Home  ›  News  ›

Hands-On: HTC ThunderBolt

Article Comments  100+  

Jan 6, 2011, 7:02 PM   by Rich Brome

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.



The HTC ThunderBolt has a very refined, stylish-yet-businesslike design. It looks and feels extremely solid. The body clearly includes metal and has a soft-touch finish on the back that feels very nice. The rounded sides are very comfortable in the hand and help offset the large size of the device.


Speaking of size, it's not small, not remarkably thin, and not especially light. It's a smidge smaller than the LG Revolution, but it's substantially thicker than the Inspire 4G, a phone with the same screen, camera, and overall design. It's true that the ThunderBolt adds a kickstand, large speaker and front camera compared to the Inspire, but that doesn't seem to account for all of the thickness difference. In fact, the Thunderbolt has a larger battery (1400 mAh vs. 1230 mAh.) It seems that LTE requires a bigger battery, adding some size and weight. All four LTE phones are on the large side compared to non-LTE phones. This may change with future LTE chipsets, but for now there does seem to be a trade-off there.

The kickstand flips out in a way that allows the phone to stand freely either vertically or in landscape. Behind the kickstand is a large speaker grille. The kickstand feels surprisingly sturdy.

We were disappointed to find that the microSD memory card slot requires that you remove the battery to access.

The touch keys below the screen work well, even if we'd prefer physical keys. The power and volume keys work well. There's no camera key, although the front-facing camera means you can take self-portraits without turning the phone around.

The LCD display looks very nice. Unfortunately, the Thunderbolt lacks an HDMI jack for connecting to a TV; Verizon's other three LTE phones all have HDMI-out. The Thunderbolt does have an FM radio, though.


All aspects of the interface run fast and smoothly. The ThunderBolt does sport Sense 2.0 from HTC. It has the usual selection of excellent HTC home screen widgets and social network integration. Sense also includes some new shortcuts to make it very easy personalize your phone from the home screen, including a selection of skins, in case you prefer Sense features but with the look of wood grain, for example.

The camera interface for the 8-megapixel shooter is very nice, with pretty on-screen controls including touch focus and face detection. Dual LED flash should help in dark scenes.

view article organized across multiple pages

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

more news about:

CES 2011


This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Jan 8, 2011, 10:19 PM

TV Out Function?

Hey all. I currently use HTC's Touch Pro 2 which uses the charging/data port as the TV Out port as well. All info I've seen on HTC's new 4G phone for Verizon, the ThunderBolt here, points to the lack of an HDMI port. Instead, it uses DLNA for TV Out. My question for anyone who knows is: Does the ThunderBolt use the charging/data port for direct TV Out as the Touch Pro 2 does or is the TV Out function only through the DLNA feature? Thanks...
Replying to my own question. I emailed HTC directly in regards to my TV Out question so I thought I'd put the answer on here for those of you who may be wondering the same thing. HTC told me the only means of TV Out on the ThunderBolt is by the DLNA f...

Jan 6, 2011, 7:39 PM

EVO for Verizon

Minus the HDMI out.
... and the 1500mh battery... I;ve got a feeling you should prolly carry a spare battery, or a charger/usb cable with you at all times...
It has the next gen snapdragon processor, which means better battery efficiency compared to first gen (like what's in the EVO and Incredible).

I actually wouldn't be surprised if this supported Video out like the Incredible does, as opposed to HDMI...

Jan 7, 2011, 12:21 AM


So how is Verizon accomplishing voice calls? VoLGA? VoLTE or LTE for data with 1x for voice?
It's 1x initially. They don't want to go to pure VOIP until the network is more mature (unless something huge changed in the past few weeks).

Remember, they are still working on the handoff issue, which isn't a huge deal for data sessions, but is ...

Jan 7, 2011, 12:15 AM


I am glad it is finally here. I remember those months waiting for any news of the Supersonic and hoping Verizon would eventually get it.
Page  1  of 1

Subscribe to news & reviews with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Threads Follow @phonescoop on Mastodon Phone Scoop on Facebook Follow on Instagram



All content Copyright 2001-2024 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.