The 4G Battle – HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic
The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show was a launching pad for many 4G smartphones on
Verizon's new 4G LTE network. Two particular phones are the HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Droid Bionic. As the two new 4G smartphones make their debut in the first quarter of 2011, many Verizon users have to wonder which smartphone they should pursue. In this HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic article, the two 4G smartphones will be compared based upon first look experience from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. Though the two phones may be similar in looks on the outside, the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic battle really boils down to the software and hardware specifications of the two. Though the battle won't be as tight as the Samsung Fascinate vs. Samsung Vibrant, it will still be a close call due to the similarities of these 4G smartphones.
Design and Display
Both the HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Droid Bionic feature the now familiar candy bar design, with the display dominating the front of the smartphone. In the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic battle between design and display, it's a tough call. Both have a 4.3 inch display dominating the front of the phone. The key difference, however, is the fact that the Motorola Droid Bionic has a qHD display, giving it an advantage when it comes to squeezing out pixels. The display is also a bit more vibrant and colorful on the Motorola Droid Bionic than it is on the HTC Thunderbolt.
The HTC Thunderbolt does have a difference when it comes to the design with the kickstand. HTC seems to be pushing towards more smartphones with kickstands and the HTC Thunderbolt falls within that push. The kickstand allows you to leave the HTC Thunderbolt on a desk without having to hold it up. Though it is an interesting addition, in the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic design and display battle, the Motorola Droid Bionic squeezes out with the victory.
Winner – Motorola Droid Bionic
Hardware and Software
The HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Droid Bionic both run Android 2.2 with proprietary overlays running on top, Sense and MotoBLUR, respectively. Both overlays may come as a disappointment to some, as many prefer stock Android. Both also disappoint in the fact that they run Android 2.2 (FroYo) and not Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). In the software arena of the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic battle, both are even.
When it comes to hardware, however, there are some more noticeable differences. While the HTC Thunderbolt has a now familiar single core 1 GHz processor, the Motorola Droid Bionic has a dual core processor running at 1 GHz. However, in the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic battle of hardware, less may actually be more. The dual core processors sound nice on paper, but in action, on the Motorola Droid Bionic, Android seemed laggy. As of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the HTC Thunderbolt had a solid, non laggy operating system while the Motorola Droid Bionic seemed like it was being bogged down, and was easily comparable to the performance on a cheaper smartphone such as the LG Optimus S.
Winner – HTC Thunderbolt
The HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Droid Bionic both have easy to use and easy to pick up user interfaces. Android 2.2 is an operating system based on touch, and both HTC and Motorola have added overlays to "enhance" the experience. While MotoBLUR was originally much more intrusive, it has died down quite a bit with Motorola's shift away from trying to aim at just the teen market. HTC Sense has always been considered the best of the overlays, over Samsung's TouchWiz and Motorola's MotoBLUR. In the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic battle, both rank in at the same level when it comes to user interface. They're too similar and the fact that it's a touch based interface, makes this a draw.
Winner – Draw
The features of the smartphones in the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid Bionic are another area where there are only slight differences. Judging which smartphone is better is definitely tough due to the extremely similar specifications that they both have. As both the HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Droid Bionic run Android 2.2, they both can run Adobe Flash. As they both run on Android, this means both have access to the Android Market and access to thousands of applications.
Being 4G smartphones, both phones are also able to connect to Verizon's new 4G LTE network. In a world of 5 megapixel dominated smartphones, both the HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Droid Bionic come out swinging with 8 megapixel cameras. The slight difference comes from the front facing camera that both 4G smartphones have.
The HTC Thunderbolt features a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera while the Motorola Droid Bionic has a lower quality VGA camera for video chatting. Not a huge difference but it gives the HTC Thunderbolt a slight edge when it comes to video chatting over the new 4G LTE network.
Winner – HTC Thunderbolt
In the new landscape of 4G smartphones on Verizon's network, the HTC Thunderbolt vs. Motorola Droid
Bionic is a tough decision that many consumers will face. While the Droid Bionic is the first dual core processor powered smartphone on Verizon's network, its ability was limited from what was seen at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. If Motorola does happen to stop the lag from occurring on the Droid Bionic, it will make the decision even tougher. The similar design, the powerful specifications and the abilities of both 4G smartphones are enticing and choosing one over the other will be a tough choice. Based upon the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the HTC Thunderbolt comes out with a slight edge. The 1.3 megapixel front facing camera along with less lag than the dual core processor powered Droid Bionic really makes the HTC Thunderbolt a more attractive package.
Overall Winner – HTC Thunderbolt
- Source: Author Experience
- Image Credit: Phandroid.com, https://phandroid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/verizon4g.jpg
- Image Credit: Reviewsofelectronics.com, https://www.reviewsofelectronics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/thunderbolt-vs-bionic-300×270.png
- Image Credit: Alltechnologynews.com, https://www.alltechnologynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/htc_thunderbolt.jpg