Well, the Butterfly finally fluttered into our labs and after the excitement died down to a low holler, I got a chance to get a little alone time with it before we delved into the review. Here’s our first impression of the HTC Butterfly smartphone.
Here's the unboxing of the Butterfly to get you started –
The design doesn’t scream “Extraordinary” but it does a have certain WOW factor. It feels very comfortable in your hand and is an extremely lightweight (140 g) handset for its size. The unibody design form is becoming HTC’s trademark now it seems as the Butterfly proved to be no exception. I was not too happy with the pearly white glossy finish of the rear panel. It would have been so much better to have done with a matte, rubberised option like the HTC 8X, which would have certainly made it easier to grip. It’s a mere 9.08 mm in depth, making it slim enough to tote around in tight jeans without an uncomfortable bulge. The rounded edges also add to its travel-comfort level.
Well designed for ease of use to a large extent
The gorgeous 5-inch Super LCD3 display sporting its full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution is simply brilliant. With Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protecting it, you should be assured of a scratch free viewing. The thin bezel on either side shows that HTC has tried to fully utilise as much of the real estate available on the body as possible. The pixel density is naturally quite tight as you can see in our image below when compared to the 720p display on the Galaxy Nexus.
Up close and personal with the pixels of the Butterfly and the Galaxy Nexus
The grill running along the side of the device gives the handset a very edgy look; it looks a little like a rather long array of miniature speakers. The earpiece is neatly hidden with a thin sheet of metal placed at the top of the device. It doesn’t really seem to serve any real purpose, but does add a slightly “cool” factor to the handset nonetheless. The SIM and microSD card slots are located at the top under a rather clumsily designed flap. The flap was rather tightly fastened and took quite an effort to pry it open with no nails. The pin hole to pop the microSIM tray isn’t very well located as it’s in the corner under the flap, making it a little hard to reach. The flap has a tether so it doesn’t fall out, but that could have been a little longer to make the tray easier to reach.
The power button and earphone jack are also located at the top with the volume rocker placed on the right hand side and the microUSB/MHL/charging port located at the bottom. Dual microphones are incorporated onto the handset – one at the top and the other at the bottom – to enable voice clarity via active noise cancellation.
The grille adds a nice touch
So other than the issue with the SIM and memory card flap, the handset is quite a neat looking piece of hardware. And while it has a certain appeal, it doesn’t look premium enough to justify that high a price. Specifications are another topic altogether.
To support the hi-res display and run Android’s Jelly Bean version of the platform, HTC has used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU of the 1.5GHz Quad Core variety. Out of the box, the system ran as smooth as a warm knife through butter, Project Butter that is. 2GB of RAM with 16GB of internal storage also add to the handset’s appeal in terms of specs. Sense UI 4+ carries quite a lot of pull in the user experience field and has its own set of handy features that we’ll discuss later on in the full review.
HTC has incorporated the Beat’s sound enhancement system into the Butterfly, so there shouldn’t be any issue with regards to audio quality. The native video player for the device also features codecs for most popular video formats and, of course, full HD video playback.
The memory card/SIM slot could have been better designed
The handset is loaded with communication features that range from basic Wi-Fi, to DLNA, LTE and MHL for HD AV out.
What was maybe a little underwhelming was the fact that HTC chose to go with an 8 megapixel camera on the Butterfly. With a handset priced like this and brimming over with high-end specifications, I expected a 12MP cam at least. The competition from Sony, i.e. the Xperia Z, will feature a 13 megapxiel camera that could give even the Lumia 920’s PureView a run for its money. So along with the extras that HTC has thrown into the Butterfly’s camera, I’m hoping the photo part of the review proves me wrong in terms of camera quality. HTC has also gone with a 2MP camera up front that also offers 1080p video @30fps.
The Butterfly’s 2020mAh battery should suffice for a day, if not more.
Take a look the photogallery for a better look at the HTC Butterfly
First impression in a nutshell
The HTC Butterfly comes with a heavy price tag of Rs. 45,990 (MOP). That’s quite steep all things considered. It seems like HTC needs a good break in the smartphone segment right now, but the big question is—is the HTC Butterfly the real deal? It is a beast in terms of specifications, but we’ll be able to tell you more only post the review. For now, it could very well be the hottest item on the high-end smartphone list yet. Stay tuned.
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