When comparing Bolt vs Riot, the Slant community recommends Riot for most people. In the question“What are the best messaging apps for Android?” Riot is ranked 15th while Bolt is ranked 38th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro One tap photo and video sharing
Tap a contact to take a picture, tap and hold a contact to record video. Tapping the screen will allow you to add text to photos and videos just taken.
Pro One-to-one conversations increase chance of feedback
Limiting conversations to only two parties increases the likelihood of getting a response.
Pro Web and mobile (iOS, Android) versions available
Pro Supports text, voice, video
Integrates with Jitsi for multi-party video chats
Pro Uses Matrix, the open communications protocol
Pro Very good and simple interface
Riot has a very simple interface, adding the ability for more unexperienced PC-Users to use it.
Pro Widgets support
Want to watch that flick at YouTube and discuss it at the same time? Have Grafana graphs stacked above your DevOps team chat? Collaboratively edit Google Docs and chat over without switching applications? This is possible with Riot.
Pro Bridges to other networks
You're not confined within Riot's or even Matrix garden, and you don't have to make users of other networks switch to Matrix.
Con Only available in select countries
Bolt is limited to New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.
Con No groups
Bolt only allows one-to-one communications.
Con Still in active yet early development
There is clearly a User Experience issue esp. in web version which the developers are aware of and are working hard to improve. They've got the concept concrete, so UX won't be an issue in no time. Most often used parts are functional, but some are yet not.
The success of riot depends on how fast the development is, or it'll get outdated too quickly as developers of Signal and Telegram have predicted.