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.

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For more, check out SlashGear’s review here.