HTC Thunderbolt vs Moto Droid Bionic

dbermanmd

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I have been a Big Red customer since 1989 and currently have the first generation Blackberry Storm which has been good to me. I am due for my 2 and new since last December.

I have ruled out the iPhone and am willing to leave BBM'ing behind - the only true advantage Blackberry still offers (and something i am kind of surprised the droid community cannot duplicate; if they did the deluge of new customers would be substantial)

I am patiently waiting for either the Droid Bionic or the Thunderbolt to come to life on the network. I have researched as best as possible both devices and find little significant differences from my lay perspective. I was hoping for advice from the experts here as to which one they would sign up for for two years and why?

I would like to thank all those that respond in advance for their time and insight.

David
 

DolfanCole

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There are a few threads that discuss this. Look through the forums (both TBolt and Bionic) and you'll find them.

For me, I'm a current BlackBerry user and have not owned an Android device yet. So, I'm coming from the perspective of not having experienced either user interface (Sense or Blur) or customized the software/loaded custom ROMs. But, much of the preferences many people seem to have revolve around these two issues -- Sense vs. Blur, unlocked bootloader vs. locked. Having not experienced either issue, they don't really drive me in my comparison. Instead, I've looked mainly at the hardware between the two. And from that, I prefer the Bionic over the Thunderbolt.

That said, I've been considering getting the Thunderbolt on a 1-yr contract while I wait for the Bionic (or other device) and the operating system to be more optimized for the dual-core that the Bionic has. However, the further along we go without the Thunderbolt being released and subsequently the closer we get to the Bionic getting released, the more I'm willing to wait a little longer.
 

Effenhimer

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You know, I'm wondering why this phone is never in the comparison threads...

Samsung GALAXY S II

It may be that they haven't released any carriers, or if they're gonna put an LTE radio in it for the US... But I may just scrap both the TB and DB and just wait for this... Touchwiz can be overlooked with specs like these...
 

VideoEngineerAJS

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You know, I'm wondering why this phone is never in the comparison threads...

Samsung GALAXY S II

It may be that they haven't released any carriers, or if they're gonna put an LTE radio in it for the US... But I may just scrap both the TB and DB and just wait for this... Touchwiz can be overlooked with specs like these...

Well the problem with Samsung (aside from Touchwiz) seems to be the delay in or the outright non-existent OS updates.
 

Astromech

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I am patiently waiting for either the Droid Bionic or the Thunderbolt to come to life on the network. I have researched as best as possible both devices and find little significant differences from my lay perspective. I was hoping for advice from the experts here as to which one they would sign up for for two years and why?

David

Well, for me its because the Thunderbolt will be released on Valentine's Day! Dooh.
 

Effenhimer

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Well the problem with Samsung (aside from Touchwiz) seems to be the delay in or the outright non-existent OS updates.

I should have also stated I'm a root fan, so Sammy updates are moot for me...

I was gonna wait for the DB, then the TB got pushed up and I got all, "I want a new phone NOW!!!" But well, we all know how that went...

Now I'm thinking about waiting a little longer and seeing what else is about to get thrown at us...
 

Joelist

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I would say that if it is raw hardware power then Bionic wins. If you add in build quality it gets a lot closer as HTC is famous for fit and finish. However, if you factor in User Experience then HTC wins outright because of the superiority of Sense.
 

dbermanmd

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let me ask about dual core processor vs single core if that is the correct terminology.

assuming both phones have LTE speed then they are both limited by the external flow of data both into and out of the device.

does anyone think that having the dual core processor make that much of a difference if the device were going to be used by a casual user like me -
- as a telephone primarily
- internet device
- communication device; ie texting
- and possibly for some apps like bar code scanning/shopping/etc

i do not intend to use it to replace my laptop or my iPad (sorry, love it, only Apple device i have outside my 10gigabyte iPod which they refer to as the "brick")

so do two cores possess a significant advantage for me?

thanks again for the responses.

david
 

Effenhimer

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@dbermanmd

No, any "phone" will do for what you want it for really...

So really it all depends on what kind of an interface you would like.
 

VideoEngineerAJS

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let me ask about dual core processor vs single core if that is the correct terminology.

assuming both phones have LTE speed then they are both limited by the external flow of data both into and out of the device.

does anyone think that having the dual core processor make that much of a difference if the device were going to be used by a casual user like me -
- as a telephone primarily
- internet device
- communication device; ie texting
- and possibly for some apps like bar code scanning/shopping/etc

i do not intend to use it to replace my laptop or my iPad (sorry, love it, only Apple device i have outside my 10gigabyte iPod which they refer to as the "brick")

so do two cores possess a significant advantage for me?

thanks again for the responses.

david

No. There is some thought that battery life may be better on a dual core device, but it's really hard to say at this point.
 

dbermanmd

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in terms of interface which device do you think wins in that category. I agree that for my needs interface will be more important since both devices will give me fairly impressive upgrades from my current Blackberry.

in fact, interface may be the most important part for me given somewhat equal performance in other parameters. There is a comparison graph that compares the iPhone, the DB, and the TB (hope i have the terminology correct) and the DB and the TB seem to be pretty close to each other except maybe HDMI interface or something along those lines.

thank you for raising a point i had not given full consideration to

david
 

greydarrah

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Both phones are going to be great devices from a performance perspective. If you're the kind of person that wants to have the latest and greatest (for as long as that can last), wait for the Bionic. It has everything the TB has, but adds a duel processor for better speeds and uses computer version memory, also for greater speeds. Also, based on the manufacturers other devices, the Bionic (Motorola) is going to give you a 18 to 48 hour battery life (based on my experience with the Droid X) and the TB (HTC) will give you a 4 to 8 hour battery life (based on the Incredible and the EVO. For some, a short battery life is no big deal, for me, I consider it unacceptable.
 
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im in the same spot, i have a BB 9630 and am due for an upgrade in april. the bolt being pushed back only means the bionic is pushed back. i think the blur interface is more for me thanks to the compairison that i found on this fourm.

is there really an advantage to rooting your phone? i am going to be new to android so i think it will be entertaining enough so i wont consider rooting depending on what device i get.

i am really looking forward to getting a new phone too and reading these fourms helps pass the time
 

Astrodroid

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I think I'm set on the TB unless the earliest adopters cry foul. I'm ready to get started. Yet if I were recommending objectively to someone else based on my research, I'd probably say the Bionic. Unless the battery for one of them turns out to suck so badly that it's just not practical or there's some other unknown flaw that a patch can't/won't fix, I think you could buy either without regret.

UI
A lot of people like HTC's Sense UI the best among the major makers' UIs. A lot of people hated at least the earlier versions of Motorola's Motoblur UI but I've seen some people say recently that newer versions on the current top models are not any real problem. I haven't played with them enough to appreciate that well enough yet.

Bootloader
As far as I know we expect Motorola to continue its plan of locking the bootloader. That's a dealbreaker for people who want to flash custom ROMs to their phone, but I saw a guy here the other day saying the Droid X had a locked bootloader yet people were flashing it somehow. If that's true and if we can expect the hackers to overcome the Bionic's locked bootloader, then that would be less of a demerit for this phone.

Dual Core vs. Single
Dual core Moto vs. single core HTC. Some say it doesn't really matter yet because the Android OS versions that are out now are not yet optimized to work with two cores. Others say it will definitely help anyway. I don't know but it's a point of comparison. Unless there's a disadvantage to having two cores, I'd say might as well have two - maybe they'll be useful in the future if they aren't now.

HDMI Out
Bionic has an HDMI out port for hooking up to your HDTV, Thunderbolt doesn't. If you would actually use that, there's a point for Moto.

Kickstand
Thunderbolt has a kickstand, which is a point if that seems like something you'd use.

FFC
Thunderbolt has a 1.3mp front facing camera while the Bionic has only VGA (0.3mp). If video calling is important to you, that would seem to be a significant difference.

Skype
Thunderbolt has Skype somehow baked into the operating system for whatever advantages that may offer. There was some talk a while back that this would actually be disabled upon release and enabled later. I don't know if that rumor is true or if it's still true at this point.

Online Dashboard Service
Some newer HTC phones can interact with a HTCSense.com, which does things like syncing contacts and SMS, remote locking and wiping, app recommendations and other phone management features and goodies. I heard that htcsense.com is baked into the newest version of Sense and so should work with any phone that has it, but a user on these boards supposedly got an email from HTC that said there were some problems with that on the TB right now and probably wouldn't be fixed before launch, but would eventually be fixed. http://forum.androidcentral.com/htc-thunderbolt/53540-thunderbolt-htcsense-com.html. As with the rest of this, I can't confirm whether either thing is true.

Screen
The Bionic has a better screen at 540x960 than the Thunderbolt at 480x800 (but have you seen that TB screen in the video? Beautiful. It's hard to imagine that not being good enough. And different screen technologies have different advantages or problems)

Battery Juice
The Bionic has a 1930 mAh battery to the Thunderbolt's 1400mAh. That's substantial but we don't yet know how either phone makes use of those levels of juice in terms of power management. One rumor on the TB delay is that the battery was giving up the ghost too quickly. No actual confirmation of that as far as I know and I wouldn't expect them to ever admit that if it were true.

RAM
Thunderbolt has 768mb RAM to the Bionic's 512, but the Bionic's is desktop-grade DDR2 RAM for whatever benefits that might bring. I haven't found a good explanation of that yet. I'm guessing either will be fine.

Maximum Storage
Bionic has 16gb onboard while Thunderbolt has 8gb. Both can take a 32gb card so Bionic technically has the edge, but Thunderbolt has a 32gb card included. So if the phones are priced the same, you're getting a better deal on the TB, pricewise. Maybe you don't need more than 16. If not, maybe that's better for you. Or maybe you want/need that extra 8gb of space over the TB's max, making Bionic the winner.

Benchmarks
As we keep finding out, specs aren't everything. Sometimes better specs aren't implemented well for whatever reason. I can't remember if I've seen comparative performance benchmarks for these two phones. Google it. My money's on the Bionic.

Release Date
The TB will be out earlier (that's been the plan anyway).

Emotion, Branding, Rumor, Minor features

Given the above, if the two phones were out at the same time, I would have a hard time not favoring the Bionic. I think I have an irrational bias against Moto for all the moaning I've read about Motoblur. That stuff may or may not be accurate anymore or maybe it's just personal preference and I wouldn't have cared either way. So it's weird that I still want the HTC. I've wanted an HTC phone for a while but that may also be somewhat irrational and brand-based. I like a few of the minor features of Sense (flip the phone on its face for automatic silent mode, etc.) but those seem like things that could perhaps be replicated via apps or otherwise done without. HTCsense.com seems like a nice bonus too if it winds up working. I don't know if Moto has an answer to that or some close equivalent. On paper, at least, it looks like you can't really go wrong unless something above is a dealbreaker/dealmaker for you.
 

Effenhimer

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If you're looking for a clean user friendly interface... I hate to say it out loud, (or typed) where someone I know might hear, But... I would go with the iPh*ne... Its simple and clean, (even if you are locked into what Apple will let you do through iTunes), if all you plan on using it for is what you listed.

But if you want a "device" that does the things you listed, with options to do things sooner or later, IMO it goes like this for ease of use UI...

Vanilla (Droid) -> Sense -> Touchwiz -> Blur...
 

greydarrah

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If you're looking for a clean user friendly interface... I hate to say it out loud, (or typed) where someone I know might hear, But... I would go with the iPh*ne... Its simple and clean, (even if you are locked into what Apple will let you do through iTunes), if all you plan on using it for is what you listed.

But if you want a "device" that does the things you listed, with options to do things sooner or later, IMO it goes like this for ease of use UI...

Vanilla (Droid) -> Sense -> Touchwiz -> Blur...

This person is obviously insane...don't pay any attention.

The iPhone is all about what Steve Jobs says you can have, Android is all about what you want.
 

DolfanCole

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im in the same spot, i have a BB 9630 and am due for an upgrade in april. the bolt being pushed back only means the bionic is pushed back. i think the blur interface is more for me thanks to the compairison that i found on this fourm.

is there really an advantage to rooting your phone? i am going to be new to android so i think it will be entertaining enough so i wont consider rooting depending on what device i get.

i am really looking forward to getting a new phone too and reading these fourms helps pass the time

There are only two real issues that I'd say the Bionic might get pushed back because of the Thunderbolt.

(1) Thunderbolt is slated to be the first LTE phone on Verizon. So, it has to be first. So far though this is not an issue as the Bionic is not scheduled for release until Q2.

(2) LTE network issues, although this is not really related to the phone itself. If the issues get worked out for the Thunderbolt, then they should be ready to go for the Bionic.

Bottomline ... I don't see how the Thunderbolt getting pushed back (assuming that it really has been pushed back) has any impact on the Bionic's release.
 

Effenhimer

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This person is obviously insane...don't pay any attention.

The iPhone is all about what Steve Jobs says you can have, Android is all about what you want.

My point exactly, but he doesn't want it for android, he wants a "phone" that will be used like this...

- as a telephone primarily
- internet device
- communication device; ie texting
- and possibly for some apps like bar code scanning/shopping/etc

IMO, I wouldn't waste an Android device like that... ;)
 

dbermanmd

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Amazing amount of information flowing here, thank you to everyone i truly appreciate the insight and expertise.

1. Battery life is huge for me. I cant have my phone dying on me after only 8 hours. My current BB Storm's battery is lasting about that and its driving me nuts. I dont want to buy a new one and then get a new device in a few weeks.

I average 50-100 emails a day on top of about 25-50 calls. that does not include texting etc. above all, battery life is #1 because everything else could be the best compared to the other device and it does me no good if the battery dies first. the thought of having to carry a second battery brings back memories of my first cell phone when i had to unplug it from my car and plug it into a 10lb battery that had a strap to make it convenient to carry with me - circa 1989/90.

2. user experience - thank you for the correct term. my impression so far is that you cannot accurately compare until they are both out. it seems as though the HTC device has the early lead though.

3. Bootloader - sorry,, but what the heck is that and is it important for me?

4. the front facing camera is probably a bigger deal given the trend towards video talking - sorry about the terminology again.

again, thank you everybody,,, this has been great.

david
 

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