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Android Phones
HTC ThunderBolt vs. HTC EVO 4G

Wirefly Learn » Android Phones

February 11th, 2011


The HTC EVO 4G has been a runaway success for Sprint, putting the carrier on the map with a truely great Android phone. Not only that, the EVO 4G was the first 4G phone available in the U.S., and Sprint had the 4G distinction to itself for a few months.

However, it’s now Verizon Wireless’ turn to roar back with its version of the HTC hardware on which the EVO 4G is based. The HTC ThunderBolt takes all the goodness of the EVO 4G and pushes it further. These are both excellent phones, so Wirefly wanted to pit them head-to-head in a Schmackdown. Is there a clear winner? You can bet on it.

Click on the video to the right to see what happens when two of the fastest and most competent Android phones share the Wirefly Schmackdown ring, and check out the comparison chart below.

HTC EVO 4G HTC ThunderBolt  
HTC EVO 4G HTC ThunderBolt
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Wirefly’s Price
(as of publish date)
$184.99 Special Wirefly Price
Carrier Sprint Verizon
Operating System Android 2.2 Android 2.2
Interface HTC Sense

HTC Sense

Display 4.3″ LCD, 480 x 800 pixels 4.3″ LCD, 480 x 800 pixels
Data Speed 4G WiMax 4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1
Mobile Hotspot Yes – Optional Yes – Optional
Camera 8-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus 8-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
Front-facing Camera Yes; 1.3-megapixel Yes; 1.3-megapixel
Video Capture Yes; 720p HD Yes; 720p HD
Apps Android Market Android Market
Music Player Yes Yes
Adobe Flash Support Adobe Flash 10.1 Adobe Flash 10.1
Storage Space 1GB onboard; 8GB microSD pre-installed 8GB onboard; 32 GB microSD pre-installed
Keyboard Virtual QWERTY Virtual QWERTY
Battery 1,500 mAh, lithium-ion 1,400 mAh, lithium-ion
Processor Single 1 GHz processor Single 1 GHz processor
Memory RAM: 512MB RAM: 768MB
Microsoft Outlook Support Yes Yes
View Word Docs Yes Yes
Weight 6 oz 5.5 oz
Dimensions 4.8″ x 2.6″ x 0.5″ 4.8″ x 2.6″ x 0.5″

Key Differences

  • Display: The HTC EVO 4G has a 4.3-inch LCD display, the same as the HTC ThunderBolt. Both screens have 480 x 800-pixel resolution and provide lots of space for an on-screen virtual keyboard.
  • Operating system: The HTC EVO 4G and the ThunderBolt run Android 2.2, a fast and stable operating system.
  • Processor and RAM: Both the HTC ThunderBolt and the HTC EVO 4G have 1GHz processors. The EVO 4G has 512MB of RAB, and the ThunderBolt will have 768MB of RAM.
  • Keyboard: Both the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC ThunderBolt have on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboards. Neither has an actual physical keyboard.
  • Storage Space: The HTC ThunderBolt is expected to ship with 8GB of on-board storage, while the HTC EVO 4G has 1GB of on-board storage. Both phones have microSD slots to accommodate memory cards up to 32GB.
  • Camera: Both the HTC ThunderBolt and the HTC EVO 4G have 8-megapixel still-image cameras that can also record HD video at 720p. Both phones have front-facing cameras for video chat, both measuring 1.3-megapixels.
  • Battery: The HTC ThunderBolt will have a 1,400 mAh battery. The capacity of the battery in the HTC EVO 4G is 1,500 mAh.

Shop Now for Phones from AT&T Wirelesss, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Related posts:

  1. HTC Inspire vs. HTC ThunderBolt
  2. HTC EVO 3D vs. HTC ThunderBolt Comparison
  3. HTC ThunderBolt vs. T-Mobile G2x Comparison
  4. Motorola DROID Bionic vs. HTC ThunderBolt

45 Responses to “HTC ThunderBolt vs. HTC EVO 4G”

  • marc belanger
    June 14, 2011

    I have the Thunderbolt. It is much faster than the EVO, and has the exact functions, but with improvements to every one, except the battery. I speedtest on Verizon’s 4g average speed is 15.5 Mbps. The benchmark is averaging 1998, not ridiculously fast, but with the new gingerbread software being released soon, it will work better with the network speeds. You can talk and surf the web like AT&T with this phone also. This isn’t the fastest functioning phone, but the speed of the internet along with this phones design works well. The fastest radio available for LTE is installed for the thunderbolt, so around specific towers this service is impressively fast, up to 22 Mbps I have run and speedtested. The Motorola dual cores bench faster, but the radios can’t flash past 14.6 Mbits, no stay away from shot that will bottleneck…:. Thunderbolt rocks… And, the DLNA output does have hd out, just needs a special DLNA-hdmi cable.

  • Derek
    May 30, 2011

    Oh and the thunderbolt has dual flash

  • Derek
    May 30, 2011

    I think the tb is the better choice with lte even though it has battery issues. The evo is a great phone and all, but I don’t want to switch to sprint.

  • thani
    May 26, 2011

    do you have to pay per month or ten cents per min

    • Thani, Wirefly has both pre-paid phones and post-paid phones. With a post-paid phone, you pay a monthly fee for your phone service. With pre-paid, you pay up front and use the phone with no further payments. Your choice.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Jeremy
    May 8, 2011

    This test is pathetic, not fair at all. why don’t you consider being honest about the comparison, be sure for the future that you actually put down accurate specs for the devices, you lose credibility very fast, their are developers in the world that know what the really specs are of most devices on the market, but of course your just looking for eyes of the less knowledgeable. FOR THOSE VIEWING, CONSIDER LOOKING AT HTC.COM, OH YEAH THE DEVELOPERS OF THE PHONE WILL HAVE THE FULL SPEC SHEETS AND COMPARISON REPORTS FOR BOTH DEVICES.

  • they made a mistake on the stats, the EVO comes with only an 8gig card and accepts 32, the adds say 32g availability ( nice one techs )

    • it was a nice ine for the techs..if it supports a 32gb card then GUESS WHAT..IT HAS 32GB AVAILABILITY…imagine that genious.

    • They mean the EVO has 1 gig of storage plus the 8 card the tb has 8 plus 8
      EVO still holds its own being a year older . And my EVO is just as fast if not a lot on it . Tb does have more storage though

  • Still w/Sprint... at least for now
    March 29, 2011

    I understand that the T-bolt has some new mods over the Evo, but wondering if:

    A.) Can you toggle between 3G and 4G on the T-bolt? How about the Evo? (I’m guessing that will make a BIG difference on battery life)

    B.) Verizon’s LTE doesn’t have a whole lot of traffic on it right now. Heck, anyone can drive 100 mph when there’s no one else on the road… but is the speed expected to slow down in major cities once tens of thousands of people get LTE 4G phones this year? Will the Verizon highway soon be just as clogged and slow as Sprint’s?

    • my enterprise
      July 1, 2011

      @still w/sprint
      there is a hidden menu vz doesn’t want you to know about that allows you to turn off the 4g. you just open the phone feature and dial a combination of symbols and numbers to open it. i switched from vz to sprint but i cant handle the speeds of 4g that at times are slower the 3g. going to take my family back to vz. oh did i mention i have an evo? great phone crappy data speeds.

    • U can toggle between 3g and 4g on EVO

  • I own both devices as I just switched to Verizon yesterday and haven’t sold my EVO yet. I owned my EVO for a year and have both phones rooted. I don’t understand why (can’t image just the memory would make such a difference)but the Thunderbolt blows the EVO out of the water by a long shot in performance! It isn’t even close! Blows my mind as I was a big EVO fan! Trust me all I’m a gadget geek and even with the EVO rooted and overclocked it doesn’t even come close to the Thunderbolt stock!

  • wow he is running wifi on the thunderbolt and the evo only has three bars of service. not comparable to wifi service. not a fair test.

  • jillaustin
    March 18, 2011

    We switched to Verizon from sprint because we could not stand the slow data speed with sprint and the fact that we only picked up 4g speeds driving down the highway and never worked in any actual buildings. We actually had close to Sprint “4g” speeds previously with our 3g Droids. We were planning to wait to switch to the MOTO bionic because my argument to my husband was that the Thunderbolt is the same phone as our EVO. However I broke the screen on my EVO and it inspired me to switch sooner to the thunderbolt. I had to reply to the comment that the reviewer did not notice the difference on the screen because the differences in the screen are impressive. My husband and I were both surprised with how bright and vivid the colors look on the thunderbolt compared to the EVO and other Androids we owned (even at the lowest brightness settings). Other things that have impressed me about the phone are the much improved Ui over the EVO and the speed difference we are noticing with the extra memory. Also a big issue we always had on the evp was always having to try to move programs to the SD card or uninstalling because we can’t fit the programs we want on the small built in memory. Best of all the 4g speeds on Verizon are 5x faster and comparable to our home fiber (& it is on all the time and you don’t need to flip it off because you are concerned about battery) http://www.speedtest.net/android/38918184.png. all that said the average user probably won’t notice all the differences but to us these are huge differences and we are so glad we switched back. Only negative is battery is still equally sucks and o will likely upgrade to the extended seidio again soon.

  • Hecphus
    March 18, 2011

    Will you be able to use data in a call like the evo I heard that the ip4 on verizon can’t search the web or use any data while talking on the phone will be a deal breaker if I cant search the web while im on the phone like the evo can


  • Evo = HDMI output. Thunderbolt = DLNA output.
    Evo = Tethering? Thunderbolt = 8 devices.

  • I have to wonder if the thunderbolt tested in the video has a slight performance edge because:
    As stated… the thunderbolt was a prerelease demo phone. Not suffering from any preloaded bloatware from Verizon.

    It is also worth noting that his EVO was far from out the box new. I.e. fring icon in upper left, user customization apparent on desktop.

    I am not hating in no way… Nor am I stupid enough to try and argue that 50% more RAM would not help the Tbolt. I will not EVOfanboy the ‘new snapdragon processor’ as HTC propaganda and Verizon buzz-word hype.

    I will simply admit that a bigger kickstand and refined/optimized processing is a result that cannot be benchmarked or refuted. Verizon users will defiantly enjoy their new Tbolt. Soon they will be able to share the same ‘wow’ factor Sprint EVO users experienced 8 months ago. I simply hope Verizon subscribers were smart enough to anticipate this new phone built upon the EVO platform. Their do diligence and ability to avoid the iP4 will be rewarded..

    Happy EVO

    P.S. EBay + batteries = teh hax

  • engelsione
    February 28, 2011

    by the way.my Evo is rooted with Unrevoked3 and my ROM is Kings Unleashed Ultra
    there is no phone close to this baby,the only phone that can be close contender will be a
    flashed HTC HD2 because this phone can run on 2 different OS Android 2.2 and Windows7

    • superpiff420
      August 20, 2011

      I completely agree I just retired my hd2 and got an EVO.I loved my hd2 though flashed just about every Rom that came out on nand. I also like this EVO but I still have to root it to unlock the full potential

  • engelsione
    February 28, 2011

    Is the same phone!!!! LOL by the way…My Evo has an HDMI output!!

  • I currently have the evo (flashed) and was wondering if I should get the thunderbolt … would it be worth it my evo currently is ok but but the cell phone provider I have sucks I can’t even have video calls but I want to switch to Verizon for the speed would it be worth it

  • This article is not very helpful. The only key differences seem to be RAM, storage and battery. Is this correct?

  • It’s basically the same phone (just a sooped uup ram and a verizon logo)gimme a break.

    • superpiff420
      August 20, 2011

      That and the sense version is more like desire hd which really isn’t that big a deal.

  • michael tech
    February 19, 2011

    LOL I can’t wait till sprint gets a new HTC phone and iPhone and blow the world out with sprints fast 4g

  • Will the Thunderbolt be able to run on both 3G-CDMA 1X Networks and 4G networks. We do not expect to have LTE in my area till later in the year.I am due for an upgrade in April. I have been looking at the Droid Incredible but am also interested in this phone. Trying to make an educated decision on a smartphone knowing I have to live with it for two years.

  • How important is the RAMM difference? The EVO only has 512 MB compared to the Thunderbolt 768 MB. Also, I saw in a video that the new Samsung 4G LTE phone that is coming out only has 512 mb. How much of a difference does the 768 make compared to the 512?

    • The amount of RAM plays an important role in the overall speed of the phone. Just like a computer, the phone will respond faster when it has more memory. All other things being equal, the phone that has more RAM will run faster and more smoothly.

      Bob at Wirefly

      • Thanks for the info. I saw another review that said the Thunderbolt has a better “Super LCD screen”. Do you know if the LCD screen is better than the EVO? Also, were you able to get a feel yet on how well the smaller 1400 mah battery keeps it’s charge? For example, is it better, worse, or the same as the Evo? My current phone is pre-Android so I don’t really know what the norm is for these phones. I saw your part 1 and 2 videos on youtube and appreciate the reviews so thanks again!

        • I honestly didn’t notice a difference between the screens on the EVO 4G and the ThunderBolt — they both look good. As for the battery, the ThunderBolt I have is not activated, so we don’t carry it around as much as an activated phone. Still, my impression is that the ThunderBolt’s battery life is average. I really can’t say any more than that.

          Bob at Wirefly

  • One thing that the EVO has that the TB does not is the HDMI output. That might not matter to most people, but it’s worth mentioning.

    February 12, 2011

    Thurderbolt $750 off contract. Not sure I want to spend that much.

  • Thun der bolt ! Thun der bolt! Thun der bolt!

    Owns the market when it comes out on the 24th(: will be $249.99 with 2-year contract or upgrade

    • what if am not due for a upgrade and i want to buy this phone how much would it be?

      • Which phone do you want to buy, Angela? We do not know the selling price of the ThunderBolt just yet, but will post the price as soon as we can.


      • Angela, give Wirefly a call at 800-552-9000. Keep in mind that we do not have a price for the ThunderBolt established yet, so you might want to wait for a week or so before you ask about the ThunderBolt’s price.

        Hope that helps!

        Bob at Wirefly

  • To me it’s surprising that the specs of the phones are about the same, but Verizon expects people to pay the same price people paid for the EVO last summer. I would’ve expected the thunderbolt to be closer to the price of the Inspire w/ ATT, which is pretty much the same phone also.

    • Same specs? This is the second generation of the snapdragon, which will run faster and have better efficiency than the evo, and has a better GPU. It also has 50% more RAM and 8x the onboard storage. Not quite the same. People are upset it’s not dual core like the bionic, but the bionic only has 512mb ram and that’s going to be 1st gen, and dual core on a phone isn’t really going to make a huge difference. There will be better phones, there always are, but the TB is an improvement hardware wise from the evo, that’s why it’s more expensive. Battery life, I agree, may be an issue.

    • michael tech
      February 19, 2011

      Yes but if you would get the inspire it is on a slow 4g and Verizon and sprint are on fast 4g networks and the screen is bigger on the thunderbolt than the inspire and the thunderbolt comes with more memory and a has a faster running proseccer than the inspire if I was you get a thunderbolt or a Htc evolution the top 2 phones with fast 4g networks.

  • Thank you for the information – I fixed this page. Much of the information here was based on overly optimistic specs released at the recent CES.

    Bob at Wirefly

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