28
Apr
thunderbolt vs. charge

Verizon's pair of LTE handsets are sure to confuse some shoppers - though one is from Samsung (the DROID Charge) and the other from HTC (the ThunderBolt), the two sport relatively similar feature sets and designs that somewhat resemble one another. So what's the difference? Well, aside from the Charge being $50 more expensive than the already-pricy ThunderBolt, there really aren't many differentiators - let's take a side-by-side look at their spec sheets:

Spec type

DROID Charge

ThunderBolt

CPU

1GHz Hummingbird

1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655

Display

4.3" Super AMOLED Plus

4.3" SLCD

OS

Android 2.2 (Froyo) with TouchWiz UI

Android 2.2 (Froyo) with Sense UI

Front camera

1.3MP

1.3MP

Rear camera

8MP with 720P HD recording

8MP with 720p HD recording

RAM

512MB

768MB

Internal storage

2GB

8GB (though not all of that storage is usable)

Included SD card

32GB

32GB

DLNA support

Yes

Yes

Buttons

Physical

Capacitive

Size

130 mm x 68 mm x 12 mm

122 mm x 66 mm x 13.2 mm

Weight

143g

177g

Battery capacity

1600 mAh

1400 mAh

Price on contract

$299

$249

As you can see, neither device is anything to scoff at, though - at least in my eyes - the fact that the ThunderBolt runs Sense UI turns the tide in its favor (despite the Charge's superior screen and slightly thinner profile). Additionally, the Charge's $300 asking price isn't exactly the most budget-friendly deal in town, making it hard to recommend over the T-Bolt. Scroll down for images and videos of each device before commencing holding your breath in anticipation of our DROID Charge review.

htcthunderbolt front droidcharge

htcthunderbolt side htcthunderbolt back droidcharge back 

wm_IMG_4031_thumb1 IMG_8117_wm

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Kane

    Any bets on which device gets Gingerbread first? Samsung hasn't been too bad lately - HTC has yet to release a Gingerbread device.

    • sansenoy

      Desire S is running 2.3

      • sansenoy

        Wait, is there a Samsung device running Gbread??? Also, as long as they require a stupid windows utility to update a phone, HTC will keep the mantle...

  • Romiust

    They need to quit advertising 8 gb internal memory on the Thunderbolt. You only get 2

    • Kane

      Wasn't it 4GB due to that SLC/MLC issue or is it actually 2GB now? I thought it was just cut in half.

    • Raptor007

      I call FOUL on that 8GB of "internal storage" crap, there is no way they put 8GB in there, you cannot tell me the OS takes up nearly 6GB of space. Its a joke.

      • sansenoy

        It's 2GB for the ROM and the rest is yours, why is everyone worked up

  • Mak

    Samsung phones are funny looking. I do like the nexus s though. Thats it

    • sansenoy

      Nexus S is way too curvy, they even had to opt out of Gorilla glass cos of the stupid contour display... The Charge is actually great looking, unbelieveable; also REAL buttons, I'll take that over a kickstand any day!!!

  • sansenoy

    Tbolt is still the only CDMA device with simultaneous voice+data...

    • RickinSav

      Unless you know something I don't about this...
      On 3G, neither the Charge nor TBolt have it.
      On 4G, they both do.

      EDIT - heard HTC has a special 3G radio for this. I'll have to check it out cause when I demoed the TBolt I couldn't with LogmeIn while on call. But I did have 4G setting off (*#*#4636#*#* special menu)

  • jeremy

    I have a t bolt and its the best Android I've had so far had all MOTO Droid there was no comparing them to the t bolt

  • paul

    The qualcom snapdragon should be way more overclockable than the hummingbird, but the hummingbird cpu has better graphics capability than the hummingbird.
    Damn near even. I do like the display on a samsung more. But htc is more moddable.

  • sam

    Which company has a better record for getting the updates. I love moto for that, i always get the new software updates fast.

    think thats going to be my tie breaker

  • Dan

    I have the t-bolt and my wife has the Verizon iPhone 4. Both can talk and do data at the same time. I just tried my wife's iPhone and it definitely surfs the web and you can talk on the phone at the same time with 3G. So the tbolt isn't the only one. I still like the tbolt much better though.

    • tewest86

      I call bs on this. It's a proven fact that the iphone from verizon cannot do this unless you're on wifi. This is not a rumor but proven. Unless your wife has some secret 1 of a kind iphone. The ONLY 3g phone that does this on Verizon is the TB because of a special radio it has.

      • EvelKub

        Verizon's network doesn't support EVDO Rev B, so no phone can do both at the same time while only linked to the Verizon 3G network.

        The TB is able to accomplish this in 4G coverage areas because you are linked to two networks, the old CDMA network handles the voice while the LTE network handles the data.

        • jrw7zb

          I live no where near any 4G coverage (southern tier NY about 200 miles from the closest 4G) and I can talk and surf at the same time. I have done it on several occasions. Perfect example someone wanted to know a phone number I googled it while still talking, works fine. That was on 3G, not wifi, not 4G. I also have done it with 4G enabled and disabled (*#*#4636#*#*) works both ways. So you can say it doesn't work, but I tell you your wrong... it does.

    • milt

      yeah I'm gonna have to call BS on this as well... I was in the verizon store for an hour or so and tried the surf and talk on both the TB and the Iphone 4. The TB did surf on 3g [not 4g or wifi] while I called myself. As for the iphone4 I recieved a message from safari that stated that there was NOT a data connection... there's my 2 cents.

      • thunderboltuser

        It works I'm always in my phone. And I surf the web while on the phone I promise it works no WiFi. Do it while traveling. I'm a truck driver and this phone us the ****

  • h3

    My wife and I just got TBs. I was waiting for the Bionic and gave up. Though slightly disappointed with not getting dual-core, this baby is sweet! I would never have another Samsung. Updates? What updates? And we'll get official gingerbread on this...though shouldn't they just be working on ice cream sandwich at this point?

  • Félix

    Looking at those mobiles, i can´t be more proud of my Nexus One on GRI40 ;). By the way, the Samsung looks like a plastic one, i would choose the HTC just looking to the batt.

  • http://verizonwireless.com Tricia

    I like the Thunderbolt because, its sturdy and its just a great phone and if I ever accidentally drop it I could guarantee it wouldn't break as bad as if I had the samsung charge it feels like my sons toy phone.Well ladies I prefer it hard and very solid not light and fragile. Peace out.

  • derek

    to me the thunderbolt is way better in so many areas and htc will get gingerbread to the t bolt first and the charge reminds me of an older blackberry honestly maybe another lawsuit for samsung lmao

  • bowhunter

    I think when I update my phone I will go with the tb ive looked at both of the phones and the tb just kicks azz I have the droid x now and like the heck outta it I would be lost without my droid x

  • WRV6060

    I am still trying to decide...Did they fix all of the terrible battery problems on Thunderbolt? If not I was told that Samsung has much better battery life due to the new screen. Is that true or sales pitch?

  • MorTality

    I Live in a 3g only area and I can assure you I can surf the web and talk on the phone at the same time. Thunderbolt has 2 radios in it. If I remember right one does 1x and 3g and the other does 3g and LTE. As far as battery, get the extended battery. It makes the phone a tad thicker but it also makes it easier to hang on to. I can run all day on the stock battery, but it is dead by the end of the day with moderate use in 3g. As far as speed, it is a smoking fast phone, and I get good call quality.

  • Jiw

    Getting the thunderbolt next week. Looks like a great phone. Seems to me like the only thing the charge has going for it is the super amoled screen. I don't care too much about that. I just like the size of it, and the sturdy feel of the tb wins me over. My stock nexus one is running Gingerbread. And has been for a few months. Nanner nanner.

  • Mike

    I can say for a fact the TB is a POS. I had two of them within 30 days. So many problems. One problem is that it kept shutting down constantly no matter what I was doing. Verizon knows about the software issue and I would like to know why they keep selling them.

    • Eddie

      i agree with u i bought my thounder bolt back in july i like it at farst till HTC start push update on us like 2 weeks ago and it mess my up i call and got 4 replacement and now i say good bye Thounderbolt and i got a droid charge by samsung i hope and pry ity better i agree Verizon knows about the software issue and keep say they cant stop HTC from send out the updates i thank that crap i own the phone i should be able to do what i want to with it

  • Malcolm

    dido...I just picked up the charge because my TB was shutting itself off a couple times a day. I really liked the TB and I'm finding the change smooth, but definately different. Both phones seem to run similarly albeit it is a different feel to the charge. I have noticed very little difference in performance except in one spot...the battery life. Charge kills the TB here....from what I've seen.

  • Tom

    TO OPEN OR NOT TO OPEN MY CHARGE THAT I CAN RETURN/EXCHANGE:

    I bought the charge online during the workweek but when I looked at it at verizon store on Saturday, the whites (while browsing ) were SO washed out compared to the LG Revolution and the Thunderbolt. What do you all think with the charge? washed-out whites or bright whites (like the amazing colors)?

    Samsung says there is no fox for this. I like the Thunderbolt but it has so many issues i read and switching out phones will delete days from my contracted time of usage. Also the thunderbolt will never run netflix etc. and requires extended battery which i like the lookas of actual and,,,,,,had SUPER high SAR (ok ok who cares while we have a few meltdowns and one melt-through that could saturate the Northern Hemisphere in a matter of years :(
    BUT i am leaning to the Revolution 'cause
    i like it's sharp display I HOPE i can remove bloatware with out 'rooting' etc which seems to end warranty and it's build isn't so light and plastic like the Samsung (fixed by a good case of course so that's not an issue).

    NOTABLY the verizon store rep showed me how much ****FASTER speeds the Thunderbolt got on 4G right next to the charge -- twice as fast!****
    Is it still necessary to have voice data simultaneous capabilties for the next 2 years of contract? If so i must chose thunderbolt depsite so many many issues even connectivity issues and battery draining to 0% while turned off!!!!!

    • sunsetpassion87

      well i have the charge nd my signal is really bad and im thinking about switching to the Revolutiong or the Tbolt but then again shuld i just stay with the charge?

    • shirley

      Actually I only get 3g on my TB. I can do data and voice.I can also run netflix on it. Battery life isn't the best. But no biggie I keep a charger at work as well as home. I almost traded mine off. So glad I didn't. It's a awesome phone.

  • mike.h

    I did the sweetest on both, repeatedly... Back and forth neither won... I am getting 2 charges tomorrow to replace my glitched out tbolts. I am on my 3rd certified like new, and none could get the 2.3 update or the fix update.

    • sunsetpassion87

      so exchanging your tbolt forthe charge? y?

  • sunsetpassion87

    WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE OUT THE HTC Thunderbolt or the LG Revolution?

  • lipeor

    I have the charge and is the best phone ever have battery life is great all day goes with out problem calling texting streaming radio, web, facebook twitter emails, and keep and keep going just *****

  • Zigala

    I had to replace my thunderbolt twice and each time ended up with new problems. I now have the droid charge and it is amazing! very fast and easy plus display is awesome. I'm also a big swype user which the thunderbolt did not offer and the charge does. Both good phones minus the tb problems I had but I defiantly prefer the charge hands down.

  • http://androidpolice Jocie

    Ok so I have the thunderbolt and I'm having some major issues.with.internet connection, the typing since he keeps selecting words for me, downloading and opening apps. I have done some research and it seems a lot of ppl are having these same problems... Does the Samsung charge have these problems as well or is it the whole 4G network with Verizon? I love how the thunderbolt looks but it is really frustrating.. I'm torn between the two phones. Help please?? Oh and why can't I insert smileys?

  • Larina

    Ive had the charge for 2 months now and i LOVE it. Great display, works very fast and smooth, great camera and many other great features. I initially bought the thunderbolt, and i was NOT impressed. Didn't like the layout of the messaging, the screens & terrible battery. Charge blows thunderbolt outa the water....worth the extra $$$, i also had a Motorola droid X before my charge, & to me the charge is more similar to the
    droid X than the thunderbolt. I think the charge is only less popular becuz its newer & not as many people have had them yet. To anybody who's undecided.....get the charge. Its worth it, u'll really enjoy it.

  • twindragons187

    Samsung charge =no or really late update, no data and talk on 3g. Only thing it has nice is the display.

    Thunderbolt, u get voice and data on 3g, kickstand, dolby surround speaker(underneath kickstand) yes it runs netflix, will get ginger before the charge, battery depends on how u use it(like any smartphone, this varies) a lot more dev community, built better, no plastic feel, better camera....the list goes on

  • djbjrb

    I have the charge and its a great phone! It does run netflix..it texts while on the phone and make calls while surfing..and its very light..who cares if its plastic. ..Don't you put a plastic case to protect your phone anyways? Well I do..! Graphics are amazing and media hub is cool too..phone is really fast...13 down. ..12 up. On 4 g in my house