I’ve been fairly heavy on the Samsung features of late, with Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung: completely and utterly mental, and The Samsung Galaxy S4 family.
Today I turn my attention to Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, in order to make sense of the HTC Butterfly S. What is it? Where did it come from? Should we expect it here? That kinda thing. Join me, won’t you, as I travel across the globe. Er, virtually.
To fully understand the origins of the HTC Butterfly S, we’re setting our time machine for February 2012, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Having taken a fair bit of flack for releasing six billion different phones throughout 2011, the Taiwanese figured that less is more, and played a simple, easy-to-understand low/mid/high card.
Specifically, we met the flagship HTC One X, alongside the mid-range HTC One S and the entry-level HTC One V. It’s the HTC One S we’re interested in here, a phone – incidentally – that Jan preferred over the flagship.
A few weeks later, in April 2012, Japanese mobile consumers were treated to the HTC J, a phone with similar specs to the HTC One S (including a 4.3in 540 x 960 display), but wrapped up in a sexier body.
It’s worth noting, too, that the HTC J found room for a microSD slot, unlike its western cousin, and a bigger battery. Sonofa…
Meanwhile, back in the UK, we thought we were doing well when HTC blessed us with the HTC One X+ in October 2012, essentially an LTE-friendly version of the HTC One X, with a nipper processor and 64GB internal storage.
What we didn’t realise was that the Taiwanese were prepping something truly special back in Japan, namely the HTC J Butterfly.
Following on the heels of September 2012’s Oppo Find 5, the HTC J Butterfly was one of the world’s first 1080p smartphones. The Verge said: “the screen's slightly curved edges make the image look like it's melting off the side of the phone.”
We hoped and prayed for a western release for the HTC J Butterfly, but the closest thing we saw in 2012 was the HTC Droid DNA in the States. It was largely heralded as the best HTC-flavoured thing ever, with only the lack of microSD ruining the party (we’re talking about a 16GB phone here).
As for Asian smartphone consumers, they learned of the HTC Butterfly in December 2012, with the release coming the month after. Not too shabby.
Which leaves us in the UK. The 4.7in 1080p HTC One was unveiled in mid-February 2013, and generally accepted as one of the sexiest smartphones on the market.
Not to be outdone, in May 2013 Japanese consumers welcomed the HTC J One, essentially the HTC One with a microSD slot. There seems to be some sort of anti-microSD conspiracy in the west; the Chinese HTC One had a microSD slot, too. How bizarre.
Anyway! Adding insult to injury, the most recent addition is the HTC Butterfly S, essentially the HTC Butterfly with a bunch of HTC One features, including front stereo BoomSound speakers and Sense 5.
And that’s how the HTC Butterfly S came to be. As for a western release, we’d love to see the HTC Butterfly S over here, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t move far beyond Taiwan/Asia.
There’s at least some consolation in the form of the HTC One Max, expected in Q3 2013, though inevitably a slightly better version will wing its way out east. That seems to be par for the course. Sob.