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

NEWS ANALYSIS: HTC introduced the Butterfly S Phablet and despite its seemingly strong feature set, the device lacks overall value for most customers.

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.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...