We just got a hands-on with the HTC Flyer and we’re quite smitten. The device feels a bit heavy, but extremely well made and sleek to hold in your hand. The Flyer, from HTC, is one of many tablets being announced at MWC 2011 this year, and it’s certainly bringing some unique weapons to the tablet wars. One of the biggest is a pressure sensitive stylus and a solid, unibody aluminum casing. Rounding it out are a 5.0 megapixel camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. However, there are some eyebrow raising details in the negative direction, too. The Flyer seems to be a mixed bag, so far.
But first, some more of the goodness: OnLive, the highly touted cloud gaming service, is coming to the HTC Flyer via an app. Also, Saffron Digital is providing what promises to be a superior movie streaming and downloading experience for the Flyer’s crisp 7 inch screen. HTC’s custom UI, Sense, has also received an upgrade, and a major one at that. For the first time, Sense has been designed with a tablet in mind to create what HTC is calling more of a true desktop experience.
There are some mystifying choices with the Flyer, too, though. The biggest head-scratcher is the lack of Google’s newly unveiled Android 3.0 Honeycomb; the Flyer runs on the soon to be outdated Android 2.4 Gingerbread OS. HTC’s reasoning seems to be that they rely more on Sense for the UI experience, but it’s hard to believe that consumers won’t be turned off by tech that’s flying into stores with already dated technology, especially considering the monumental 3-D upgrades of Honeycomb. It’s even more puzzling when you consider that Honeycomb was designed specifically with tablets in mind, unlike Gingerbread. The Flyer also sports a 1.5GHz single-core processor, unlike many competitors who are using dual-core processors. Time (and demos) will tell how these choices work out for HTC.