Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs HTC J Butterfly, phablet showdown

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a fine example of a phablet, almost a hybrid of a smartphone and tablet because of its larger screen size. Although there was some concern that nobody would want a device with such a large display when the original Galaxy Note launched, that was soon blown away and it became a huge hit. Its successor, the Note 2 (II) is already out in some regions and due in the US later this month but another phablet device is now on the way, the HTC J Butterfly. We’re taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. HTC J Butterfly in a phablet showdown.

First of all we’ll start with some confusion over the HTC J Butterfly. This is the name of the device that will be released in Japan on KDDI in December but many of you may have heard rumors of a global release. Meet the HTC Droid Incredible X or HTC One X5 with a 5-inch display heading to Verizon, which may be a US equivalent. We have also seen this referred to as the HTC Droid Incredible X 5 to add further to the confusion so take your pick! You will notice that many of the J Butterfly specs are the same as those rumored for the Droid Incredible X.

Whatever variants for other countries are dubbed they are all candidates for the brilliant display of the J Butterfly that is gaining huge admiration right now. We’ll take a look at the key specs and features of these phones to give you an idea of what each has to offer.

The Galaxy Note 2 has a 1.6GHz Exynos quad-core processor while the HTC J Butterfly has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor. There’s really nothing to split them here although we’re sure future benchmark tests will attempt to. For now we should just note that these are both excellent processors and will offer great performance.

The Galaxy Note 2 has a whopping 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with resolution of 1280 x 720 and 267 ppi. This is a very decent display but the J Butterfly blows it out of the water. The HTC phone has a 5-inch Super LCD 3 full HD display with resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 440 ppi, the first phone to have a 5-inch display with full HD.

RAM and Storage
The Galaxy Note 2 has 2GB of RAM and 16, 32, or 64GB of internal storage, expandable to 64GB. On the other hand the J Butterfly also has 2GB of RAM but 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD.

Samsung’s flagship Note 2 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and video capture of 1080p along with a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. The J Butterfly has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording capability and a 2.1-megapixel front facing shooter.

Operating System
The Galaxy Note 2 runs on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean while the J Butterfly will also launch running the latest Jelly Bean OS.

There’s a large-capacity 3100mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 2 while the J Butterfly battery is 2020mAh. This could concern some as there are a lot of high-end specs to power including that incredible display. However as Auto-o-Mobile points out the J Butterfly’s LCD 3 display along with a low nano meter processor might use less power making this a moot point at the moment.

Color Options
Titanium Gray and Marble White are the color options for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 while the J Butterfly will come in black, red or white.

Dimensions and weight
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 measures 151.1mm x 80.5mm x 9.4mm and weighs 183g while GSM Arena tells us that the HTC J Butterfly measures 143mm x 71mm x 9.1mm and weighs in at only 140g, quite a noticeable difference.

Other Details
The Galaxy Note 2 has LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetoooth 4.0 and NFC support. The HTC J Butterfly has LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. Extra features for the Galaxy Note 2 include the S-Pen Stylus and multi-windows feature while the HTC J Butterfly includes Beats Audio and is also dustproof and waterproof .

To be perfectly frank it’s pretty difficult to split these two handsets. Display-wise the Galaxy Note 2 is bigger but the J Butterfly has that incredible full HD display with 440ppi. The Galaxy Note 2 benefits from a stylus while the J Butterfly is much lighter and might appeal to the more clumsy amongst us because of it being waterproof. Swings and roundabouts really but some of your choice might be down to personal preference of design and to be fair both are extremely sleek and good-looking handsets.

We’d like to hear from readers about these two handsets. If you could choose between them right now, which would you opt for and why? Let us know with your comments.


43 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs HTC J Butterfly, phablet showdown”

  1. Lawro says:

    The HTC is fantastic , used one in Taiwan recently ( as a guest to HTC ) .
    The display is best at the moment . Only if someone makes a 7 inch phablet .

    1. ikokkinos says:

      Sony are talking about a 6 inch phone I think (and I think they are touting full HD) so will be interesting to see this is the only thing that I’m considering outside of HTC at the moment

      1. Modder says:

        Just took the leap from HTC Desire HD to Galaxy Note 2, Sure HTC build quality is great but the battery life was dreadful. Takes a lot of tweaking, rooting, autostart tweaks to get the HTC to go two days on a single charge. But a decent phone even today. However the Note 2 on the other hand is an evolutionary step, quality isn’t as great, mostly plastic, but a marked improvement from the Galaxy S3, no creeks or squeeks yet, but you get much more, much, much more hardware to play with. I’m quite picky with details and the screen is fantastic even at 276ppi you be hard pressed to fault it, unless viewing through a microscope. Note 2 is fast, buttery smotth with Jelly bean and boast a whole range of features yet to be seen on any other device. Google should have used the N2 as the flagship device for this year IMO. Needless to say I dont see my Note 2 being outdated until the end of my 24-month contract. So if you are pondering just go for the Note 2, you wont regret it.

        As the N2 is new I’ve not found much out there heres regarding -ve’s:
        Camera on N2 is a bit weak for my liking, low light conditions must have flash to produce half decent pics. Why didnt they upgarde the camera and just use the S3?!

        Slight Flicker – screen flicker started happening but disabling hover view and auto screen tone has cured this for me.

        Beleive it or not, I think they could have gobe a bit bigger like 5.8″-6″ without any major increase in dimension.

        Too Big! – NO, live with it for 1-day and you will realise it could be bigger without being harder to use.

        S-Voice – is not great, what annoyed me is that you cant use voice commands from lock screen, you have access it through physical button press.

        Needless to say great phone. Cant wait for LTE/4G later next year from Three. I upgarded to unlimited data just for this.

        1. ikokkinos says:


          I believe what you are saying, I’m being a bit anal about the hard home button.

          I will wait and see what the HTC 5 inch or if Sony do go 6 inch may bite the bullet, not sure what Sony is like, but I did like the old sony ericsonn that I had.

    1. The Full HD display of HTC J Butterfly is from SHARP, which claims that the power consumption of a static screen (not screen off) is very negligible and is reduced by 20% during other operations going on. So I guess it may help the battery to hold until evening…

  2. The Galaxy Note 2 has features galore that were not mentioned & no matter what anyone else builds it can never match up. The only way this would do good is 1 if its priced well below the G-Note 2 or 2 if they would have put a tegra chip in it and made it the best gaming phone available. As they didnt do to first it will come down to pricing. – KID ANDROID (Team.Android.Canada)

    1. juan alfaro says:

      The Tegra Chip sucks balls man.. nuff said people played tegra optimized games on the note 2 every thing was the same smoothness extra details everything.

  3. Richard says:

    The writer seems to favor the HTC. But i still prefer galaxy note 2. HTC products look great.
    But I can’t charge the phone at my work place and HTC phones battery life is too short. I used HTC amaze for two years till last month and had a terrible experience that it runs out of battery in just an hour. So, I have to order a prepaid phone as a backup to use phone at my work place. If you guys did have a problem like me that can’t charge your phone anytime you needed, I’m pretty sure that you should go for samsung products since they get a really long battery life. I’m currently using samsung galaxy s3 and it’s amazing that can last 5 hours for continuous videos watching.

    1. ikokkinos says:

      I agree with you on the S3 about the battery it’s great, it’s a 2100 mAh so if the 5 inch HTC has an efficient screen as people purport then it may not be a problem.

      I got up to 3 days on the usage with my S3, about a day with my HTC desire HD (which I’ve gone back to).

      I had to send the S3 back as I just can’t stand the hard home button and touch wiz, these are personal preferences, so hoping that they give the 5 inch in the UK at least 2100 battery which is what the Note 1 had and I never heard any complaints about that so should be okay, 2020 is not that far off so hopefully (if HTC aren’t listening) this will be okay.

      Why not make the phone 10mm thick and put in a 3500 battery, geez how thin do these things have to be.

  4. Do1 says:

    I like both phones but the bezel area top and bottom puts me off a little, cant see why a 6 incher can be done with the same footprint as these 2! but have the say the HTC in black is a bit of a looker. think the build quality on HTC will be better. Due an upgrade but will wait until HTC release in the UK to check the battery life. A killer feature is the multitasking window on the note 2, if the HTC has that, I will be buying it!

    1. ikokkinos says:

      I’m with you, let’s see what the battery is like when it comes out in UK. I would go for the Note 2 if HTC built it and took away the hard home button.

  5. Philter says:

    The HTC is running on an Andreo 320 gpu chip, why on earth use a Tegra 3 instead?
    The best thing that comes from using TEGRA chip is Nvidia support for devs.
    I hI have both TEGRA 2 & 3 devices

  6. juan alfaro says:

    Note 2
    1.Clocked Higher
    2.Ram and storage
    3.jelly bean out of the box
    4.Battery life
    5.True HD aspect ratio

    HTC Butterflie j
    2.Camera (just cuz of the front camera pixels other wise it cant do what samsungs camera does

    U make our choice
    He never mentioned the features on the camera or how its the only phone that can mutlitask like a computer

        1. Duncan says:

          The exynos has no chance against the snapdragon s4 pro. Check all the benchmarks and you’ll see that the exynos doesn’t even win once, but the exynos is also fast, but not as fast as the snapdragon s4 pro. And yes it’s 28nm

    1. Wade06 says:

      I purchased a note 2 a couple of weeks ago and it still blows me away with its performance, appearance (grey) and features (compared with the original note).

      The HTC looks pretty awesome but is really crippled with the battery.

  7. Jenn says:

    Non-removable smaller battery on butterfly and up to 64 gb internal on gn2 makes the note 2 a clear winner…. If you can’t throw in a new battery, this htc loses…

  8. trob6969 says:

    Definitely the HTC phone. Except for removable battery, it beats the Note 2 hands down. It’s display is WAY better AND it’s performance according to benchmark scores are also: the Note 2 scores in the 13,500 range while the J Butterfly scores in the 13,800 range.

  9. Geoff Warren says:

    I’m in favor of the Galaxy Note 2. I like the S-pen and overlaid software designed to utilize it, the bigger battery and multi-screen options. In terms of past phones I’ve been more impressed with HTC build designs, and have owned only HTC so far…but I think I’m ready to make the switch now that the Note 2 is coming to my provider. I don’t think it was announced for one of the butterfly phones to come to T-mobile yet anyway.

    1. Jen says:

      I’m in exactly the same boat – with T-mobile, upgrade at the end of November and I’m battling over whether to make the jump to Samsung after owning HTC;s Touch, Dream, Hero and Desire HD… Wondering how long it will be before they get this new one and whether it’s actually worth waiting for? My DHD has been through the mill and could certainly stand to be replaced at this point.

  10. yarrellray says:

    Gotta give Htc some MAJOR PROPS for bringing a product to market that offers choice for the android platform. Samsung is the leader in this category of smartphone/phablet and they will be the ones to follow when it comes to the Galaxy Note 2. Samsung pimp slaps Htc in the features/battery department.. I will be purchasing the Galaxy Note 2 November 1st.

  11. Vijay says:

    I think both the phones are awesome in their own features and stylish look.
    One concern is that whatever d spec may come, we need battery backup to stay long.
    From this, i will go for Galaxy note 2 even though the ppi is incredible from HTC.

  12. BLADESMAN1889 says:

    i have the galaxy s [due for renewal in Jan/Feb] so I love the Note 2 but for the same front home button and menu/back soft keys this is something that after 2yrs seeing on the galaxy i don’t want to be seeing for another 2yrs – change the design Samsung.

  13. Maestrochiller says:

    I have the note II myself and i must say i absolutely love it.. It will be extremely hard to match because the beauty of the big screen appeals only in combination with unique functions like the s-pen and multiview

  14. Johnny butterfly says:

    All things being equal i would pick the j butterfly. It’s screen is the first phone of any kind to render full web page in portrait view. However why does it have to be called droid. Would buy the phone just because it’s name is j butterfly.

  15. 00Haze says:

    440ppi is a waste really, you cant resolve anywhere near that kind of detail in normal use. I’ve had a note2 for 3 weeks or so and love it, despite the ppi looking low on paper it’s really good in reality – S-pen is nice to use and well integrated. This HTC looks like the best normal phone available by far for the forseeable future but if I was given the choice again, I’d still take the note2. HTC need to sort out their battery issues, it was a killer con on the otherwise excellent oneX too and made the GS3 the clear winner there in many peoples eyes 🙁

  16. darren says:

    HTC for me ,I have gone from desire HD to galaxy s2 and I hate touchwiz ,it’s all about the os because other than that there both great phones

  17. C says:

    Like the writer says, this will likely come down to personal design preferences. HTC devices have recently become much more physically robust and the finishes are (in my opinion) more attractive than the plasticky Samsung products. Was planning on getting a Note 2 (or maybe even a Nexus 4 off contract) but the HTC has thrown a spanner in the works. Cant’s seem to get a demo Note 2 without the stylus (i.e. it’s most valuable feature) having been nabbed by some chav. Will wait until I have both in my hands to choose…

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