wider compatibility with apps, and at a push it can so most of what Honeycomb is capable of – just in a less intuitive manner. HTC’s Sense skin jazzes things up but it can’t resolve Gingerbread’s shortcomings. There is one particularly neat trick that the OS does offer – when you switch from landscape to portrait, the Home, Menu and Back keys flip to a new position to remain below the screen.
HTC Flyer – Great for gaming
Rummage around the box and you might be surprised to find a stylus. However, try it out and you’ll realise it’s only compatible with a few specific apps and is completely ignored by the main interface. Moving swiftly on, the Flyer is great as a gaming tablet.
HTC Flyer – Flash support
The 7in form is ideal for anything with on-screen virtual joysticks (big enough for you to see what’s going on, small enough to be dual-thumbable) and it has enough power to tackle 3D graphics. Video playback is up there with the best – Flash support for the web, and smooth frame rates and rich colours on quality rips.
While we tested the pricier 3G version, the Wi-Fi Flyer is still a hefty £480. Similarly priced rivals offer so much more and lower-end tablets are too close for comfort. However, while some tablets prefer home and office environments, the 3G modem and smaller size of the Flyer makes it more commuter-friendly than most of its rivals.