HTC Thunderbolt review on SlashGear

March 18, 2011
17

Vince over at SlashGear got his hands on the long anticipated, and often delayed, HTC Thunderbolt by Verizon and considering it's 4g hardware is "seasoned," the impressions are positive. The design of the Thunderbolt standard for an HTC handset, large 4.3" screen, metal chassis, industrial look. And while the display is a standard WVGA TFT touchscreen, the colors are impressively crisp and warm. And the design is actually narrower than most 4G phones, considering the extra space needed for it's built in metal kickstand.

One thing users will notice though is the Thunderbolt's heft at 6.23 oz. But it comes packed with a 1.3 megapixel front facing webcam and an 8 megapixel auto-focus rear facing camera with dual-LE flash. Under the hood, the Thunderbolt sticks with the tried and true 1 GHz Snapdragon single core processor, which is surprising considering the marketing focus on the Thunderbolt is one of speed and performance. And sadly, that's where this 4G phone falls short as there are much faster options out there.

The Thunderbolt does make the most of that Snapdragon processor thanks to 768MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It's running a mature Android 2.2 (Froyo) out of the box, and we're hoping that HTC will boost it up to 2.4 Gingerbread sooner, rather than later. But that usually takes some time as Sense is used as an overlay and it usually takes some time to accommodate the new flavor to the many features Sense users are accustomed to.

Where the Thunderbolt really shines is in it's 4G/LTE performance, specifically in hotspot host mode. Users can share the Thunderbolt's 3G/4G connection with up to eight WiFi devices tethered to it and enjoy a pleasant surfing experience. Vince connected his iPhone and MacBook pro through the Thunderbolt via WiFi and the Thunderbolt's 4G connection hardly batted an eye with 18.73 Mbps downloads and 4.39 Mbps uploads.

When it comes to battery life, we've heard a lot of bad news about the Thunderbolt. It was rumored to be causing it's launch delay. And at first blush, it seemed that relying solely on a 4G connection the Thunderbolt would only not last the day, but users would be lucky to get through Noon. But when combined with a WiFi signal, the battery life on the Thunderbolt becomes on par with other HTC devices on the Verizon LTE network.

For more, check out SlashGear's review here.


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  • Amoreno383

    Just a carbon copy of the evo

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/J7Mg.aBrt_zUZAONR5KHn_om4dCMew--#37f81 indio7777

      No, it’s not.

  • Anonymous

    not an impressive phone at all..

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/J7Mg.aBrt_zUZAONR5KHn_om4dCMew--#37f81 indio7777

      Have you used it?

      This phone is fantastic. With or without 4G, the O/S is buttery smooth, and the dimensions of the screen are perfect.

  • Anonymous

    not an impressive phone at all..

  • Anthony

    Wow yeah 2 1/2 hours of use on 4G sucks. I don’t think I’d want the extended battery either, carrying around a phone that weighs half a pound isn’t ideal. I guess I’ll keep waiting for something else. On a side note I wonder what will happen to the Xoom’s battery life once people send it in to get upgraded to 4G. 3G phones are getting 8 hours but 4G is 2 1/2?!?! Crazy.

  • Hopsz232999

    browsing, phone calls, texts, video, my thunderbolt is doing 5 to 6 hours. I dont know if i got a good one out of the bunch but its toting its weight very well. And its a step up from the EVO, far from a carbon copy. More RAM, new gen processer, and LTE blows sprints out of the water. My girlfriends friend has an EVO and we compared, she wish she had the Thunderbolt.

  • Fyeyes

    I just got the thunderbolt and very impressed with speed and performance BUT the battery life is horrible. I get two hours of use on it. that is apps and web surfing I would hate to see what happens if I turn on WiFi or hotspot.

  • Joshua C Lyons

    I went to the Verizon store to play with the Thunderbolt and I was not impressed. They had 2 of them there and first one froze while I was watching a video on Youtube. So then I went to the other Thunderbolt and went to a dating site because my that site doesn’t work too well on my current phone, and this Thunderbolt started wiggin out and I couldn’t get it to stop. And even when I was trying to go to a normal webiste, it was taking a while to fully load. I was very excited about the Thunderbolt but after that I’m not to thrilled with it

  • Dochjg

    With lite usage battery lasts about 4 hours. Think you need to carry a spare phone to make emergency calls

  • ggyy

    I just got back from Verizon – Cobb PKWY. 2 Thunderbolt with 1 was totally died on display area. Service rep. told me that I have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday as it is currently sold out. Then, I went to Best Buy, an lady just opend a new one and let me to play the new Thunderbot. She asnwered me all the questions (setup email, skype is not deleted, MSN, webcan…..), but Verizon – Cobb PKWY wouldn’t even tell me anything (feel shame on Verizon rep.)… Anyway, I am going to change Thunderbolt next week with Best Buy and won’t even walk in in to Verizon Cobb PKWY store again. Will update when I get the new Thunderbolt.

    • Epcpunk

      Were you drunk when your wrote this ? Goddamn I can’t understand you, fucking red neck.

  • Rgriffin2112

    I’ve had the Thunderbolt for several days now and the battery life is no worse than any other Smartphone I have used. Love it

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NIOYCXQXWK6Z6YEPFJEHEG6IMY Jesus Lopez

    I have wait a long time to get the Thunderbolt and I am very excited to get mine tomorrow. I know that it seems to have a low battery life, but I am more than will to get an extra battery if needed. I also am excited to try it out with my Sling adapter I got from my job at DISH Network. With the Sling adapter, I can stream live and recorded TV everywhere I get 3G coverage or WiFi. I really think this phone is top of the line and worth the wait.

  • Anonymous

    The Thunderbolt is definitely one of the top phones right now. If you prefer blazing network speeds over the top of the line hardware, get this device.

    http://www.transdgtl.com/2011/03/htc-thunderbolt-review.html

  • JimnyCricket

    What are people saying right now about TB?  I have had 4g issue from day 1 and still haven’t found a solution.

  • JimnyCricket

    What are people saying right now about TB?  I have had 4g issue from day 1 and still haven’t found a solution.