HTC might have had the honor of releasing the world’s first ever Full HD smartphone, but the technology world doesn’t (necessarily) work based on the “first come, first served” principle. Even if the “first come” has been the only one at the table for several months.
There’s plenty of 1080p competition for the Butterfly (aka J Butterfly, aka Droid DNA), but it’s obvious the battle for supremacy will be carried against Sony’s Xperia Z. At least until HTC and Samsung’s own Full HD giants will have to have their hunger for celebrity quenched.
So now the question that needs to be answered is who's the champ. The Butterfly or the Z? As you’d expect, there’s no simple answer we can offer yet, but a few complicated ones come via Taiwan. EPrice has scored a pre-release prototype of the Xperia Z, which it has quickly pitted against a commercial version of the Butterfly in a few key battles.
Our Chinese is not very fluent, so we may be missing a few details, but, in a nutshell, the Z seems to narrowly come out on top, mostly due to an unexpected edge in the hardware department. Unexpected, because the two phones have identical quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chips, 2 gigs of RAM and Adreno 320 GPUs beneath their hoods and 5-inch Full HD panels.
Z’s upper hand is noticeable in all benchmarks performed by EPrice, including reputable tests like Quadrant, NenaMark, AnTuTu or Vellamo. Granted, the score gaps are not massive anywhere, but for Android power users they are very likely to make a difference.
Fortunately for HTC, it’s not all about hardware and benchmarks in EPrice’s comparison. And out of the four remaining battles (design, display, sound and camera), the Butterfly comes out with two ties and two wins.
The (narrow) wins are scored in the display and sound departments, while the design and camera duels seem to end in draws. Obviously, all of these, in the absence of hard numbers, are far more subjective than the benchmark battle, so their results are more easily questionable.
Be that as it may, you probably can’t deny the extra sharpness of Butterfly’s panel. The Xperia Z and Butterfly have equally bright displays, but the color perception and viewing angles are considerably better on HTC’s machine.
As for the cameras, you and me will most likely have different views (as always), but here’s my two cents. Z’s 13 MP snapper is at its best in night mode, while Butterfly’s 8 MP shooter produces clearer and more natural pics in “normal” lighting conditions.
That’s about everything we could read between the lines in EPrice’s head-to-head comparison of the two coolest Android smartphones around. Obviously, there are other things that you have to take into account before making your decision, like software differences, the battery life or Z’s dust and water proofing.