HTC Butterfly S Has Been Unveiled In China

HTC Butterfly S

In an event in Taiwan, HTC unveiled the next big device in its Butterfly series (you probably know it as Verizon’s Droid DNA). Droid DNA and its international edition, J Butterfly have been two of the most exciting and high-end smartphones developed by HTC. Here is Butterfly S, which comes with similar features and a whopping large screen of 5 inches, the largest that HTC has ever made.

Engadget China has managed to get its hands on the device here. Here is the promo video of the device:

Technical Specifications


Here is the technical specifications of Butterfly S in comparison to two other devices, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S IV.

Feature HTC Butterfly S HTC One Samsung Galaxy S IV
Display Super LCD 3; 5 inch 1080p (441 ppi) Super LCD 3; 4.7 inch 1080p (469 ppi) Super AMOLED HD; 4.99 inch 1080p (440 ppi)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (quad-core) 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (quad-core) 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos Octa (quad-core 1.6 GHz or quad-core 1.2 GHz); LTE Model has 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor
RAM 2 GB 2 GB 2 GB
Camera 4 UltraPixel; 2.1 MP front-facing 4 UltraPixel; 2.1 MP front-facing 13 MP; 2 MP
Operating System Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Storage 16 GB with MicroSD card slot for up to 64 GB 32/64 GB no card slot 16/32/64 GB with card slot for up to 64 GB
Battery 3200 mAh 2300 mAh 2600 mAh
Connectivity HSPA 42 Mbps; no LTE version HSPA 42 Mbps; LTE Cat 3 100/50 Mbps HSPA 42 Mbps (model I9500); LTE separate version (I9505) with LTE cat 3 100/50 Mbps
Dimensions Height 144.5 mm Height 137.4 mm Height 136.6 mm
Width 70.5 mm Width 68.2 mm Width 69.8 mm
Depth 10.6 mm Depth 9.3 mm Depth 7.9 mm
Weight 160 g Weight 143 g Weight 130 g
Additional Features
  • HTC BoomSound
  • Beats Audio
  • HTC software technologies: BlinkFeed, Sense, Zoe, etc.
  • Dedicated Image chip for camera with Optical Image Stabilization technology
  • Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • Dropbox 25 GB free
The same as Butterfly S
  • Samsung technologies: Dual shot, Group play, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air View, Story Album, WatchON (TV remote), S Health, S Translator, etc.
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Dropbox 50 GB storage


As you can see, Butterfly S is a power-packed smartphone and is the most high-end device from HTC’s range. Although HTC’s flagship model is One, Butterfly S has slightly bigger screen than that. The only problem is that Butterfly S is not yet in the US, and there is no LTE version.

Apparently, Galaxy S4 zaps the competition easily. It has the best features of the three. However, there are a few aspects that Butterfly S excels over it—processor, display, build quality, and battery life.

Firstly, the processor. Snapdragon 600 is the fastest processor in the world of mobile devices. Samsung Galaxy S4’s Exynos Octa is definitely not as powerful as Snapdragon 600. Although Octa has eight cores, it is actually made of two four-core processors, and only four cores work at a time. When intensive tasks are being done, 1.6 GHz 4-core processor comes into play, while the other 1.2 GHz version works when there are no intensive tasks and the power needs to be saved. However, S4 has an LTE version which comes with the exact same processor on HTC One and Butterfly S. They hence provide identical performance.

On the build side, HTC Butterfly S has a slightly better build quality than Galaxy S4, although with plastic, doesn’t measure up to One.

All of those technologies that HTC has brought with One are there in Butterfly S too. HTC BoomSound, with front-facing speakers, which use Beats Audio enhancement technology, gives Butterfly S a better sound quality than Galaxy S4. There are also HTC Zoe, BlinkFeed, OIS on camera, etc., on Butterfly S.

The display is amazing. Butterfly S has the largest display of all HTC phones, and it comes with Full HD resolution. With much higher pixel density than Apple iPhone, it is sure to give extremely sharp images. You may remember in our early comparison of the best display, HTC Droid DNA (Butterfly J) was ranked number one. It is the same here. I would prefer SLCD 3 to Super AMOLED due to certain reasons outlined here. This makes Butterfly S’s display the best among the three.

In the battery department also, Butterfly is the king, leading with 3200 mAh battery, which delivers up to 25 hours of talk time on WCDMA as compared to 17 hours given by Galaxy S4.

Another advantage over HTC One is that this phone has a MicroSD expansion slot supporting up to 64 GB. This well compliments the puny 16 GB storage provided. Android takes up a chunk of that storage, remember.

What about the price? Well, that information is already available. The price given is in New Taiwan Dollar, NT $22,900, which roughly comes to  USD 760.



It definitely looks like HTC has made a wonderful device here. It is not known when this one will come to the US market and whether it will be the successor to Verizon’s Droid DNA. The device will be released to the Taiwanese market in July. We may be able to publish a more detailed review once the device hits the market. In the meanwhile, check out this device gallery, given by Engadget China.

Butterfly S in various colors


Butterfly S three colors


Back of HTC Butterfly S


Micro USB port


Butterfly S from the top


beautiful orange back of Butterfly S


phone from the side


The huge display of Butterfly S


HTC Butterfly S smartphone

Parts of the Upcoming Apple iPhone 5S: A Gallery

Popular tech blog BGR has recently shared with us the images of certain parts of the upcoming iPhone 5S, the next iterative (probably not!) update to iPhone.

Since that day in 2007 when iPhone got a cult following, people like us in the tech world have been watching Cupertino from every corner. This is the result. Thirsty geeks always get leaked images through some means. While we don’t know the origin of these images, we have asked BGR about it. Let me show you these images.

1. Speaker Bracket


iPhone 5s Speaker bracket


5s Speaker Bracket


2. Wi-Fi Flex Cable Ribbon


iPhone 5S Wi-Fi Flex cable ribbon


3. iPhone 5S Vibration Motor


5s vibration motor


4. Sim trays


iphone 5S sim tray 1


iphone 5S sim tray 2


iphone 5S sim tray 3


In another recent development, iDownloadBlog shared what is supposed to be iPhone 5S assembly line images. Here they are.

Apple iPhone 5S in factory


iPhone 5S in factory


assembly line of iPhone 5S


assembly line images of iPhone 5S


Over the last few days, there have been quite a number of rumors regarding this upcoming smartphone. How great iPhone 5S will be, only time will tell. Since iPhone 5’s Maps debacle, the then chief of design, Scott Forstall had to resign from Apple. He used to be the head of development in iOS and close to the former chief, Steve Jobs. After his departure, the hardware design chief of Apple, Sir Jony Ive has been given reins of the software design as well.

Since Apple iPhone, the original, its design has been inspiring people all over the world. All those designs, also those of the iPad, iMac, iPod, and all other iDevices, came from Ive. Since he is heading iOS design also now, we will not only get to see a revamp in the hardware, but also in the software. iOS has long been regarded as stale and uninspiring after Android OEMs like HTC and Samsung have developed their own skinned OSes.

In Conclusion


We cannot expect to see the next iPhone any time soon, as it requires a lot of design and development in software side as well. Those assembly line images that cropped up may or may not belong to 5S. The World Wide Developers Conference of Apple (WWDC) is slated to start on June 10th. This is one event we need to look forward to. Also, in the WSJ All Things Digital’s D11 conference that kicked off yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared some information about the upcoming plans.

We will get to know only when the device comes to the market.

New Upcoming Devices Worth Waiting For!

Let me start with an apology for little or no updates in the past few days. It has been quite a mess here in the Blue Bugle planet. It took me a while to get myself updated on what is happening in our industry. Today, I have been looking through my news resources, and one of the upcoming devices that is expected to make an impact is Samsung’s Galaxy Note III—the third installment of the very popular Note series.

Samsung Galaxy Note III

Exactly how popular the Note family has been, one might wonder. Initial update on Samsung website pointed us in this direction: Galaxy Note, the original, did sell about a million units each month to reach a target of five million in March last year. Later on, Korean news source, MK News did report this success continued in the exact fashion—ten million in ten months. The core of that article talks about how Note II, the successor to Note, reached a million sales in South Korea.

Although not close enough to compete with the success of iPhone or Galaxy S family, Note has been and continues to be the most successful of all phablets. Probably this is the reason why Samsung wants to develop Note as a family of products (we had Note 8.0 and real 10 inch tablets in Note family). They are also interested in building phablets larger than Note, for instance. Remember our short look at Galaxy Mega a few days back?

Hence, Note III is well worth waiting for. Although we were not quite impressed with Note II, in which some things could have been better, we are quite confident about Note III, which will probably feature anti-shake camera technology (aka optical image stabilization) as in HTC One or Nokia Lumia 920. ETNews’s article also suggests the camera will probably feature 3x optical zoom.

Although we don’t have an idea of the technical specs of this phablet, over the last few days the Web got all kinds of pictures supposedly of the device. It seems Note is no different from other major Galaxy devices. Check out a few pictures.

Galaxy Note leaked image 1


Galaxy Note leaked image 2


Galaxy Note leaked image 3


Galaxy Note leaked image 4


Galaxy Note III with other smartphones


Galaxy Note III leaked image

Note III’s screen is another aspect. It could in fact be bigger than that of Note II with 5.5 inch Super AMOLED panel. Supposedly, the new Note will include Android 4.3, which is rumored to be under testing. Check out this image, the device codenamed N7200 is recognized to be Note III.

Galaxy Note III benchmark

This makes Note III an awesome smartphone worth waiting for.

Motorola X-Phone (Moto X)

Over the last few days, there have been plenty of rumors regarding this smartphone. Motorola X-Phone is one device that Motorola is depending on this year. Since Motorola is under Google now, the X-Phone will be running the latest of Android, and it is supposed to get all the software updates earlier.

There have been quite a bit of speculation regarding this device and its capabilities. A number of rumors, leaked pictures, and FCC filing sketches have cropped up recently. It is not yet clear to us what the device looks like. Evleaks’s image here may give you some idea:

Motorola XPhone leaked

Also, this filing sketch, submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) gives a bit of an idea of how the device may look like:

Motorola X Phone

As you can see, the serial number given to the device is XT1058. Also, there are a few beautiful designs from artists speculating how X-Phone will look.


Motorola has released an official PR stating the status of the X Phone, which will be named actually, ‘MOTO X’. It will be the first smartphone to be assembled in the United States. Motorola also created this tweet with an image of the map of the location, where Moto X will be assembled. It is in Fort Worth, Texas. Check it out:

Whether or not the devices manufactured in the US will cost you extra money needs to be seen. We know about the Google Glass, made in USA, costing 1500 dollars.


Apple iPhone 5S

The ubiquitous iPhone will probably get an update by the last quarter of this year. We don’t know how it will be named yet, but we have an idea: iPhone 3GS followed by iPhone 3G; 4S followed by 4; and now probably 5S followed by 5. What is this ‘S’? Well, Apple says it is for ‘Speed’. With that ideology, 3GS was a slightly improved version of 3G; 4S, slightly improved from 4; and we should probably expect a slightly improved 5, right? Probably!

Also, with this ideology, one should either look for the more advanced ‘S’ family of iPhones or the regular updated iPhones. One need not buy iPhone 4S if one already owns iPhone 4.

If 5S is only a slight improvement over 5, I, as many people, will be disappointed. iPhone 5 did not include the hardware that could compete with the other phones in the Android market. iPhone 5S cannot be a simple upgrade that includes a few new features. With the leadership change in Cupertino after the last year’s Apple Maps fiasco, design chief Jony Ive now also supervises software design. A significant revamp is expected in iOS 7 that will ship with iPhone 5S. This update is very important for Apple’s strategy this year.

There was one rumor in the last couple of days from that talks about iPhone 5S’s resolution. They believe they got some information stating the iPhone will have double the resolution of iPhone 5. Now, if you read our article here, without a significant screen size increase, this resolution will only have a ridiculous overkill effect. For this reason, we believe either this is a false news or iPhone 5S will include a much larger screen, probably closer to 5 inches.

People have designed their own iPhone 5S, but I will not bore you with these inspiring fake designs. But if the iPhone comes with certain key enhancements, such as NFC, a more powerful processor, more RAM, and a radical improvement to the iOS operating system, then it will be the first iPhone in years to be able to stand out well. Sir Ive’s tactics on hardware design have been enormously successful for Apple. If the new iOS under his aegis also turns out to be mind-blowing, the new iPhone will awe us.

To Be Concluded

Most of the devices that we have been awaiting have reached the market—HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, among others. One other improvement that we will get to see is Nokia Lumia 928, the slightly improved Verizon phone. We will publish detailed reviews once these devices come to the market. In the meanwhile, we can only speculate.

Lumia 928: Probably Verizon’s New Hero!

Nokia’s Lumia 920 is arguably the best smartphone in the market today due to a number of reasons. It’s major disadvantage is that it is a Windows Phone device, and hence, less number of apps. If Lumia 920 ran Android, it might have proven to be a much greater success. It has the best camera, great display (although smaller than Galaxy S3 and HTC One), and amazing build quality. It is simply the best Windows Phone device out there.

Now, Nokia is all set to release its upgraded handset in the Lumia 900 family—Lumia 928. My Nokia blog recently discovered a billboard of Lumia 928 (location unknown), shown here.

Lumia 928 billboard


We are also not sure if it’s real or faked. It could well be a billboard for Lumia 920 that someone doctored.

The rumors of a higher-end Lumia 920 device for Verizon Wireless started appearing at the start of the year itself. It has never been officially confirmed by Nokia, until now. Nokia has a new 928 page here that talks about this device. Updates on the announced device are yet to come.

We hope that Nokia fixes a few issues with 928, such as the enormous weight of 920. It is the heaviest of high-end smartphones in the market. While iPhone 5 weighs only 113 grams, Lumia 920 goes beyond 180. Nokia does really have to fix this. Other than that, there is not much to talk about. If you love Windows Phone, then Lumia is the device to go for. As soon as new information comes up, we will be publishing a more detailed review of the device.


Lumia 928 camera in action. This video was published by Nokia US to show us Lumia 928′../../2012/11/technical-blunders-and-apologies.html”>this with Lumia 920.

Talking about the sales and market position of Nokia, here is a disturbing story from Reuters. While we assert repeatedly that Lumia series is an amazing family of smartphones, with a lot of high-end and low-end models available, Windows Phone is not probably the direction to take for Nokia.

Even though, Symbian was long trashed by the growth and significance of Android, it is time for Nokia to put aside the feelings and approach the big guy on the block. Nokia has to make plans and come up with an Android phone to take a plunge into the current smartphone market. That is in the best interests of its investors and customers. How much longer can they ignore the elephant in the room?

Smartphones With the Largest Screens: Have We Reached the Breaking Point Yet?

One of the biggest news of the last two days is the release of yet another smartphone in the Samsung Galaxy family, a phone of no especial features, with 720p 233ppi TFT screen, Android Jelly Bean, 1.5 GB RAM, 8/16 GB internal storage, Exynos 5 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, etc. The smartphone, known as Galaxy Mega is peculiar due to its screen size, of 6.3 inches, which makes it the mammoth of the smartphone market.

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Samsung was the first manufacturer to lead the way to phones of unusually large screen sizes. Soon enough, other manufacturers followed, and some even managed to go a few steps further. Is this rat race for large screen sizes come to an end? Is it time for customers to really think about the display technology, rather than the screen size? Let’s find out.

The year was 2011 and the place, Berlin, home to the Berlin Radio Show. Samsung announced a legendary product in its Galaxy family of devices—the Galaxy Note. The product is in its second generation now, with sales going up continuously. It is one of the most successful products from Samsung, and the most successful among the so called ‘phablets’. Note came out almost a year after the first device to mark large screen revolution, Dell Streak, which did not sell well largely due to the cumbersome nature of its form factor.

Note, however, changed the story altogether, by becoming highly successful. Note II is also well received, although we would love to wait. Note family has spawned a whole number of phablets, which was a new term applied to devices between phones and tablets (specifically, between 5 and 7 inches of screen size). Galaxy Mega, by that reasoning, is a perfect phablet.

Screen Sizes of Touch Devices

In the last few years marking the revolution of touch-based devices—smartphones, phablets, and tablets—we have seen that the devices have touched all screen sizes. We have a whole array of phones and tablets with screens going from 4 to 10 inches.

We have the legendary Apple iPhone at the sixth generation now with a screen size of 4 inches, the smallest of all devices in high-end mainstream production. We have BlackBerry Z10 with 4.2 inch screen, Nokia Lumia 920 with 4.5 inch screen, HTC One at 4.7 inch screen, Galaxy S3 at 4.8 inches, and S4 at 4.99 inches. This is the array of smartphones having all kind of screen sizes. After this, we have phablets—LG Optimus G at 5 inch, Note II at 5.5 inches, and now Galaxy Mega at two different screen sizes—5.8 inch and 6.3 inches. Beyond that, we enter into the tablet market, dominated by Google Nexus 7 with 7 inch screen, iPad Mini with 7.9 inch screen, etc., and the list goes up to Nexus 10 with close to 10 inch screen.

Right now, the only size that we expect to be filled is between 6.3 inches and 7 inches. Maybe, Samsung will come up with another phablet with some 6.8 inch screen to fill that void.

The crux of the matter is that we have reached an impasse. Any other screen size probably is not going to make any difference. You can safely put away the search for a fitting phone with large screen size.

What Should You Consider in A Smartphone Display

Another important question here is, how do screen size and screen quality correlate? Galaxy Mega has a 6.3 inch TFT screen, but it supports only 720p HD resolution, which is smaller than 1080p full HD on Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Accordingly, it has close to half as many pixels as in Galaxy S4. 233 ppi is not a very rich screen, in comparison to GS4’s 441 ppi or iPhone 5’s 326 ppi.

Another important aspect to consider is the technology used in the display in question. There are quite a number of smartphone display technologies out there, and you should know which your phone uses. Super AMOLED and LCD IPS are two of the most prominent. While most of the Samsung devices have Super AMOLED HD display, iPhone and most of the other smartphones come with LCD with In-Plane Switching technology. There are a few differences between AMOLED and IPS.

A year ago, if you needed a smartphone of enormous display size, you probably had only one or two options, but now you can get a number of phones from all manufacturers at all convenient display sizes.

The crux of the matter here is, you should consider the display technology used, including the brightness, contrast ratio, resolution, etc., now that you can get smartphones of all display sizes.

A Few Competing Devices

As we noted early, Dell Streak started the revolution, although it was not part of it. Note won the revolution, and following its success a number of phones and tablets came out with extra-large display sizes. A few of them are here.

1. HTC One


One comes with a 4.7 inch screen, which is just perfect for viewing anything, wrapped in a form factor that fits in your pocket perfectly. [By the way, just as Samsung came up with Galaxy Note with slightly larger screen than Dell Streak, they came up with S3 with slightly larger screen than HTC One X.]

2. Galaxy S4

Galaxy S IV smartphone

Upcoming Galaxy S4 marks Galaxy S family’s largest smartphone, at 4.99 inches.

3. Droid DNA (HTC, Verizon)

Verizon Droid DNA phone by HTC

Popular Droid DNA has super bright 1080p full HD display using LCD3 technology. It’s available from Verizon, and outside Verizon it takes the shape of J Butterfly.

4. Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z

Xperia Z is this year’s Sony flagship with 5 inch screen. It is waterproof as well.

5. LG Optimus G

LG Optimus G

Optimus G is the most advanced smartphone from LG and it has the same tech specs as its brother, Google Nexus 4, also manufactured by LG.

6. Asus PadFone Infinity

Asus PadFone Infinity

This is a 5 inch phablet from Asus. It should not be confused with Asus FonePad, which is a 7 inch tablet with phone call capabilities. On an unrelated note, neither FonePad nor PadFone is named right.

7. Optimus G Pro

LG Optimus G Pro smartphone with 5.5 inch screen

Upcoming LG Optimus G Pro is a classic phablet with some pretty decent specifications.

8. ZTE Grand Memo

ZTE Grand Memo

This year’s Grand Memo is one of the devices that ZTE is betting on highly. It has a 5.7 inch screen. [By the way, Galaxy Mega has a 5.8 inch screen version as well, effectively closing the gap in competition with Grand Memo]

9. Huawei Ascend Mate

Huawei Ascend Mate

You know Samsung wants to make a larger phone whenever a phablet of large screen gets released, right? We saw it in action with Dell Streak earlier, and we saw it again with Ascend Mate from Huawei. The phablet with 6.1 inch screen was officially unveiled in CES this year.

These are only a few worth mentioning in a sea of large screen phones.

The Usability

One of the important things that I look for in a smartphone is how convenient it is to take it with me. A phone is a portable device, and it should be portable. Usually phablets are neither portable nor good enough for some serious work. If you want a phone, the perfect size should be five inches or less, as long as the design is compact enough to be carried around in your pocket. 4.8 inch Galaxy S3 fits well in your pocket and with the same size as that, Galaxy S4 will also fit perfectly. S4 is also thinner than S3. HTC One looks good and has a pretty correct form factor for even tight-fitting pants.

As long as the manufacturers keep the size of the phone proper, fitting well in all kinds of pockets, the screen size can be tweaked. On the other hand, making devices around screen size is not a good design technique. This is the reason why I would not recommend devices larger than the Note II at 5.5 inches. Due to the same reason, Galaxy Mega is not a product that we are excited about, not to mention the substandard tech specs.


Galaxy Mega and such other large phablets actually don’t give you any better user experience than a regular smartphone. They may only confuse you by making you think whether you could have chosen a small tablet instead. Nexus 7 would be perfect in place of Galaxy Mega. Hence, any product larger than 5 inches or at the most 5.5 inches qualifies as overkill and you needn’t be excited about it.