HTC Thunderbolt Vs Motorola Droid Bionic: Release Date Decisions

By Alan Ng - Mar 16, 2011

With the highly anticipated HTC Thunderbolt due to land tomorrow on Verizon, it’s going to be the first handset to support their new 4G LTE network – but it won’t be the last. Another 4G LTE handset by Motorola called the Droid Bionic is also coming to Verizon, and it packs much better specs as well we might add.

We asked the question earlier if consumers were choosing the HTC Thunderbolt solely based on the fact that it’s going to offer 4G speeds, as those who have studied the specs of the device will know that it’s nothing to get too excited about.

The Droid Bionic on the other hand looks like the real deal for 2011, and it’s biggest feature is undoubtedly the inclusion of a 1Ghz dual-core processor and a 4.3 inch qHD touchscreen capacitive display, which is apparently comparable to Apple’s Retina Display featured on the iPhone 4.

Despite the fact that the Droid Bionic only ships with Android 2.2 like the HTC Thunderbolt, Motorola has already said that they’ll be upgrading to 2.3 Gingerbread shortly after release. Whether the same thing happens for the Thunderbolt remains to be seen though, as it seems very unlikely that HTC or Verizon will prepare the update before the end of March – we can hope for this though.

The Thunderbolt releases March 17 on Verizon, but the Motorola Droid Bionic has yet to be given a date on Verizon other than Q2. Are you prepared to wait for the Droid Bionic with better hardware features and a dual-core processor, or are you just going to pick up a Thunderbolt at the first opportunity? We’re interested to know your thoughts on this.

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Also See: New 2016 HTC Nexus tablet desired during October launch

  • Jon

    I kinda wished the Bionic had 1 gig of ram like the Atrix. But since my contract is not up for 3 months, I’ll wait and see how the Thunderbolt, Bionic, and LG Revolution stack up. And price is a huge factor too. iPhone 5 ??? Apple is slow about certain things, 3G for one, and 4G most likely wont be seen until mid 2012.

  • rachel

    just fyi all phone companies lie as for customer service i haven't had a problem with them. I have verizon phone takes a crap I get new phone next day after putting in claim. my friend has at&t took much longer time to get phone had to prove to them it was damaged by asking questions and lots of red tape. I have better service than the people who have at&t and now in june we are rumored to be getting the 4g in my area (i live in the country and yes i pull 3g the people in my family who have at&t do not even have 3g! so talk about screwing customers over at&t takes the award for that in my opinion

  • juan

    Dam I want the thunderbolt now its faster and better than my droid x oh well/// and I agree with lindsay

  • Lindsay


    1. Verizon PROMISED and stated by their CEO that smart phones would not go over $199.00 on a 2 year upgrade. New phones now up to $299.00. A VERIZON LIE!!!

    2. Verizon told new customers when they signed up that they would get the new every 2 plan as long as they were customers. NOW VERIZON TAKES THAT AWAY, AND IN THEIR OWN WORDS, TO INCREASE PROFITS. Another Verizon Lie.

    3. Verizon only offers customers one unlimited data plan, even to those that use very little data. THIS MEANS VERIZON CUSTOMERS THAT USE LITTLE DATA *** PAY *** FOR HEAVY USERS. Verizon did this in an effort to draw AT&T customers to Verizon. BUT THEY ARE WILLING TO SCREW EXISTING VERIZON CUSTOMERS TO DO THIS.

    • Jason

      Should they offer two unlimited data plans? Kinda seems pointless to me. Unlimited is unlimited. If you don't like it, get the lesser data plan.

  • Lindsay

    3. Verizon only offers customers one unlimited data plan, even to those that use very little data. THIS MEANS VERIZON CUSTOMERS THAT USE LITTLE DATA *** PAY *** FOR HEAVY USERS. Verizon did this in an effort to draw AT&T customers to Verizon. BUT THEY ARE WILLING TO SCREW EXISTING VERIZON CUSTOMERS TO DO THIS.

    4. Verizon has LIED TO ITS CUSTOMERS ON A REGULAR BASIS. Promises made and broken. CUSTOMERS SERVICE LEVELS HAVE STEADILY DROPPED OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS FOR THE SAKE OF INCREASING PROFITS. I have been a customer over 10 Years and watched more and more of their Customer Service taken away to increase PROFITS.


    AT&T now beats Verizon on all levels of customer service and pricing.


  • Robert Johnson

    Neil – that is a very interesting and cool idea. I was wondering about the lack of HDMI connection on the Thunderbolt, and see that the Bionic indeed has HDMI-Out.

    I HAVE THE THUNDERBOLT. One terrible bit of news is that the battery life is TERRIBLE. It is so bad that I am contemplating just getting the IPhone 4; paying the $35 re-stocking fee, and waiting for IPhone 5 and just sell the IPhone 4 or give to wife.

    Or – following your idea, assuming the Bionic has far better battery life, getting the Moto Bionic and an IPad2. Confused about that.

    But to conclude – The Thunderbolt is going to get destroyed with reviews about its battery. It wont even last several hours after a fulll charge — and I wasnt even playing games, YouTube videos, or other power hungry apps. Just phone (via bluetooth ear piece), text, email and web browsing, and the battery is gone within a few hours. I am dead serious.

    Robert Johnson
    Danville California. Got my Thunderbolt at Walnut Creek Verizon yesterday

  • roguedroid

    droid Rocks.

  • Linda

    I was all set to replace my very old phone with the Thunderbolt, but after some very intense research I've decided to wait for the Bionic. I hope it's released soon because I'm limping along, out of contract, with a phone that could crap at any time. HURRY UP Motorola and Verizon!!!!

  • Neil

    Incidentally, since Verizon now has begun to roll out 4G phones with the introduction of the Thunderbolt, what is delaying Motorola from upgrading their Xoom to 4G? The combination of this failure, and Moto's failure to release the Bionic has me contemplating buying a Thunderbolt in combination with a Wifi version of the IPad2. I would use the Thunderbolt running 4G as a hotspot for the IPad2. That combo would give me a 4G IPad2, and has the added advantage that I could use the IPad2 plus a VOIP app like LINE2 in order to use my IPad as a phone overseas, wherever I can find a Wifi hotspot. It would also give me an HDMI connection for any content I could download from my Thunderbolt to IPad combo. HAS ANYONE ELSE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS COMBO?

    • JT00

      Droid Bionic no matter what will have hotspot. If not, you can always root it to get that capability. I rooted my droid 1 and used it as a hotspot for up to 3 people. Droid Bionic is hands down better. I got the iPad 1 about 3 months ago and am upset now there is an iPad 2 🙁

  • Neil

    IF MOTO DELAYS BIONIC RELEASE UNTIL JUNE OR JULY, THE MARKET WILL EVAPORATE for 2 reasons: Anyone willing to compromise slightly on quality will have bought the slightly less desirable Thunderbolt and anyone still waiting for the perfect phone can delay a little longer and get the IPhone 5 — rumored to have capabilities far beyond the Bionic. In other words, there is a narrow March 18-May 15 window for release, beyond which the phone becomes unmarketable. Since they already have built the Matrix, one must wonder what is delaying production of the nearly identical Bionic. Is this disastrous marketing decision for Motorola one they made voluntarily, or one imposed on them by Verizon?

  • Wulf

    I'm trying to wait for the Bionic. However, I'm already due for an upgrade. The fact that Motorola isn't even giving a release date is making me itchy. I'll have to try to avoid Verizon stores for now. I don't think I can turn down the instant gratification.

    C'mon Motorola! Step up and set a release date.

  • Dustin

    No rush, besides the Bionic is a beast in comparison.

  • Adam

    The reason why it would be worth it to get a Thunderbolt is the LTE pricing. Right now, Verizon is offering the 30 dollar unlimited data plan for 4g but all sources are saying that will change by the summer. So if you want a potentially less expensive plan with more data, it is worth it to get the Tbolt now as opposed to potentially having to pay for a more expensive LTE plan on the bionic with a limit on data.

  • Tired of Waiting

    I am afraind my uopgrade will fade away (i.e. Verizon will cancel it) before the Bionic comes out. So, I will be getting the Tbolt. But I would rather wait for the Bionic. Still, Iam sure Q2 will turn into Q3, will turn into Xmas.


    I have to wait until May 1 anyway to get my upgrade through VZW. Bring on the BIONIC!

  • Guest

    As much as the delays have been frustrating, I've been waiting for months to use my Verizon new every two deal. I will be purchasing the Tbolt for fear the wait for the Bionic may be longer than we know. At this point EVERYTHING is better than my crappy Dare. And the Bionic will not have a removable memory card. It will be imbedded memory like the iPhone. No thanks. I like being able to upgrade and change cards.

    • Josh

      wrong bionic will have expandable mini sd un to 32g

    • Lee

      Actually, the Bionic will have 16GB imbedded storage AND a will support micro SD cards up to 32GB, for a total of an unprecedented 48GB of storage!!!

  • Buck

    I'd like to wait a few more months to check out both phones side-by-side, but the fact of the matter is the Tbolt is available now and the Bionic isn't available for 2-3 more months. I've already waited almost two excruciating months with my iPhone 3G (which I've hated since about 2 months into the contract), and I just don't have any more time to give. With all that said, I have a feeling once I've got that Tbolt in my hands, I'm not going to be second-guessing my decision for a loooooong time.

  • Buck

    I'm getting the Tbolt because I can't wait and because, while I've never used either, I hear a lot more good things about HTC Sense UI. Really, only three things about the Bionic put it ahead.

    1) Dual-core. Definitely a plus, once the software starts to support it. For now, it only beat the Tbolt by a couple hundred points in Quandrant (something like 1900 range for Tbolt to 2100 range for the Bionic), so not immediately that much of an advancement. Once software supports multi-cores better, though, watch the Bionic for leaps ahead on this front.
    2) Battery. Having used to work for a major player in the consumer battery industry (which, like the Tbolt, uses a "lighting bolt" symbol for its brand image), I can seriously question HTCs decision to use a 1400 MAH battery in the Tbolt. The Bionic will have–what–1950 MAH? Something like that. Hands down in favor of Bionic.
    3) Screen. This one hurts. I'd love to get my hands on both of these phones and compare them side by side, because I imagine the Bionic's screen will look WAY better than the Tbolt's screen, but my AT&T contract was up in January and I just can't wait anymore.

  • Wendy

    Tired of waiting … bye bye Blackberry, hello Thunderbolt.

  • jbilly

    i'm switching to at&t

    • Buck

      Ha! Good one. Now, seriously, which do you want, Tbolt or Bionic?

  • Josh

    They are both going to be smoking fast phones. If the radio transmitter for LTE hurts the Thunderbolt's battery as much as rumored then just wait to see how long the Bionic lasts with LTE and a Dual Core processor. It has a larger battery, but who knows if that's enough to offset the extra power consumption. When it comes down to it.. I'm replacing my G1 (Dream orig release) and I'm a bigger fan of HTC than Motorola so I'm going with the Thunderbolt.

    • STEVE

      Oh come on, the dual core processors are (at times) even more power conscious than the single core processors, also Motorola has been a huge game changer when it comes to battery life, look at the droid x, rated one of the longest lasting phones battery wise and its healthily spec'ed. Part of the reason of the TBolts delays was because they suck when it comes to battery life, LTE was draining the phone in under 3 hours. I can guarantee that the Bionic will blow that away for sure.

      • Buck

        I believe the LTE battery life issue was a software problem, resulting from switching back and forth between CDMA and LTE antennas in areas where coverage wasn't stellar. If HTC resolved that, it will no longer be an issue. If not, then the Bionic will likely have the same power consumption issues.

        With that said, the Bionic looks like an awesome phone and I wish I could wait another 2-3 months for one.

      • Guest

        you can drain it faster than that: full on brightness, Bluetooth, Baackgrounding several apps 45 min is my record on my friends thunderbolt
        Im going for bionic

  • NoDogg

    I will continue to suffer my Blackberry through a personally extended period of Lent, until the release of the Bionic…

  • Rich

    thunderbolt will have more memory to compensate for the processor

    • STEVE

      eh, wrong, thunderbolt has 3/4 of a GB of Single channel memory, whilst the Bionic has 512MB of Dual channel memory (comparable with 1GB of single channel memory)

      • Rich

        Thunderbolt has 768……..

      • Rich

        According to their official spec page, it’ll sport 768MB of RAM which will help make up for the lack of a dual-core processor. Of course, it’s already running the newest Snapdragon, so peformance wasn’t going to be an issue anyway

        • Guest

          Yes but the Thunderbolt is single channel while the Bionic is dual channel which makes the Bionic’s 512MB better than the Thunderbolt’s 768MB.

        • Bnk

          plus the bionic's memory is computer grade RAM where the thunderbolt's ram is mobile grade so the bionics will actually be more efficient. Plus I bought the thunderbolt and took it back because I was having voice problems with it and the battery is less than expectable whether it's on 3G or 4G people say well you can turn off 4G and it will be faster but that defeated the purpose of the phone I'm definitely waiting for the Bionic and then going to make my decision between which one to buy because the bionic looks like it's going to run circles around the thunderbolt

  • nat

    team thunderbolt…tired of waiting

  • thunderboltsuxass

    After thr rollercoaster ride with the Thunderbolt, and the constant price changes at Best Buy, I could care less abot this phone now. I will hold off for the Bionic at a cheeper price and better processor.

  • tbizell

    wating on bionic