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HTC Droid DNA vs. J Butterfly vs. Butterfly: fight!

HTC Droid DNA vs. J Butterfly vs. Butterfly: fight!
Richard Lai
Richard Lai|@richardlai|February 7, 2013 10:57 PM

HTC made quite an impression when it launched the Droid DNA with Verizon a couple of months ago, and we're happy to say that its Butterfly variants on the other side of the world -- namely Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), India and China -- have achieved similar success, with some areas struggling to keep up with the surprising demand. Still, if you're in the market to pick up one of these 5-inch quad-core beauties, it's worth noting the subtle physical and technical differences between them. At HTC's Frequencies event this week, we had the rare chance to get all four (yes, four!) models side by side, so read on for our detailed comparison.


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First of all, the four variants are as follows: Droid DNA (on Verizon), J Butterfly HTL21 (on KDDI's au network in Japan), Butterfly X920d (for Taiwan, South East Asia and India) and Butterfly X920e (for China and Russia). It goes without saying that these devices carry different radios to cater to regional needs, with the Droid DNA and the J Butterfly both supporting CDMA and LTE on top of UMTS. However, only the Droid DNA comes with quad band UMTS radio, thus making it a better global phone. On the other hand, the X920d and X920e serve mostly in areas without LTE (except for Singapore), so they naturally lack this 4G technology.

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As expected, there are subtle differences when it comes to color accents and logo placement. Most notably, the X920e for China and Russia is the only model that comes with red capacitive buttons instead of white, and for some reason the J Butterfly managed to get away with no logo placement at all on the front. While on this topic, the Droid DNA is given the Verizon logo near the earpiece, and it also gets a matte black finish.

The only obvious physical difference between the two main body designs here can be spotted at the top right corner. On the J Butterfly and the X920d you'll find a flap over a compartment for both the microSD slot and SIM tray, whereas the Droid DNA and the X920e -- both 2mm shorter than the other two -- have just a common pin-eject SIM tray at the same spot. The J Butterfly stands out further by packing an infrared port next to the rear camera, as well as three metallic contact points for docking towards the bottom of the back side.

Internally, the Droid DNA is again a winner with its exclusive Qi wireless charging feature, but this does require some extra space, making the model 0.65mm thicker than the 9.08mm-thick X920d and X920e. That said, apart from the X920d the remaining three models all come with NFC.

So overall, we'd say the Droid DNA is almost the perfect model out of the four variants: it has pretty much all the radios one would need, and it does wireless charging. Slap a microSD slot and extra LTE bands on it and it'd be the phone of the year. Well, at least until MWC, anyway.

Update: HTC has provided the correct radio bands for the J Butterfly, and we've added them to the table below.

Myriam Joire contributed to this report.

Droid DNA J Butterfly (HTL21) Butterfly (X920d) Butterfly (X920e)
Region US Japan Asia China, Russia
Pricing From $199.99 with plan From JP¥32,760 (US$350) with plan From about US$740 CN¥4,799 (US$770)
Dimensions 141 x 70.5 x 9.73mm 143 x 71 x 9.2mm 143 x 70.5 x 9.08mm 141 x 70.5 x 9.08mm
Weight 138g 140g 140g 138g
Screen 5-inch 1080p (440ppi) Super LCD3 with Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Battery 2,020mAh, built-in
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 1.5GHz quad core
Storage 16GB
MicroSD - Yes Yes -
Rear camera 8 megapixels, F2.0 28mm lens, up to 4fps, 1080p video
Front camera 2.1 megapixels, 88-degree wide angle, 1080p video
Qi wireless charging Yes - - -
Infrared - Yes - -
NFC Yes Yes - Yes
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
CDMA 800/1900 800/2000 - -
UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 850/1900/2100 850/2100 850/900/1900/2100
LTE 700 850/1450 - -
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX
IP rating Unspecified X5 X5 X5
MHL Yes (via micro-USB)
Docking contacts - Yes - -
Android 4.1 with HTC Sense 4+
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HTC Droid DNA vs. J Butterfly vs. Butterfly: fight!