HTC announced the HTC Flyer last month during MWC in Barcelona, and now Sprint announced it will launch a version of its own in the U.S. called the EVO View 4G. We had some time to check out the tablet first-hand during the CTIA Wireless show on Tuesday, and have a few hands-on thoughts to bring you. For one, the Flyer feels sturdy and well built; more so than the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. You can think of it as an over-sized and heavier EVO 4G, but with a little more processing power. Its screen is bright and easy to view, but it did appear to attract a lot of fingerprints. Read on for some of our initial impressions from our hands-on time with the EVO View 4G and definitely check out our photo gallery!
The EVO View 4G is powered by a single core 1.5GHz processor. While that should be enough to make any device whirl, there was a slight bit of sluggishness noticeable on the EVO View, though they device may not have been running release firmware. Sprint also told us that while the tablet currently runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the goal is to get Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the device as soon as possible. That would hopefully add some more speed improvements, given that Honeycomb is optimized better for tablets.
Either way, we liked HTC’s Sense for tablets user interface, which added some nice graphics for the weather and polished up the entire user interface overall. HTC’s Scribe application allows you to take notes anywhere on the device — you can literally draw all over the homescreen if you want — but it didn’t work very well during our tests. We noticed that you have to press hard to get the pen to write, and text was hard to read even when we could get it to show up. This feature — as-is, at least — is probably best for drawing on photos of friends, but not really for taking notes. Thankfully, though, the stylus can also be used to highlight text in eBooks, which could be useful for students, and any highlights are automatically bookmarked in the eBook itself. While using the stylus, you can opt to record audio at the same time, but again, the writing wasn’t very accurate so it’s not a feature we’d use much in its current state.
Given that Motorola, LG, and Samsung are all introducing tablets with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, we’re not so sure we’d dive for one that currently runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). But that’s not to say the Flyer doesn’t offer a bunch of unique features of its own. We still look forward to bringing you a review when it launches in the near future, and hopefully some of the kinks are ironed out before then.