After waiting for an official announcement, we finally have the details and specs for the HTC ThunderBolt, the first 4G smartphone from Verizon Wireless. We've reviewed the manual and offer some tips and tricks for using the ThunderBolt, along with highlighting its best features for buying it. As soon as reviews are available, we will publish a Review of Reviews of the ThunderBolt by HTC.
Unlimited Data & Simultaneous Voice and Data Enticing
The biggest selling point is that, if you buy the HTC ThunderBolt now, you can get unlimited data for $29.99 a month, which is an offer that will be available for a a limited time. Also high on the list of inviting options is that, as we previously confirmed, you will be able to make phone calls and use 4G LTE data at the same time, which is currently not available on any other Verizon Android smartphone.
Last year, AT&T ended its unlimited data plans for iPhones and smartphones, and Verizon execs have been hinting for some time that Verizon will end limited data plans. AT&T grandfathered iPhone owners the unlimited data, while we can't be sure what Verizon will do when it limits data. If you are a heavy data user, you love streaming videos, and you like your social media delviered intravenously, the HTC ThunderBolt may strike your fancy. Another added bonus is that, for a limited time, Wi-Fi mobile hotspot service will come free with the HTC ThunderBolt until May 15, when the service will cost an additional $20 a month.
State-of-the-Art Specs of the HTC ThunderBolt
Beside fast data speeds, let's review what the HTC ThunderBolt has that makes it special and why you may want to wait for the next 4G LTE Verizon smartphone, such as the Samsung Stealth or the Droid Bionic. This Android 2.2 smartphone 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 pre-installed 32GB microSD card, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Dolby/SRS surround sound, DLNA support, and kickstand for media viewing.
Features Lacking Coming in Next Android LTE Smartphones Samsung Stealth & Droid Bionic
First, the HTC ThunderBolt doesn't have a Super AMOLED touchscreen or HMDI out port. If you need those features, you may want to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Samsung Stealth with Samsung TouchWhiz. The Droid Bionic, coming in the fourth quater or later, has a dual-core processor, HDMI port, 540x960 touchscreen, and 8GB more storage onboard with the Motoblur UI on top of Android 2.2.
It is too soon to tell which is the best smartphone for the money because we don't know the prices on the next generation 4G LTE smartphones.
The 333 page manual for the HTC ThunderBolt found at the Verizon Wireless website revealed some very compelling features, including HTC Sense social media software magic. In some ways, it has more robust features than a desktop computer!
Little LED Leads to Flashing Notifications
Another neat feature is a notification LED on the top of the phone that turns green when connected to a power adapter, flashes green when you have notification, turns red while charging, and flahses red when the battery is low.
The HTC ThunderBolt has the latest version of HTC Sense, HTC Sync for syncing email, contacts and calendar from your computer. You can download it now before getting your ThunderBolt.
Some Neat HTC Sense Sensible Features - Caller ID Screening
When a call comes in from someone in your contact list, the screen shows who it is, and you can Answer or decline the call. HTC Caller ID shows your friend's latest status update from social networks like Facebook or Twitter right on the call screen when you make a call to him/her. You'll see a birthday reminder if your friend's birthday will occur sometime within the next seven days. You can also set up a conference call.
App-ly Your People with the People App
With the People app, you can sync your phone with contacts from your Google Account, computer, and Facebook. You can also sync with work contacts from the Exchange ActiveSync Server in your workplace. You can manage your communications with your contacts via phone, messaging, and email without the need to jump from one app to another. After you've linked contacts to their social network accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, you'll also see their updates and events from these accounts all in one place. You can put your contacts into groups, such as friends or businesses.
Auto Tracking of Personal Contact Connections
When you tap a contact on the People screen, the contact details screen opens, showing you the information stored for that contact, exchanged messages and phone calls with that contact, updates and events from social networks, and more.
Some More Fun ThunderBolt Stuff:
- You can create slide shows for multimedia messages.
- The speakerphone on the ThunderBolt has an auto-speaker function. When you flip the phone over, it will automatically turn on the speaker while you are speaking during a call.
- The World Clock widget shows you current times all over the world.
- You connect the HTC ThunderBolt to the Internet through your computer if you are out of network range. This feature is called "Internet Pass-through."
- Before taking a photo or video, you can first use the onscreen zoom bar to zoom in or out of your subject. You can also crop and edit your photos right on the HTC ThunderBolt.
- You can share photos via a Bluetooth connection.
- HTC Footprints helps you find places you've been. When you snap a photo, it also has the GPS of the location. Then want to visit the place you access the Footprint.
- QuickOffice lets you view Microsoft documents, presentaitons and spreadsheets.
- There's an FM radio.
Use Coupon Code THUNDER0321 for $25 off the HTC ThunderBolt - Must Click Here to Redeem. Sale ends March 21 12:00 PST.
HTC ThunderBolt is so popular that it appears in Wireless and Mobile News' Top Best Coolest Smartphones So Far in 2011 and Top Ten Best Android an' Droid Phones Now an' Later. See all Wireless and Mobile News' Reviews.