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HTC Thunderbolt or Motorola Droid 2 Global?

written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/16/2011

The Thunderbolt and Droid 2 Global are among some of the more powerful smartphones available on Verizon in the U.S. When the two smartphones battle it out, which smartphone stands victorious? Is it the 4G enabled Thunderbolt or the internationally roaming Droid 2 Global?

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    Battle of the Verizon Power Phones

    The HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Droid 2 Global are extremely powerful smartphones that are both available on Verizon in the U.S. Each smartphone is more than enough to handle for most folks, but which is better? When these two fierce competitors are put in the ring against each other, which smartphone is the one to go with? With both being on Verizon, new and existing customers have to decide which smartphone to choose, and this battle pits the two against each other to help customers choose between them.

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    Design and Display

    The Thunderbolt and Droid 2 Global take slightly different approaches when it comes to design. The Thunderbolt goes forward with the familiar candy bar design, with a 4.3 inch display dominating the front, while the Droid 2 Global goes with a more modest 3.7 inch display, but it does feature a slide out physical keyboard. What's interesting to note is that neither smartphone really goes out of the box when it comes to display, in fact the Thunderbolt looks very similar to previous HTC releases and the Droid 2 Global is exactly the same as the original Droid 2.

    The Thunderbolt does have a slightly sleeker design as opposed to the Droid 2 Global which takes the squared look approach. The Thunderbolt does have a few extra quirks, such as a flip out kickstand to help it differentiate itself, and it is somewhat useful for long trips. On the other hand, the keyboard is designed well on the Droid 2 Global, so there isn't as much reliance on a virtual keyboard. The resolution on the Droid 2 Global is slightly better, but the 0.5 inches on the Thunderbolt pretty much negates that. So overall, for design and display, it really comes down to user preference.

    Winner - Tie

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    HTC Thunderbolt In the performance arena, both smartphones do well. The Thunderbolt packs a 1 GHz processor but it's a newer generation version of the chipset, while the Droid 2 Global comes packed with a 1.2 GHz processor. Both run on Android 2.2 with proprietary overlays running on top, HTC Sense for the Thunderbolt and a modified version of MotoBLUR for the Droid 2 Global. Both run the operating system smoothly with little to no lag experienced.

    Call quality on both smartphones was also great, with no distortion for both incoming and outgoing calls. Background noise was kept to a minimum, mainly the background wind for both. Speakphones on both smartphones were decent with each having slight distortion depending on how the phone was held, but overall there was clarity.

    The battery performance on the two was also very similar. The Thunderbolt has a 1400 mAh battery while the Droid 2 Global has a 1420 mAh battery, slightly edging out over the Thunderbolt. However, the differences were minimal and both smartphones were able to last a little under two days after on and off use.

    The biggest performance differences come from the data speeds. The Thunderbolt is enabled to connect to the 4G LTE network and was able to achieve some extremely fast download speeds. The Droid 2 Global was limited to the 3G network and was definitely not able to keep up with the speeds being offered on the Thunderbolt. One thing to note is that the added speed also comes with an added cost, which is unfortunate. However, due to this performance boost in data speeds, the Thunderbolt wins this round.

    Winner - HTC Thunderbolt

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    User Interface

    As mentioned, the Thunderbolt and Droid 2 Global are preloaded with Android 2.2, with their respective overlays running on top. HTC Sense UI really enhances the Android aspects of the phone and it integrates itself pretty deeply into the operating system while this particular version of MotoBLUR is only slightly noticeable, mainly functioning as a small overlay on top of Android. It once again, comes down to personal preference when it comes to the operating system.

    The physical keyboard on the Droid 2 Global is nicely designed and the keys are responsive, and are easy to feel and find. Typing on the Droid 2 Global feels more natural with the keyboard, and for those who would rather use Swype, the screen is large enough to comfortably use it. The Thunderbolt has the large screen that makes the virtual keyboard easy to use as well. Overall the Droid 2 Global inches out with the win due to the lighter overlay interface and the fantastic physical keyboard.

    Winner - Motorola Droid 2 Global

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    The features is where this battle really starts to get interesting. The two smartphones are marketedMotorola Droid 2 Global  towards two different market segments. The Thunderbolt aims for the high end consumer but not necessarily the business consumer, while the Droid 2 Global aims for high end consumers as well as business customers, mainly the business customers. This means the Thunderbolt has more consumer friendly features such as an 8 megapixel camera and a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera to share every moment and to video chat.

    The Droid 2 Global on the other hand has a 5 megapixel camera, no front facing camera, but has AES encryption, remote wipe and VPN capabilities on the smartphone. Almost a different world being offered by the Droid 2 Global. In addition, the Droid 2 Global also has GSM capabilities, meaning it can be used as an international smartphone, simply slide in a SIM card when you're in another country that uses GSM.

    From looking at the features, the Droid 2 Global actually has more features than the Thunderbolt. It's a bit more versatile and unique in the features it offers. For this particular round, the Droid 2 Global comes out ahead with its uniqueness.

    Winner - Motorola Droid 2 Global

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    The Winner

    While there may be people that disagree, in this battle between the HTC Thunderbolt and Droid 2 Global, the Droid 2 Global wins out 2-1 and 1 tie. The Thunderbolt is still a great smartphone to grab by all means but when compared to the Droid 2 Global, it does lack in certain areas. This doesn't mean you should just outright choose the Droid 2 Global, however. As mentioned, the targeted markets for the two smartphones are different. If you don't care for the business oriented encryption and remote wipe abilities, then by all means, the Thunderbolt is the choice for you. If you want the unique abilities of the Droid 2 Global, then grab that instead of the Thunderbolt.

    Overall Winner - Droid 2 Global