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HTC Butterfly S Review

HTC Butterfly S

Posted: , by Victor H.




The HTC One was the first to launch with an UltraPixel camera - a 4-megapixel camera with large pixels, Zoe functionality and optical image stabilization that aimed to deliver good all around images and great low-light shots. The Butterfly S features a similar 4-megapixel f/2.0 module, but stripped off one of its biggest advantages - the optical image stabilization (OIS).

Firing up the camera app is relatively quick and inside you have large separate buttons for capturing image stills and recording video. Unlike other devices from Samsung and LG, HTC lacks the plentiful shooting modes that help newbie users - instead you get live filters adding various Instagram-like effects. The camera supports HDR and burst shots. Digging deeper in the settings, you’d find that the interface is packed with all sorts of adjustable features. In the camera menus, you can tweak white balance, ISO, timer and filters, but all of that is spread in a long tedious vertical list of menus and submenus, and is a struggle to find.

Camera interface - HTC Butterfly S Review
Camera interface - HTC Butterfly S Review

Camera interface

The actual images the Butterfly S turn out okay for casual use, but not great. Color fidelity is more or less fine, but images lack liveliness and colors look on the dull side, subdued. The tonality in images is not artificially overblown, but the big problem is with the level of detail that is underwhelmingly low and you can notice a shocking amount of noise creeping into images even in daylight.

Indoor the handset does well, colors become slightly colder and noise is again very much in the way of good images.

Everything looks much better on video. The camera records footage at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 frames per second. Noise is still noticeable even in broad daylight, but colors somehow look livelier and the captured footage looks smooth, with no skipped frames and almost no rolling shutter effect. The continuous auto-focus features is snappy - the handset quickly swaps focus to objects nearby and distant. You can also choose to lock the focus before shooting, it’s not exactly on par with manual focus controls, but it gets close. You can also take 1-megapixel stills while recording video.

The handset records good quality sound while filming.

Just like the HTC One, the Butterfly S features automatic highlight reels in the gallery. If you go into the gallery and select the ‘events’ view from the dropdown on top, you’d see a short 30-second clip with music and transitions, automatically compiled from all the image and videos you’ve captured throughout the day. Neat.

Gallery app - HTC Butterfly S Review
Gallery app - HTC Butterfly S Review

Gallery app

There is a 2.1-megapixel front camera that will come to good use for video conferencing.


The large and vivid 5” 1080p display is a great asset for enjoying video, images on the go, and the loud and clear front stereo speakers delivering excellent rich audio just add to that.

The built-in media player easily opens and plays back almost all file formats with only Divx/Xvid-encoded movies not supported out of the box. There’s a plethora of good media players on Google Play to help fix that (MX Player is one suggestion).

The music player is an HTC creation as well and it shows your library broken down in a neat two-column view with a rectangle for albums, artists, songs and so on.

Video player - Multimedia apps of the HTC Butterfly S - HTC Butterfly S Review
Multimedia apps of the HTC Butterfly S - HTC Butterfly S Review
Music player - Multimedia apps of the HTC Butterfly S - HTC Butterfly S Review
Multimedia apps of the HTC Butterfly S - HTC Butterfly S Review

Video player


Music player


Multimedia apps of the HTC Butterfly S

  • Options

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 07:32 1

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

It is what the HTC One should\\\\\\\'ve been, but with a very big body and the same problematic 4MP image sensor it will be hard to compete against the best of Sony, LG, Nokia and Samsung (and Google and Xiaomi and Oppo and Huawei and Alcatel and ZTE).

I love the battery size, the SD600 I do not understand though, this is not February anymore.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 07:40 8

2. tiara6918 (Posts: 2111; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Why did it just got an 8?

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 08:11 8

3. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

hooo hooo big joke!!\
8 of 10 for butterfly s !!
i expect atleast 9 /10!!
reviwer must be sleepy for it.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 08:25 7

4. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

wow that\'s rather low. i expected it to score more than the xperia z, at least. the battery is a huge factor it deserves a better score.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 08:51

5. uchihakurtz (Posts: 404; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

The camera killed it, it would\'ve been perfect if it had a decent or above average 8/13 mpx camera.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 09:13 1

6. rizevnarastek (Posts: 349; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

The UltraPixel camera is very underrated in reviews because it\'s actually one of the best if not the best camera out there!

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 09:49

8. uchihakurtz (Posts: 404; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

.... I haven\'t played with it, so I can\'t say much, but from what people are saying, it does great at night shots but other than that, not so. And to be honest, 4mpx is not enough for some or most people, if they can come up with an 8mpx Ultra Pixel then it\'d be great.

But I like the video recording, I saw the sample and it was really good.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 09:34 1

7. lallolu (Posts: 560; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)

HTC should stop all this 4mp ultrapixel nonsense.
Make it 8mp ultrapixel, then we can talk.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 10:54 1

9. oNEWorld (Posts: 140; Member since: 01 Aug 2013)

Don\'t know how the device got an 8... it should get at least 9. Its a beautiful device with a beautiful screen. Def looks better than any galaxy device.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 11:34 1

11. alcheng (Posts: 21; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)

I bet it is because it lacks the apple logo...

note: I am not an apple fan at all, but since this site is so bias to apple product.... ;)

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 11:33 2

10. alcheng (Posts: 21; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)

The Flash Player support feature alone should bring the score up to 9.5/10 already...

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 13:48

12. softfurryanus (banned) (Posts: 232; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)

I didn't actually know that until I saw your comment, I completely agree with you and I'm beginning to really consider this phone, unfortunately it will be difficult to get my hands on.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 14:33

13. alcheng (Posts: 21; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)

\"Both are exceptionally good browsers, but the HTC one has one key advantage - Adobe Flash support.\"

--quote from the review

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 02:51

14. JMartin22 (Posts: 2013; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)

If the HTC One and this Butterfly S phone released at the same time, the latter would deserve a higher score. It's better in every conceivable way almost. It's just not metal and the screen's a bit dimmer. Also, I love the stupid "Con" they threw there about it being large, thick and "unwieldy" - it's mindsets like this that's making battery life suffer, due to each trend to make the most anorexic phone.

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 04:15

15. ibrhmymn (Posts: 6; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

which one should I buy, Butterfly S or Xperia Z1? can you give me an advice please :)

posted on 12 Nov 2015, 21:48

16. FYLegend (Posts: 19; Member since: 05 Sep 2013)

I'm still using the Butterfly s now but thinking of getting a new phone soon but 2015 choices are disappointing to me, especially for HTC (really want stereo speakers still). The headphone jack has been damaged over time unfortunately bu otherwise it's a solid phone. My major gripe is the audio quality. GSMArena said the audio quality was excellent but I hear some hissing with low-impedance headphones, and clipping distortion at higher volumes (above 12/15). PhoneArena's test shows that the headphone jack has a really low input voltage (0.35) compared to the M7 or M8 which have over 1 V. This one uses the same DAC as Galaxy S4 Snapdragon 600 version, which previously had similar audio distortion problems that were fixed later with software update. Butterfly s' audio quality has improved since it was launched but still slight distortion above 12/15. It seems either the headphone amplifier is screwing things up or HTC simply increased the volume using software...

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HTC Butterfly S

HTC Butterfly S

OS: Android 4.4 4.3 4.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) S-LCD 3
Camera4 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz, Krait 300 processor
Size5.69 x 2.78 x 0.42 inches
(144.5 x 70.5 x 10.6 mm)
5.64 oz  (160 g)
Battery3200 mAh, 29 hours talk time

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