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Meet the HTC Flyer

by Jack McGrath | January 24, 2011January 24, 2011 6:02 pm PDT

With the sudden emergence of Android-based tablets about to hit store shelves, it is no surprise that Taiwan-based HTC wants to get in on the action. The consumer electronics manufacturer was notably quiet at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, only announcing a few new handsets. Rumored to hit the market in March of this year, the HTC Flyer is set to be in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Will HTC’s device be distinguishable with so many tablets on the horizon?

Amongst all of the speculation as to the specifications of the device, Amobil was recently received information that reaffirms a Digitimes report from a few days ago. The Flyer will be in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy Tab mainly due to the fact that it will have a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 x 600. While one might be quick to judge HTC’s tablet on this specific detail, there are a few ways that this device sets itself apart from Samsung’s mediocre offering.

There is no doubt that the Galaxy Tab put consumers in a rather awkward position. It was too big to fit in your pocket, yet lacked too much functionality to be a viable option as a daily driver. What could possibly fix this problem? Targeting the device at a specific sect of users by overlapping the operating system with an intuitive, engaging skin.

According to a source at HTC, slight improvements have been made to scale up the company’s popular Sense user interface for use on a larger screen. It is said to have more of a “desktop feel”, allowing for better customization as well as increased functionality. By tweaking the user interface in this way, HTC will be able to provide a better experience for users than they may experience on a similar model made by another manufacturer.

The primary function of the Flyer seems to be video conferencing, considering the fact that it will sport a front-facing camera with a 1.3-megapixel resolution. The back of the device will allow users to snap photos at 5-megapixels with an LED-flash and facial recognition technology. The device will not make calls over standard cellular technology, but rather go through a pre-installed version of Skype.

Another notable feature to take into consideration is the possibility of an HDMI-connector, which will be DLNA-enabled, allowing for users to stream movies and music. It will have an HSPA, or pseudo-4G, antenna, a feature that will allow users to download files at up to 15 Mbps.

It is unclear at this time as to what version of Google’s mobile operating system will run on. On the specification sheet, it was listed that it would run Gingerbread, though it could very possibly run on Honeycomb, the tablet-targeted OS, considering its possible release window.

Apparently, there is a 10-inch tablet targeted to compete with the iPad in the pipeline. This is likely the best route for the Taiwan-based company, considering the fact that it would have multiple handsets targeted at different demographics. It is rumored to support LTE and will make a splash in the tablet-market during the second half of this year.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to an HTC tablet offering? Will you be willing to shell out some cash to get one based on these specifications? Will the Flyer be able to keep up with the competition? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Amobil]


Jack McGrath

Rooted in his childhood obsession with dismantling and reassembling gizmos and gadgets around the house, Jack McGrath's knowledge of programming,...

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