Our good friends at Verizon have sent us the brand new HTC Thunderbolt to review.
The HTC Thunderbolt currently works only on the Verizon Wireless network and supports their 4G LTE network. Since the phone is on their 4G network that means it can send and receive data at blazing fast speeds, were talking 12mbps down and 5mbps up during peak times. We tested the speed on this phone and were nothing but impressed.
The phone features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 8 megapixel camera, and dual-LED flash. The WVGA brings you a very crisp display with a wide viewing angle. This phone feels like an updated version of the HTC Evo especially with the kickstand.
When I first picked up the phone I immediately noticed that it is quite heavier than my iPhone 4, and has a very large screen which makes the phone a beast. The body of the phone feels very rigid and tough like it has a uni-body feeling to it.
The 8-megapixel camera on the HTC Thunderbolt takes decent quality photos for a cell phone.I took a few pictures and had no issues doing so however some lighting scenarios the phone has trouble with. Check out some of the example pictures below. The phone also does include a front-facing camera for those times when you want to capture a little of yourself.
The Thunderbolt is also able to record and upload 720p video which is pretty easy to capture using the camcorder application. After recording the video it is easy to upload directly to YouTube or send it to another service.
Software in Brief
This phone does run the HTC-sense UI which I feel is one of the best Android interfaces I have played with. Froyo 2.2.1 is the Android OS included, sorry no Gingerbread just yet however, Gingerbread is supposed to be released by summer.
There is also a “Fast Boot” option available in the Power menu that makes the phone boot drastically faster by disabling some Market app features. Which features? Well it doesn’t say. But I am hearing statistics that this option makes the phone boot in around 9 seconds rather than 58 seconds.
The mobile hotspot feature is also very handy especially since it supports 4G LTE. I linked my mac to the phone and ran a speed test and still got very fast speeds over 4G. I am not sure if the speed was a little slower because of my signal strength or the fact that it was tethered. Check out the screenshot below for the test results.
Hardware in brief
As I said before the Thunderbolt is a solid device and packs quite a punch with its Snapdragon processor. The phone also includes a removable 32GB SD card to store all of your extra stuff on. The back of the phone was removed to reveal the Micro SD card and the internal battery. I was actually quite scared that I might break the phone as the back panel was a little difficult to remove, but all is well it came off fine.
This phone does also include a FM antenna to listen to radio channels, this is a feature you don’t find in most smartphones. The only drawback I see with the radio app is that it requires headphones to be present while using it. I do not understand why headphones must be present, what if I want to listen to it without?
Overall I like this phone, I think it is a nice addition to the Android family. The HTC Thunderbolt may not be revolutionary but the phone is very cool especially with its 4G LTE support. I rate the phone a solid 4.5/5, possibly a 5.0 when Gingerbread is released for the device.