HTC debuts Flyer tablet and new Android phones

HTC debuts Flyer tablet and new Android phones

Summary: The 7-inch Flyer tablet will eventually run Honeycomb, as HTC unveiled Facebook-friendly ChaCha and Salsa phones at Mobile World Congress, plus updates to Desire, Wildfire and Incredible handsets

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HTC has announced the company's first Android tablet, the Flyer, along with sequels to its Desire, Wildfire and Incredible handsets.

HTC Flyer MWC

The HTC Flyer Android tablet has been announced at Mobile World Congress. Photo credit: Kent German/CNET News

On Tuesday at Mobile World Congress, the manufacturer also unveiled two handsets — the ChaCha and Salsa — which have dedicated Facebook buttons for easy access to functions of the popular social network. However, HTC representatives stressed that these devices should not be classified as 'Facebook phones'.

The HTC Flyer has a seven-inch screen and 32GB of internal memory. It measures 195.4 by 122 by 13.2 mm and weighs 415g. In line with new tablets being announced this year, it has both a rear camera — taking pictures at 5 megapixels — and a 1.3-megapixel forward-facing camera for videoconferencing. Unlike its competitors, though, the device ships with a pressure-sensitive stylus for handwriting recognition and digital signing.

Notes taken on the tablet will be able to be automatically synchronised with the Evernote application, but not rivals such as OneNote. The HTC Flyer will launch early in the second quarter of this year using the Gingerbread version (2.3) of Android, although it will soon after receive an over-the-air upgrade to the tablet-optimised Honeycomb (3.0) version of Google's operating system.

The Flyer has a 1.5GHz processor and a screen resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels. According to an HTC representative, it will launch first as a 3G and Wi-Fi device, although a Wi-Fi-only version will follow soon after to reach a "more accessible price point".

The tablet will come with an OnLive application, utilising HTC's recent investment in the gaming company. That application will be able to stream to high-definitionTVs using DLNA technology. By contrast, an application for HTC's other investment — Saffron Digital, a video-streaming company — will not be able to stream in the same way due to "some complex DRM [digital rights management] issues with the movies" the Taiwanese device maker said.

Updated HTC smartphones

The new versions of HTC's existing smartphones are named the Desire S, the Wildfire S and Incredible S, although the company representative was unable to say what 'S' stands for.

HTC Wildfire S at Mobile World Congress

HTC Wildfire S will be a new version of the existing smartphone. Photo credit: Daniel Schraeder/CNET Germany

The Desire S has a 1GHz processor, a 3.7-inch screen and a front-facing camera, and will launch in the middle of the second quarter of 2011. The Wildfire S has twice the screen resolution of its predecessor — HVGA rather than QVGA — and is to be expected late the same quarter. The Incredible S will launch early the same quarter with a four-inch screen, an 8-megapixel camera and Android 2.2 Froyo. The other two smartphones will have the fresher Gingerbread version.

The HTC ChaCha has a hardware Qwerty keyboard and a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen. Its dedicated Facebook button allows instant sharing of media, along with quick access to the Places check-in functionality of the social network. Facebook messages and chat are also closely integrated with the handset's implementation of Android.

The Salsa is very similar to the ChaCha, except for its lack of a hardware keyboard. Both the ChaCha and Salsa will be launched towards the end of the second quarter, the HTC representative said.

In the UK, Orange has said it will start selling the ChaCha, Desire S and Wildfire S in the UK in the second quarter.


Get more mobile news from ZDNet UK's latest updates from Mobile World Congress.

Topics: MWC, Mobility, Smartphones

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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