I have been using the HTC Droid Incredible for a while now, and I have been eying over a few new phones as a replacement. The HTC Thunderbolt seemed like the best candidate, but now that it is out and the official price of $749 is set I am having second thoughts.
You see my wife is currently under contract with Verizon and when her contract ends I told her we would switch her to PagePlus and I would give her my Droid Incredible. By switching to PagePlus she will get more data, text, and talk minutes for a smaller monthly fee. That also means in a couple months I need to find another phone for myself.
I refuse to be locked into an expensive two year contract with mandatory data. I currently only have 100MB of data through PagePlus and I don’t have any trouble staying within the limit. So paying more for data that I don’t need seems ridiculous.
The criteria I had for my new phone is 1) a larger screen 2) Android OS 3) Verizon compatible so I can use it with PagePlus. This really makes for a small list, and the Thunderbolt was sitting at the top, that is until I saw the price.
So why is the HTC Thunderbolt so expensive? I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of the Thunderbolt and the Motorola Xoom, which I reviewed last month.
|HTC Thunderbolt||Motorola Xoom|
|Processor||Qualcomm MSM8655, 1GHz, Qualcomm MDM9600||1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 – Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU|
|Screen||4.3 ” capacitive touch screen, 480 x 800 resolution||10.1″ capacitive touch screen, 1280 x 800 resolution|
|Memory||8GB internal + 768 RAM, preinstalled 32 GB microSD||32GB internal + 1GB RAM|
|Cameras||8MP rear facing, 1.3MP front facing||5MP rear facing, 2MP front facing|
|Battery||1400 mAh||6500 mAh|
|Networks||4G, 3G||4G (free upgrade), 3G|
|WiFi||2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)||2.4GHz and 5.0GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)|
I realize that these two devices are not in the same class, but what I am interested in is what hardware we get for our money. When the Motorola Xoom came out everyone seemed shocked by the high price. The price was also one of the big negatives in my review of the Xoom. However, when compared to the Thunderbolt the Xoom’s price does not seem that bad.
The Thunderbolt is $50 cheaper than the Xoom, and for that $50 you get a smaller screen, lower resolution, smaller battery, single core processor, less internal memory, less RAM, lower resolution front facing camera, and only 2.4GHz wireless. That seems like a lot of hardware to give up for just $50 in savings. On the plus side the Thunderbolt has a higher resolution rear facing camera, and a preinstalled 32GB microSD card. Compared to the Xoom’s built-in 32GB this does not seem all that great.
Because the most expensive part of a phone/tablet is the screen I am really surprised that the Thunderbolt does not have a much lower price. With the Battery and CPU being the next most expensive parts, it concerns me even more. I can only assume that HTC and Verizon are artificially inflating the price in order to get consumers to buy the phone with a plan.
Why do you think the HTC Thunderbolt is so expensive?