Borrowing familiar 1 GhZ single core Snapdragon processor from similar devices, the Thunderbolt brings a much more crisp and flush design with a kick stand in the back for easy dock-like features.
While this phone has the capability of being the Android phone to beat on the market, it still has some weaknesses that cannot be overlooked.
Design: HTC took the same mold from their EVO and and Desire for the 4.3″ case of this phone.? Measuring at 4.75″ X 2.44″ X 0.56″ and just above 6 ounces, the HTC is for people who don’t mind having a bigger phone in their pocket that is on the heavier side of mobile devices out there.? The phone has a nice matted finish on the back, giving it a nice solid feel when palming.? It makes a nice rest against your fingers when texting or surfing as well.
The Thunderbolt brings a WVGA (800 x 640) screen from the HTC Evo, which takes a back seat to the iPhone still.? While the screen is sharp and has a wide viewing angle, it was disappointing to see a new phone come out expecting to be the leading Android phone, without having the most up to date hardware.
The 1 GhZ Snapdragon processor is nothing new but is very responsive to opening apps and multi-tasking.? The touch screen had no problem detecting any finger gestures and the accelerometer was snappy to switch between landscape and portrait mode when moved around.
Around the phone you have a volume rocker on the right side and a charging port on the left, 3.5mm audio and power button on the top.? The HTC’s new “kicker” is the kickstand the phone is built with to prop the phone up like a dock so the phone can be left stand alone while watching movies or other activities.? Serious design flaw.? The phone, when propped, leaves the charging port on the bottom of the stand, which makes it impossible to have the charger plugged in while the phone is propped up by the kickstand.? I could never imagine watching a movie on a phone (streaming from their new LTE network) without having the phone plugged in.? I wish they moved the kick stand to the other side so only the volume rocker would have been suppressed; the charging port is much more important.? Unfortunately this was a pretty big mistake from HTC’s engineering and makes this design of this phone mediocre at best.
No HDMI out included and it seems the microSD card is buried under the battery case to make the phone look a bit classier.? The phone also features a front facing camera and an 8MP dual LED flash camera around back.
Extras: The only plus in the goodies they package with the phone is a pre-installed 32 GB micro SD card.? I’m still waiting for HTC to start including a standard headphone set, with microphone and audio controls, like their competitors do.
Battery: HTC blew us out of the water with their incredible battery life on the new Incredible S, but the 1400 mAh with the Thunderbolt was average amongst phones.? Once again, a bit of a disappointment for a company that usually releases revolutionary technology with their phones…If this is going to be the phone that you carry around the entire day from morning to night, I suggest a portable charger or charging cable so you’re never stuck without a phone.
LTE: Unfortunately the area I am located in does not fall within the 30 major cities that are equip with the capabilities for LTE technology, so I’m hesitant to include any information about this part of the phone or the review, but other places online who have used the Thunderbolt in those cities report amazing results.
Overall: I was very disappointed with HTC’s engineering on this phone, from the mediocre battery life to the kickstand that blocked the charging port.? I would have loved to see a sharper screen resolution on this 4.3″ device, but we can’t win them all.? I would check out their Incredible S before looking at the Thunderbolt, unless LTE is important to you.? Verizon’s strong network use to be a crutch for companies like HTC to hang on to, but the inclusion of the iPhone on Big Red’s network is a call to Android makers to step up their game.? I just felt that this was not HTC’s best effort but look forward to seeing their next device.