HTC Unveils Butterfly S 'Phablet': 10 Reasons to Ignore It

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-06-19

HTC Unveils Butterfly S 'Phablet': 10 Reasons to Ignore It

HTC has launched a new device called the Butterfly S that attempts to combine the benefits of the smartphone, like calling, with the big screen size of a tablet, to appeal to customers.

Better known by the awkward name of “phablet,” this type of device is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the mobile market, with expected spending on such products to hit $46 billion this year. Not surprisingly, HTC wants to get in on the action.

However, the Butterfly S just isn’t one of those products that would make the average consumer or business user swoon. Although its 5-inch screen looks nice, the Butterfly S is lacking in so many areas that it’s hard to see how it can keep up with the finer products on the market, like Samsung’s Galaxy Note or the Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone. At first blush, the HTC Butterfly S is yet another also-ran that the average customer will ignore.

Here are the reasons why it’s a good idea for consumers and enterprise users to ignore the Butterfly S:

1. It only has a 5-inch screen

The odd thing about makes a phablet is that it’s hard to please one group of customers or another. Tablet buyers looking for phone functionality will be disappointed to find out that the Butterfly S has a 5-inch screen. Some smartphone buyers will look at the display and say it’s too big. At 5 inches, it feels like the Butterfly S can’t decide if it’s a smartphone or a tablet first.

2. A soon-to-be obsolete Snapdragon

The Butterfly S is running a 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor. While that’s a nice chip, Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 800 processor will replace it quite soon. This processor will boast better performance and a neat “always on” voice command feature that will make it easier to shout out commands to the device. Buying the Butterfly S now, in other words, might not be a good idea.

3. There isn’t enough storage

HTC made the odd decision to bundle only 16GB of storage space with the Butterfly S. That’s simply not enough room for the average customer looking for a device that can double as a smartphone and a tablet. Today’s devices need considerably more storage than 16GB. Unfortunately, HTC didn’t get that memo.

4. The HTC brand is damaged

The HTC brand is in deep trouble in the U.S. As the company’s last couple of years of performance has shown, consumers in the U.S. are increasingly turning to Samsung and Apple products and ignoring the once-successful HTC’s devices. That will only hurt the Butterfly S and cause people to look elsewhere for their first Phablet.

HTC Unveils Butterly S. 'Phablet': 10 Reasons to Ignore It

5. Who knows if it’ll ever hit the U.S.?

As of this writing, HTC has only said that the Butterfly S will be available in Taiwan. International availability has at this point not been announced. So, that begs the question of whether or not the HTC will ever launch the device in the U.S. At this point, the company isn’t saying. So don’t get too excited.

6. Don’t get too excited about the camera

HTC is touting the Butterfly S’ “UltraPixel” camera that it says, delivers “high-quality, instantly sharable images wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.” However, what the company doesn’t point out is that that camera is just 4 megapixels. So, those looking to print out those “high-quality” photos will find that they can’t make them too big. That’s a shame.

7. It’s really expensive

Here’s a shock: the Butterfly S will set customers in Taiwan back a whopping $766. Is HTC kidding? In order for the HTC Butterfly S to be even close to considered an option for U.S.-based customers, it needs to be much cheaper. Hopefully some two-year subsidies will solve that problem. But with an increasing number of customers looking to go contract-less carrier service plans, paying upwards of $800 for a phablet doesn’t make much sense.

8. The design is rather dull

Design is extremely important in the mobile space. Today’s consumers, especially, want to be able to whip out their device and show others just how cool it is. The Butterfly S, however, lacks the design flair that it would need to appeal to the average customer. HTC is, well, just a little dull when it comes to design.

9. Where’s the 4G LTE support?

HTC made the strange decision to leave out 4G LTE support in the Butterfly S. There’s a chance, of course, that the technology will be making its way to other countries if and when the device ever hits foreign store shelves, but based on what we know right now, it requires 3G. That’s bad news for mobile customers.

10. It Doesn’t Appeal to Business Users

HTC has made one thing clear with the Butterfly S: it wants nothing to do with corporate customers. The device comes with a wide range of consumer-friendly features, including BlinkFeed, which provides social updates, news, and articles on the home screen, and BoomSound for higher-quality audio. HTC is firmly targeting consumers with the Butterfly S, which means IT decision-makers don’t have to give it a second thought.

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