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HTC Flyer v iiPAD 2
on 7 June 2011
I've had the HTC flyer for almost a month now. Being a bit of a techno-junkie I also have the iPad 2 and the Dell Streak 5 inch android.
The 7 inch flyer is, as far as I'm concerned the ideal size for everyday use. Whilst the iPad is without question the best viewing tablet probably available today, it is also large and I have rarely taken it out with me because of its size. The HTC flyer on the other hand is with me all the time and fits into a very neat compact bag for everyday use. It comes with a rather OTT white leather case, which although is excellent in quality is a bit gaudy, pity they didn't make it black or brown.
I first learnt about the flyer in the Sunday Times (I didn't even know it existed), and ordered one straightaway from Amazon even though the review (and indeed others) criticised the battery performance. I have to say this is totally unfounded and may be when the unit was upgraded to gingerbread it improved battery use. I easily get a day and a half of use.
HTC promote heavily the pen feature which allows you to write on the screen and make annotations etc. I'm sure it works very well but I've yet to see any YouTube reviews where HTC sales guys are not writing in kids crayon type sized letters. Maybe it has more use in commercial applications where templates are used on the screen and the user just checks boxes etc.
The screen is particularly excellent, very bright and can be read in sunlight (albeit reasonably difficult in direct, but no worse than my iPad 2). It's very fast to use and I love the customisation and indeed the excellent HTC sense which in version 3 is very good indeed. I have no hesitation in recommending the Flyer to anyone and have even thought of selling my iPad but maybe hang onto it and little longer, ask me in another month or so! The Streak is definitely going to go.
A little heavy and quite thick to hold, it would be better if it were slimmer but no doubt the next version will offer exactly this and indeed dual core processing (which no doubt will be faster and may be improved battery life), so possibly the current HTC flyer may have a relatively short life.
Ideal for reading books (the Kindle app works perfectly on the Flyer (and again the 7 inch screen size really does emulate reading a paperback book), web browsing is superb with auto adjusting text size when tapping the screen on a particular section.
I think HTC need a round of applause for bringing this unit to market but maybe not so for the lack of promotion and marketing of the product to date. Not quite sure what they're waiting for as this is their flagship product and they have hardly made a whisper about it.
Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
Update March 2012 - Sold the unit on only for the reason of buying a new Samsung Galaxy Note which is a fraction of the weight and very fast. The screen is smaller but can be used as a phone too - albeit a rather large one!