HTC had sometime back launched its first 5 inch device, called HTC Butterfly, for around Rs 45,000. Here is my take on the smartphone.
Inside the box
The Butterfly comes in a rectangular box with catchy graphics and Beats Audio branding, inside the box you will find a charger, data cable, microSIM tray ejector pin, earphone and warranty card.
One thing that we didn’t like was that despite having Beats branding, the Butterfly does not come with a Beats branded earphone, but that’s something which should not impact your buying decision.
HTC Butterfly is available in two colour variants -white and black. The piece we got was black with red grills on the earpiece and sides of the device.
Design and build quality
HTC Butterfly has a unibody design with tapered edges. This makes it easier to hold. Butterfly has good build quality and feels like a premium device, which it is. The phone weighs 140 grams.
On the front panel of HTC Butterfly, apart from the 5 inch display, you will see three touch sensitive keys – return key, home key and recent apps, at the bottom.
Above the display on the left is the front facing camera. Next to it is the earpiece in red grill, which is below a metal strip. At the right end of the earpiece you will find the notification light along with proximity sensor and ambient light sensor.
On the left of the top panel there is a secondary microphone for noise cancellation, adjacent to a 3.5 mm audio jack. In the center is a lock/unlock key, which also doubles as the power key and on the right side there is a microSIM slot, which also houses the microSD card slot that is covered with a protective plastic cover to protect the ports from dust. In the bottom panel you will find a microUSB port (covered with a plastic cover,) and the primary microphone.
A red colored volume up/down key is placed on the right side panel and the left panel is empty. Both the side panels have a red coloured mesh.
On the back panel of HTC Butterfly, there is an 8 megapixel camera along with LED flash to its right, and a second notification light on the left. Also, one striking feature that you will notice as compared to other devices in HTC’s portfolio, HTC Butterfly’s camera lens is merged with the body and is surrounded by a plastic ring that is slightly raised. This protects the camera lenses from scratches and smudges.
In the back panel you will also see the HTC logo with Beats Audio branding, and a loudspeaker grill.
The USP of HTC Butterfly is its 5 inch Super LCD display with full HD 1920 Ã—1080 pixel resolution. The display quality is extremely smooth and vibrant. One will also feel comfortable reading text on it.
The display is covered by Gorilla Glass 2 from top to bottom and is prone to slight scratches, which are noticeable if you look closely at the screen.
Connectivity and storage
On the SIM front HTC Butterfly supports micro SIM and it has brilliant call quality and reception. We used the calling function for approximately 2-3 hours daily for a period of two weeks and faced no issues with audio quality in the earpiece or loudspeaker.
HTC has added some good call related features. For instance, you can change to loudspeaker mode during a call just by turning it upside down. Once you pick up a call the ringer volume decreases and when your phone is placed inside your pocket it will ring louder. To activate all these options one has to enable them in the settings menu.
In the calling application you find standard tabs like call history, contact list and groups. As far as contacts are concerned one can choose them to be displayed from the phone’s memory, SIM, Facebook, Whatsapp and email clients etc.
On the connectivity front Butterfly supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. It misses out on mini or micro HDMI ports, but you can purchase an HDMI adapter separately in case you want to connect your phone to a TV.
On the storage front it has 16 GB of built-in storage of which 11 GB is available to the user along with micro SD card support, which can to used expand memory by 32 GB.
Operating system and UI
The Butterfly runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and has HTC’s Sense UI 4+ overlaid on it. On the processor front it has a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and 2 GB RAM.
In the HTC Butterfly you can choose to have up to seven different home screens and customise the lock screen with different widgets and icons as per your liking.
If you want to go to the settings menu or see notifications like messages, mails, missed calls and so on you just have to pull down the notification bar on top of the screen.
Sense UI has always been the value added by HTC and even in HTC Butterfly it adds a new dimension to the smartphone in the form of smooth transition and animation.
The music quality is excellent in HTC Butterfly, thanks to Beats Audio. It supports audio formats such as MP3, eAAC+, WMA and WAVs. The phone comes pre-loaded with Soundhound for music recognition and 7digital and TuneIn Radio apps for addressing you music needs.
In the loudspeaker mode the sound is quite good, but because of the placement of the speaker in the back panel one has to keep the display side down on a flat surface to enjoy music without distortion. It is a design problem, which has been addressed in HTC One.
HTC Butterfly has an 8 megapixel rear and 2.1 megapixel front camera. The rear camera also supports 1080p video recording with video stabilization. Butterfly lacks a dedicated physical camera button, but the on screen capture button is not that bad.
To take a snap one can first tap the picture to focus and then click to get a good picture. In the active burst mode you need to keep pressing the camera button.
Image quality in broad daylight and under decent lighting conditions is quite good, but in low light quality is average.
Butterfly has a 2020 mAh battery. With half an hour of calling, WiFi, 3G access and gaming for around 10-15 minutes, listening to music and watching videos for around half an hour, the phone will survive for around 11 hours. This is decent longevity, not great.
The HTC Butterfly is a power packed phone with a slim waistline. Its 5 inch display gives crystal clear images and the audio quality through earphones is amazing.
On the downside its SIM tray could have been better because even after using the microSIM tray ejector pin you need to do some work to get hold of the SIM. Also, low light photography is found wanting.
Nonetheless, if you are willing to spend more than Rs 45,000 HTC is worth buying especially for its display and stylish design.