HTC Butterfly 2 review: Caterpillar

Caterpillar

GSMArena team, 7 October 2014.

Introduction

The Butterfly series may not be the bread winner for HTC but has proven to be among the most resourceful in the family. The HTC Butterfly 2 has a good foundation to build on: a solid screen, the trademark stereo speakers and HTC Sense 6.

HTC, who typically can't be bothered to care much about the midrange, have a four-headed monster at the top. The One (M8) is obviously in charge, with a fresh Windows Phone version in tow. The more affordable HTC One (E8) trades the metal outfit for polycarbonate but keeps most of the worthwhile specs, and even adds a more capable 13MP camera. The HTC Butterfly 2 is the last piece of the puzzle and the question is do they really need another piece of the same size.

The third installment in the Butterfly series adds dust and water resistance to what the One (E8) offers as well as a Duo camera setup with a 13MP primary sensor - a first for the company. And that might be just enough to emerge as HTC's most viable option against competing flagships like the Galaxy S5 and Sony's Xperia Z line.

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HTC Butterfly 2

The HTC Butterfly 2 is dust-protected and can go up to 1m deep underwater for 30 minutes and manages to do so with no protective flaps over the 3.5mm headphone jack or the microUSB 2.0 port. Here's goes the complete package.

Key features

  • 5" 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 441pi pixel density
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6
  • 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; 2GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 13MP camera with f/2.2 lens, HTC Zoe mode, dual LED flash
  • 1080p video capture, 60fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor; wide-angle f/2.0 lens; HDR; 1080p video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot
  • IP57 certification for dust and water protection - up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and built-in amplifiers
  • 2,700mAh battery; Extreme Power Saving Mode
  • IR port

Main disadvatanges

  • No 4K video recording or OIS, no HDR video
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • Glossy plastic gets easily smudged and scratched

The HTC Butterfly 2 ticks most of the boxes for an Android flagship in 2014 - the Snapdragon 801 is still more than relevant, the camera has a sufficient amount of pixels, the display is of ample size and 1080p resolution. The waterproofing has been steadily climbing from a gimmick to a sought-after feature. The only downgrade is the battery size - down from 3,200mAh in the Butterfly S. The current 2,700mAh is still slightly more than what the E8 has - and the battery life there was reasonably good.

Currently the HTC Butterfly 2 is mostly bound to markets outside Europe and US, so it's not standing in One M8's way. HTC has an impressive track record of gorgeous flagships, which however struggle to bring the much needed cash in. So who knows, the cheaper backups may be all they need to turn the trend around.

HTC Butterfly 2 HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2 at HQ

Even without the IP57 certification, the Butterfly 2 is a perfectly viable - and sufficiently fresh -alternative to the flagship. That said, being able to take the Butterfly 2 underwater for some cool snaps is nothing to frown at - and it's less of a hassle without the water-repellent flaps we so hate. So perhaps the Butterfly 2 has a good chance to impress. All it needs to do now is be as good as the HTC One (E8) and put on an acceptable price tag.

Reader comments

  • Elia

2 month with my butterfly 2 and no prob Just amazing device

  • Anonymous

I like this device and waiting to be available in my country

  • Connor

Or if you like music and have it playing to get up in the mornings.. Or with your friends. It's a huge feature for me. Especially when you output your music to a Boombox and it's louder then using an ipod. It's nice.