Its a bird, its a plane, its Butterfly 2
Byline: By Victor Yap
HTC has been on a ball with new releases this year as it put out flagship after flagship smartphone for all to see and use. That isn’t the end of it as it also put out a few big global announcements that seemingly surprised everyone who is in the know and then some. Among the devices that put out a huge call for attention for many had been the new iteration of HTC’s overly popular Butterfly. Named the HTC Butterfly 2, it is the culmination of all the innovations and concepts that HTC had released months before. Does it reflect the level of development required to produce such a solid device? Read on!
Smooth All Around
Tapered edges, curved back, and a flushed design that sports a clean design – that is the fundamental basis for the Butterfly 2. Even the buttons used for the power and volume pushers do not get in the way of the design. Simply put, this is as clean as it can get when it comes to a smartphone. Further accentuating this look is the display panel as the bezel and stereo speaker array it is packed with creates a slight edging that is somewhat clean and plays up the minimalistic cut that the HTC incorporated into this smartphone. Even the flushed nanoSIM and microSD slots, rear-facing camera, Duo Camera sensor, and LED flash array did not break the monotonous feel.
When it comes to the enriched multimedia experience, hands down HTC is one of those that manages to put out great visual and sound performance. The 5in Full HD panel of the Butterfly 2 continues the trend as it puts out a nice mix of black/white levels and primary hues. While the red and blue shades play up a little more on the new HTC smartphone, it only brings out the colours more most times. Movies look great and so do heavily rendered graphic games. My only complaint – it can get too bright at times.
Complementing the great picture performance is the HTC BoomSound Dual Frontal Stereo Speakers that the revamped Butterfly is armed with. Just like its predecessor, the aural pair managed to put out some great beats with nearly no loss on the low frequencies or mids. Tunes like Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Man in the Mirror, Beethoven classics, Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity, and a handful of sickeningly catchy KPop numbers from Crayon Pop sounded great on the speakers of the Butterfly 2. The best part: it’s loud enough to rock my room and then some. Now if only the speaker grill didn’t look so…simple.
Since the beginning of 2014, nearly all designated flagships now come with a Quad-Core built-in. The Butterfly 2 does not escape this current trend as it also rocks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz Quad-Core CPU. So how does it stand out? Well, unlike the competition it faces, HTC decided to load up its new flagship with just 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Not what I expected for a frontline offering. Thankfully it also sports an expansion card slot that rocks 128GB capacity support.
This had been the kicker for me: the Butterfly 2 comes equipped with a 13MP rear-facing camera. Say what? Yes indeed…a whopping 13MP! It’s been a while since I saw something like that on a HTC. Well…since the One (E8). However, unlike the polycarbonate take on the One (M8), this shooter is paired with a Duo Camera system. Wonders upon wonders, this is what I had been waiting for! To be able to use the depth control function with a proper rear camera had been a pipeline dream for me. Thank you HTC for making this a reality and making sure my pictures remain pin-sharp and have great colour balance. I daresay the rear-facing clicker, when used in tandem with the Duo Camera function, can rival most compact cameras in the market. Only one problem: pictures taken in dark environments have some noise issues.
Based on what I have shared of the Butterfly 2 so far, it does seem that the new HTC smartphone is a real market contender. Honestly, it truly is. From its renowned stereo performance, to the exception Full HD display, and now having the 13MP rear camera as well with Duo Camera function, there is nothing really like the Butterfly 2. Pushing the envelope further is the water resistance feature of this device, specifically – it has an IP57 rating. Even with the microUSB port and audio jack exposed, the rating is legit as I took it with me for a dip and through the rain. Do I have any negatives to say? Only one: the battery life could be way better. Just playing games saw the Butterfly 2 lasting for onlythree whole hours. It would chug along for a day if I just use it for calls, messaging, and social media streaming.
Dimensions (W x H x D): 145.4 x 70.2 x 9.99mm
Display: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz Quad-Core
Storage: 16GB (Available Capacity Varies)
Expansion: microSD (up to 128GB)
OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense
Network: 2G (850/900/1800/1900MHz), 3G (WCDMA), 4G (LTE – FDD 1, 3, 7, 8, 28; TDD 38, 40, 41)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX Enabled, DLNA, HTC Connect, NFC
I/O: 3.5mm Stereo Audio Jack, microUSB 2.0 with Mobile HD Video Link (MHL) for USB/HDMI
Primary: 13MP, BSI Sensor, f/2.0, 28mm Lens, 1080p Full HD Video Recording; Secondary Camera: Capture Depth Information / Front Camera: 5MP, BSI Sensor, with HDR Capability, 1080p Full HD Video Recording
Sound: HTC BoomSound
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited: 19674
Anomaly 2 (High): 1013949
Anomaly 2 (Medium): 1495987
GFXBench (Manhattan): 803 (12.9fps)
GFXBench (Manhattan 1080p): 742 (12.0fps)
GFXBench (T-Rex): 1692 (30.2fps)
GFXBench (T-Rex Offscreen 1080p): 1586 (28.3fps)
BaseMark X 1.1: 19704
BaseMark OS II: 1182
Verdict: Superb powerhouse but with a slight design flaw.
Total Score 9.4/10