Phone Scoop Review
Mar 18, 2011 by Eric M. Zeman
Phone Scoop takes an in-depth look at HTC's Thunderbolt, the first LTE 4G smartphone to become available from Verizon Wireless. Can it live up to the hype -- and the hope -- for the future of 4G? read review ›
I came from the HTC Incredible, which in my opinion is the best phone ever. Period. But unfortunately I broke the touchscreen, and went looking for a replacement. After much deliberating between the Incredible 2, and the Thunderbolt, I chose the Thunderbolt. Here's my thoughts.
First off I mist say that contrary to other reviews, you CAN turn off the 4G connection if you want...
Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Network mode
LTE is blazing fast, touchscreen is bigger, HTC Sense version is slightly more intuitive, forward facing camera (which I never use, but if your a Skypeaholic, it's cool), kickstand is nice for watching videos or speakerphone use. Other than that, it's basically the same phone as the Incredible, only newer, and 4G.
A little more glitchy compared to the Incredible, battery life is poor (get the extended battery as it lasts for over a full day of use), on that note extended battery covers are lame for this phone, no trackball :(
Thanks for reading folks!
Best 4G phone on VZW
I've had this phone for just over a month & am very satisfied. Got it the day before VZW started capping data but that's another story. I've had the original MOTO Droid & HTC Incredible. This is much better. Everyone needs to chill the F out the battery isn't as bad as everyone is saying. Just do your homework & *#*#4636#*#* & put it to CDMA only to keep battery life livable. With the new update just settings>wireless & networks>mobile network & put it on CDMA if no 4G. Even if there is keep it at this setting til you decide to use the browser or streaming video. Only time you need it. Great reception on this phone & not the buggy animation you get with Motorola phones. Dual core phones are all hype as you can see with the LG Revolution & Droid 3. Here's the breakdown:
1. 4.3" screen
2. Great DLNA
3. Speakerphone is activated just by being set face down while on a call
4. HTC Sense GUI
5. Netflix capable
1. Charging port set to where it can't be charged while kickstand is utilized
2. No HDMI output
3. Touch can get latened but fixed by a restart
Don't know why people have WiFi or dropped call issues but there's nothing that can't be fixed by restarting the phone or removing the battery & popping the SIM card cage up *no need to take the SIM card out*. And for your phone's sake do not *228 a 4G phone!!
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My 2nd Droid and Still Happy
I am coming from the original Motorola Droid and have been very happy with Android as I am very Google centric (i.e. use Google Apps for primary email, have a separate gmail account, use google docs, use google voice for voicemail, etc.). Was deciding between this, the Samsung Charge and the iphone and decided to go with this over iphone because of 4G/LTE and thought it was faster than the Samsung and likes the UI better.
Very fast and no lag
Good call quality
Light and thin even with hard case/holster
HTC Sense is pretty user friendly
Keyboard are pretty good at guessing words
Car mount is great and has built in charge plug
Battery life is pretty poor (waiting for my
extended battery) - but knew that
Would like a fixed keyboard but none of
4G/LTE phones are offering one yet
Cannot exit car mode by pressing home
- need to exit car mode first and then
Vibrate is a little light and don't always
Screen is sometimes hard to see in daylight
If you are looking for a 4G/LTE Android on Verizon, I would recommend this one.
I have had this phone for three weeks. The phone is very fast and the Android Market has it all. Overall very happy with the phone.
Fast even on 3G much faster then DroidX
Screen is great
Easy to use
Does it all
Call quality is great
Reception is very good ( I am in Iowa )
Battery works for me but I do not use internet much
Really none at this time.
It would sure be nice if a Complete Owners manual was provided with the phone. Droids can do So much and the manuals are almost useless.
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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.
I recently purchased the HTC thunderbolt about one week ago and i am already impressed with the performance. My previous phone was the Samsung droid charge and was very disappointed, i took the first one back within four days, the sound quality was horrible and made a cracking and popping noise in head set, the replacement droid charge lasted one day and i took it back, and got the htc thunderbolt.
Pros. the screen is so crisp and clear, sound quality is outstanding, I am on Verizon. the phone is so fast on the internet and off. Great phone, I have found the perfect phone for me. All the good reviews i have read about this phone are true.
Cons, only one and that is the battery life, has to be charged daily, but the battery is running a powerful phone, the battery life is worth it to me. I give this phone a solid 5
FAST FAST FAST
This is the best phone ive ever had by far! Runs circles around my droid x and my incredible! I got gtunes and download full songs in less than 5 seconds! Getting anywhere from 5mbs to 25mbs download on speed tests as well! The screen is nice even though its not amoled screen.... Very great at multitasking. Ive got all my screens full of widgets that have to load alot of info and it all pops up withouthaving to load at all.
Cons... I cant find a con other than the charging port. I can make my phones battery without the extended one last from 8 am to 930pm with only a half hour charge onetime in the day. If you use the htc toggle widgets for sync wifi and mobile network on your main screen and tap you network off every time its in your pocket then back on when you pull it back out your battery will last a very long time. also manual sync all your acconts with the sync widget so they dont sync allday long by itself. I really dont know how people can have something bad to say about the thunderbolt. They just dont know how to set the phone up to make the battery last
Love how anyone is talking crap about this phone...honestly this is the greatest phone on the market...it is so fast with EVERYTHING...not to mention the battery isn't that bad if you turn 4G off...and if 10-15 hours isnt good enough they sell extended batteries AND they sell batteries that fit in the oem spot that are way bigger...so the battery isn't even a permanent issue..not to mention HTC is working on fixes to make the battery better.
The phone is absolutely amazing..nothing bad to say about it except i dont like where the put the charger port..if u use the kick stand it gets in the way....big deal tho...this phone is amazing..if you are going Android..go HTC. If you want the fastest phone all around (4g internet also) this is ur phone!
Best Droid out there
This phone is the best droid on the market . The speed, and the way the touchscreen works is magnificent.
Verizon has lock down the software as always
Battery life is similar to EVO but manageable
Fast, fast, fast! HTC's sense is in action on this one.
The phone boots faster then anything I have seen so far
The web browsing experience is by far better than my computer.
It is also well built similar to my iphone 4 .
Powerful Hardware, Software needs improvement
I love the hardware on this phone. The processor is very fast, the screen is larger and easier to read than the Droid Incredible. Sense has been updated to make it easier to move around on the screen using arrow keys, and the screen now zooms in when you click inside a word to make it easier to select what you want. I find it much easier to use the virtual keyboard than the Incredible for someone who has large fingers. The LTE speeds I am experiencing are typically 10-15 mbps down and 2-3 mbps up all around Cleveland, Ohio area, which is nearly as good as my Uverse internet at home. The sound quality is excellent, and signal seems very strong, especially inside buildings. I'm assuming that is because of the lower 700 mhz band that LTE is using. The phone is able to access the internet while a voice call is in progress which is a plus in 4G & 3G as well. I don't know about 1X I haven't tried that yet. This is good for those reverse lookup apps that normally choke on CDMA phones.
A huge plus as well is for technically saavy people like myself is the support of XDA Developers. I rooted my phone the first day I got it. Within a week I installed a custom kernal and a custom ROM. The updated software greatly increased my extended batteries life so I can surf and play angry birds all day and still have half a battery left at the end of the day. The Flash Hulu APK from XDA Developers allowed me to watch Hulu on my phone. I found that if you popped out the show and watched it in landscape mode, it was perfect.
Watching any video on this phone is a treat. First of all, 4G streaming ensure you have the speed to catch all the frames, and the processor is also fast enough to dish the video out. I got a warning from Hulu that the video was not optimized for mobile devices and might not work well, but on a higher end device like the Thunderbolt it does. Note you must uncheck mobile view in your browser otherwise Hulu won't let you watch videos.