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.

Stuff says... 

HTC Flyer review

The Flyer would be tempting at half the price, but it smells too much like 2010 for us

Where to buy HTC Flyer: