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.