HTC Butterfly S review: Swift processor, fat battery offset by cheap plastic

The Butterfly S packs 16GB of onboard storage, which may not be enough if you have tons of multimedia files. Fortunately, it has a microSD card slot for added storage.

HTC Butterfly S
The microSD card slot is located next to the micro-SIM slot. Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

Connectivity-wise, the handset gets the full treatment in the form of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA, HDMI, and LTE, as well as NFC (which the first Butterfly did not have). Sadly, the smartphone loses the water-resistant capabilities found on the original Butterfly, which is a pity, as we're seeing more water-resistant handsets coming out from manufacturers these days.

HTC Butterfly S
The lack of water-resistance can be seen in the Micro-USB port -- it has no protective cover. Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

Camera
Instead of the 8-megapixel camera found on the Butterfly, the S gets the 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera with a f2.0 aperture and BSI sensor. It's the same shooter that the One has, and you'll find that performance is similar. You'll get better low-light shots, but the aggressive noise compression algorithm tends to smear details. You'll also be losing out on details that you can get on images taken with a higher-megapixel sensor in bright conditions.

HTC Butterfly S
Indoor test shot (click for larger image). Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC Butterfly S
Indoor test low-light shot (click for larger image). Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC Butterfly S
Indoor test shot with flash (click for larger image). Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

Performance
Packing a quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, the Butterfly S is slightly faster compared with the HTC One, which uses the same chip, but clocked at 1.7GHz. The 3DMark benchmark tests showed that the Butterfly S is slightly faster than the Samsung Galaxy S4, which uses the same 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600.

The Butterfly S' 3,200mAh battery chugged along for about a day and half of moderate use. The smartphone was tested with our normal test settings of having two e-mail accounts, Facebook, and Twitter set to push notifications.

Voice quality was great, and if you like using the speakerphone feature, you'll appreciate the BoomSound front-facing speakers.

Conclusion
There's no doubt that the HTC Butterfly S is a great phone. While the design isn't new or interesting, it does sport better hardware specs compared with the flagship HTC One, though at a slightly higher price.

However, I still feel that the design needs to play an important part in smartphones -- with pretty much the same UI, these handsets need to distinguish themselves with the use of premium materials such as aluminum and glass.

While the Butterfly S does come in three striking colors, I'm of the opinion that with smartphones becoming lifestyle products, its design needs to stand out more. That's why despite the great hardware and features, I won't be awarding the Butterfly S with our Editors' Choice Award.

That said, if you're keen on picking one up, be sure to check with your local retailers for country-specific pricing and availability.

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    HTC Butterfly S

    Part Number: BUTTERFLYSULK
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Regional specs shown for US. AU specs are unavailable.

    • Weight 5.64 oz
    • Diagonal Size 5 in