Newly announced HTC J Butterfly 3 could be the redesigned One M9 we were looking for


HTC Butterfly 3 Japan

When the HTC One M9 was finally unveiled at Mobile World Congress, there were more than a few fans who were disappointed to find the design didn’t deviate much away from last year’s One M8. It didn’t help matters that only a few weeks prior to the official unveiling, famed tipster @evleaks revealed press renders of an alleged One M9 with a vastly different front face. In the end, that device apparently never made it out of the concept phase with HTC instead opting for something a little more familiar to consumers (perhaps even a little too familiar). But is it possible HTC incorporated that leaked design in its latest handset for Japan?

Announced in Japan, the HTC J Butterfly 3 is the company’s latest high-end device for Japanese carrier KDDI. It packs a design aesthetic eerily reminiscent of that leaked One M9 we saw awhile back, only with a few key differences. One, this phone is all plastic and the perforated speaker holes sit in between the glass display and the plastic bezel. It’s very similar to what we saw with the HTC Desire Eye. Running with that, the Butterfly 3 even packs a similar 13MP front facing shooter like the Eye, mounted directly in the middle of the top plastic bezel. You may remember this was rumored early on to come equipped on the One M9 (and shown in @evleaks’ leaked render).

On the back, HTC’s Duo Camera makes a return (another feature we heard would make it to the One M9 but didn’t), coupled with a 20.2MP rear facing camera. As far as other hardware specs, the Butterfly 3 features a pin sharp 5.2-inch 2560×1440 resolution LCD 3 display, Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB RAM, 2,700mAh battery, IPX5/IPX7 water resistance rating, and comes in 3 color options: red, white, and blue.

There really is a lot here to love and honestly, it makes us wonder if the Butterfly 3 doesn’t trump the One M9 in some respects. The Butterfly 3 will launch in Japan this June on KDDI.

[HTC | via Engadget Japan]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. That train is long gone

  2. I’m not looking for a redesigned m9 (worst line of phones). I want a butterfly 3 (a respectable line of phones). Droid DNA was awesome.

    1. Come again? Why is one the worst and the other a respectable line?

  3. Why do companies choose to make “good” products so selective? Imagine if Samsung made the S6 Edge as the base model? HTC making the Butterfly 3 or M9+ as the base? LG G4 w/ Leather back base? These “upgrades” would increase manufacturing costs, but the reward involves more sales.

    1. If Samsung made the S6 Edge the default then I’d think that the company is ever more idiotic than I already think it is. They’ve already toned their portfolio and Touchwiz down a bunch and yet they still manage to drop gimmicks big (S6 Edge and metal phones) and small (Knox, Samsung apps, fingerprint readers etc.).

      They need to start actually doing and providing what people want by utilising research and espécially common sense. It would work much better than their current method of wasting money, time and resources by just marketing the sh&t out of everything while simply putting enough guesses out there for product designs, configurations etc. that one or more are bound to actually sell well.

      They’d save and make so much more money and they’d also stop pi$$ing people off/making it easy for people to know what Samsung is doing for them for devices as opposed to their current random craziness.

      1. The Edge is extremely successful, so I don’t think it’s a problem if Samsung switches to it as a base model. A lot of reviews point that out as well.

        1. I don’t want to have apps open or touch input get received by accident. I don’t like the way it looks that much. I might be able to get used to it but I doubt it.

          Whether or not the reviewers like it doesn’t matter much to anyone who makes up their own minds or anyone who doesn’t read the reviews. It’s even less relevant when what’s being discussed is a major design change that affects the device so much in a way many will not like.

          I don’t want to pay extra for a feature that’s forced on me if they decide to make it their default. If they do I (and thousands upon thousands of people) will *never* buy a Samsung device again.

          If they want to make it their default they’ll just have to convince people to drop $100 or more extra for a design feature many, many people will *not even want*.

          Good luck selling people on that, Samsung. Get f$&ked.

  4. Darn tootin this is superior to the M9. Water resistant, better camera and superior plastic construction. Don’t give me any “metal is more premium”. Plastic is more durable and will survive a drop far better than metal. More durable, better specs, and water resistant? The Butterfly 3: HTC’s new hotness.

    1. respect your liking of the phone and all….but “darn tootin”?

    2. Smaller battery powering a larger, high resolution screen, otherwise I’d agree with you.

  5. too little too late to release crappier phones….that battery. Sheesh. Hey! lets release another phone with cheap plastic, upgrade the screen and camera….NOW here is where we get people, lets give them a smaller battery and call it the dumbest name in the world. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    1. Par for the course. This is the third Butterfly. They do this in Japan every year.

  6. #BEZEL!

    1. Your lips have thicker bezels! Lol, lol, lol, lmfao!!!

        1. No its not, its apparent that he has thick lips. Trust me I’m just trolling a troll

          1. How exactly is he trolling by stating an obvious fact that those black bars look horrible?

          2. Look at his history smarty pants

          3. Yea, he has some strong trolls. LoL!! You better watch out. You’ll be feeding him a feast and not even realize it. =.P

            All that power he has. LoL!!

          4. Unfortunately I was only going off of what was on this comment section :(

  7. SD card??

  8. Except these are plastic…

  9. I told myself telling myself, not to get the m9, but I did, if HTC don’t get there act together for next years flagship, I will not be supporting them

    1. How’s it treating you? Is the camera as bad as people make it out to be?

      1. It really, really is. (HTC One M9 owner)

        1. No it’s not. I’ve taken amazing pictures with it. You can dig through them at my twitter: @el_frisi

        2. I haven’t had a reason to take any pictures with it yet, but seeing your post I tried taking a few. They look fine to me, and certainly better than my old N5 took, which was “good enough” as it was.

        3. Oh come on, it’s not thaaat bad. (HTC One M9 owner as well)

        4. Chris, do you shoot in full auto mode? HTC really needs to fix their processing algorithms, because putting sharpness at -2 does a world of wonder for the detail. You can even apply a sharpening filter in Instagram or any other editing app and it looks miles different. I shoot in 10:7 Medium or small resolution with Sharpness -2 (when not shooting in RAW or manual) and the results are quite acceptable. And don’t forget to cap the ISO at 400 for less noise.

        5. I agree it’s freaking terrible, absolutely terrible.. And to those who think it’s not well you must have had really horrid camera’s before on whatever devices you’ve had because it’s garbage. Maybe it’s because I’m coming from the Note 4 but it’s just not acceptable to have a bad camera on a flagship now with the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, iPhone 6 / 6+, LG G4 all having really great camera’s this year. (M9 Owner… Until I pawn it off on my wife because no software update is ever going to fix it, it’s a hardware issue with the stupid Toshiba sensor, who the hell would ever choose a Toshiba sensor for f-sakes smh) yes I’m angry at HTC’s stupidity in their decision making lol

          1. Word on the street is, it’s the same sensor used in the Nokia Lumia phones, which, supposedly, have some of the best cameras.

  10. A larger phone that’s made of plastic and doesn’t reduce the bezel is not the redesign I’m looking for.

  11. Does the M9 have a IPX5/IPX7 rating? Plastic or not that’s not too shabs. They retain front-facing speakers with smaller bezels.

    1. does state its water RESISTANT….that could mean a plethora of things though

  12. I’m confused. Why couldn’t something like this *be* the M9? I love the duo camera. And to up it up is lovely. Though, the low-light capture is nice and will be missed. And that front camera will revolutionize the industry if they can make it a standard on their phones. No more would we be defaulting to some 2MP-5MP FFC.

    1. Exactly I had to completely forget about HTC when it came to picking out a new flagship this year which is disappointing.

      1. I don’t see why anyone would completely write off any device unless it had too many dealbreakers. The design is excellent, the speakers are amazing, it has microSD, the processor is fast enough, it gets good battery life, the software isn’t offensive, the rear camera is passable in auto mode / not bad in manual / quite good in RAW, and the front camera is killer. 1080p, Snapdragon 810, and the rear camera aren’t really negatives, and there’s enough argument to be made about personal taste. Personally, I considered the S6 and G4, and even the M8, and the M9 was not at all a write-off.

      2. Yea, I was sad with what HTC bought. But I know I over-hyped it. Literally, what could they do? And this has always been the case when OEM’s are reusing designs.

        Some could argue that Samsung is pushing innovation ahead, but keep in mind, they have resources outside the mobile industry. They work with screens and things like that. HTC, so far, just seems to be a phone company. They have to wait until things come out. LoL!!

        But this is still no excuse for a lackluster device. All I know is, if HTC wants to get back out there, they’ll need to amp up their marketing. That’s what it really is.

    2. Because HTC launches a Butterfly vareiant for Japan only with slightly higher specs every year and no one bats an eye… Until this M9 circlejerk.

  13. WTF HTC.

  14. “could be the redesigned One M9 we were looking for”

    or not

    1. perfectly said really

  15. Why is this surprising? People have REALLY been anxious to keep this whole M9 redesign circlejerk going…

    The Butterfly series has launched slightly after the One series for years now. Every time, it features slightly higher specs and a different design. That’s what the Butterfly series is about. A Japan-only exclusive that launches after their worldwide flagship. Nobody said anything about the M7 after the J1. No one said anything about the M8 after the J2. But now because everyone is disappointed with the M9, suddenly the J3 is a radical difference? That’s funny. There is absolutely nothing different; this is the established pattern.

    I do have to say, though, I think evleaks leaked the Butterfly as the M9 because HTC usually works on them in close temporal proximity, and that render is a dead ringer for the Butterfly 3.

    1. Launched after the One for years now? Really?

      The first Butterfly launched in 2012, along with the US version, the Droid DNA.

      The first One came along in 2013, along with the Asian version of the Butterfly.

      That pretty much leaves last year and this – not really “for years now” yeah?

      1. Don’t forget the One X.

        1. Hard to forget, I had the Sprint version.

          Launched over a half year before the Butterfly in 2012, 720p instead of the Butterfly /DNA / One 1080p.

    2. The last two Butterfly renditions (2 and 3) have been a disappointment in my opinion. The Butterfly 2 was basically an HTC E8 with duo camera and waterproofing – the slightly larger battery was either similar or worse than the M8. The Butterfly 3 has the same 2700 mAh battery, which is a problem considering it’s on the Snapdragon 810. (unless it gets throttled even more than the M9)

      The Butterfly s, which was released a few months after the One M7, had a much better battery (3200 mAh). My only criticisms are the touchscreen is a bit strange and the headphone jack is rather fragile. Unfortunately it didn’t have waterproofing like the first Butterfly. It wasn’t released in Japan in favour of the J One (basically an M7 with microSD slot). I would like to see a 3000+ mAh battery again.

  16. I wish it was… That design is so much cleaner and nicer.

  17. This is no where near the same design as the leaked M9 from EVleaks, this is still way too tall and has that damn bezel. I mean after some time with another device with front firing speakers that you can barely see I don’t accept HTC excuse that the black bar HAS to be there and the speaker pods so massive. I’m under an NDA for the device I’m talking about but it is twice as loud as my M9 and while they don’t have as much depth of sound as the M9 they still do have enough depth while still being extremely loud and crisp. I love HTC but with the let down of the M9 I’m glad I still have my Note 4 until I grab the S6 Edge. If Samsung incorporate front firing stereo speakers and a larger battery on the S6 Edge they’d have the perfect device and there would be no competition.

    1. I would love to hear this device, because the M8 is VERY clear compared to other devices when the speakers get loud.

      The bass and clarity at higher sounds is very amazing. I never realize how good it is until someone elses plays a video and it sounds like utter crap. LoL!!

  18. This is hilarious how people believe HTC when they say “the black bar/bezel needs to be there because of the speaker component” yeaaa sure it is….other phones have front facing speakers and don’t have a huge black bar..I had the m7 and m8 and yes the front speakers are cool but I definitely don’t miss it since I’ve switched to Samsung and owned the note 4 and now s6.

    1. I know right…seems as if they do badly need that black logo bar and those huge bezels for the Butterfly 3 ‘front firing speakers”. NOT!!! Anyways wake me up when they finally wake up and smell coffee…they are gonna sink if they keep clinging to those huge bezels, black logo bar and meager battery capacity.

    2. I though it was also in relation to the amps their using for the speakers? Cars all have speakers, but that doesn’t mean the speakers are the same.

      Other phones can have front-facing speakers, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same quality. I’m sure one could argue the quality isn’t that different, but it is. =.P

      Keep in mind, this is still a thought.

      1. Look at the teardowns – the lower black bar is where the very substantial screen wiring harness is, with strain relief. The rest of the bezel is a bonded mask. No more HTC light leak complaints. Costs real estate, but does the job.

        Function >> Cosmetics

  19. I wasn’t gonna upgrade my phone until next year, but now I’m tempted. Too bad the battery is a downgrade though…

  20. I don’t get the double chin when there is not even a logo printed on… LOL hTC is funny

    btw, should have also included the picture of the back with duo camera with this article.

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