Motorola DROID 3 vs HTC ThunderBolt

Introduction and Design

In a battle for the good fight, Verizon’s lineup is stacked to the brim with some quality Android smartphones that encompass every bit of the spectrum – so whether it’s data speed or processing power that you’re concerned about most, they have you fully covered. Naturally, the HTC ThunderBolt has been riding the wave of success as being the carrier’s very first 4G LTE enabled smartphone, but with anything technology related, its top tiered status will naturally dissipate over time. With that knowledge, the Motorola DROID 3 is coming from out of the shadows to take back the spotlight and shine it on the beloved original DROID line once again. So who’s going to come out on top with this one?


On the surface, the two appear to be quite similar with their conventional slate looks – albeit, the DROID 3 takes the QWERTY landscape sliding form factor. In all honestly, their industrial designs don’t come off as being drastically different from the crop, but the ThunderBolt feels considerably better to hold in the hand due to its rounded corners and curved edges. At the same time, we definitely enjoy their metallic like casings that are complemented tremendously with their soft touch coated rears, which enables them to look fairly clean at all times. Their overall size might be almost identical, but it’s impressive to find the DROID 3 actually sporting the thinner frame at 0.5” thick – especially when it’s packing a spacious landscape keyboard. Nevertheless, there isn’t any particular one that unanimously manages to capture our attention since they use the same solid construction and cookie cutter designs.

Rightfully so, the DROID 3’s display exhibits more detail thanks partly to its 4” qHD (540 x 960) display, which results in higher pixel density than the ThunderBolt’s 4.3” WVGA (480 x 800) Super LCD panel. Nevertheless, we’re accepting of their sharp details that allow fine text to be more than visible to the eye. However, we prefer the ThunderBolt’s color production since it’s able to pump out the more vibrant colors tones between the two. Just by a smidgen more, it’s evident that the DROID 3’s overall brightness output is stronger – though, we’re still finding ourselves shielding both devices outdoors with the sun around.

With its graspable lip, we pretty much have no issues in accidentally pressing the usual set of Android capacitive buttons on the DROID 3. On the other hand, we still find ourselves doing just that with the ThunderBolt since they’re positioned close to the edge.

As a whole, the DROID 3 utilizes prominent power key and volume rocker – but we’re not fans of their stiff response. Conversely, the ThunderBolt’s physical buttons are rather flat in stature, but at least they produce a better tactile feel when pressed.

Increasingly becoming prominent amongst top-end smartphones, we find the Motorola DROID 3’s microHDMI port especially gratifying seeing that it allows for quick and easy sharing of multimedia content – not to mention offering that ever so useful mirrored experience. Sadly, the ThunderBolt lacks this one particular element to shine its overall allure. Maybe next time around?

Some commonalities between the two include their front-facing cameras for video chat and taking those illustrious self-portraits, microUSB ports for charging and data connectivity, microSD card slots, and 3.5mm headset jacks.

Photo enthusiast will undoubtedly like the fact that the two smartphones feature 8-megapixel auto-focus cameras in the rear. However, the ThunderBolt complements things with a dual-LED flash as opposed to the single one on the DROID 3.

Blatantly, the two handsets deliver their own unique characteristics to separate them from one another. Specifically, text messengers will truly adore the spacious and absolutely useful physical keyboard of the Motorola DROID 3. And in fact, we still can’t stop throwing Motorola with adulation for refining its iconic looking keyboard! Oppositely, the HTC ThunderBolt enchants movie buffs with the aid of its flip out kickstand – giving us that hands-free experience while watching some of our favorite flicks. Sure it can keep the ThunderBolt up, but seeing that the DROID 3 has some sharp edges, we’re able to prop it upright on its side as well.

Motorola DROID 3 360-degrees View:

HTC ThunderBolt 360-degrees View:

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless