Review: HTC Thunderbolt
If the Thunderbolt were a regular 3G smartphone, it would be a near home run. Aside perhaps from the large and weighty size, everything about the Thunderbolt is solid. It has a good design; solid signal performance; good voice call performance; and good battery life when in 3G-only areas.
The Sense user interface and other applications customized by HTC make this Android device a cinch to use and adjust. The camera application is great, and mostly produces great results. Aside from a severe case of the shakes, the HD camcorder also does well.
With LTE 4G coverage, the Thunderbolt's browsing and download prowess is second to none. Speeds are Millennium Falcon-fast and are capable of out-pacing most wired home broadband connections. But it comes at a severe cost in battery life. Intense LTE use can wreck the battery in just a couple of hours. Two-hour battery life isn't acceptable in any device, let alone a smartphone.
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(It's a shame, really. I have to question why the Thunderbolt doesn't have a larger battery. At only 1400mAh, it seems HTC is limiting the battery on purpose in order to sell the extended-life battery, which packs 2750mAh at a cost of $50.)
Would I recommend the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon's first LTE handset? Sure. It's a great smartphone. The only significant drawback is the crippled battery life when using the Thunderbolt's best feature.
The Thunderbolt is like a Ferrari. It may be fast as all get-out, but that speedy engine consumes a lot of fuel.
Video Tour: HTC Thunderbolt
Phone Scoop shows off HTC's Thunderbolt, the first LTE 4G smartphone to become available from Verizon Wireless. Check out our quick video tour.
Hands-On with Wireless Charging Phones for Verizon
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Hands-On: HTC ThunderBolt
We go hands-on with HTC's new LTE phone for Verizon. Find out what we like, what we don't, how it compares to the other LTE phones, and how it compares to phones like the Inspire 4G.
HTC Thunderbolt Update Squashes Bugs
Verizon Wireless has made a system software update available to the HTC Thunderbolt that resolves a significant number of bugs. According to the changelog published by Verizon, the update improves data connectivity, reduces the number of system crashes/reboots, improves Bluetooth discovery, improves the call history options, offers a tabbed main menu, and enables the people search function.
Update to Help Smooth Out Thunderbolt Data Issues
Verizon Wireless published details about a forthcoming software update for the HTC Thunderbolt. Though many of the improvements are minor, Verizon says that the update will improve the Thunderbolt's data connectivity with its 3G network.