HTC Thunderbolt v/s Apple iPhone 4 Review

The HTC Thunderbolt launched last month is the first 4G LTE device on Verizon. This device from HTC sports the new Scorpion line of processors, a beautiful 4.3″ gorilla glass display. It is supposed to be the best 4.3″ device. Now we will have a complete showdown of the Thunderbolt with the iPhone 4.

HTC v/s Apple

Looks and Feel

The HTC Thunderbolt is huge and has a Single body design. It does not have a plastic feeling as its bottom is made of metal with the kick stand and the back panel is very soft and padded. The only thing which comes to our mind when we hold the device is that it is very bulky and heavy and does make us feel as if we are holding a very costly device in our hands. The device is smooth to hold, the back panel provides good grip to hold the device. The Thunderbolt also packs the kick stand which is useful for watching movies hands free. The kick stand often comes to use due to its weight. The device has Average looks, but is sure to attract attention due to its size. It looks like any other HTC device thus having no unique looks and make us rate at as Average.

Looking at the iPhone 4 on the other hand, it is 20% lighter than the Thunderbolt. It is quite stylish with its glass finish and also looks really good with its metal edges. The iPhone 4 is sharper at the ends and has good grip while using it on the landscape mode. The iPhone 4 does really look great.

Comparing the looks and feel of the iPhone 4 with Thunderbolt, it’s really difficult to choose one and is solely a personal view and depends on their preferences to heavy and large or small and light device.


The HTC Thunderbolt has a 4.3” Gorilla Glass Display. The gorilla glass is known for its strength but Thunderbolt’s display is not that great when compared to the Super AMOLED of the Nexus S and the qHD display of the Atrix in full brightness. The resolution of the display is 480 x 800 pixels. The Thunderbolt has a 4.3” display which is massive and there is no Super AMOLED or qHD display available in that size. Taking into account the size of the display, the Thunderbolt has the best 4.3” Display.

Moving to the other side, the iPhone 4 is very famous for its 3.5” retina display, which is very bright and crisp. The Display resolution is 640 X 960 pixels which is better than that of the Thunderbolt.

Keeping aside personal views and preferences; for me, iPhone with its magnificent retina display is the winner.


The HTC Thunderbolt comes with Qualcomm’s MSM8655 Snapdragon chip-set which has a 1GHz Scorpion processor, the new line of processors from Qualcomm. It is said to consume less battery and perform better than its earlier processors used in HD2 and Nexus One. The chip also contains the Adreno 205 Gpu and is a very disappointing factor as HTC should have used the chip containing the adreno 220 GPU which would have given a better graphic performance. The Adreno 205 Gpu is the same chip which is used in SE Xperia Play, so I reckon it isn’t that bad for its performance. The Thunderbolt has a 768 MB RAM and 8 GB internal storage with a micro SD card slot which supports SD cards up to 32 GB. The Thunderbolt has an 8 mp primary camera which can record HD videos with dual LED flash and also a 1.3 MP front camera. The Thunderbolt has a 1400 mAh battery.

The iPhone 4 sports the A4 chip-set which consists of the 1 GHz cortex A8 processor and the Power VR SGX535 GPU, both the GPU and the processor are very powerful and integrated perfectly with the software. iPhone 4 has 512 mb RAM, and the internal storage has variants of 16 and 32 GB but does not have an expandable SD card slot. iPhone 4 has a 5MP primary camera with LED flash and HD recording and also a VGA front camera useful for Video calls. iPhone 4 has a 1420 mAh battery.

Now, I’d only say iPhone 4 wins here. The processors in both almost have the same power. Though the iPhone 4 does not have additional storage; the internal storage space is good enough. The software and hardware are properly integrated and gives better performance in terms of battery and has better graphics as-well. Its battery back-up is better than the Thunderbolt.

Operating System

This is the place where fans are free to have their own views, but straight away cutting deeper; The HTC Thunderbolt runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo) while the iPhone 4 runs on iOS 4.3.1 currently. Thunderbolt has HTC’s custom Sense 2.0 UI which is smooth and good looking, the widgets styles used in the Sense UI is pretty neat. When we consider the GUI both HTC Sense UI and the iOS UI are very easy to use. Android has many issues of battery drain and with only a 1400 mAh of battery in the thunderbolt, the battery backup of the device would be very low. Android is much faster compared to the iPhone 4 because of the built in JIT Dalvik cache also Android gives a better web experience. Also Android supports widgets and live wallpaper which is an eye candy.

The iOS UI is very polished, easy to use and the best part is that the battery consumption is low. Now looking at the applications; the iPhone 4 has really polished and very large amount of good quality applications, but in Android the quality of the applications are good but it still lacks something when compared to iOS. Nevertheless it is catching up at a very fast rate.  The iPhone 4 had registered about 350,000 + apps in its app store in the beginning of the year and Android has registered about 310,000+ apps. So here again there is no clear winner.

iPhone 4 missing LTE / 4G. Does it matter?

The competition has caught up. LTE is here, operators are pushing for it, it’s the new hype and Apple only has it in rumours. The iPad 2 launched without 4G support against a lot of speculations on Verizon. We feel that LTE for the masses would be a 2012 event. But it’s there, a lot of them want it (even with the extra cost of speed) and is sure to drain the battery a bit faster.

Perhaps the iPhone 5 would have 4G support, but for now the iPhone 4 supports CDMA and GSM (3G). If you absolutely need 4G, the discussion ends here. But if you are one of those who is yet to get the 4G love from your carrier or is yet to get 4G in your country / area, there isn’t much to talk about. All in all, Android offering has it, Apple doesn’t. Is it a big difference, probably not! But do you care?

[display model1=”HTC Thunderbolt” model2=”iPhone 4″ ]