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User Review History

umpirerob's review of the HTC ThunderBolt

original version, submitted Jun 6, 2011, 9:24 AM:

Nothing's perfect, but this is close!

I've had my Thunderbolt for a few weeks now and I can't put it down. While the phone does have its flaws, you can't really complain too much because the phone overall just rocks!

First, the drawbacks:
- Battery life (to be expected and can be managed)
- Charging port location
- Lack of physical camera key
- Random reboots (hopefully will be fixed with next software OTA)
- Plenty of Verizon bloatware

Okay, now for the goods:
- "4G" LTE speeds (2 Mbps up/down in fringe 4G area outside StL, much better in the city)
- 3G speeds seem pretty good, surprisingly.
- 32GB Micro SD included - should be the norm for a phone like this, but it's not.
- Zero lag between screens, lightning fast processor
- BEAUTIFUL freaking screen!
- Kickstand (I actually use this all the time)
- Great camera
- Overall design / build
- HTC Sense and no Bing!

I'm not rooted at the moment. I love what Sense brings to the phone - HTC is probably the only manufacturer that takes vanilla Android and actually improves on it. Samsung and Moto aren't there, yet. I use FlexT9 for my keyboard and coming from a physical keyboard phone, I actually prefer the touchscreen only interface. Juice Defender and a charging cord are necessary during the day, especially if you play Plants vs. Zombies for hours during the day, but as long as you turn the LTE, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth off when not in use, the battery actually performs fairly well. I use the low brightness screen setting which is still amazing and I've only run down to 15% battery once (5 hours of LTE & YouTube will do that). This phone is a tad on the large size, but the back is nicely contoured and it feels great in the hand.

If you want Verizon's "4G" speeds, this is the phone to have. Heck, even if you don't, you really can't go wrong with this phone.

edited Jun 14, 2013, 8:25 AM to the current version:

Two years later...

I've had my Thunderbolt for over two years now and I'm ready to move on, but there's one thing I will certainly miss in my next device and that's the kickstand.

First, the drawbacks:
- Battery life (to be expected and can be managed)
- Lack of physical camera key
- Random reboots
- Plenty of Verizon bloatware
- Processor has difficulty keeping up with Android 4.0.4 and the various apps I choose to run
- Data connection drops regularly
- Simultaneous voice/data even on 3G

Okay, now for the goods:
- "4G" LTE speeds (2 Mbps up/down in fringe 4G area outside StL, up to 20 down in the city)
- 3G speeds seem pretty good, surprisingly.
- 32GB Micro SD included - should be the norm for a phone like this, but it's not.
- BEAUTIFUL freaking screen!
- Kickstand (I actually use this all the time)
- Great camera
- Overall design / build

My Thunderbolt has held up pretty well after two years. I go naked most of the time, but occasionally put it in a TPU case. I'm still in love with the hardware design even if the screen resolution is quite dated by today's standards. I was happy to see the device get two major OS upgrades, getting both Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, though slowly and with plenty of bugs along the way. As one of the few devices with SVDO and a first gen LTE device, the battery and reception leave much to be desired, but replacing the battery with the stock Rezound battery helped. Worse, for whatever reason, there's HORRIBLE dialer lag on my device. I hit call and it might take 3-5 minutes to finally dial.

Once I replace my Thunderbolt, I'm certain it will live on as a gaming/music device. If I could just upgrade the internals, I'd be quite happy to keep rolling with my Thunderbolt for another two years, but I hear a Nexus calling my name.

 

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