HTC Flyer review

HTC's first Android tablet is not only smaller and lighter than the iPad 2, it can be used with a pressure-sensitive stylus too. The Flyer didn't soar high in Julian Prokaza's affections though - read on to find out why.

HTC has made a vague promise that the Flyer will get a Honeycomb upgrade soon.

The Android 2.3.3 operating system used on the HTC Flyer is designed for smartphones rather than tablets, but the various Android Market apps we tried all used the screen resolution properly with no scaling issues. That said, Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets, and the apps designed for it, handle larger screens more gracefully with, for example, a split-screen Gmail app that shows the inbox alongside a message's content. On the Flyer, Gmail uses the same inbox-only view as Android smartphones and the list of messages is just considerably longer (or wider). HTC has made a vague promise that the Flyer will get a Honeycomb upgrade soon.

Until then, the HTC Sense UI otherwise makes good use of the larger screen, but there isn't quite the same range of personalisation options found on the Sensation smartphone. While the Sensation can show Twitter feeds, email and more on its custom Lock screen, the Flyer has just a local weather forecast - it's a shame that the extra screen space can't be more fully exploited. HTC has, however, chosen to exploit the Flyer's big screen in one other way with a stylus.

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