HTC announced the launch of the next device in its Butterfly series of phones a few weeks back. Here at the Taiwanese company’s Frequencies event, we got to spend some quality time with the handset. Does it replace to the One as the top dog or can the two coexist? Check out our impressions of the phone to decide for yourself.
Video Hands On
The screen on the phone retains the same brilliant Full HD Super LCD 3 panel as on the original phone. The pixel density is 441ppi and the image quality is stunning. In our time with the handset, we noticed that the phone remains bright and visible even outdoors despite the high gloss finish on the front panel. Above the screen is a 2.1MP camera with a wide angle lens which definitely helps in getting a lot more of the picture in the frame.
Below the screen are three capacitive buttons that correspond to back, menu and multitasking. Pictured above is the one of the two BoomSound speakers on the device. First seen on the HTC One, the speakers are just as loud and clear. We felt that the longer & larger build of the Butterfly S in comparison with the One allows for more stereo separation between the speakers. All in all, these are some of the best speakers you can get on a phone right now.
Moving over to the back of the phone, you’ll spot the high gloss finish continues here as well. The smooth curved back fits very comfortably in the hand and isn’t much of a fingerprint magnet. The phone will retail in three colors ie grey, red and white. In all three versions, the front of the phone has the same color. The backplate is not removable and so is the battery but thankfully HTC have really bumped up the capacity. Rated at 3200 mAh, the phone should have no trouble at all giving you a full day’s usage. We’ll have more conclusive runtime numbers for you once we are done with our review.
The HTC Butterfly S gets the much talked about UltraPixel camera module from the One. Using a 4MP sensor, HTC has managed to increase pixel size by almost 300% and this helps in getting noise free low light images. We’ll have more on this in our review but you can check out our HTC One review as well to get an idea of the kind of the images you can expect given that the modules are the same in both the phones. Next to the camera is of course the LED flash.
The top of the phone houses a 3.5mm audio jack, the iR port that doubles up as a power button and a single plastic flap. Under the flap is the microSD card as well as the micro SIM card tray. We felt that the tray could be a bit hard to reach. Additionally, we’d have much preferred a power key on the side of the phone instead of the top as you’ll definitely need to stretch your fingers to reach it.
There are subtle design flourishes all around the handset. The Butterfly might not be as drop dead gorgeous as the One but it still manages to be quite the looker. The right side of the phone has the volume rocker set amidst a grille/mesh like material that continues over to the left side as well that is bereft of any buttons.
We’ve done some preliminary benchmarks on the HTC Butterfly S to get an idea of how it compares with the competition. Powered by a 1.9Ghz Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM, there is absolutely no doubt that this is a high end phone and the performance figures speak for themselves. Do check out the HTC Butterfly S benchmarks. In actual usage, the phone remains slick and smooth no matter what you throw at it. HTC has done an excellent job at optimizing software and Sense 5 is a joy to use even though we’re not really fans of custom skins on Android.
The HTC Butterfly S is an extremely powerful device that takes the best features of the One and merges them into the larger footprint of the Butterfly S. Beautiful and powerful hardware, excellent software that works as expected have allowed HTC to create a compelling product. We feel that both the devices are complementary to each and cater to slightly different demographics with there being no clear cut winner between the two. The HTC One is perhaps a better looking phone that fits a lot better in your hand thanks to the gorgeous 4.7 inch screen. The Butterfly S is on the other hand for the multimedia consumption addict and for those who value that extra bit of horsepower under the hood. The expandable storage and slightly larger display too give it a bit of an advantage. You definitely cannot go wrong with either handset!