The Jetstream comes with Android 3.1 installed; disappointing, since most Honeycomb users are currently enjoying version 3.2. While Android 3.1 offers refinements over 3.0, some of the additions made to 3.2, like launching files from the microSD card, make it an even more appealing OS.
The Jetstream adds the HTC Sense aesthetic to the Honeycomb experience for the first time and the results are...well, it feels very much like an HTC phone, from the cartoonish look of the icons to the white background of the menus.
HTC preloaded a number of applications on the Jetstream, including HTC Hub, which allows you to download skins, wallpapers, and sound sets. Also included are a number of free games and AT&T tools.
The most useful of these is the AT&T Communication Manager app, which tracks your current data usage and your international roaming data usage, and informs you of your next billing cycle date. The app sits on the home screen by default and updates in real time.
In terms of general system performance, the HTC Jetstream reacted to our commands about as snappily as most other fast-performing Honeycomb tablets. Apps launched quickly and the Sense-based Honeycomb interface felt responsive.
In terms of photo and video quality, the Jetstream matches most Honeycomb tablets in contrast, clarity, and video frame rate. The 8-megapixel rear camera performed about as ably as the Galaxy Tab 10.1's camera but with less color saturation. However, for picture clarity, the Jetstream's camera can't hold a candle to the Sony Tablet S' capable camera.
The Jetstream uses AT&T's 4G LTE network, that is, if you live in one of the very few cities in the U.S. that supports that network. San Francisco, where we reviewed the tablet, isn't one of those cities.
We downloaded Angry Bird Rio, a 17MB file, on the Jetstream and on the Acer Iconia Tab A501 using AT&T's HSPA+ network and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G using Verizon's 4G LTE network. Here are the results we gathered.
|HTC Jetstream||Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G||Acer Iconia Tab A501|
|Angry Birds Rio download speed (in seconds)||134||17||191|
While the Jetstream wasn't nearly as fast as the Tab 10.1, it was quicker than the Acer by nearly a minute.
Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.
|Video battery life (in hours)|
Whether at its $850 no-contract price or the discounted $700 two-year contract price, the HTC Jetstream is simply not worth the money. It's a capable tablet with good design and good performance, but offers nothing compelling enough to warrant such an exorbitant cost.