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Verizon's Battle of the 4G LTE Smartphones
The Droid Charge and the HTC Thunderbolt are two powerful smartphones are hoping to make an impact for Verizon and really launch the powerful speeds found on the 4G LTE network. With the two being released so closely, does the Thunderbolt flash by the Droid Charge or does the Droid Charge zoom by the Thunderbolt?
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Design and Display
The Thunderbolt and the Droid Charge share the same design philosophy, opting to go with the candy bar design. The Thunderbolt however, is slightly larger and weighs more than the Droid Charge. The Thunderbolt also feels sturdier in the hand, while the Droid Charge feels slightly cheap. The displays for both are different as well, with the Thunderbolt opting for a WVGA LCD display while the Droid Charge goes with the WVGA Super AMOLED display. The Super AMOLED display comes off as a much brighter display and the colors come out more distinct than on the Thunderbolt's screen.
The Thunderbolt has its fair share of small additions that make it stand out against the Droid Charge. First off is the kickstand that allows the smartphone to be used as a media player for long trips. In addition, the Thunderbolt also features an LED notification light, which is actually a small but extremely helpful addition. Many Blackberry users live and die by the notification light and the Thunderbolt has incorporated this small little addition perfectly. While the display may not be as good as the Droid Charge, the HTC Thunderbolt has the more sturdy design and small additions enough to win in the design and display arena of the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Samsung Charge battle.
Winner - HTC Thunderbolt
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The Thunderbolt and Droid Charge are both powered by 1 GHz processors. The Thunderbolt uses a Snapdragon processor while the Droid Charge uses the Hummingbird processor. Both are also preloaded with Android 2.2 and their manufacturer's overlay, Sense UI for HTC and TouchWiz UI for Samsung. The two smartphones are neck and neck when it comes to operating system performance, with the Droid Charge showing small signs of lag here and there most likely due to TouchWiz.
When it comes to call quality, the Droid Charge actually had clearer call quality while the Thunderbolt had a small bit of background noise here and there during calls. Data connectivity for both the smartphones was hit and miss with the 4G network connectivity switching to 3G for no apparent reason, even in 4G zones. It may be a problem with Verizon's network and not the smartphones themselves. Battery performance is where the Droid Charge excels beyond the Thunderbolt, due to the fact that it has a 1600 mAh battery, while the Thunderbolt is left with 1400 mAh. In the performance arena of the battle, the Droid Charge comes out slightly ahead.
Winner - Samsung Droid Charge
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The user interfaces on the two smartphones differ greatly, even though they both run Android 2.2. This is mainly due to the different overlays that both have running on top. The Thunderbolt's UI is overlaid with Sense UI, which works to enhance the Android experience, offering several different widgets and customization options. The Droid Charge's UI is overlaid with TouchWiz UI, which actually moves away from Android a bit and heads more towards an iOS like experience. It offers a clean interface, but doesn't offer as many nice widgets or customizable options as Sense. When it comes to user interface, it really is a toss up on what you prefer, is it HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz?
Winner - Tie
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When it comes to features, both the smartphones offer 8 megapixel cameras and front facing cameras. The picture quality on both smartphones is decent, but the Thunderbolt actually seems to give off more natural pictures. The Droid Charge's pictures come out fairly neutral and flat, while the Thunderbolt's pictures have more color and life. When it comes to heavy light, both have a hard time in capturing nice pictures as they both over expose the light.
In darker lit areas, the Thunderbolt also takes slightly better pictures due to the dual LED flash. It actually lightens the pictures more naturally rather than having the bright flash pictures that come from the Droid Charge. Once again, the Thunderbolt succeeds in more natural photos than the Charge. When it comes to video recording, both are decent, but once again the Thunderbolt has more of a natural feel to the video while the Droid Charge has more of an over-exposed feel. In addition, the video recorded by the Droid Charge was more choppy than the smoother Thunderbolt.
Winner - HTC Thunderbolt
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Winning the Droid Charge Vs. HTC Thunderbolt battle by 2 to 1, with 1 tie, is the HTC Thunderbolt. While both smartphones are powerful and are both great entries to the smartphone market, when compared against each other the Thunderbolt has the small intricacies to beat the Droid Charge. The little design additions such as the kickstand and LED notification light, the extra LED light for flash and the slightly better camera, puts the Thunderbolt ahead of the Droid Charge. While the Thunderbolt does falter a bit on battery and call performance, it still comes out strong against the Droid Charge.
Overall Winner - HTC Thunderbolt
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- Source: Author's experience
- Image Credit: HTC, http://www.htc.com/us/products/thunderbolt-verizon#
- Image Credit: Samsung, http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SCH-I510RAAVZW