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Review: HTC Thunderbolt

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The Thunderbolt runs HTC's Sense user interface on top of Android 2.2.1. Sense offers 7 home screens on which to stuff apps, widgets, and shortcuts. The basic menu architecture of Android itself hasn't changed, and HTC hasn't made too many obvious improvements to the main menus.

Sense remains a capable way to interact with Android phones. The number of customization options, for example, borders on the ridiculous. Nice touches abound that make the whole experience more pleasant, such as the thoughtfully put together "Favorites" widget or the re-touched music application.

As for speed, the Thunderbolt has a single-core 1GHz processor, but it uses a new, second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8655 processor. I saw zero speed issues with the user interface. Everything absolutely flew on the Thunderbolt. Applications opened instantly and screen transitions and animations were all smooth.

The Thunderbolt did, however, exhibit a number of app crashes. The Android Market, in particular, vexed the Thunderbolt to no end. It consistently gave me errors when attempting to download apps, and crashed often. Hopefully this is a minor problem that Verizon can fix quickly with a software update.


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