HTC Butterfly review: The droid monarch

GSMArena team, 18 February 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: HTC, Android

Standard retail package

At some point during the past couple of years, manufacturers decided that supplying nice extras in the retail package of their smartphones didn't pay off, and started shipping all devices with the same basic set of accessories. HTC made a few exceptions to this rule when it acquired Beats audio and released a few of its flagship devices with above average headphones in-box, but the recent financial trouble made even the Taiwanese give up on that.

HTC Butterfly
We only got a cable and a wall-mount plug, but the final box will also include a pair of headphones

As a result, the HTC butterfly comes with a run-of-the-mill pair of headphones alongside a wall-mount plug that you use together with the supplied USB cable to charge your phone. There's also an HTC-branded SIM eject tool that lets you replace the microSIM card. Our review unit didn't even have the headphones, but you'll get them in most markets as part of the bundle.

HTC Butterfly 360-degree spin

The HTC Butterfly measures 143 x 70.5 x 9.1mm, which means it has slightly higher volume than the Sony Xperia Z, which had a marvelously slim 7.9mm body. However, the Butterfly is slightly narrower (0.5mm), which, combined with the curved glass display, means it's not much harder to handle.

The HTC flagship also uses hardware keys instead of on-screen ones, which means that you are actually getting more screen estate than on the Xperia Z. At 140g, the Butterfly is also slightly lighter than its Sony competitor, but it does use a 2020mAh battery, as opposed to the Z's 2330mAh unit.

Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z
The HTC Butterfly sized up against the Sony Xperia Z and the Oppo Find 5

Design and build quality

The HTC Butterfly uses a polycarbonate unibody which is largely reminiscent of the HTC One X, but comes with a few nice touches to freshen it up. The red accent on the speakerphone grille sits nicely, though its appeal is slightly reduced by the large amount of unused space around it. There are more red grilles on the sides, which also add to the character of the smartphone, but you won't find too many other red elements along the exterior of the device, like you would on its US counterpart, the DROID DNA.

The smooth black back is quite the looker at first with its only problem being that once dirty, it's really hard to clean. We think HTC has slightly altered the type of polycarbonate it uses since it unveiled the One series, but we're not sure whether it's a change for the better.

Still, we're sure it will turn many heads even when its gorgeous screen is switched off. In fact, the only smartphone chassis (from both this year and late 2012) that currently has an advantage over the HTC Butterfly in terms of looks is the Sony Xperia Z with front and back panel glass-clad design.

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