Smart Phone Madness 2011 Final: HP Pre 3 vs. HTC Thunderbolt

This is no joke. It all comes down to this: The HP Pre 3 against the HTC Thunderbolt. I can hear Gus Johnson now…”Oh My Goodness!”

Click through to vote for your favorite, and help determine the champion of the 2011 Smart Phone Madness tournament.

In the semi-finals, the HP Pre 3, due to come out this summer, defeated theBlackBerry Torch, by about 700 votes. The Pre 3 sports a 3.6-inch, 800 x 480 screen, dual cameras, and a large, comfortable keyboard. Though a carrier has yet to be announced for this phone, webOS fans are certainly anticipating the device’s arrival. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our hands-on gallery of the Pre 3.

The HTC Thunderbolt took down its brother the HTC EVO Shift 4G in yesterday’s battle. And today it is again fighting for its life. The Thunderbolt (which we recently reviewed) has a nice and large 4.3-inch screen, a powerful 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor, 8GB + 768MB of RAM, and a 32GB microSD card. It sports front and rear-facing cameras, but doesn’t have great battery life. Its ace-in-the-hole, though, is Verizon Wireless’ superfast LTE 4G network and the hotspot functionality.

This poll will remain open until 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

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  1. i told u Says:

    how is this a consideration at all, Webos is superior to Android in every way and I dont have a Webos device currently anymore I have a htc arrive (which is second only webos). When the Pre 3 comes out it will dwarf once again all OS’s, and the only compeition it will have is WP7 (which is highlllllyyyyy underrated Ive used them all). This battle in paticular is a no brainer. The Thunderbolt last 2 hours, and the 4G cant be toggled off so your stuck pluggin it in all day long. The Pre 3 has a faster processor, a physical keyboard and front facing cam, and all the other bells and whistles. So please people lets all vote for the better product (like how the Pre Plus won in the past) and give credit were credit is due. Webos the future in operating systems.

  2. Dan Says:

    I voted for the pre 3, but how is this even fair? The Thunderbolt is already on shelves, whereas the pre 3 doesn’t come out until this summer. Doesn’t the pre kind of have an unfair advantage?

  3. ToadJr Says:

    If you do compare phone to phone on a spec level. Pre3 has more performance.
    If you compare OS to OS. webOS has won every poll to date.
    Ease of use, some eye candy, made to appeal both techy and non techy user
    Love the physical keyboard.
    Love the functionality between devices, can’t wait.
    2 camera’s +1, but not sure how often I will use.
    Screen is great size, which helps it still look like an actual PHONE. lol

  4. O Says:

    Shouldn’t this battle be between phones that are already out? Why not put the htc evo 3d in there then?

    4g can be toggled off on the thunderbolt, battery life still is not that great with all the bloatware they added.

  5. jupiment Says:

    First of all, there is an app to toggle off 4G (thank you Android, for being open source and allowing for the creation of what is needed). Second, the battery does NOT last 2 hours. It lasts about as long as my friend’s WP7 phone from T-Mobile. All 4.3in phones lack the proper battery for their size. It’s not an Android issue, it’s a Screen size issue. I’ve used WP7, and though it’s a good OS, it’s not perfect. Neither is iOS or WebOS. All have their positives and negatives. It comes down to preferences. At the end it’s a physical keyboard vs. a ridiculously fast web experience.

    “This is my phone. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My phone is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My phone, without 4G, is useless. Without my 4G, I am useless. I must use my phone true. I must search the web and make updates to my FB account faster than my enemy who is still trying to find a connection. I must use my GPS, listen to Pandora, play Angry Birds, root, overclock, flash a new ROM and send a text or two before he is finished with his email.”

  6. PhonePheak Says:

    WebOS is the lamest OS I have ever used. I would sooner go back to my iPhone than use this garbage. Also, I’m tired of hearing idiots that say the Thunderbolt only lasts like 2 hours. That is if you keep EVERY option on, and have everything set to sync automatically. WebOS will fall along the same path as WinMO and will be a thing of the past.

  7. Pre4ever Says:

    Do you notice that the “Editor’s Choice” phones all lost in the first round?

    And the Palm Pre3 is gonna win it all. Go Palm (HP) go!

  8. Steve-O Says:

    Palm Pre3 FTW!

  9. Pound Says:


    So what is the point then?? lol if you have every option on it only last 2 hours… How is that cool that you need to turn everything off to use a phone??

    How can you use a phone if everything is off better yet is it even a smart phone at that point?

  10. Pound Says:


    lol lol “My phone, without 4G, is useless. Without my 4G, I am useless. I must search the web and make updates to my FB account faster than my enemy who is still trying to find a connection. I must use my GPS, listen to Pandora, play Angry Birds, root, overclock, flash a new ROM and send a text or two before he is finished with his email.”

    So I am confused are you talking about webOS? Unless you are telling me that you need 4G to play angry birds or use GPS then hmmm… but if not, then there is no way android can keep up with webOS doing all this at once! I promise you that!

    You cannot tell me that searching through your home screen or through your app drawer for each app to open up is faster then webOS’s “just type”, even if you got a head start and opened all the apps, you still cannot hold the home button, tap on your next app faster than webOS can use “just type”. But we have to be fair here so if android got a head start, then so should webOS. So with the cards open already, lol there is nothing to compare. Heck there is no way even the might EVO 3D can beat the original Pre if the cards are already opened doing all this at once!

  11. ben Says:

    phonepheak your andriod tears are soo tasty :)

  12. Pound_webOS Says:

    But anyways… HP, please release the Pre3 before the end of summer, and Ruby, quit answering with”A, B, C, D”

  13. eKalb Says:

    @Pound Jupiment made a substitution of the Rifleman’s Creed

  14. MPB Says:

    i just don’t understand why people seem to miss the point, laptop magazine included
    smart phones, are actually just plain phones with pretty cool features, like cameras, apps, etc.
    and that’s the reason why people buy them, they buy cool stuff, like the iphone
    the Pre 3 is part of an integral user experience, creating a new environment of several communicating devices for all different user needs
    these devices don’t just “work the way you do,” they don’t just adapt to your way of life, they provide new ways to be more productive, more connected and at the same time less dependent on them, because everything is in the cloud and you transfer data from one to another easily, since they are constantly connected between them
    all this in a simple and comfortable manner, you and your devices “work together”
    it’s about getting a phone call and answering it: on your tablet, phone, car, tv, fridge, etc., because they are all connected, or sending stuff between them like printing pictures or even sending data to your car
    place your phone on its charging dock in your car and have all your addresses transfered and ready to use in your nav system, or if you take the subway, take your games from your tablet on your phone to play on your way to work
    all the specs mentioned before: multitasking (REAL, one-touch-switching-between-RUNNING-applications-kind-of-multitasking), just type integration, synergy and some pretty cool apps like the calendar, messaging, etc.; and regarding hardware: 1.4 GHz snapdragon processor, 2 cameras, touchstone/touch-to-share, the best smart phone keyboard (which makes everything just so much faster), etc. all that is irrelevant in providing that incredible user experience
    but those specs are what the Pre 3 is being evaluated on now; that just doesn’t make sense to me
    it is also UNFAIR to let the Pre 3 run in the “smart phone madness,” since it has been released yet
    still, if have to you judge these smart phones, including the Pre 3, just for their hardware and software – the Pre 3 is a clear winner

  15. PhonePheak Says:


    Its called I turn it on when I need it. When I am somewhere and I take pictures, I turn GPS on so it can geotag the pics. When I am not near WiFi I turn it off. To say that its not a smartphone because the features are turned off is a lame argument. To me, this is a stupid poll in the first place, because(like someone said above me) the thunderbolt is already out, and the Pre 3 is still incoming. My fault with the Pre 3 is not in the hardware, its in the OS.

  16. Pre-lude To Victory Says:

    anyone can have a cool smartphone. being awesome takes practice, and you have to carry a webOS phone.

    Pre3 FTW!

  17. Sweat Studio Says:

    A lot of people are questioning why are we voting for a phone that is not on shelves. Kind of funny but it’s only obvious Palm fans are very loyal. If you own a webOs device you can already imagine what the Pre 3 will entail and operate. I own all the major devices anyway and I definitely believe the Pre3 will be the strongest product when released in June. (The better hurry up!) Not so thrilled with the Android OS, the Apple OS4, or Win7 system. When you’ve used webOS, it’s really hard to beat. The next company that will have potential to beat WebOs will need to be significantly innovative.

  18. Kylejayne Says:

    phonephreak, what’s wrong with the os? Name one thing that is a down-fall of webOS.
    voted from my pre-minus.

  19. Jayden Says:

    WOW! webOS community, you amaze me! I honestly am awestruck by the great community and support that webOS gets! I’m all in. GO PRE 3!!!

  20. Chris Says:

    If webos is so superior then why are they continually losing market share and customers? Just because you can win a rigged poll doesnt mean anything about an OS and its funny how touchy all you webos fanboys are. The pre 3 isnt anything special I mean dual camera most high end phones have those, 4g.. oh wait the pre 3 doesnt have that, processor isnt anything special with the dual cores that are coming out and seeing how most phones were overclocked higher than that anyway. And of course you cant forget HP will wait and release it when a slew of other high end super phones are out so it will tank like always.

  21. JoshL Says:

    I thought webos died? Lol. Thunderbolt!

  22. WebOS Rules!! Says:

    @Chris, the reason WebOS keeps losing market share is because of lack of hardware. If Palm would’ve had the money to keep pushing high end phones. Then the awitch to HP delayed phones being shipped. Now, HP has openly said that the TouchPad, the Veer and the Pre3 are only the beginning of a continuous wave of connected WebOS devices.

    The other thing that killed the WebOS marketshare was the lack of marketing which leads to lack of mindshare. Most people do not know about WebOS but when you show them how crazy awesome it is they are really attracted to it.

    You ould say these polls are riged but then again, I constantly read so many people that have an Android phone because there isn’t currently any good WebOS device in terms of hardware. They say they miss WebOS or will switch to WebOS when new devices are out.

    give it a year or a year a half and you’ll se WebOS come back and steal marketshare from everyone. Personally I think Apple, Google and Microsoft are really apprehensive of the power that WebOS has to take their marketshare with the help of HP and being that HP is fully committed to WebOS I’d be scared too if I was them!!

    And I typed all of this from my Pre on Sprint :)

  23. Johnny Says:

    not sure why you’d say its rigged..
    Losing market share and customers because they have clearly taken too long to get out of the gates.
    I still have my original Pre. The hardware is a POS, but the OS is simply the best interface I have experienced on a mobile device. I’ve tried em all. WebOS is simply far and away better.
    Most of the Android phones, especially the HTCs, are far and away the best hardware, IMO. I just can’t get happy with Android now that I have been exposed to WebOS.
    I think the Pre 3 will fix many, not all, of the hardware desirements. If they added expandable memory it would dominate.
    Apps are another weak area but damn.. who uses 300,000 apps? Most use their phones for the same basic “out of box” functions. 90% of those gazillion apps are useless different takes on the same functionality. flashlight app? lol gimme a break tons of them are worthless but they still count in the totals..

    It’s webos for me. Just no going back..

  24. MPB Says:

    do smart phones need dual core at the moment? i’m not so sure…
    the Pre 3 has specs which are more than enough for the purpose
    it is funny to see how people argue about specs, like small kids who compare their toys
    webOS devices are about how they are integrated in your life and between each other, and not about being able to take crispier pictures
    the Pre 3 is only one device in a whole environment which creates a new era of TRUELY SMART devices, which improve your quality of life and productivity, a totally new experience
    even though, from the devices running in this competition, the Pre 3 has the best specs, so it is only fair to vote for it

  25. LOL Says:

    Really? This is like saying the iPhone 6 is better than my laptop…the phone isnt even out and look where the other Pre’s ended up…in the trash can.

  26. Loic Says:

    I have a Pre+ since one year and I really enjoy playing with Webos daily, I often prefer to use my pré instead of my Win7 workstation, hope to see WebOs asap on a computer, awaiting that I will buy the Pré3 and their TouchPad !!! :) Go WebOS, go Pré 3 … !!!

  27. Ken Says:

    My phone can be your phone. Pre3 FTW!

  28. Known Says:

    Well, the fact that Apple made a bid to buy Palm, when it was up for sale, tells it all…

    Pre 3 all the way baby!!!

  29. Chris Says:


    WE will see but its a little too late unless they push more truly high end phones that can compete with the new and upcoming android phones and even the new iphone. Webos is behind and will take a lot for them to come back from the brink but we will find out with time.

  30. MPB Says:


    If they tell me to compare the specs of the iPhone 6 with my laptop, I will have to admit the iPhone has better specs

    I said before I am aware this smart phone madness thing is not fair since the Pre 3 is not out yet, you cannot compare the Pre 3, an unreleased phone, with the Thunderbolt which is already available

    Still, I cannot say the Thunderbolt has better specs

    Just like with the iPhone 6, given me the two lists of specs, I say the Pre 3 has better specs, so I vote for it

  31. gunders Says:

    @WebOS Rules!!
    I appreciate your comments. I have a Nexus S that I use alongside my Pre Plus just to hold me over for the Pre 3. Even with Android 2.3, android just doesn’t hold a candle to the fluidity and functionality of webOS. Now, I just need HP to
    morph my Nexus hardware and webOS together for a super slab phone!

  32. PimpMyPre Says:


    if your complaint about losing share while winning this poll had any validity… The iPhone would be in the finals against the Evo. And yet, people who actually HAVE a Pre and show it to iphone or android users…. Amaze them. Try webOS and you will see.

  33. Abe says WebOS rules!! Says:

    So why are we talking about the iPhone 6 in the first place? Is the iPhone 5 so insignificant that we just skip it?

    Also, I don’t think we can talk about phones that we have no idea about in terms of specs. We may know they are coming but without specs we don’t have a logical place where to compare to other devices. If Apple had unveiled the specs of the iPhone 5 I’d be surprised if it wasn’t on here but being that they are not unveiled we cannot compare them.

    So the reason we talk about the Pre3 is because we know the specs of it so we have firm ground to compare it to other devices.

  34. Heli Says:

    Webos wins these polls because webos user are all scanning the web for anything webos related since the platform is nearly dead. If it was not for webos internals webos would have flat lined a long time ago.

    While the Android & iOS users are happily using there devices for things webos can not do but should be able to “in the coming months”

    SO what do these polls prove? That there are more webos users looking for ways to prove that they made the right choice in buying into a dead platform so they come and vote up these polls.

    I find it amazing when buying into the webos platform the first thing you get told to do is go download preware and OC your device you’ll love it. Such a great felling after purchasing a new device that instead of downloading a ton of apps you spend the night OCing(voiding warranties if you get caught) and home brewing your phone because it lacks common features found on most feature phones LMFAO go go webos winning poll #200 while losing market share.

  35. Pound_webOS Says:

    @PhonePheak and @LOL

    You know you are right! Pre 3 is not out yet… but we know its OS, its hardware and it has been demoed… iPhone 6, really??? how old are you? if the iPhone 5 had specs it would be on this list…

    But what really makes me laugh is that you two are upset because the Pre 3 is winning, I never once read you guys complaining about the android phones that are on this list that are not out yet… Why is it ok to have the Droid Bionic, the ECHO, Optimus 3D, and Xperia on the list and not the Pre3? Ohh i know why, because Pre 3 doesn’t suck!!!

  36. Pound_webOS Says:

    I don’t know how many of you actually has played with webOS before, but I currently own 3 of the 4 major phone OS. I hate apple so will never own any iOS pruduct, ever! My wife has the HTC Arrive, I have an Archos 5 IT and an EVO and I have a Pre- and a unlocked GMS Pre 2. My least favorite is Android, the OS is just a joke! It is sloppy, its confusing and everything about it is just wrong, sure they have 100K apps, but do I really need porn app and hot chick apps? Andoid can’t even get a decent working video chat app! WP7 is better than people think, it is a really good OS! I really like it, its so smooth and it is way fast, it is just as smooth as iOS IMO. webOS is king as far as just OS to OS. The real downpart of webOS are the apps, there really aren’t any that you cannot get anywhere else! If HP can ever get devs to come to webOS, watch out! webOS will move out infront of everone! Not to mention that with HPs help, it will be in every printer, tablet and PC soon enough!

  37. PimpMyPre Says:

    Pre3 is the champ. Did the voting deadline just get extended?

  38. Pound_webOS Says:


    So what does that make you? You found this poll, you voted against webOS, you know that webOS wins every poll… But yet your phone does so much you are still here bagging on webOS and voting against it lol!!

    Here is a tip, don’t go trashing other people when you do the exact samething lol!

    And I am not so sure webOS will be dead… HP will be stuffing webOS into PC, netbooks, laptops, tablets, printers and I hope phones! This is no rumor, this comes from HP, so considering HP has a large, worldwide footprint and is going to force feed webOS into everything, I do not think it will die, sorry!

  39. SmartKidsOnTheRun Says:

    webOS – Simply the best!

  40. Martin Hacks Says:

    My prediction: WebOS will rule Android in two years.

  41. Heli Says:

    @ Pound_webOS

    It makes me a webos user from june 6th 09 that removed his webos blinders some time ago and can see the writing on the wall.

    Webos on the PC is a joke, a way for HP to say we have webos on “X” number of devices. What does it provide over windows? Not a damn thing! HP said they are not going the route of instant on so it nearly useless on pcs since it will provide only one feature not built into windows touch to share with webos. But wait corporate Joe Public does not own a webos mobile device. But the company that he works for just got a new shipment of brown box HP PCs with webos on them what did he gain? Again not a damn thing.

  42. dribbles Says:

    despite all the crap & comments about the HTC Thunderbolt, there is a code you can type on the phone to switch between 3G & 4G…real easy to do – my wife works for Verizon & I stumbled upon this code @ Palm’s PRECENTRAL Blog site…look it up for those that know it all out there!

  43. Mr-Scorpio Says:

    The fact that HP announced the Pre 3, the veer & their tablet EARLY FEBRUARY, & the Pre 3 certainly won’t be out until ‘summer time’ whatever that means, is quite frankly Pathetic! HALF A Bloody Year! Even the CEO has remonstrated his staff & said this is SH*TE.

    Meanwhile, WP7 gains ground ( & is actually very good), .. & in doing so HP LOOSE potential customers due to the wait being far too long.
    People are either bored of waiting, or their phone contracts lapse & NOT having the Pre3 available to choose, so the user goes with apple or android & WP7 .. Which is what i opted for (WP&)… AND I’m finding that’s very GOOD!
    HP/Palm have lost me as a potential client, as im sure 1000’s of others as well, due to them not simply getting their ass in gear quick enough!
    You’re F*cking up HP .. Sort It!

  44. Albert Says:

    They should put the Thunderbolt up against the Samsung Colbalt. It has a 2.0GHz dual-core Hummingbird processor with 768 RAM Memory and a 4.3″ Super AMOLED touchscreen. 32GB internal memory and additional 128GB microSD. A 5.1mp camera in the front and a 10mp in the back. 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth and USB 3.0 ,HDMI out. 7.1 hd sound by creative. Running on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the verizon 4gLTE network.

    dont bother googleing the Samsug Colbalt becase it dose not exist just like the Pre 3. this contest is BS. btw Iphone 5 will be out why not go up against that phone while we at it.. Thunderboult wins game over

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