HTC ThunderBolt (Verizon Wireless)
Manufacturer: HTC Part number: ThunderBolt
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CNET editors' review
price range: $225.00
- Reviewed by: Bonnie Cha
- Reviewed on: 03/17/2011
- Released on: 03/17/2011
The good: The HTC ThunderBolt offers incredibly fast 4G data speeds. The Android 2.2 smartphone also supports simultaneous voice and data over 3G and boasts a large 4.3-inch touch screen, ample storage, and an excellent camera.
The bad: Battery life takes a big hit when using 4G. There is no way to toggle between 3G and 4G.
The bottom line: The HTC ThunderBolt lights up with blazingly fast data speeds, but those who want 4G now should be aware that it takes a big toll on the smartphone's battery life.
Great piece of hardware with one glaring detractor
by treaves on April 4, 2011
Pros: Solid build quality and design, great display and of course insane speed.
Cons: I've never owned a phone that needed a power profile update so badly.
Summary: The phone, the OS, the overall experience....great. The not being able to last an entire day on the stock battery....not so much.
I'm pretty confident the battery ...
Summary: The phone, the OS, the overall experience....great. The not being able to last an entire day on the stock battery....not so much."Your stock is rising no.2..."
I'm pretty confident the battery life can be pretty substantially improved by managing the notifications, processes and background applications more effectively (i.e. in a software update) possibly coupled w/ a better battery, but until then you will probably be disappointed w/ the battery life on this phone.
I'm still trying to decide myself between buying a larger-capacity spare and waiting for an update. I may end up doing both.
Updated on Apr 4, 2011
Update - after making some minor tweaks to the phones screen, notification, sync and data settings (think no vibrate, slightly lower brightness, no data streaming widgets like FB on the desktop) I was able to boost the usage time considerably. There are several really good "Thunderbolt Battery Complaints + Tips/Tricks" tutorials on the Android Central forums that offer a good start. You'll have to tweak per your intended use of the device, but it's not too difficult to eek out some serious power savings.
For example, here in NYC airplane mode on the subway saves a lot of juice since you're getting spotty reception and the phone is constantly finding/losing weak signal. Additionally, turning off unnecessary features like haptic response on the keyboard and vibrate make the phone feel snappier in my opinion. Helpful tools like the "Phone Info" app let you disable 4G when you're not actively using it (unless you really need those FB updates at 21Mbps).
Updated on Apr 14, 2011In response to mech-E - I think all geeks with new toys can pretty safely consider themselves heavy users. I'm seriously having a hard time putting this thing down even what I can think of anything else to do on it or probably should be sleeping :\
My obvious autistic tendencies aside, my battery life went from 5-6 hours from unplug to dead with heavy use, to 10+. 5-6 hours was with 75-100% screen brightness, 4G/LTE on data sync and all the HTC Sense bells and whistles they turn on out of the box to provide that "wow" factor. I haven't had the battery die on me since and I'm not looking back. Some people will tell you the battery isn't "burned in" yet so maybe that played a part but I'm not sure I subscribe to that quasi-tech folk lore wisdom. At this point I'm reading cached news articles while listening to music on the train to and from work, making regular check-in's throughout the day and messing with it an hour or 2 in the evening before needing a charge.
5 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
This phone is the worst!!!!
by 20099A on June 11, 2011
Pros: Nice screen. Great paperweight!!!!
Cons: Constantly turns itself off. Restarts itself while talking to someone. Kicks me off the internet almost everytime I try to use it. Calls and text messages are missed daily. Screen freezes up.
Summary: I am on my 2nd Thunderbolt in 4 weeks. The first one had the Android guys running all over it, no one knew what that was about. Both of them ...
Summary: I am on my 2nd Thunderbolt in 4 weeks. The first one had the Android guys running all over it, no one knew what that was about. Both of them costantly shut down or restart all by themselves. I waited 6 months for this phone to come out, totally not worth the wait or the money. Paying a ton of $ for a data plan I can't even use!!!! I'm leaving in a week to drive to Californina, I'm thinking about buying a Talk N Go, so I will have a reliable phone while on the road. If they don't fix the issues in the next 2 weeks, I'll be taking mine back and getting a different phone.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very happy with this purchase!
by mkmandel on March 20, 2011
Pros: Fast and responsive
Bright, clear display
Cons: Some HTC Sense widgets do not have enough customization options for my taste
Home screens do not display in landscape
Skype with video and Netflix not native at launch, expected (hopefully) later
Summary: I upgraded from a Windows Mobile 6.1 device on the first day the Thunderbolt went on sale. I think a lot of reviews of this phone so far are ...
Summary: I upgraded from a Windows Mobile 6.1 device on the first day the Thunderbolt went on sale. I think a lot of reviews of this phone so far are really heavily influenced by the reviewers' previous phones. For me, this phone is a major upgrade and so far I am very happy with it. It has lived up to or surpassed most of my expectations (which were higher than the average users', I think).
I know a lot of people are having complaints about battery life, but I really haven't had many issues with it (caveat: I live in a 3G-only market, so I can't speak to battery life in 4G-LTE markets). Compared to my last phone, my battery life has actually improved considerably. I can now leave my GPS radio on (which actually works, unlike my last phone) and it will not quickly drain the battery. It still drains it, of course, but it takes a lot longer. From what I understand, the Thunderbolt's cousin, the Evo, also had a lot of complaints about battery life when it was first released and HTC more or less fixed the problem with a software update after launch. I've already heard a software update from HTC for the Thunderbolt is on the way, and I have no reason to doubt that.
I did have some reservations about buying the phone after reading reports of the battery life being one reason for the delayed release. I was also hesitant because of the lack of Skype, which I use several times a week on my laptop to stay in touch with family and will soon be implementing to stay in touch with my staff at work. I ultimately decided to buy the Thunderbolt on day one so I could lock in an unlimited data package at a reasonable price before Verizon implements tiered pricing this summer. I will also be travelling fairly frequently to an LTE market for grad school and to visit family over the duration of my contract, which is a big reason why I waited for Verizon to release its first 4G phone even though I was eligible for an upgrade in November. I'm not a gamer (except for Angry Birds), so there was no reason for me to wait for the Bionic or other Tegra 2-based devices coming out later this year.
I was showing it off to a few colleagues the day after I bought it; two of them own Incredibles and they were ooh-ing and aah-ing over my Thunderbolt. The kickstand is a nice bonus, and I find myself using it frequently. Coming from a Windows phone, I do also appreciate the extensive and centralized offerings in the Android Market. I now have many official apps that I've wanted for awhile but were never really available to me.
Overall, I am very pleased that I chose to use my final New Every Two upgrade on the HTC Thunderbolt. It's a blazingly fast powerhouse, even on a 3G connection. I had complained to Verizon several times about how long it took them to bring this phone to market (and the fact that they released the ridiculously superfluous ipad 2 before this phone), but I am happy to eat a little crow and thank them for taking a little extra time for getting this phone right...for my needs, anyway.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Don't buy for business
by johnariola on April 5, 2011
Pros: Beautiful screen, easy to use, and VERY fast
Cons: Keyboard is not very easy to use for large hands. Battery life is not as bad as some reviews seem to indicate, but much worse than my Blackberry Storm.
Summary: Want to miss appointments or lose your client's phone numbers? I strongly urge you not to buy this phone for business use! HTC Sync is terrible, and not ready ...
Summary: Want to miss appointments or lose your client's phone numbers? I strongly urge you not to buy this phone for business use! HTC Sync is terrible, and not ready for prime time. I am using Windows XP with Office 2010, and data sync is totally unreliable. Many times, no data is exchanged even though both my desktop and phone have new data on them.
This phone rearranged all data in Outlook, esentially destroying ten years worth of contact data. Any contacts with only a company name (no individual name) are un-searchable on the phone. The contact's "file as" name is erased in Outlook, and replaced with blank space, so there is no longer any way to look that contact up in Outlook.
If you have any phone numbers with extensions, the phone will add the extension to the number, making it un-able to be dialed. I will be working months to fix my 1,500+ contacts manually. I am still unable to fix my client database, and HTC has been no help whatsoever.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best Phone I've had Selling my Verizon iPhone 4 on ebay
by allareconnected on March 18, 2011
Pros: Screen: It's Big, Great Colors & Nice viewing Angles. Multitasking: Its really a great multitasking phone because of it speed and built in HTC Sense. Internet: A lot faster internet browing speeds than on any other android phone I've used and my iPhon
Cons: Speakers: Probably the 2nd best sounding speakers I've heard BB 9700 ranks 1st then maybe the iPhone 4G (Verizon).
Summary: I worked for T-Mobile and used or owned every High End Android phone through the Samsung Nexus S. In addition I've owned every generation of iPhones. I am an ...
Summary: I worked for T-Mobile and used or owned every High End Android phone through the Samsung Nexus S. In addition I've owned every generation of iPhones. I am an Apple fan at heart but am also a techie at the core who needs a strong mult-tasking device. The HTC Thunderbolt is the best all around phone I have ever used, hands down. I must admit that I was very surprised with the Screen Quality which has been an area of opportunity for HTC in the past. A must buy for any Smartphone user on Verizon Wireless.
5 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very Disappointing compared to my Incredible
by vclarktx on March 19, 2011
Pros: None So Far
Cons: The screen sucks compared to my HTC Incredible. A definite step down.
The unit is much bulkier and heavier than the Incredible.
Verizon does not allow the "User Controls" option with the new Thunderbolt. What's up with that??
There are more cons, but you
Summary: A Total Disappointment
Summary: A Total Disappointment
4 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Just buy it!
by magneticfusion on April 14, 2011
Pros: Runs Android, fast, 4g, rear camera, sleek design, 2 way kick stand, 32gb SD free, Flash
Cons: Battery life
Summary: Ok i waited a couple years to get Verizons first 4g phone. I bought the Thunderbolt immediately when it came out. I had the Samsung Omina before that and it ...
Summary: Ok i waited a couple years to get Verizons first 4g phone. I bought the Thunderbolt immediately when it came out. I had the Samsung Omina before that and it was bulletproof but outdated. I have the Samsung Galaxy Tab so im full aare of how the OS works. So i get this Thunderbolt with all its hype, and it lives up to everything and then some. the 4g is BLAZING fast. im downloading songs in 6-10 seconds and movies in about 6-7 minutes! my friend has Sprints 4g and it takes him twice as long if not longer to download the same thing. The rear camera takes stunning pictures where my friends are even impressed! Its easy to use although the Sense UI took a sec to figure out. when I mean a sec about an hour. The phone is pretty damn fast for a single processor. We pages load with ease and it handles my apps without crashing or force closing every two seconds. Its fair price makes its a good deal over the 32gb Iphone. Ok so the crappy part about this phone? The stupid battery will last like 3-4 hours under heavy use. Like thhunderbolt and if you buy one and get that 4g switch app, you will not be let down.e EVO there is no "switch" to switch from 4g to 3g. Well, yes there is! On the Android market there is an app called 4g Switch. the icon is black and red and works GREAT!!!! makes my stock battery last between 9-12 hours! so theres the fix for all you Thunderbolt users. its cost me $.99 instead of buying an extended battery. i dont need 4g unless im surfing the net or downloading. So when i get home and want to teher to my playstation to play COD i switch to 4g. And when my phone rings i pick it, answer it, and still play my game with it dropping out. So if you wanted a real thunderbolt review, there you go. i have an Ipod touch and dont even use it anymore...no sense to, its garbage! Why buy apps when Android has them for free? Android is sweeping the world and leaving Apple behind. ive used them all from Windows Mobile, Android, RIM and Apple OS and Android is far the best! I swear by my Thunderbolt and if you buy one and get the 4g switch you will not be let down.And sorry for the errors my keyboard on my Sony laptop is crappy out on me and screws my words up. Im not as illerite as I seem HAHA!!! but hope you enjoyed the review
Updated on Apr 14, 2011
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
DO NOT BUY ( UNLESS YOU LIKE BLOATWARE)
by jim933 on April 6, 2011
Pros: Fast, nice display
Cons: This phone comes loaded with Memory rodding software that HTC decided YOU wanted, can cost you extra money AND YOU CAN NOT REMOVE IT!
Summary: Comes with software such as "VZNavigator"...use it and you will be charged $10/month on top of your data package...however, you can get the same FOR FREE using ...
Summary: Comes with software such as "VZNavigator"...use it and you will be charged $10/month on top of your data package...however, you can get the same FOR FREE using Google maps.
Has a cutesy game called "MyGolf2" that takes up nearly 500 KB of memory...Can NOT be removed.
Pre-loaded with "CityID"....paid subscription required after trial period ends.
Lots of other applications...all of which are available ( if you really wanted them) from the market place. Most of them have a FREE, or lower cost, equivalent on the market.
By pre-loading these junk HTC and Verizon are taking advantage of potential unsuspecting consumers who will not know any better and activate the software...and possibly incur additional charges.
The worst part is these applications are locked...you CAN NOT REMOVE THEM without "rooting" your phone ( which will violate the warrantee as well as risk permanently killing the phone)
Shame, shame on Verizon and HTC for foisting this on the public.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Awesome phone, Horrible battery
by RLawshe1 on March 20, 2011
Pros: FAST internet (8-12 mps down, 30-40 up in Tampa,Fl). HTC sense is flawless, fast processor even though it isn't a dual core
Cons: TERRIBLE battery life, I am bitterly disappointed. Good thing that I have 14 days to decide if I can deal with the battery life...
Summary: Overall, I love the phone so far. But, the major, and I repeat MAJOR drawback is the battery life. I have had mine for 2 days, and I am seeing ...
Summary: Overall, I love the phone so far. But, the major, and I repeat MAJOR drawback is the battery life. I have had mine for 2 days, and I am seeing 4-6 hour battery life on a full charge. This is almost as bad as my NEC bag phone was in 1991. Hopefully, VZW will figure out something fast, and I really don't think that I should have to be the one to pay for an extended life battery....
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Problem after problem... DONT NOT BUY!!!
by dblrplt on September 20, 2011
Pros: Problems outweigh the Pros
Cons: Short battery life, less than 8 hours without using it.
Summary: Verizon will not stand by there product. After hours and hours of troubleshooting my original and replacement Thunderbolt, Verizon wanted to send me my 3rd Refurbished (new to them) Thunderbolt ...
Summary: Verizon will not stand by there product. After hours and hours of troubleshooting my original and replacement Thunderbolt, Verizon wanted to send me my 3rd Refurbished (new to them) Thunderbolt replacement!!! I am now going to a different phone.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: HTC
- Part number: ThunderBolt
- Description: This isn't your dream phone. It's the one after that. With instant uploads and downloads and more, the HTC ThunderBolt 4G brings you the future, faster.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Smartphone
- Form Factor Touch
- Phone Design PDA
- Integrated Components Wi-Fi hotspot,
- Width 2.63 in
- Depth 0.55 in
- Height 4.84 in
- Weight 6.31 oz
- Body Color Black
- Technology LTE,
- Band CDMA2000 1X 1900/800
- Mobile Broadband Generation 4G
- Service Provider Verizon Wireless
- Operating System Android 2.2 OS
- User Interface HTC Sense
- Application Software Adobe Flash Player 10.1
- Input Device(s) Touch sensitive screen (multi-touch) , Capacitive
Messaging & Internet
- Cellular Messaging Services MMS,
- Supported SMS Functions SMS CB (Cell Broadcast)
- Instant Messaging Services Google Talk
- Supported Email Protocols POP3,
- Supported Social Networks and Blogs Twitter,
- Messaging & Data Features Microsoft PowerPoint support,
Microsoft Excel support,
Microsoft Word support,
Adobe Flash support
- Mobile Services Slacker Radio,
- Data Transmission EV-DO
- Wireless Interface LTE,
Bluetooth 2.1 EDR,
- Bluetooth Profiles Object Push Profile (OPP),
Hands Free Profile (HFP),
Headset Profile (HSP),
Dial-up Networking Profile (DUN),
File Transfer Profile (FTP),
Phonebook Access Profile (PBAP),
Generic Object Exchange Profile (GOEP),
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP),
Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
- Communication Features Internet browser,
Mobile Email client
- Phone Functions Voice control,
- Polyphonic Ringer Yes
- Ring Tone Formats MP3
- Sensors Proximity sensor,
Ambient light sensor,
- Additional Features World clock,
Speech-to-Text (speech recognition),
- Personal Information Management Synchronization with PC,
- Supported Digital Audio Standards M4A,
- Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-4,
- Type QUALCOMM MSM8655
- Clock Speed 1 GHz
- RAM 768 MB
- User Memory 8 GB
- Supported Flash Memory Cards microSDHC - up to 32 GB
- Sensor Resolution 8 megapixels
- Optical Sensor Type CMOS
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Self Timer Delay Yes
- White Balance Automatic,
- Camera Light Source LED light
- Video Recorder Resolutions 1280 x 720 (720p)
- Features Video recording,
- GPS Navigation A-GPS receiver - Simultaneous GPS (S-GPS)
- Navigation Software & Services Google Maps,
- Type LCD display - Color
- Technology TFT
- Diagonal Size 4.3 in
- Display Resolution 800 x 480 pixels
- Multi-language Menu Yes
- Features Wallpaper
- Connector Type Headset jack - Mini-phone 3.5 mm,
- Technology Lithium ion
- Capacity 1400 mAh
- Run Time Details Talk ( CDMA ) - up to 378 min,
Standby ( CDMA ) - up to 330 hour(s)
- Compliant Standards HAC(Hearing Aid Compatible)
- Included Accessories Power adapter , Power adapter,
- Also Included microSDHC - 32 GB