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HTC Butterfly 2 vs Sony Xperia Z3: Two or Three

Water and dust resistance smartphone, is usually Sony's signature feature on its high-end device. But then, things changed when more and more smartphones out there feature water and dust resistance. HTC is another company that comes out a few water and dust resistance smartphones. The Butterfly 2 is HTC first ever flagship device that is IP57 rated. So, can HTC takes down Sony this time? Check out our full comparison of the Butterfly 2 and Xperia Z3.

- HTC Butterfly 2 Review
- Sony Xperia Z3 Review

HTC Butterfly 2 Specifications
- Dimensions: 145.4 x 70.2 x 9.99 mm
- Weight: 151 g
- Display: 5" Full HD (1,080 x 1,920 pixels) IPS LCD
- Processor: 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
- RAM: 2 GB
- Memory: 16 GB, microSD card slot
- Camera: 13 MP Duo Camera, 1080p video recording, 5 MP front
- Battery: 2,700 mAh
- OS: Android 4.4 KitKat

Sony Xperia Z3 Specifications
- Dimensions: 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 152 g
- Display: 5" Full HD (1,080 x 1,920 pixels) IPS LCD
- Processor: 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
- RAM: 3 GB
- Memory: 16 GB, microSD card slot
- Camera: 20.7 MP Camera, 4K video recording, 2.2 MP front
- Battery: 3,100 mAh
- OS: Android 4.4 KitKat

Both phones stick to their own design language from the previous generation. The Butterfly 2 comes with plastic polycarbonate body with curved back design and the Xperia Z3 has the company proudly OmniBalance double-glass design.

HTC Butterfly 2 vs Sony Xperia Z3

The Xperia Z3 feels much more premium compared to the Butterfly 2 thanks to its metal frame and double-glass panels. The flaps are covering the microSD, nanoSIM slots and microUSB port for the Xperia Z3, the Butterfly 2 however on the other hand keeps the microUSB port uncovered, this is because it has the coating to prevent shock circuit.

It terms of size, the Butterfly 2 is slightly smaller but thicker than the Xperia Z3. Both phones are comfortable to hold but slippery. Not to forget that both phones are fingerprint magnet, so you might thinking to rub away the fingerprint all the time.

Although HTC did the microUSB port and 3.5 mm headphone jack uncovered, which is better, but the phone does appear the headphone icon after taking out from water even though there's no headphone plugged in.

QHD resolution is current trend on flagship smartphone, but surprisingly HTC and Sony did not follow the trend. The Butterfly 2 and Xperia Z3 both remain at 1080p resolution for their 5" and 5.2" displays respectively.


Both phones have wide viewing angle, but the colors are different. The Butterfly 2 is dimmer and more on yellowish, while the Xperia Z3 is pretty bright but the color is not as contrast as Butterfly 2. Well at the end it depends what you like, both screens come with good viewing experience.

The performing package of both phones are same - Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor backed up by Adreno 330 GPU. However, the Xperia Z3 has slightly bigger RAM (3 GB vs 2 GB) compared to the Butterfly 2.

HTC Butterfly 2 benchmarks

Sony Xperia Z3 benchmarks

The benchmarks of Butterfly 2 are higher than the Xperia Z3, probably because different software. The performance are buttery smooth and handling high graphics games is not a big problem on both phones.

Perhaps software is the biggest different between the Butterfly 2 and Xperia Z3. The Butterfly 2 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6 UI, while the Xperia Z3 is running on Android 4.4 KitKat with Xperia UI. Both phones are upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop in the future.

Just as usual, Sense 6 UI is fast and simple. Not to say that Xperia UI is slow, but I'm amazed with the speed of HTC Sense UI. The Sense UI responds quickly and BlinkFeed is another main feature since Sense 5. Of course, you can disable it if you don't use it.

The Xperia UI on the other hand, is more on integrating with Sony ecosystem. You got to stream play PS4 games on it, all you need to do is connect to the same network as your PS4 and pair it. The Xperia UI looks identical to Pure Google UI, it is fast too, but sometime stutter will happen.

You can check the screenshots of both phones in the individual reviews.

Camera is different story, the Butterfly 2 packs Duo Camera like the One (M8) but with regular 13 MP shooter without UltraPixel technology. The Xperia Z3 follows its predecessor footstep with the same 20.7 MP G lens with BIONZ image processor. The sad case is, you can only shoot 8 MP photos in Superior Auto mode. To shoot full resolution photos, you must switch to Manual mode.

HTC Butterfly 2 camera samples (13 MP 4:3)

Sony Xperia Z3 camera samples (20.7 MP 4:3)

HTC Butterfly 2 camera samples (13 MP 16:9)

Sony Xperia Z3 camera samples (15.5 MP 16:9)

HTC Butterfly 2 camera samples (8 MP 16:9)

Sony Xperia Z3 camera samples (8 MP 16:9)

To be fair, we actually compare the camera of Butterfly 2 and Xperia Z3 with different resolutions and aspect ratios - 13 MP 4:3 vs 20.7 MP 4:3, 13 MP 16:9 vs 15.5 MP 16:9 and 8 MP 16:9 vs 8 MP 16:9.

The Xperia Z3 camera has wider angle compared to Butterfly 2, it does better on macro shoots too. The Butterfly 2 is not bad too, it shoots more natural color most of the time. The Xperia Z3 is able to shoot more light than the Butterfly 2, but personally I think that the Butterfly 2 has better low-light shoots.

Not to forget that the Butterfly 2 also comes with Duo Camera, you can check out in the individual review.

It's hard to say which camera is better as both phones capture nice and decent images. At last it depends what you want.

Sony decides to put a larger 3,100 mAh battery into the Xperia Z3, while the Butterfly 2 has only 2,700 mAh battery. Just as what Sony promised, the Xperia Z3 has 2 days battery life for light to moderate usage, while the Butterfly 2 battery life is slightly shorter. Both phones actually come with battery saving feature. Personally, I think that HTC Extreme Power Saving mode is more useful as it only allows you to access basic apps. The Ultra Stamina mode seems weird as you are still able to access some apps that will drain your battery like the camera app.

Final Words

So, which phone is better? At last it backs to what you, as a consumer, want. The Butterfly 2 has responsive user interface and the Duo Camera produces nice effects. The Xperia Z3 is more reliable on waterproof because it has the highest IP rating in smartphone. The HTC Butterfly 2 is priced at RM 2,299 while the Sony Xperia Z3 costs RM 100 more at RM 2,399.

HTC Butterfly 2 over Sony Xperia Z3
- More responsive user interface
- microUSB port uncovered
- Lower price tag

Sony Xperia Z3 over HTC Butterfly 2
- More premium build quality
- Better battery life
- Integrate with Sony ecosystem

Written by: Charles

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