Introduction

The Butterfly series may not be the bread winner for HTC but has proven to be among the most resourceful in the family. The HTC Butterfly 2 has a good foundation to build on: a solid screen, the trademark stereo speakers and HTC Sense 6.

HTC, who typically can't be bothered to care much about the midrange, have a four-headed monster at the top. The One (M8) is obviously in charge, with a fresh Windows _phone_ version in tow. The more affordable HTC One (E8) trades the metal outfit for polycarbonate but keeps most of the worthwhile specs, and even adds a more capable 13MP camera. The HTC Butterfly 2 is the last piece of the puzzle and the question is do they really need another piece of the same size.

The third installment in the Butterfly series adds dust and water resistance to what the One (E8) offers as well as a Duo camera setup with a 13MP primary sensor - a first for the company. And that might be just enough to emerge as HTC's most viable option against competing flagships like the Galaxy S5 and Sony's Xperia Z line.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2

The HTC Butterfly 2 is dust-protected and can go up to 1m deep underwater for 30 minutes and manages to do so with no protective flaps over the 3.5mm headphone jack or the microUSB 2.0 port. Here's goes the complete package.

Key features

  • 5" 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 441pi pixel density
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense 6
  • 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; 2GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 13MP camera with f/2.2 lens, HTC Zoe mode, dual LED flash
  • 1080p video capture, 60fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor; wide-angle f/2.0 lens; HDR; 1080p video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot
  • IP57 certification for dust and water protection - up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and built-in amplifiers
  • 2,700mAh battery; Extreme Power Saving Mode
  • IR port

Main disadvatanges

  • No 4K video recording or OIS, no HDR video
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • Glossy plastic gets easily smudged and scratched

The HTC Butterfly 2 ticks most of the boxes for an Android flagship in 2014 - the Snapdragon 801 is still more than relevant, the camera has a sufficient amount of pixels, the display is of ample size and 1080p resolution. The waterproofing has been steadily climbing from a gimmick to a sought-after feature. The only downgrade is the battery size - down from 3,200mAh in the Butterfly S. The current 2,700mAh is still slightly more than what the E8 has - and the battery life there was reasonably good.

Currently the HTC Butterfly 2 is mostly bound to markets outside Europe and US, so it's not standing in One M8's way. HTC has an impressive track record of gorgeous flagships, which however struggle to bring the much needed cash in. So who knows, the cheaper backups may be all they need to turn the trend around.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2 at HQ

Even without the IP57 certification, the Butterfly 2 is a perfectly viable - and sufficiently fresh -alternative to the flagship. That said, being able to take the Butterfly 2 underwater for some cool snaps is nothing to frown at - and it's less of a hassle without the water-repellent flaps we so hate. So perhaps the Butterfly 2 has a good chance to impress. All it needs to do now is be as good as the HTC One (E8) and put on an acceptable price tag.

Retail box

HTC is offering the standard set of peripherals with the Butterfly 2. You get a microUSB cable, a standalone A/C adapter (rated at 1.5A) and headphones with a remote and mic.

HTC Butterfly 2

Retail contents

HTC Butterfly 2 360-degree spin

The HTC Butterfly 2 is a big _phone_ - truth be told, a little bigger than most 5-inchers but a pair of stereo speakers, water protection and a second camera at the back are a better excuse than most. It's almost exactly the same size as the One (E8) at 145.4 x 70.2 x 10mm. The weight has been slightly reduced to 151g, compared to the all-metal HTC One (M8).

Design and handling

The HTC Butterfly 2 has the unmistakable shape of the company's flagship, curved at the right places, the flat front with stereo speaker grilles - inevitably missing some of its character: glossy plastic is no match for one of the hottest bodies in business. The Dual Camera set up at the back is also typical HTC lately but thankfully not a 4MP ultra-pixel unit. It's the better-performing 13MP sensor we saw in the HTC One E8 and the Desire 816.

The HTC Butterfly 2 comes in three colors, two of which with glossy finish - Blue and Red. The White paint job is matte.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2

While still a well-designed smartphone, the HTC Butterfly 2 lacks that special something the One (M8) and its predecessor have. The outlines of the body are virtually the same and all the buttons are where you'd expect them to be but the glossy plastic material doesn't look or feel nearly as nice in hand.

The sloping rear with curved corners allow for a comfortable in-hand feel and, in spite of the sheer girth of the Butterfly 2, it is perfectly manageable. At 151g the device has a good heft to it and the plastic back isn't as slippery as the brushed metal used in the One (M8).

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Sides • Top and bottom

We wish HTC had gone for a completely matte finish for the Butterfly 2 so that it would provide better grip, look more sophisticated and feel better to.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Handling the HTC Butterfly 2

By just looking at the HTC Butterfly 2 you wouldn't know it was an IP-certified device. It has no protective flaps and covers on its headphone jack or microUSB port, which is welcome. It means that you'd need to wait before charging the phone after a dip but the alternative is having to undo a flap each time you want to charge the phone.

Controls

The front of the Butterfly 2 follows the standard HTC layout. You get two BoomSound speakers, top and bottom of the screen, each with its own driver. The 5MP wide-angle f/2.0 front-facing camera is in the top right corner and there are an ambient light and a proximity sensor.

The navigation buttons are built-into the display so the front is left completely button-less.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The front

The right side offers two separate volume keys with a brushed finish and a nano SIM card slot.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The right side

On the left side there's only a microSD card slot locked in a compartment of its own. The HTC Butterfly 2 can carry SD cards of up to 128GB.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The left side

The top of the HTC Butterfly 2 welcomes back the IR port, which the E8 omitted, and a power button, which is very hard to reach on this five-incher. HTC offers motion launch so you'd rarely need the power button at all.

On the bottom lies the main microphone, the 3.5mm headphones jack and a microUSB 2.0 port. MHL is another plus on the spec sheet compared to the One E8.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Top and bottom

The back looks similar to the HTC One (M8)'s, save for the higher resolution main camera. There's a two-toned (amber and yellow) LED flash, a 13MP main camera and a depth-measuring second camera above it.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The back

Featurwise, the HTC Butterfly 2 seems to get the best of the two words that are the One (M8) and the One (E8) - it has the IR port from the M8 and the 13MP snapper from the E8. There's even a bit of exclusivity thanks to the water and dust resistance, you're looking at a nice blend between the two flagships with a feature that puts it in a special company.

Display

The HTC Butterfly 2 opts for the same 1080 x 1920px 5" panel as the One (M8) and One (E8) and rocks an impressive pixel density of 441ppi.

The more detailed tests we performed on the HTC Butterfly 2 show the 5" panel as a solid performer. Contrast was impressive at 50% and 100% brightness and is around the same as that of the HTC One (M8) and (E8) and the new Apple iPhone 6. Brightness was also impressive rounding up a very solid display performance.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC Butterfly 2 0.19 216 1132 0.50 596 1185
HTC One (E8) 0.20 250 1268 0.51 615 1208
HTC One (M8) 0.20 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Samsung Galaxy S5 274 529
Xiaomi Mi 3 0.18 142 809 0.61 557 907
Xiaomi Mi 4 0.17 164 940 0.73 679 929
LG Nexus 5 0.31 298 948 0.54 526 967
Sony Xperia Z2 - - - 0.41 488 1195


Outdoor legibility is good although not the best. The screen is reflective but not overly so and the good brightness makes sure it remains visible. Viewing angles are excellent as well.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

The Butterfly S set the bar pretty high with a 3,200mAh battery and we were somewhat disappointed to see the Butterfly 2 opt for a smaller 2,700mAh unit. During our tests, the newcomer managed around the same times in the individual tests but failed to match the standby of the Butterfly S. Compared to last year's model's overall rating of 81 hours, the HTC Butterfly 2 comes rather short with its 66 hour score. It's not a bad result on its own, but we are used to seeing scores improving year on year, rather than degrading.

The Butterfly 2 did well in each of the tests. The calling and web browsing endurance was stellar, while the 10 and a half hours of video playback was solid if not quite up there with the best.

Connectivity

The HTC Butterfly 2 packs a solid set of connectivity features, perfectly matching the One (M8). You still get quad-band GSM, 3G, and LTE support.

The local wireless connectivity has Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and DLNA support (both client and server, for images, videos and music) and stereo Bluetooth 4.0 with the higher-quality aptX codec. There's also an IR port that allows control over various devices like TVs and, with a bit of software help, digital cameras, AC units and more.

HTC has conveniently designed a special options screen, when you connect the Butterfly 2 to a PC. The long list of options includes Portable Wi-Fi hotspot, settings, USB and Bluetooth tethering (the phone becomes a modem).

NFC connectivity with Android Beam is available too. There's a microSD card slot too supporting up to 128GB of storage.

USB On The Go and TV Out functionality are available. That gives the HTC Butterfly 2 an IR port, USB OTG, TV Out and Wi-Fi ac over the HTC One (E8).

Android KitKat with Sense 6 UI

The HTC Butterfly 2 comes powered with the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat alongside HTC's Sense 6 overlay. Under Sense 6, the user interface has been improved and it's also better looking. The built-in apps each have a different accent color which spills out onto the status bar, changing its color to create a uniform effect - similar to what we've seen with Apple's iOS 8. Sense 6 looks and feels just like on the HTC One (M8) and (E8), and there are very little changes.

Here's a brief rundown of Sense 6 UI on the HTC Butterfly 2.

The lockscreen hasn't really changed much since Sense 5 - there's a clock with weather information and four app shortcuts. Swiping up takes you to the last app you used, while swiping to the left or to the right will take you to the homescreen or BlinkFeed, respectively.

The HTC Butterfly 2 offers Motion Launch features like on the HTC One (M8). You can unlock the device with a swipe on its screen or a double tap when the latter is off.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The lockscreen

Once you unlock you're greeted by a practically identical homescreen as before and virtual on screen buttons. Having the buttons on-screen ensures better response time and less chance of operational deterioration but also means you're effectively giving up part of your screen estate in order to accommodate them there.

The background behind the buttons is transparent and they obediently move out the way when you're watching a video or image so it's not that bad. But some apps still haven't been optimized to work with on-screen buttons and will stubbornly leave them there and shrink back the content to fit them, which isn't ideal.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Homescreen

The leftmost homescreen pane of the Butterfly 2 is reserved for HTC BlinkFeed. It aggregates content from your social networks, as well as from various news sources. You can pick what topics you're interested in and BlinkFeed will automatically pull fresh content for you. You can also search for specific content. You can turn BlinkFeed off if you prefer or choose to not have it be the default homescreen.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

BlinkFeed

You get up to five homescreen panes to fill with shortcuts and widgets (the sixth is reserved for BlinkFeed). You can set any of the panes as default..

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Adding widgets to the homescreen

The notification area is business as usual - you get notifications in the right page and quick toggles in the left. You can access the quick toggles by a tap in the upper right corner or through a two finger swipe down from the status bar.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Notification area and Quick Settings

The app drawer is vertically scrolled unlike stock Android or most current Android OSes like TouchWiz, Xperia or Optimus UI. Aside from the usual alphabetical and chronological order of apps you can also sort them in a way you see fit. The grid of apps can either be a 3 x 4 or the more sensible 4 x 5.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

App drawer

Getting to the recently-opened apps is done with the dedicated on-screen button. The interface shows a list of thumbnails for each app. You can swipe them away one by one as before or use the new close all option, thankfully.

You can also get to the task manager from the recent apps screen - it shows you the currently active apps and RAM usage.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Recent apps

Wallpapers, lockscreen style, ringtones, notification sounds and alarms can be customized via a dedicated menu. This time around, the lockscreen styles cannot be changed.

HTC Butterfly 2

Personalization

The HTC Butterfly 2 also has a built-in restricted access Kids mode. It is an app that lets you set up a profile for each of your kids, with a photo and birthdate and pick which apps they can have access to.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Kids mode

Everything runs smoothly on the HTC Butterfly 2 and Sense 6 offers fluid animations that don't get in the way of the processor. But that's expected given the high-grade hardware rig the Butterfly 2 runs on.

The HTC Butterfly 2 has a Snapdragon 801 system on a chip doing the heavy lifting. It utilizes a quad-core Krait 400 2.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 graphics processor. With Snapdragon 805 devices already on sale, that's no longer the most powerful combo on the market, but it's still one that delivers plenty of performance. We tested the HTC Butterfly 2 for cheating in a couple of tests and can safely report no shenanigans took place.

Jumping straight into the benchmark scores we can expect around the same performance as that of the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (E8) but we've selected a few other notable devices to keep things interesting.

First off we're looking at the CPU performance. GeekBench 3 and AnTuTu 5 give the HTC Butterfly 2 the second seed just below the One (E8) but the scores, as you can see don't differ all that much.

Basemark divides the score into multiple results - we give you the overall one and the breakdown of single and multi-core performance. The core breakdown scores were good and the overall results differs little from the best in the league.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • HTC One (E8)
    3229
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    3175
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    3065
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    3011
  • Apple iPhone 6
    2924
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2860
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2563
  • LG Nexus 5
    2453
  • HTC One (M8)
    2367
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1837

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • HTC One (E8)
    46857
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    45283
  • HTC One (M8)
    44020
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    43164
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    40393
  • LG G3 - EU version
    39905

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • LG Nexus 5
    1351
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    1324
  • Apple iPhone 6
    1252
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1234
  • HTC One (E8)
    1146
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1126
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1109
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1107
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (E8)
    2579
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2573
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    2541
  • HTC One (M8)
    2428
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    2415
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2397
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2213
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2114

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (E8)
    10219
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    10211
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    10063
  • HTC One (M8)
    9860
  • LG G3 - EU version
    9611
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    9508
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    8976
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    8792

Next we tested the Adreno 330 GPU inside the HTC Butterfly 2. It faced Adreno-only competition here so there shouldn't be drastic differences in performance. And there aren't - the framerates in both the onscreen and offscreen GFX tests show scores on the level of other flagships and gaming benchmark Basemark X gives the Butterfly 2 a third place that's a hair behind the second-seed HTC One (M8).

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    42.6
  • HTC One (M8)
    28.4
  • HTC One (E8)
    28
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    27.8
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    27.7
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    27.6
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    27.4
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    27.3
  • LG G3 - EU version
    27.2
  • LG Nexus 5
    23

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    51
  • HTC One (M8)
    30.1
  • HTC One (E8)
    29.9
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    29.3
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    29
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    28.2
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    28.2
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    28.1
  • LG Nexus 5
    24
  • LG G3 - EU version
    20.5

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    17.7
  • HTC One (E8)
    12.3
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.8
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.6
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.6
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    11.5
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11.4
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.1

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    29.2
  • HTC One (E8)
    12.9
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    12.8
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12.7
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.7
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.5
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.3
  • LG G3 - EU version
    7.2

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    15841
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12637
  • HTC One (M8)
    12396
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    12302
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744
  • LG Nexus 5
    11638
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11552
  • HTC One (E8)
    3063

And finally we come to browsing performance, namely JavaScript and HTML 5. These categories are dependent not only on the hardware configuration but on the software as well and manufacturers usually tend to optimize their phones for these tasks. Here the HTC Butterfly 2 didn't really earn any prizes and was seriously beaten by the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    4710
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    6137
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    6355
  • HTC One (E8)
    6460
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    6586
  • LG G3 - EU version
    6987
  • LG Nexus 5
    7148
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    9939
  • HTC One (M8)
    10296

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6
    3153
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1533
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1474
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • HTC One (E8)
    1362
  • LG Nexus 5
    1286
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1077
  • HTC One (M8)
    1069
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    744
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    706

It's fun to watch for imperfections under the hood and comparing the best of the best on benchmark tests. But in reality you really can't buy a slow or bad smartphone anymore, in this price bracket at least. While using the HTC Butterfly 2 we didn't have skipped frames in the UI, prolonged loading of apps or webpages - everything was smooth as silk.

And while the HTC Butterfly 2 hasn't earned any prizes for best performance, a couple of points less in a benchmark or a couple of fps less in a GPU test don't mean anything in reality. The Butterfly 2 can stand up to any of its rivals and won't be humiliated.

Phonebook via the People app

In the People app, you get the dialer, contacts, groups (including favorite contacts), as well as a call log. You can reorder tabs and remove the ones that you don't need (Groups or Call history).

Selecting a contact displays the basic details: name and photo, numbers, emails and such. That's just the first tab - the other tabs hold further details and means of communication, including email and a call log.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Phonebook

The second tab holds the texts, emails and call history between you and the given contact. The next one displays a contact's social networking updates.

Telephony does great

The dialer on the HTC Butterfly 2 combines your keypad, recent call list and contact list in one application accessible via a single icon. You switch between the view modes with side-swipes. There's smart dialing and it works as well as expected. Once you start typing on the keyboard, contacts will be filtered by name or by phone number. You can use a QWERTY keyboard for searching as well.

HTC Butterfly 2

In-call screen

The smartphone packs a neat set of call-related tricks such as automatically silencing the ring of an incoming call just by putting the phone face down or raising the volume if the device senses it's in a pocket.

As for call quality we can't complain with the HTC Butterfly 2. The sound from the earpiece was clear and sufficiently loud and callers on the other end said we sound natural and clear.

The BoomSound enhancement is constantly on when you are listening to something via the loudspeakers.

The HTC Butterfly 2 disappointed in the speaker test. While we become used to high-quality sound from BoomSound speakers it just wasn't there on the Butterfly 2. The speakers are quiet and the sound isn't as deep as we expected, feeling a bit muffled instead.

We can gander it has something to do with water-proofing the device but we can't say for sure. If you're enjoying sound content in a quiet environment and from close up the speakers are adequate, otherwise we think the stereo speakers aren't among the best HTC has delivered.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi 4 62 62.1 66.6 Below Average
Xiaomi Mi 3 64.9 64.8 66.6 Below Average
HTC Butterfly 2 64.5 64.7 68.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z3 69.7 66.6 67.2 Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
HTC One (E8) 65.8 65.7 75.7 Average
Gionee Elife S5.5 66.6 66.3 75.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 66.9 66.6 75.7 Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent


The HTC Butterfly 2 is capable of handling all sorts of messages - SMS, MMS, email. There's also Google Hangouts, which can connect you to Google contacts via either texts or video calls.

SMS and MMS messages are displayed in threads - you see a list of all conversations, each one is listed with the contact's photo, name and the subject of the last message, as well as a part of the actual message. Tapping a conversation brings up the entire message history with that contact.

Sense 6 intuitively lists all of your conversations in a single thread - whether you're texting the same person on a new number and then go back to the old one - it's all chronologically listed in a single thread.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Messaging

The HTC Butterfly 2 comes with two email apps - the traditional Gmail app and the HTC Mail app, which merges all your email accounts into a single interface with a unified inbox.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Gmail

The HTC email app uses a navy blue top bar and merges it with the status bar for a nice design accent.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC mail app

As for typing, the Butterfly 2's on-screen keyboard offers well-spaced keys, but the overlay doesn't include any gaps between them. During use we found that this is only a cosmetic feature and poses no discomfort. The 5" display diagonal offers enough space for comfortable typing.

Trace keyboard is also available. You drag a finger over the desired keys and the phone predicts what you're trying to type. It works really well but language support is limited.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC keyboard

HTC Zoe

HTC Zoe is a mini social network centered on sharing photos and videos. A landmark feature is the cool Highlights videos, which are created automatically for each album.

HTC Sense 6 features Zoe as a standalone multimedia app, which requires you to sign in with your HTC account the first time you open it. Captured photos and videos are automatically compiled into a Zoe video highlight reel.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Zoe

Creating a Zoe is easy. You simply choose from the available images and rearrange them in order you like. Themes and soundtracks are available in case you want to be extra creative. Once finished editing, you can easily share Zoes.

Zoe also allows you to collaborate with friends on the same project. You can send requests and combine your media content into the same Zoe. Keep in mind that the app doesn't work in all regions.

Slideshow-happy gallery

The regular image gallery stacks photos together in albums, which can be organized by the date they were captured or the source they come from. Location-based sorting is also available.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Gallery

As usual, there is an array of available options at your disposal. You can edit, share, highlight, and delete images. You can also set them as backgrounds, assign them to contacts, add them to a specific album, or print them.

Once you open an album, the first and biggest thumbnail is reserved for slideshows. Once you tap it you can customize if you want an effect added over the photos and what sort of music you would like to play.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Slideshows

The gallery supports viewing your images in their full resolution. You can easily pinch-zoom to 1:1 magnification.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Looking at a photo

The display on the HTC Butterfly 2 is more than adequate in both size and quality to allow for enjoyable image consumption.

Video player lacks subtitle support

The video player on the HTC Butterfly 2 has a rather simple interface. There isn't a dedicated app - you just pick a video from the gallery.

You get a Play/Pause button and a slider to scrub through the video, a button to capture images from the video, volume slider, and sharing options. All of these hide automatically after a few seconds.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Video player

The HTC Butterfly 2 managed to play most of the files we threw at it and had issues only with FLV, MOV and a few MKV files (those with the AC-3 audio codec). The AC-3 audio codec also caused issues with no sound. Otherwise the Butterfly 2 was a solid performer.

Subtitles were also not supported, with no options to enable them nor did they automatically playback if in the same folder as the video file.

You can always go to the Google Play store and download a more capable video app for free.

Great music player

The HTC Sense 6 music player features a similar layout as the one in the previous version. The flattened interface design however makes the setup look fresh.

Your music library is organized by Artist, Album, Songs, Playlists, Genres, Podcasts or Folders (we don't see this last option very often). The phone will also easily stream songs over DLNA.

The music player can automatically look for and download Album art and artist photos (you can limit it to Wi-Fi connections only), and search for lyrics.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Music player

There's no equalizer on board. You have the option to toggle BoomSound audio on or off when you have the headphones plugged in. Like we mentioned already, you cannot adjust this feature when playing through the speakers.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Now playing

The FM Radio is aboard with RDS support. It automatically saves available stations and has one of the simplest interfaces we've seen. There are play controls - play, stop, skip and a loudspeaker option.

HTC Butterfly 2

FM Radio

Class-leading audio output

The HTC Butterfly 2 was no exception to its manufacturer's rule. This is to say it performed admirably in our audio quality test, combining the highest volume levels in the industry with stellar clean output.

When connected to an active external amplifier, the Butterfly 2 managed excellent scores top to bottom with no weak points to its performance whatsoever.

Even better, the degradation when we plugged in a pair of headphones was so minor that we would have considered the scores great even if that was a no-headphones test. The very minor increase in stereo crosstalk means the smartphone can handle large powerful headphones with ease, still delivering some of the cleanest output in business. There's no match for that kind of results outside of the HTC lineup.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
HTC Butterfly 2 +0.02, -0.09 -94.6 93.6 0.0019 0.0077 -93.1
HTC Butterfly 2 (headphones attached) +0.04, -0.07 -94.4 93.4 0.0048 0.039 -80.0
HTC One (E8) +0.02, -0.09 -94.9 93.8 0.0010 0.013 -90.6
HTC One (E8) (headphones attached) +0.03, -0.08 -94.9 93.8 0.0034 0.031 -75.5
HTC One (M8) +0.04, -0.10 -95.4 93.4 0.0012 0.010 -93.2
HTC One (M8) (headphones attached) +0.04, -0.08 -94.9 93.9 0.0014 0.018 -79.7
Oppo Find 7 +0.04, -0.10 -93.8 93.1 0.0053 0.177 -94.4
Oppo Find 7 (headphones attached) +0.70, -0.20 -93.7 91.5 0.013 0.446 -52.6
Samsung Galaxy S5 +0.02, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0017 0.0089 -95.2
Samsung Galaxy S5 (headphones attached) +0.01, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0095 0.018 -61.9
LG G3 +0.02, -0.08 -99.4 98.9 0.0016 0.035 -100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -93.7 93.3 0.0060 0.032 -78.5
Sony Xperia Z2 +0.02, -0.08 -88.2 90.1 0.0063 0.013 -88.9
Sony Xperia Z2 (headphones attached) +0.08, -0.04 -84.7 87.6 0.120 0.066 -60.2

HTC Butterfly 2 frequency response

HTC Butterfly 2 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

No UltraPixels, still Duo camera

The HTC Butterfly 2 packs a camera combo that's unique for the family - it abandons the 4MP Ultrapixel camera of the HTC One (M8) and opts for the proven 13MP snapper found in the HTC One (E8), Desire 816 and HTC One mini 2. We've already seen that to be a more capable sensor that's able to produce better results with higher detail. However unlike the trio listed above the Butterfly 2 retains the Duo camera setup of the flagship, enabling some cool effects.

The aperture sits at f/2.2, which isn't as wide as the one on the HTC One (M8) or even as wide as the f/2.0 of the 5 MP front-facing shooter, for that matter.

There's a second camera lens above the main 13MP one. It adds depth data to the images and enables blurring of the background (UFocus) along with Foregrounder, Colorize, Seasons and Stereoscopic modes.

Unlike other 13MP HTC offerings (like those on the Desire 816 and mini 2) in the aftermath of the UltraPixel camera days, the sensor found on the Butterfly 2 comes with the company's proprietary ImageChip technology, so you do get Zoe mode, where the phone will capture a 3sec video along with every photo you make and can later auto create beautiful stories about particular events made out of stills and videos.

It also has HDR, Panorama (with a digital horizon level), geo-tagging and image effects. The more advanced settings are hidden by default, but you can also control ISO, exposure compensation, white balance and a few other image adjustments.

A long press on the screen will enable Auto Exposure and Auto Focus lock. You can set the volume rocker to act as a zoom lever or a shutter key.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Camera app

The HTC Butterfly 2 has a 5MP front-facing camera with a BSI sensor and a dedicated selfie mode. From the settings you can enable smile shutter and adjust the Make-up level, which tries to digitally pretty you up.

HTC Butterfly 2

Selfie mode

The HTC Butterfly 2 offers good image quality from it 13MP camera. The detail was plenty across the frame with good sharpness and spot on exposure. The white balance is warmer than it should be on a few occasions, but colors generally come out fine.

The dynamic range of the images isn't the best around - we either got darker images with some detail lost in the shadows or lighter ones with blown-out portions of the image such as the sky. The other issue with the images is that they tend to be noisier than average.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2 camera samples

Given its limited dynamic range, the HDR can come in handy on the HTC Butterfly 2 - it snaps a couple of photos with different exposures and then combines them into a single photo. The HDR mode on the Butterfly 2 strikes a pretty good balance, adding detail in both highlights and shadows, but not going to extremes and producing an exaggerated flat look.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HDR Off • HDR On

Panorama samples are great. The software allows you to capture in either portrait or landscape mode, depending on the scene and effect you desire. Stitching is flawless and the Butterfly 2 produces panoramas with great exposure, lots of detail and excellent colors.

HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2

Panorama samples

As we mentioned, the HTC Butterfly 2's main camera is accompanied by second camera on the back of the phone. It doesn't take any pictures, as it's a sort of a rangefinder. Its job is to create a depth map of your scene, which allows you to add high-quality rendered effects such as background blur (faux bokeh) or refocus your images after the shot. It even enable 3D photos with, which is visible when you tilt the phone (a parallax view).

The only inconvenience is that you'd need to revert from the highest 13MP 4:3 resolution to the 16:9 4MP resolution of the HTC One (M8) in order to add the desired effect to a photo. Here go a few samples.


UFocus • Foregrounder • Seasons • Dimension Plus

Face detection on the Butterfly 2 is always on and cannot be turned off in the settings. It works really well and can recognize a face immediately and even track it well when it moves across the frame. The downside is that when face detection captures a face it will expose for it, which would sometimes ruin your overall exposure, which is a bummer. This can be fixed by manually locking exposure where you want it to be but then you risk losing focus of your subject.

Let's face it, when you're taking pictures of people you'd want face detection on so we're not taking points away from HTC here. We just wish there was a setting to turn it off at times.

HTC Butterfly 2 photo quality comparison

Here's the HTC Butterfly 2 in our photo quality comparison tool. It's designed to allow you the ultimate pixel-peeping experience and the option to challenge the smartphone to any of the many tested shooters we've had.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

HTC Butterfly 2 in our photo compare tool

1080p video recording

The HTC Butterfly 2 offers 1080p videos at 60fps, though there's also a 30fps mode for fullHD videos, and 120fps mode at 720p. The front-facing camera can also record 1080p videos as well.

Sadly there's no 4K recording on the HTC Butterfly 2.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Camcorder

The 1080p videos default at 30fps, and carry a bitrate of just under 20 Mbps. Framerate was a constant 30fps throughout the video. Audio bitrate sits high up with 192 Kbps and offers stereo channels and has a regular sampling rate of 48 kHz.

The 1080p@30fps videos of the HTC Butterfly 2 offer good detail levels and plenty of sharpness. The sound of the videos could be better and more pronounced but is still good. Things ran smoothly at 30fps and the only complaint we have is the color rendering. The colors in the video are a bit washed out. The white balance was again too warm - perhaps a colder white balance would translate into more natural colors.

The 60fps mode is very similar, having the same 20 Mbps bitrate and dual channel audio at 192 Kbps. The quality takes a slight dip but isn't drastic, retaining most of the detail and the sharpness.

60fps mode works just as advertised, however, and will result in videos that are much smoother than the standard 30fps ones, and are surprisingly the same size.

You can download the 1080p@30fps (0:15s, 37.3MB) and 1080p@60fps (0:10s, 72MB) samples taken directly from the device.

Finally, the 720p slow motion mode has relatively poor video quality, and seems upscaled from an even lower resolution. We say relatively because we've seen even worse attempts at slow motion video. The Butterfly 2 results are far from optimal in this regard, but they still manage a bitrate of 12 Mbps, so it's better than most. Here's a sample.

Video quality comparison

In the video comparison tool you can face the HTC Butterfly 2 off against any of the any camcorders we've tested over the years.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

HTC Butterfly 2 in our video compare tool

Web browser

The HTC Butterfly 2 comes with a Sense-ified version of the stock Android browser and Chrome out of box.

The stock browser packs the usual features: Incognito tabs, Find in page and Desktop view. GIF animation can be enabled from the settings, but there is no Flash support.

Besides the usual bookmarks, you can keep a Reading list of pages to read later and a Watch list of videos. Pages are saved on-device so they can be read offline, but videos are not. The Watch list feature works on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. It detects multiple videos per page (so you can add them all) and when you're ready, you can check them out without any distractions from the page they were on.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Stock browser • tabs • pages and videos saved for later consumtion

Google Chrome is becoming the most popular mobile browser and should be fairly familiar. It has some advantages over its vanilla-flavored buddy, including switching between tabs with a wide swipe from either the left or right of the top bar.

Chrome has Incognito tabs, too. Speaking of tabs, it can sync what you have open on other devices (desktop, tablets) with the phone. This feature also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites and can remember passwords and login data.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Google Chrome

The Reduce data usage option sends web pages to be compressed on Google's web servers before loading them on the device to save data and speed up slow connections. This doesn't work for SSL-protected pages and Incognito tabs for privacy reasons.

Other pre-installed apps

The Tasks app is HTCs way of letting you organize your time. It can handle multiple separate lists of tasks and syncs with your Google account. Each task can have a due date and a location associated with it. Map view lets you easily find nearby tasks, though we would have loved a "Navigate to" button here.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Tasks • multiple lists are supported • putting tasks on the map

Google Drive comes preinstalled. It combines all of your documents, spreadsheets, images and more in one easy to use data vault app. You can also access more than a single Google Drive if you have multiple profiles on your smartphone, which is neat.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Google Drive

The Alarm clock application can handle multiple alarms, each with its own start and repeat time. The stopwatch and timer are self-explanatory. There's also a Calculator, Calendar and a Flash app that sets the power of the back-placed LED to three strengths.

HTC Backup can do manual or scheduled backups of your apps, messages (texts and emails), contacts and accounts (mail and social). The data is sent either to Google Drive or Dropbox and you can limit the app to transfer over Wi-Fi only.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Alarms • Calculator • Flash app • HTC backup

Google Now integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to your interests and daily needs.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow and gives you the weather forecast for your location. It's great for at-a-glance info, but can handle voice Google searches as well. It also has a dedicated homescreen/lockscreen widget.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Google Now

HTC's Weather app can give you weather information for your location and others. It looks great and gives you an animated representation of the weather conditions as well as a multiple-day forecast. Weather information is sourced from AccuWeather.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Weather (courtesy of AccuWeather)

The HTC Guide app is an excellent app for beginners. It contains tips and help, troubleshooting info and a display of the vital phone stats the support call center might ask you about. The phone health option offers some self-help tools like running diagnostic on individual components (speakers, backlight, buttons).

The app will also help you manage the storage with a handy option to clean unwanted files and trackers for call minutes, texts and data plan megabytes.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Guide • vital info • managing storage • tracking voice call and data plan usage

Google Maps is the default navigation app, but it's most useful when you use it while you are online. It allows you to download offline maps of an area and even plan routes without a data connection but you can't search for addresses or POIs without an internet connection.

On the positive side, it can plan driving, public transport, cycling and walking routes. It can also display pretty accurate traffic alerts as well (though it doesn't always take them into account when routing you).

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Google Maps

Another great support tool is Android Device Manager. It's available for all Android devices linked to your Google account. It can help you find your misplaced HTC Butterfly 2 by ringing it and if it's not at the house, by finding it on the map. If it's stolen, you also have the option to lock the device and delete all data (so make sure you have HTC Backup set up to work automatically so you don't lose your data). You have to enable the remote locking initially via the preinstalled Google Settings app on your smartphone.

And finally, Google's Play store hardly needs any description. It the biggest catalog of apps and also features movies, TV, music and even devices but those services are dependent on your country. Opening the store brings you highlighted apps based on recommendations and your usage. There are categories, ranked apps and more.

Final words

The original Butterfly got a chance to take a look from the top but it was too short to enjoy. The interim flagship was soon ousted by the first HTC One and the Butterflies have since been living in the ruling family's shadow.

The HTC Butterfly 2 is clearly timed to catch the slipstream of an outgoing flagship without having to look out for oncoming traffic. Perhaps the HTC One (M8) should be more worried about a future in which Qualcomm's bringing out the 64-bit Snapdragon 810. It's the kind of thing to cause a major stir in the premium segment, with UHD screen resolution suddenly looking cooler and with performance and power management redefined.

Being a backup to the flagship, the HTC Butterfly 2 is probably safe from this kind of danger. It looks the part and has all that made the One (E8) such a good alternative to the One (M8), plus water resistance. And the fact that the Butterfly's protected against the elements without covering its ports is a good thing - having to undo a flap any time you need recharging is an annoyance.

The Butterfly 2 doesn't have the exceptional build and finish of the flagship but the IP57 certification and a 13MP camera over the Ultrapixel, will probably tip the scales for many users. The Butterfly 2's camera actually is the best of both worlds: a higher resolution sensor in a Duo setup for depth-of-field effects, which are exclusive to HTC.

Here's what we found about the HTC Butterfly 2 during our testing.

Key test findings:

  • The phone is taller than most 5-inchers but has stereo speakers to show for it
  • That said, the waterproofing must've taken a toll on the speakers' loudness and quality
  • Build quality is solid, matte finish would've been better
  • Display shows great contrast, solid brightness levels
  • Battery life is good
  • Superb performance, good benchmark scores up to One (M8) levels
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Still images offer great detail and sharpness, a little lacking in dynamic range
  • Video is fine but 4K should've been an option

Now, let's look at some of the names that can challenge the HTC Butterfly 2. Of course, we should bear in mind that the Butterfly 2 isn't globally available just yet - in fact we're not sure it ever will be. The device premiered recently on a number of Asian markets and the price looks rather steep at this point. That is, for a plastic version of the flagship that doesn't look nearly half as good.

On the other hand, it's a water-proofed version of the flagship, with the same screen and chipset, and with a better camera. A tricky situation to be in. We'll get to that, but after we've looked at the options - at least some of which will be available where you are. That, by the way, isn't 100% certain for the Butterfly 2 to begin with. Anyway, there're more than enough possible combinations.

HTC's own One (E8) costs much less than the Butterfly 2 but has a couple of major omission, the IP57 rating and the Duo camera. Of course, an IR port and MHL are other things you'll miss but the screen, speakers, chipset, camera and software are all there. The HTC One (M8) hates to get wet, its 4MP camera is embarrassing, and the phone has a steep price tag. But so it the Butterfly 2's so you might want to go for the hot aluminum unibody.

HTC One (E8)
HTC One (M8)

HTC One (E8) • HTC One (M8)

Outside of its stablemates, the closest Butterfly 2 match is another water resistant flagship - the Sony Xperia Z3. It can dive deeper than the HTC Butterfly 2, has a great 5.2" 1080p screen, a pair of stereo speakers and a 20MP camera with 4K video. Its design and build are clearly superior to the HTC smartphone. The price is a little higher though the premium is well worth it.

Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3

Waterproofing aside, the Oppo Find 7 and 7a match the HTC Butterfly 2 spec for spec where it counts. The 7a costs a little less currently, which puts it at an advantage. The more expensive Find 7 flaunts a 5.5" QHD display in a slimmer and not much bigger body than the HTC Butterfly 2.

Huawei Ascend P7
Oppo Find 7a

Huawei Ascend P7 • Oppo Find 7a

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is by no means cheap but this only shows how, at its current price, the Butterfly 2 ends up in the wrong company. The Galaxy S5 packs the same chipset, a bigger 5.1" display, great battery life, superb 4K-capable camera and is water resistant.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Finally, the OnePlus One has just recently been made available and its low price puts it in a great position against the water-resistant HTC Butterfly 2. It has a tailor-made skin by CyanogenMod , the camera captures great 4K videos, the display is much bigger and there are ample customization options, but getting one is still next to impossible in most markets.

OnePlus One

OnePlus One

It always gets down to the price, which in the HTC book is usually higher than the competition. The Butterfly 2 is no exception but it's not one of their sexy flagships that seem to get away with it.

That said, the HTC Butterfly 2 is no worse than the incumbent flagship except on the outside. And it offers a better camera and water resistance. There'll be enough users who may find it to be the better package - a bit of a problem that it just doesn't look it.

Perhaps an even bigger problem, the Butterfly 2's main market is Asia and that's where price cutting is fierce. If water resistance is important to you and you can wait, the HTC Butterfly 2 is worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps at some point HTC will quit pampering the flagship and make the Butterfly 2 more widely available. If that's matched by a due reduction in price, they'll have an extra strong sub coming in.

Retail box

HTC is offering the standard set of peripherals with the Butterfly 2. You get a microUSB cable, a standalone A/C adapter (rated at 1.5A) and headphones with a remote and mic.

HTC Butterfly 2

Retail contents

HTC Butterfly 2 360-degree spin

The HTC Butterfly 2 is a big phone - truth be told, a little bigger than most 5-inchers but a pair of stereo speakers, water protection and a second camera at the back are a better excuse than most. It's almost exactly the same size as the One (E8) at 145.4 x 70.2 x 10mm. The weight has been slightly reduced to 151g, compared to the all-metal HTC One (M8).

Design and handling

The HTC Butterfly 2 has the unmistakable shape of the company's flagship, curved at the right places, the flat front with stereo speaker grilles - inevitably missing some of its character: glossy plastic is no match for one of the hottest bodies in business. The Dual Camera set up at the back is also typical HTC lately but thankfully not a 4MP ultra-pixel unit. It's the better-performing 13MP sensor we saw in the HTC One E8 and the Desire 816.

The HTC Butterfly 2 comes in three colors, two of which with glossy finish - Blue and Red. The White paint job is matte.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2

While still a well-designed smartphone, the HTC Butterfly 2 lacks that special something the One (M8) and its predecessor have. The outlines of the body are virtually the same and all the buttons are where you'd expect them to be but the glossy plastic material doesn't look or feel nearly as nice in hand.

The sloping rear with curved corners allow for a comfortable in-hand feel and, in spite of the sheer girth of the Butterfly 2, it is perfectly manageable. At 151g the device has a good heft to it and the plastic back isn't as slippery as the brushed metal used in the One (M8).

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Sides • Top and bottom

We wish HTC had gone for a completely matte finish for the Butterfly 2 so that it would provide better grip, look more sophisticated and feel better to.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Handling the HTC Butterfly 2

By just looking at the HTC Butterfly 2 you wouldn't know it was an IP-certified device. It has no protective flaps and covers on its headphone jack or microUSB port, which is welcome. It means that you'd need to wait before charging the phone after a dip but the alternative is having to undo a flap each time you want to charge the phone.

Controls

The front of the Butterfly 2 follows the standard HTC layout. You get two BoomSound speakers, top and bottom of the screen, each with its own driver. The 5MP wide-angle f/2.0 front-facing camera is in the top right corner and there are an ambient light and a proximity sensor.

The navigation buttons are built-into the display so the front is left completely button-less.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The front

The right side offers two separate volume keys with a brushed finish and a nano SIM card slot.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The right side

On the left side there's only a microSD card slot locked in a compartment of its own. The HTC Butterfly 2 can carry SD cards of up to 128GB.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The left side

The top of the HTC Butterfly 2 welcomes back the IR port, which the E8 omitted, and a power button, which is very hard to reach on this five-incher. HTC offers motion launch so you'd rarely need the power button at all.

On the bottom lies the main microphone, the 3.5mm headphones jack and a microUSB 2.0 port. MHL is another plus on the spec sheet compared to the One E8.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

Top and bottom

The back looks similar to the HTC One (M8)'s, save for the higher resolution main camera. There's a two-toned (amber and yellow) LED flash, a 13MP main camera and a depth-measuring second camera above it.

HTC Butterfly 2
HTC Butterfly 2

The back

Featurwise, the HTC Butterfly 2 seems to get the best of the two words that are the One (M8) and the One (E8) - it has the IR port from the M8 and the 13MP snapper from the E8. There's even a bit of exclusivity thanks to the water and dust resistance, you're looking at a nice blend between the two flagships with a feature that puts it in a special company.