Hunter is known for their rotor’s spray ranges which range anywhere from 15 feet to 90 feet. While Rainbirds are capped from 13 feet to 50 feet. Hunter is definitely more popular in larger residences or properties that need more square feet to cover.
As for spray distribution, Rainbird is known for their Rain Curtain Technology. This technology allows the sprinkler to disperse evenly in most conditions. Winds and pressure won’t affect Rain Bird’s spray head. It’s also known to have less leaks than industry competitors.
Regarding the controller, it’s subjective. Hunter’s Hydrawise has more features (IOS and Android Apps, Customization/Reporting, Advanced Smart tech), but it’s on the expensive end. Rain Bird’s Smart Irrigation controller on the other hand, is more value friendly. It’s also known for its simple to use beginner interface. However, it isn’t packed with features like the Hunter’s. Another limiting aspect is that it doesn’t come standard with a warranty, while Hunter has a 2 year warranty.