Tablets Guide

HTC Flyer review

HTC Flyer - First HTC Tablet Takes Off

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Performance Benchmarks

Pilot and Crew Testing 

Powering the Flyer is a single-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. You may be wondering why the Flyer comes with a single-core chip when its competitors are running dual-core processors. HTC's stand is that the Android OS is not optimized for dual-core operations as it lacks multi-threading. While there's some truth to that, the good thing is HTC is offering much more than just raw processing power and it's the overall features and user experience that counts. That's what we intend to find out after this performance test segments.

To support the 1.5GHz processor, HTC packs in 1GB of RAM for the Flyer. As there isn't any competitors with similar specifications, we have to pit the HTC Flyer with its dual-core counterparts. Although the Flyer will be competing on unequal grounds, it is the most appropriate comparison we've got for now. Below is a summary of the benchmark tests for tablets:

  • Quadrant evaluates the CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance. This is an Android OS based test.
  • Smartbench 2011 is a multi-core friendly benchmark application that includes both the Productivity and Games Indices for a more complete gauge of the overall performance of modern Android devices. This is probably where the HTC Flyer might not fare well but that's understandable.
  • SunSpider JavaScript benchmark measures the browsing performance of the tablet.

How the Tablets Stack up
Device HTC Flyer  Motorola Xoom ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Apple iPad 2
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon single-core 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz
GPU Adreno 205 ULP GeForce ULP GeForce PowerVR SGX 543MP2 
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB 512MB
OS Google Android 2.3 Google Android 3.0 Google Android 3.0 Apple iOS 4.3

In the Quadrant benchmark, oddly the HTC Flyer outperformed the dual-core competitors. That's because the Quadrant benchmark is an older test that's not optimized for dual-core devices yet, unlike the Smartbench 2011 benchmark which is multi-core ready. That's why the HTC Flyer's faster clocked processor fared better in Quadrant, while it didn't look too good in Smartbench against its dual-core based competitors. Well, numbers are just figures on paper after all. When reviewing the HTC Flyer, we found it to be generally snappy in normal usage albeit not nearly as fluid and smooth as the Honeycomb tablets. Watching movie clips on the Flyer, we noted that that there was hardly any hiccups or glitches. Overall, we were impressed with the general performance of the Flyer, despite it running a 1.5GHz single-core processor which seems dated in the era of dual-core processors.

Next up, we take a look into the the browser performance. We use the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark (which is OS independant) to compare the Android tablets, with the addition of the Apple iPad 2 for a better gauge of the Flyer's position among the competition.

The HTC Flyer lagged behind the others by a slight margin. This is consistent with HTC's claims that dual-core processors do have a positive impact on browser performance. Nevertheless, our browsing experience on the Flyer was generally similar to the rest of the tablets we reviewed so far. Do note that the benchmark results are obtained using stock firmware and not conclusive indicators of the Flyer's performance.