The kickstand is solid and well built. I wonder if HTC will feature it on a tablet this year…
A week after the Verizon debut of the HTC Thunderbolt, I had the pleasure to review Verizon’s first 4G smartphone for a few enjoyable days.
The HTC Thunderbolt was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January and had a number of rumored release dates before finally gracing upon us mid March. The Thunderbolt is a big deal for Verizon customers, because it makes it mark as the network’s first 4G capable smartphone.
It was pleasure to use this phone on my number one pick of a network, especially when comparing it to the sad network coverage I get from the carrier of my personal smartphone. Although the area I am in does not have 4G yet, the 3G service was more than I needed. Speed tests in Louisville and Elizabethtown steadily read approximately 2.3 MB down and allowed me to keep up with my Twitter and web browsing habits throughout the day. The kickstand is solid and well built and came in very handy when watching YouTube videos with my son and when testing out the video chat capability. The location of the kickstand enables the device to freely stand in portrait or landscape positions for a true, hands-free experience.
The processor kept up with all the tasks I threw at it, even when I had two games open at the same time I did not experience any lag. The mobile hotspot function just about makes me want to get rid of my home Internet service and I very well may do this when I switch to Verizon in a few months.
Shockingly, the boot up was a little sluggish compared to other phones; taking nearly a minute and a half before reaching the home screen. At the home screen I was greeted with one of HTC’s most recent versions of the Sense user interface which offers lots of customizable options like Sound sets, Skins, Widgets, Apps, and Wallpapers.
- Operating system: Android 2.2 with HTC Sense
- Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon
- Display: 4.3″
- Internal storage: 8 GB
- RAM: 768 MB
- External storage: Up to 32 GB
- Wireless connection types: 4G, 3G, 802.11 b/g/n
- Extras: DLNA, Mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth
In a previous reviews of a couple non-HTC phones, I mentioned I would like to see a feature when typing to help accurately move the cursor to the letter of a misspelled word for correcting and my dilemma has been solved. A simple double tap brings up a magnifier to quickly position the cursor on a word as shown below.
My one dislike is battery life. There are many helpful tips out there to preserve this precious commodity, but some of those suggestions left the feel of the Thunderbolt a little underprivileged. I recommend buying a bigger battery from the start and I think you will be thankful you did or you could wait for the Android 2.3 update if you have more patience than I do.
A couple things I tried included turning off 4G service and removing all active widgets from the home screen, specifically the calendar widget which seemed to be my second most battery draining service.
Also, I am unsure why one of the latest smartphones from HTC is missing this, but the Thunderbolt is unable to be registered on htcsense.com for all the added security and accessibility features from the web browser on your PC. Hopefully this will change with an update from HTC.
Do not let my dislikes deter you from considering the HTC Thunderbolt for your next smartphone purchase. Everything else brought to the table makes up for a poor battery and keeps productivity high. Verizon recently announced a dedication to bring 4G to an area near you by the end of the year whereas other carriers have offered 4G phones for over a year without mentioning a true timeline. The Thunderbolt has a loud boom for a nice price of $249 and fits well in your hand and in your pocket.
Here are some pictures I took of the HTC Thunderbolt