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My take on Gnex v Tbolt

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jackdubl, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. jackdubl

    jackdubl Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    So our office manager just got a Gnex and let me play with it yesterday. This inspired me to leave early from work so I could spend some time with it at the Verizon store before I had to pick up my kid. Now I'd say I spent about 15 minutes with my coworker's and about 30 minutes at Verizon, so take my experience for what it's worth.

    I was looking for reasons to use my upgrade on the Nexus and have been following the forum for the last month or so. I have to say I was thoroughly unimpressed. I know there is a lot of extreme fanboyism going on in the Nexus forum, but I think some people are fooling themselves.

    My first impression was the phone is very cheaply made. The back cover must have popped off three times while I was at the store. It was so week that every time you pulled it a little from the display tether it would just fly off. It also doesn't fit snugly at the crease points in the back. As someone who uses two spare batteries and almost never actually recharges my phone, I honestly don't think it would stand up to being removed and replace once a day for a year or more. Definitely wouldn't fit flush after that. The buttons, vibration, the sound--everything felt extremely cheap that me. It seriously had more the feel of a cheap toy to me than the flagship of phones.

    As equally disappointing as the build was the performance. I tried scrolling, opening apps, running benchmarks, running speedtests, going deep into apps and then backing out to the home screen as quickly as possible. I could not make it go faster than my rooted tbolt. AT ANYTHING! And in most cases it wasn't even close. Now, I am overlooked to 1.4ghz, maybe I have underestimated the effect of that. But I assumed the stock 1.2ghz dual core would either be comparable or better. If it can't back out from My Apps in the market to the homescreen even close to as fast as my tbolt, though, then what exactly can it do faster?

    I also ran speedtest over 3g many times holding the phones side by side. Now the store was getting terrible 3g speeds from where I was. The Nexus was averaging about 0.17mbs while my phone was about 0.46mbs. So about a third of the connection speed. My phone seemed a hell of a lot cooler to me after I left the Verizon store than when I got there.

    Now maybe the Nexus performs better at some of those things after it's updated and rooted with some good kernels and roms, but if you have already unlocked your tbolt's bootloader, I see almost no reason to go to the Nexus. I honestly consider it a downgrade at this point. Maybe if my bootloader was locked I'd feel differently. I just figured the better specs would put the stock Nexus way closer to my rooted tbolt than it does.

    I really wanted to be a Nexus fanboy but it was just not there for me. I will be playing with my coworker's phone much more in the coming weeks though. But not a good first impression on me.

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  2. WormDoes

    WormDoes Android Expert

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but having owned both, the TB is no where near the Nexus, IMO. I think a lot of people, not necessarily you, who say the Nexus isn't that big of an upgrade are trying to convince themselves of that. The first time I touched the Nexus it felt like my TB was years old. It's heavier, bulkier, slower, etc. I still loved my TB, don't get me wrong, but to compare it to the Nexus is not wise as it's no contest
    CaptainObvious likes this.
  3. swagner53

    swagner53 Android Enthusiast

    My wife has a Tbolt. I had a Droid X and now a Nexus. Her Tbolt (now that most of the glitches have been worked out) is still an awesome phone. It is thicker and quite heavier than the Nexus. The screen still looks good, it is still speedy. I would agree that it is not a huge upgrade to the Nexus although it is an upgrade. Worth giving up your upgrade price for-- nope. Once it gets ICS, even less so. (Although it was worth it for my X).
  4. jackdubl

    jackdubl Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I guess it's the slower part I take exception to. I usually test speed by how fast I can make the phone react to a lot of input from me. Scrolling, opening and closing, backing out through a series of screens back to the homescreen. I couldn't get the Nexus to go faster; in all areas it was behind. Took almost twice as long to run the quadrant benchmark. So I don't know. Maybe it isn't all optimized yet. But the speed part wasn't opinion.
  5. Turdbogls

    Turdbogls Android Expert

    I think the screen and ICS are reason enough to upgrade.
    the screen is simply AMAZING next to the T-bolt. plus the curved glass makes it feel a lot better for some reason.
    ISC is just as fast as my CM7 t-bolt. not any faster, but everything was just smoother as well.
    i have said it before, and Ill say it again. the Gnex is my next phone in March. the only way it wont be is if something else equally as pleasing (both hardware and software) comes out. but seeing as how the SGSII's ICS build has touchwiz on it, and the sensations has Sense on it, i dont think we will be seeing anything near the caliber as the Gnex
  6. jackdubl

    jackdubl Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    True, those manufacturer skins are definitely A reason I won't buy a locked down phone in the future.
  7. ska.t73

    ska.t73 Android Expert

    I'm not sure if the store phone was buggy or what, but my Nexus is a lot faster then my TBolt running CM7. Now don't get me wrong the TBolt is still a great phone, but I actually like the way the Nexus feels in my hand. It is light and the shape just fits well.

    I haven't had any problems with the back at all, and I have removed it quite a bit. I'm guessing the glue they were using to hold the tether on in the store was strong and was pulling the back. Not really something you are going to have to wory about in the real world.

    That said it is a personal preference thing, but I am loving my Nexus and not going back to the TBolt. Also I unlocked the bootloader and rooted it in less then 15 minutes, the bootloader is unlocked via ADB and is an OEM feature. After you unlock the bootloader it is only a matter of pushing the SU.zip to your phone and you are rooted.
  8. jackdubl

    jackdubl Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Oh, I thought you just, like, flipped a switch or something to unlock the bootloader. I mean to keep checking it out. Maybe I'll go somewhere else to do it. Things is, I don't even need to use my upgrade because I'm gonna add my mom onto my line, so it's like a free upgrade. She doesn't care about phones so she would let me have the Nexus and take my tbolt.
  9. rexdog1888

    rexdog1888 Android Enthusiast

    Its close to just flipping a switch. You type fastboot OEM unlock in command prompt while the phone is in fastboot. Then you press next on the phone and wait for it to boot.
  10. WormDoes

    WormDoes Android Expert

    You also have to remember you're running a highly optimized custom ROM, designed for quickness and speed on your TB. The Nexii you probably played with were 100% stock. Once the Nexus is rooted and you load up a ROM it's night and day. As far as stock Nexus not being that much of an upgrade, again, you know my feelings.
  11. jackdubl

    jackdubl Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, I figured I may be underestimating the affect the optimized rom and kernel are having. One thing was worrisome, though. I ran quadrant and there was noticeable clipping occurring during the part of the test where the moon goes around the planet. I have never seen that on any phone, so maybe it just has to do with quadrant not being ready for ICS. But I seem to remember reading that the Nexus didn't have the best gpu.

    It was performing some tasks faster. Install and uninstall were definitely faster on the Nexus. Market seemed to open faster.

    Felt really good in my pocket and in my hand with a case on it.
  12. stanlalee

    stanlalee Well-Known Member

    Quadrant doesn't work right with ICS. Many reviews had it forcing close on early Gnex.

    I'm of the rational that ALL upgrades at this point are over rated in regards to speed (opening/closing common apps/scrolling). None of us are coming from Hero's or Eris's which can be annoyingly slow. EVERY ONE OF US who started from incredible/Droid X and beyond bought that phone and thought the phone was snappy and everything opened up quickly. Then what do we do, root, overclock and start opening and closing sh*t 8 or 9 times a day just to see if we can notice a quarter second improvement (I remember doing this all the time with my rooted eris vs my wifes stock. If the stock eris was close with one app, I'd try 10 more to try and justify my overclocking). Then new phones come out with that quarter second improvement stock. then we root it and when its all said and done with a rooted Gnex/Sensation that opens stuff a second faster than our two year old incredible and we act like we HAD to have that. Lets say a weather app you opened is a full two seconds faster with the latest phone. ever count to two seconds, is that an annoying waiting time? everybody who bought a phone with a 4" screen or bigger was perfectly happy with their screen size and resolution (samsung superamoled screens have ALWAYS been better than every one elses so that aspect isn't "new"). screen upgrades at this point are "just because" upgrades. if manufacturers didn't upgraded the resolution no one would care but since they do people care. they do this to compete/out do each other not because we arent satisfied with the current screens).

    These are where upgrades REALLY matter:

    Games: intensive games will actually hang up or slow down to the point where they become unplayable or enjoyable. For those who dont play games why do they care about GPU specs. You dont need the latest to open facebook and twitter.

    lag free camera shutter: is that not the most annoying thing about smart phones. This is a BIG upgrade with the Gnex as far as I'm concerned. However everybody thinks the camera pics are great because they look at it on the superamoled screen. the camera is reportedly good but not great or as good as the SII/MYtouch 4G.

    battery life: nobody seems to be working too hard on this one yet. Since they are making everything so slim and small you'd think a thick phone like the rezound would have slim internals like the other phones with a huge 3000mah battery making it thicker but nope that would be too much like right. its just thick for no reason.
  13. eipee73

    eipee73 Android Enthusiast

    I will say this of myself. I have played with a coworkers GNEX and I also was not a fan. Granted, I really prefer Sense so that puts the TBolt up a leg here, but it's not even about a side by side comparison. I didn't really like the feel of the phone in my hands. Something about it made me feel like I could break it at any instance so I didn't really prefer that. I think my affinity for HTC handsets is taking it's toll on me and that's really why I have a tainted view. I think ICS is going to be great, but I just don't think this piece of hardware is right for me.

HTC Thunderbolt Forum

The HTC Thunderbolt release date was March 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 768GB RAM, Snapdragon S2 processor, and 1400mAh battery.

March 2011
Release Date

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