Mobile Phones Guide

MWC 2011 - Making Sense of HTC's New Android Tablet and Smartphones

MWC 2011 - Making Sense of HTC's New Android Tablet and Smartphones

HTC at MWC 2011 and eyes-on with HTC Flyer

HTC at MWC 2011

The "Quietly Brilliant" motto has been one of the key focus for HTC during its press conferences. But this year's MWC was anything but quiet when the Taiwanese company revealed a slew of Android devices that will hit the market very soon. Five of which, are newly updated Android devices, two of which have been leaked as Facebook phones that will get a dedicated Facebook button while the remaining three sees some updates in the hardware and software aspect. Most importantly, 2011 is the year when HTC introduces its very own Android tablet, the HTC Flyer.

During the earlier press conference, Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, shared how the company saw a 50% growth in brand awareness over the last year, with a total of 25 million units sold in that same year. In a mere few years, HTC definitely saw its name splashed all over the world, a name that was once recognized as one of the largest OEM of smartphones. However, times have changed, when it's no longer just the hardware, but the whole ecosystem that will drive the growth of the company. This year, HTC also made some significant announcements with regards to partnerships. Content will be its key focus, as apparent through its collaboration with Saffron Digital and OnLive. The former dabbles in online movie distribution, which will be part of the HTC Watch service that'll be available on the Flyer. The latter is an online gaming service that streams games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum with the tablet's broadband connection.

Eyes-on with HTC Flyer

There were a limited number of units on display at the HTC press conference, and unfortunately, the media were only allowed to attend a show-and-tell policy from the presenters, leaving us with no opportunity to have a hands-on experience with the HTC tablet. Nonetheless, we managed to gleam some info from the demonstration, such as how the new HTC Sense will be running on the Flyer. Adopting a carousel interface with widgets as its focus, the new Sense departs from HTC's usual page and apps approach. In our opinion, this makes much more sense for the tablet device, given the 7-inch real estate space that will be fully utilized by the widget, not to mention an easier time when it comes to accessing content through the widgets. Here's a video demo followed by a few still shots of the upcoming product:-

Further to that, the Flyer will also be armed with a stylus capable of capacitive input, and with it, a new input method known as HTC Scribe and an enhanced note-taking feature called HTC Timemark that captures audio to work in tandem with your note taking. Scribe shows its usefulness beyond note taking, through the act of sharing content that are added with specific notes on web pages, images or even documents.

For its hardware, the Flyer chose to retain a single-core 1.5GHz processor, unlike most other tablets of 2011 that have gone the dual-core route. It's powered by a 4000mAh battery for its 7-inch screen at 1024 x 600 resolution. Its memory is well-catered for, with 1GB of RAM to handle multi-tasking on the Google Android platform, and sufficient storage with 32GB internal and the option to expand via microSD. On the point of Google Android, it was reported as Google Android 2.4 as a minor update to the Gingerbread version, much like how Google positions the Android 2.1/2.2 Froyo platform. To complete its full suite of services, the Flyer is armed with a rear 5-megapixel camera, and a front 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting purposes.

According to HTC, the HTC Flyer will be available in Q2 2011.

Key highlights of the HTC Flyer

  • Google Android 2.3
  • Qualcomm 1.5GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage / microSD expandability
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 7-inch capacitive / 1024 x 600 pixels
  • Rear 5-megapixel camera / Autofocus /  LED flash
  • Front 1.3-megapixel camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • 415g
  • 195.4 x 122 x 13.2mm
  • Availability: Q2 2011