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CES Fight Night: Olympus vs. Thunderbolt

CES 2011 is going to be a great one. Already, some real heavy-hitters are being talked about. Rumors are buzzing everywhere and keywords like “dual-core” and “4G/LTE” are making Android users foam at the mouth. Tonight however, we are going to focus on two of these heavy weights: the Motorola Olympus and the HTC Thunderbolt. Both are obviously unannounced so everything we are talking about is “rumor”, but the Android community has a knack for usually being right or very close.

The showdown between these two phones is going to be split into three very basic parts: hardware, software, and the devices as a whole (including things like carrier and manufacturer reputation and reliability. FIGHT!

ROUND 1: Hardware

The first device we are going to talk about is the Motorola Olympus. We have been hearing rumors about this device for quite some time now. This phone is rumored to have a 4 inch screen, but some are still speculating on whether the leaked pictures are showing a 4 inch or a 4.3 inch screen. For arguments’ sake, we are going to say it has a 4 inch screen. But folks, that’s not the most exciting spec of this phone by a long shot. The processor inside this bad boy is supposed to be a dual-core 1ghz Tegra II processor. This will be one of the first phones ever to pack a dual-core processor.  The Olympus is also sporting an 8 megapixel back camera and a front facing camera as well. The Olympus has some amazing specs.

The Motorola Olympus is not the only phone with some awesome specs however. The HTC Thunderbolt is definitely shaping up to be something special as well. The Thunderbolt has been talked about for a while, starting in late Q3 of last year. With the first rumored pics everyone was raving about the “Incredible HD” as some called it. At this point we believe the “Incredible HD” to be the Thunderbolt, and it is beautiful. This device has a 4.3 inch screen, much like the Evo’s. The whole form factor of the phone closely resembles that of the HTC Evo 4G. The Thunderbolt is also rumored to have a dual core processor which will be a 1.2 ghz Qualcomm dual-core processor. A blazing fast processor could take a toll on the battery life; luckily the Thunderbolt has a 1800 mAH battery. The Thunderbolt has some awesome cameras as well. An 8 megapixel back camera and a whopping 5 megapixel front facing camera made for HD video chat. That device is looking quite amazing from a hardware standpoint.

ROUND 2: Software

Both the Motorola Olympus and the HTC Thunderbolt are going to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This is exciting news, mainly because only the Nexus S is running Gingerbread thus far. Both phones however, are rumored to have their manufacturer’s custom skins on board. From Motorola you are going to get MotoBlur, but not the Motoblur that we are seeing on the Droid X or the Droid 2, but the blur we see on the Motorola Citrus (whaa?!). Yes, Motorola has decided that the custom skin that they include with their newer and lower end phones is what they want for their new flagship device. Whether this will be a good thing or a bad thing we will have to find out at CES. The HTC Thunderbolt will obviously have HTC Sense UI. One thing about this is that it will be the new Sense with that cool fast boot that we recently saw on the Desire Z and Desire HD. Most of us are pretty familiar with HTC Sense and even the new HTC Sense which isn’t really much different from the old. To be honest I think these companies could have done without their custom skins. It would be nice to see manufacturers just giving us what Google gave them, but obviously we don’t all get what we want.

ROUND 3: Wrap-Up

Both of these devices are looking to be spectacular additions to the Android lineup, and the decision will mainly rest upon what your preference of manufacturer and carrier is. The Olympus will have Motoblur and be on AT&T, however the Thunderbolt will have Sense and be on Verizon. Both of these phones have quite similar specs, but the HTC Thunderbolt has a faster processor and higher megapixel front facing camera. The Olympus’s processor is by no means slow though. As I have said before a lot of this decision is opinion and preference. In my case I would go with the Thunderbolt; partly because of its slightly better specs, and the fact that I love HTC. I like the finished product that they deliver. It usually feels sturdy and well put together (oh how we miss you Nexus One…). However, I own a Motorola Droid and it hasn’t failed me yet after over a year of use. Personally I am a little more excited for the Thunderbolt than the Olympus, but my opinion could definitely change when CES rolls around. I would definitely keep your eyes on these two however; they are both shaping up to be some awesome devices.

WINNER: HTC Thunderbolt

about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 16 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have advice? email [email protected]

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