The HTC ThunderBolt was delayed many times, but if you want the fastest smartphone for data, yet with most of the features of other Android phones in its class, the wait is over, for now.
Reviewers all praised how fast data, webpages and browsing is on the HTC ThunderBolt. Verizon claims that users of its 4G LTE network can see download speeds of 5Mbps to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps to 5Mbps. Although reviewers didn't get speeds that high, they came close and called speeds impressive, incredible, and the fastest web speed ever on a smartphone.
Reviewers also raved about the large 4.3" touchscreen, ability to use voice/data simultaneously,HTC Sense UI, large data storage, excellent camera, and kick stand.
The only major downfall of this rising superstar is that, when it uses the 4G LTE network, battery life is lost very quickly and can be drained in about two hours. One reviewer suggested getting a second larger capacity battery to swap out.
Although the HTC ThunderBolt has a front-facing VGA camera, it does not have a preinstalled app for video calling. The original announcement at CES said that it would come with Skype, but Skype for video calling is missing for now. If you really need video calling, the HTC ThunderBolt will not be your first choice.
The HTC ThunderBolt is an Android 2.2 smartphone that has a 4.3" WVGA (480x800) touchscreen, 8MP camera, 1.3MP camera on front for video chat, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB of onboard memory, a preinstalled 32GB microSD card, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Dolby/SRS surround sound, DLNA support, and kickstand for media viewing.
The HTC ThunderBolt has many of the same features as other popular Verizon Android smartphones, such as the Droid X and Droid Incredible, but for now it is the only smartphone on the Verizon network that has blazing fast, scorching, lightning speeds. If you view your phone in direct sunlight, you may want to wait for the Samsung Stealth. The 4G LTE Droid Bionic and LG Revolution are also coming later. Read HTC ThunderBolt tips for the full breadth of social media capabilities.
Currently, the HTC ThunderBolt costs $249.99 from Verizon Wireless with a voice contract and unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month. Mobile hotspot service is free until May 15. Thereafter, it will cost $20 a month. Meanwhile, Wirefly has already discounted the price and offers a low-price guarantee, which is the lowest we've seen since Amazon Wireless showed it for $179.99.
Summaries of Reviews Reviewed
Sascha Segan at PCMag rated the HTC ThunderBolt 4 out of 5 and give it Editors' Choice for its incredible data speed, big gorgeous screen, elegant UI, simultaneous voice/data, and large storage capacity. He didn't like that is is heavy, has low-battery life when using 4G and some bugs. He reports that the HTC ThunderBolt has the fastest web speed ever seen, sending 3G phones fleeing for cover. When used as a tethered modem or Wi-Fi hotspot, speeds were awesome with speed as high as 11.8Mbps down, which is faster than many DSL connections. It also switched easily between 4G and 3G. Voice quality is strong. He suggests to buy a second extended battery and swap it out when using 4G data, which can drain battery life in two hours. HTC Sense takes the geeky edges of Android. The camera is pretty good and video recording works best outdoors. He thinks that it's a bit better than the Droid X for 3G.
Bonnie Cha at CNET rated the HTC ThunderBolt 4 out of 5 for impressive, incredible fast 4G data speed, simultaneous voice/data, ample storage and an excellent camera. She didn't like that the battery life is drained during 4G usage, and there's no easy way to switch between 3G & 4G. It looks and feels most like the HTC EVO 4G. The screen was easy to read, and she appreciated the kickstand. The speed blew her away. 4G LTE is not available in all cities. It's in 39 markets. She liked the new camera tools and faster boot time of HTC Sense. The front-facing camera doesn't have a preinstalled app for it. Photo quality is good.
Eric Zeman at Phone Scoop says that the HTC ThunderBolt is for early adopters. He noted that you have to remove the battery to change the microSD card. It is a good voice phone with excellent speed that drained the battery when using 4G. The camera is fairly solid with touch focus. Browsing is ridiculous as pages load instantly. He thought that the HTC Sense UI made it a cinch to use. He called it Ferrari fast and furious that burns a lot of fuel - in this case battery life.