Hardware & Design
The HTC Thunderbolt comes in a similar hardware design that we have seen on many HTC devices. You get a 4.3 inch screen with a 480 x 800 resolution. There is touch sensitive standard android buttons below the screen and a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera on the top front. On the back you have a 8.0 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording. The camera is good with a very cool and easy to use camera application that we did a full review of in a separate post here. There is also a kickstand for watching content and a speaker behind the kickstand. Sounds is ok but not the best.
Internally the device has a 2nd generation 1.0 ghz snapdragon processor with Android 2.2.1 with HTC Sense UI as the software. For storage it comes with 8 GB of internal memory and Verizon included at 32 GB SD card in our unit here and to round-up specs it comes with a 1400 mAH battery, mobile hotspot capable and has the 4G LTE connection available for super fast data speeds. With all that packed into one device you would think it would be shaped and be as heavy as a brick. But actually its very comfortable in the hand with decent weight. It’s not the lightest phone by far but isn’t going to tear a hole in your pocket. HTC is known for high quality hardware and the Thunderbolt keeps that standard going.
Software & Usability
HTC Sense UI and Android 2.2.1 is something we are very familiar with and have on many HTC devices. Sense UI is probably one of the best Android overlays and makes using it a lot easier. The common HTC widgets are there, 7 desktops and different “scenes” you can choose from. I’m not going to go too much deeper into that as you probably know most of the software and we’ll focus on the big key feature is the 4G LTE connection.
I’m not going to give you a bunch of speed tests results as that can vary based on where you are and you’ve seen a ton of those already. I’m going to talk about in real use and we did so in our review. I took a bunch of pictures and video and decided to upload it to Dropbox and it was just plain fast. Pictures zipping up there fast and video which normally takes 15-20 minutes on 3G took about 2-3 minutes on 4G. The network is blazing fast and what I would call real 4G. Battery life was ok not great you get about 1 to 1.5 days of life on it. If you’re using 4G expect to charge during the day.
The HTC Thunderbolt is really just another HTC device with Android and HTC Sense on it. It’s not something we haven’t seen before but a refresh would have been nice. That doesn’t take away from it any way as it’s a solid device and the 4G speeds are just amazing. I would say wait a bit before deciding to buy since this device is going at $250 now and there are many more 4G device coming out so I would just wait a bit to have a nice choice but definitely the HTC Thunderbolt will be one of the devices on top of that list.