Sunday, October 19, 2014

HTC Butterfly 2 review

By on 7:32 PM

Over the past year HTC has consolidated most of its smartphone range into two distinct device families — HTC One at the high end, and Desire in the mid-range and entry-level spaces. But there's still one outlier — the Butterfly series, which kicked off with the original J Butterfly a couple of years ago. That phone eventually came to Verizon as the Droid DNA, but the Butterfly line proved most popular in Asia, and the following year it spawned a successor. The Butterfly S brought upgraded specs and BoomSound speakers, but axed a couple of the original's standout features — water resistance unfortunately didn't make the cut. Whereas the HTC One line differentiated itself with premium metal construction, the Butterfly line seemed content taking this product and repackaging it into an Asia-specific device.

A year or so later, it's time for a new Butterfly. The HTC Butterfly 2 (known as simply the "new J Butterfly" in Japan), brings back the look and feel of last year's model with 2014-level specs, an upgraded camera and, once again, the ability to survive a plunge into the sink.

But how does it measure up to the current competition? And in markets where both HTC flagships are available, which is the one to pick up? We'll take a shot at answering both of these questions in our full review. Read on
About this review
We're writing this review after a week with an unlocked Asian HTC Butterfly 2 (B2_UL) on the EE network in the UK, in areas with mostly universal 4G LTE coverage. Our review unit was a white Butterfly 2 running software version 1.19.707.1. Red and blue colors are also available.

While HTC hasn't announced any plans to offer the Butterfly 2 outside of Asia, the Asian version of the phone supports LTE Bands 3 + 7 (among others) in addition to quad-band HSPA, giving us 3G and 4G coverage on EE.
The Butterfly 2 is the latest iteration of HTC's plastic-backed design language, first launched back in 2012 in the original Butterfly and Windows Phone 8X. It's a chunky, squared-off handset with rounded corners and a gently curved back, making it comfortable and easy to one-hand despite its relative heft. Weighing in at 151 grams, the new Butterfly is substantial without being excessively weighty. In terms of dimensions, it roughly matches the HTC One M8, though it is perceptibly thicker than that device.

The Butterfly 2 is an attractive enough phone, but it's nowhere near as sleek or as striking its metal-clad cousin, the M8. In fact, put the two side by side and the Butterfly seems almost pedestrian by comparison, fading into a sea of plastic rectangles. That said, it is one of the better-looking all-plastic smartphones out there, particularly in the chic white variant we've been using. And the plastic shell has one advantage for butter-fingered users — the Butterfly 2 is considerably easier to hold onto than the M8's slippery brushed metal, one of our main bugbears with that device.

On the front, the 5-inch screen is sandwiched between two BoomSound front-facing speakers, which are situated at the very top and bottom of the handset like previous Butterfly devices. We can't say for sure whether the Butterfly's using the exact same speakers as the M8, but they certainly sound the same — loud, bassy and head and shoulders above just about every smartphone speaker system out there. The Butterfly is also subject to the same physical trade-offs that come from having front-facing speakers — this is another lanky HTC phone — about as tall and wide as the HTC One M8 and E8.
When it comes to the display itself, there are couple of weird issues to note. Like the M8, it's using a 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD panel, however the lower limit for brightness on the Butterfly 2 is much darker than that of the M8, and most other modern smartphones. As a result, the screen is frequently too dark indoors when brightness is set to "auto," a situation which isn't helped by the highly reflective white bezel used by the white model. In outdoor settings, auto-brightness ramps up as you'd expect, but that white bezel can be problematic in bright sunlight, making the screen difficult to focus on. (Though this issue is by no means exclusive to the ButSo we've found the need to fiddle about with brightness levels more than the average smartphone, though the blue and red models, which use traditional black bezels, may be less susceptible to these issues. For the most part, the Butterfly 2's screen is bright and good-looking, with vivid colors matching those of the M8. Viewing color charts on the device reveals more aggressive contrast-boosting in some areas, particularly greens, but in day-to-day use we have no real complaints relating to image quality.

Depending on which color option you choose you'll end up with one of two finishes — glossy plastic on the blue and red models, or a more traditional matte finish on the white Butterfly 2 we've been using. While glossy plastic has a tendency to gunk up with fingerprints after a while, we've experienced no such issues with our matte white review unit. The phone feels solid, if a bit chunky, and the surface of the plastic has a pleasant soft-touch finish not unlike the HTC One X.terfly 2.)
We were concerned that the matte white Butterfly may discolor more easily than the darker models, but after a week of being transferred in and out of jeans pockets, it's still pristine. Whether it'll stay that way over months of use remains to be seen, but at least washing off any marks should be relatively easy.

Like previous Butterfly devices, the Butterfly 2 is also dust- and water-resistant (rated IP5X and IPX5/7), a feature HTC's managed to implement without the need for fiddly plastic flaps around the microUSB and headphone jack ports. As for the nanoSIM and microSD slots, they're protected by tiny rubber seals to keep things water-tight. All in all, you're really not sacrificing much to get a water-resistant phone, with the possible exception of overall bulk.

The curved back of the phone sports a unique combination of photographic gubbins — a 13-megapixel main camera, along with a depth-sensing Duo Camera and dual LED flash. It's the first phone since the M8 to combine the Duo Camera with a traditional high-megapixel-count sensor, as opposed to the 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" setup used by the M8.

The main camera is an upgraded 13-megapixel unit, not the relatively mediocre sensor of the same size used in the HTC One E8 and Desire 816, among others. And as we'll discuss later in this review, the result is the most capable HTC camera all-round, though the manufacturer faces stiff competition from Samsung and LG in this department. The conspicuous absence of Ultrapixel in yet another HTC phone raise questions over the future of that brand, however.
Judul: HTC Butterfly 2 review
Review oleh: Tukang Coding |
Update pada: 7:32 PM | Rating: 4.5

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