GadgetsLab: HTC Butterfly

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Specifications:

Network: 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 3G: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100

Dimensions: 143 x 70.5 x 9.1mm (5.63 x 2.78 x 0.36 in)

Weight: 140g

Screen: 5-Inch Super LCD3 capacitive touch screen, 16M colors, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Micro USB, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP

Camera: 8MP, 3264×2448 main, 2.1MP Secondary

OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Processor: Quad-core 1.5GHz Krait

Battery: 2020mAh

What’s Hot:

• It’s the prettiest phone I have ever       seen

• Absolutely gorgeous screen

• Great camera app

What’s Not:

• Smallish battery

• LTE connectivity left out

Bottomline:

There is a reason it is selling far beyond even HTC’s expectations. Get yours now.

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Smartphones are a dime a dozen these days. To separate yourself from the competition, you could go with a massive hype machine and make users want one that way, or you could let the product speak for itself. HTC has always favored the latter approach, and for good reason. They have consistently released solid devices over the years. The HTC Butterfly is no exception: it’s got some real meat under the hood, is at the top of the heap with a gorgeous display, and design-wise, is a stone cold fox. There really is only one word to describe it. It’s beautiful.

Out of the box, one of first things I noticed was just how pretty this phone was. I had seen it in person before, but actually unboxing it for myself, holding it in my hand, I have to say it had been a while since I had seen a phone as pretty as this. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say this may be the single most beautiful phone I have ever laid my eyes on. I was fortunate enough to get the Red/Black version, and I know I sound like a broken record, but it was love at first sight. The slim profile, curved Gorilla Glass 2 screen and wonderfully tapered edges felt so very nice in my hand. It was a premium product, and man, did it show. Once I was done wiping up the drool that had built up from my slack-jawed admiration of the device, the next thing to hit me was the weight. It was so light, I was sure the battery had been left out. I was looking for a way to open up the back panel, ad while I was doing so, I pressed the power button on the top edge of the Butterfly. It powered on. Now, I’m never looking for extra weight on my devices, so I was very pleased with the weight of the Butterfly. More than once, as I travelled with it in my pocket, I thought I had lost it, simply because I could hardly tell it was there.

Once I had slipped my SIM card into the tray and popped that into the phone, the third thing hit me: The screen was just as pretty as the rest of the phone. Full HD resolution on a 5-inch screen, meant a pixel density of 441 ppi. This resulted in the sharpest mobile screen I had ever seen. It’s hard to explain without it before you, but there was no way I could see individual pixels. For reference, most of the high-density screens in the market today have just over 300 ppi. This screen was so sharp, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I immediately popped in a MicroSD card, thankful for its presence, and played a full-HD video. I was pleased to find that it played smoothly, as if I was at my desktop, and secondly, the video quality was superb. Again, it’s hard to describe, but once you see a screen that sharp, you can hardly look at anything else. The combination of four CPU cores, 2GB of RAM and HD makes for a great mobile viewing experience. The butterfly has 16GB of storage for all your storage needs.

Audio did not disappoint either.  HTC has continued its partnership with Beats, so this has allowed the Butterfly loud, clear audio once you are on headphones, and enable Beats. The speakers on the phone are louder than you would expect from a device this thin, but do sound a little tinny. It’s clear enough for a call, to share a track or video or hear calls, but could use a little boost (or external speaker) for anything more serious. It comes with a nice pair of isolating earbuds, which I will always accept happily.

HTC has always been a personal favorite of mine when it comes to smartphone imaging. It has a very sharp 8-Megapixel main camera and a 2.1 Megapixel, wide-angle front one, which ensures nobody gets left out of the video call. The main camera is capable of recording HD video, as well as slow-motion video, and is supported by a discrete imaging chip, which results in fast camera response times, more efficient shots and quick autofocus. A very handy feature I really appreciated and ended up using a lot was sightseeing mode, which is a feature that lets you put the phone to sleep while in camera mode, and power it back up, and ready to shoot with a single press of the power button­­—no returning to the home screen, no having to re-launch the app. Power on, keep shooting. It was something I never knew I wanted, but something that I now realize I want all phones to have. It also has a very nice UI layered on top of the stock Android Jelly Bean, but didn’t add much unnecessary bulk or bloat to the OS

Battery life of the Butterfly was satisfactory. It has a smallish 2020mAH battery, that, while okay for calls and texts, cut it a bit close when I used the 3G network for mobile internet (the Butterfly does not have LTE connectivity). It should get you through at least a whole day, but if you are either paranoid or data-hungry, you might want to invest in an external powerbank.

Seeing as the device can play and record full HD without a problem, it is no surprise that multitasking, browsing with multiple windows and all the other simple tasks pose no problem for the butterfly. It’s a powerhouse, and will gladly put up with anything you throw at it. Call quality was exceptional on the Butterfly. Even though I had a Bluetooth headset on me most of the time, as long as I wasn’t driving, I much preferred holding the phone up to my ear. The headset was very clear, and I was told it was very easy to hear me as well.

Overall, the Butterfly is a very solid win for PHP 32,190. Premium styling, top-tier specs and that gorgeous screen all add up to one of the best phones you.

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First published in Gadgets Magazine, April 2013

Words by Ren Alcantara