We have always been fans of the design philosophy taken by HTC for its One and Butterfly range of smartphones and we are glad to see the company maintaining its standards in the latest Butterfly 2.
In tune with its design mantra for 2014 – form follows materials, HTC has demonstrated that it clearly understands how to use plastic in the right way as it did for aluminium on the One (M8) and One (2013). Apart from the same sturdy polycarbonate chassis as its predecessors, there are two unique design elements featured on the Butterfly 2. The Butterfly 2 is the first HTC smartphone to sport an IP57 rating for water and dust resistance. As a quick recap, the first digit (in this case, “5”) refers to the phone’s protection against limited dust ingress. Six is the highest rating for dust resistance.
The second digit “7” refers to water protection and the level that is specified by the manufacturer; given its protection level, HTC states that the Butterfly 2 is able to stay underwater up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Level eight is the highest rating for waterproof protection.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has an IP67 rating while the Sony Xperia Z2 is IP58 rated. This puts the Butterfly 2 on par with the Xperia Z2 in terms of dust resistance, but worse against water, and on equal footing with the Galaxy S5 in terms of water resistance, but poorer protection against dust.
While the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 require watertight covers or flaps to protect their card slots and charging ports, the Butterfly 2 has no cover over its open ports (microSD and nano-SIM card slots). This means that you no longer need to ensure that the covers/flaps are completely closed for a tight seal.
It also helps that the Butterfly 2 has a non-removable back, which eliminates the possibility of water damage should the removable rear is improperly affixed.
HTC also made it very convenient to remove the nano-SIM and microSD card slots on the Butterfly 2. While some phones such as the Apple iPhone requires a pin to eject the card tray, you only need to insert your fingernail into the slit beside the tray to pull it out. On a side note, the Butterfly 2 model sold in South East Asian countries, including Singapore, only comes with 16GB of internal storage. If you need more storage space, there is the microSD card slot that supports memory expansion up to 128GB.
Another key design feature of the Butterfly 2 is the use of a special coating on the rear chassis. The white model comes with a unique anti-stain matte finishing that prevents the rear from the effects of age-related discoloration. The other two colors, red and blue, have a unified color reflection treatment to ensure that the color intensity remains the same from any angle you view the phone. However, we feel that the smooth glossy texture is a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.
The Butterfly 2 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6. As such, you can expect to find software features such as BlinkFeed, Motion Launch Gestures and Extreme Power Saving mode, similar as the One (M8) and One (E8).
The Butterfly 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5GHz processor and 2GB RAM, which is also found on the One (M8) and One (E8). This puts the new Butterfly 2 on par with most Android flagship smartphones with performance roughly in the same ballpark. Besides sporting an amped up processor, the Butterfly 2 is also the world’s first smartphone to use a 13-megapixel Duo Camera. In case you didn’t already know, Duo Camera is an innovative imaging technology introduced by the One (M8) that feature several photo editing tools such as shallow depth of field effects. In our tests, the 13-megapixel rear camera performed well under normal lighting, but faltered in low light photography when compared to the One (M8) and LG G3.
If HTC’s earlier One (M8) and One (E8) did not appeal to you, we believe the new Butterfly 2 could probably be the HTC smartphone you are looking for. You get the same fancy camera effects as the One (M8) as well as improved image quality in almost all situations. You’ll also enjoy the same brilliant design, handling and overall performance with added water and dust resistance.