We gave you the unboxing and now it is time for the full review on the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt. Our first impression of the phone was the speed, it is very fast. It is Verizon’s first 4G Phone, from the looks of there network, it may be the best 4G network out there. Not only is the Internet fast but so is the phone it self. This baby flies from app to app. Overall our first impression made us want to dive in more and more, to find out the what the Thunderbolt can offer. So, lets get started with the full review of the HTC Thunderbolt from Verizon.

 

HTC Thunderbolt’s Hardware

Many phones come in boxes with the photos of the phone and the highlights of it right on the box. The Thunderbolt is not one of them, it makes a statement by coming in a dark as night black box, It says Verizon on top and HTC on the bottom of the front. On the back in small white lettering, it lists what comes inside the box and the copyrights.  On the box it also says “Verizon 4G LTE Certified”. This is showing that the Thunderbolt can handle Verizon’s 4G Network. When you open the box, out comes the Thunderbolt which is surrounded by red. The Thunderbolt is a monster sized phone, keep in mind it is not always a bad thing. The screen it self is 4.3 inches. Many people say the phone is very heavy, it is not all that heavy compared to other phones. Once you take the phone out, underneath it you will find some other stuff. First thing you see is the 4G Sim Card packaging. This came pre-installed in our review copy. Under that you will find the “Master Your Device Booklet”. Under that you will find your wall charger and micro USB cable. The packing is done very nicely, the Thunderbolt deserves this. Your paying $250 for the phone, it might as well come with some nice accessories and pamphlets. The phone is heavy and thick, this may turn some people off. We suggest you go check it out before you buy it. The body it self of the phone is very nice. It is smooth on the back. On the back it has the camera, flash, HTC symbol, 4GLTE symbol, kickstand with google written on it. Yes you heard us right, the Thunderbolt has a kickstand built into it. The speaker is also nicely built under it. Many people may think the kickstand is just stupid, but it can come in handy if you want to hold the phone up or if your watching something on it. The front of the phone is mainly the screen. There a 4 touch-screen buttons on the bottom. Those are the home, menu, back, and search buttons. They all come in very handy, while using the phone. The screen is great, it is also a very big screen. Bigger than most screens you will find on a phone. There is also a speaker for when your are on the phone, on the front of it. There are also 2 other buttons on the phone. The power/sleep button and the volume buttons. They tried to make it a very sleek design but it is still a very thick phone. You also have your headphone jack and the micro USB slot for charging and connecting to your computer. The phones comes with a 32GB card pre-installed. The back case is a little hard to get off, so it does save you some time having the card pre-installed. The audio quality of the phone is great. The speaker behind the kickstand can get very loud. However the sound gets muffled when the kickstand is not out. It blocks the speaker. This is a downside about the kickstand. The sound is also really easy to controls. The volume buttons are great, they are in the perfect location and are the perfect size. The sound quality of the Thunderbolt is great. The screen on the Thunderbolt is amazing. It is by far one of the biggest screens on a phone I have ever soon. It is a whopping 4.3 inches of pure beauty. The quality of the screen could be compared to that of a TV. The battery is the only place were we could see an issue. The good news is there is a quick fix for this. They have the “Extended Battery”. This will help many people get the most time out of there Thunderbolt. The phones normal battery is not the best. If you are using the 4G Mobile Hot-spot is will drop very quickly on you. Sleep mode does not waste to much of your battery. If you are a very heavy data user(especially 4G), we suggest you get the “Extended Battery”. Overall the battery could be a little better. The hardware on the HTC Thunderbolt is truly top notch. The design is almost flawless, except for it being a monster(heavy weight and very thick). Just from the hardware we can recommend this phone to almost anyone.

 

4G Speeds

The HTC Thunderbolt is Verizon’s first 4G LTE Phone. Being that it is the first 4G Phone there were very high expectations for this phone. The speeds are very very fast. However it all depends on where you are and how strong Verizon’s Coverage is in your area. Most areas are covered by Verizon’s 4G Network. The phone also works on 3G so if your not covered yet you can still enjoy the Thunderbolt. Our experience with the phone is that the speeds are very quick. We are mainly on there 4G Network because it is available in our area. Our speed test gave us the following info:

3/29/11 -Ping: 109ms, Upload: 23.40Mbps, Download 11.30Mbps

4/7/11 -Ping 134ms, Upload: 22.20Mbps, Download: 14.26Mbps

4/8/11 (1) – Ping: 134ms, Upload: 21.67 Mbps, Download: 21.64 Mbps

4/8/11 (2)- Ping: 186ms, Upload: 34.82 Mbps, Download: 18.80 Mbps

4/10/11 (1) – Ping: 165ms, Upload: 35.22 Mbps, Download: 12.12Mbps

4/10/11 (2)- Ping: 175ms, Upload: 28.13 Mbps, Download: 7.13Mbps

As you can see the 4G LTE Speeds on the HTC Thunderbolt, are fast. It makes it very quick way to browse the Internet, read email, and watch video online. It also gives you extremely fast internet when you are using the 4G Mobile Hot-spot. It comes in handy when you have a laptop but, you don’t have Internet. The Thunderbolt is quick fix for this. Overall 4G on the Thunderbolt is amazing!

 

Camera

The HTC Thunderbolt has an 8 Mega-Pixel camera in it, keep in mind this is a phone. This camera take pictures and records video. It also has a flash built into the phone. The camera app is also really great. One of the great features of the app is that it allows you to add effects to your photos. There are many different great effects that you can add to your photos. The screen is great for viewing what your photos will be and what they look like after they have been taken. It also has flash built in. It also has great feature called “Face Detection”. This works really great. We have some demo shots in the gallery at the end of the article It can also record video in 720p, this is a great feature that gives you some great quality for a phone. The video camera is also top notch as well, on the Thunderbolt. You can see the great 720p HD Quality in our “HTC Thunderbolt Video Camera Demo” video below. If you are someone who needs a great camera on your phone, the Thunderbolt is definitely for you.

OS

The HTC Thunderbolt is running HTC Sense on top of Android 2.2.1 . This version of HTC Sense is not different from any of the other ones. It has the nice menus, same custom keyboard, & and the home screen widgets. There is really nothing new, however it all looks very nice on the Thunderbolt. HTC and Verizon also decided to include some apps on the phone. Let’s take a look at what they are.

  • Slacker Radio- Listen to music
  • Let’s Gold 2- a trial of a gold game
  • Rhapsody- a place to buy and listen to music
  • Rock-Band- it is a link to download the trial of rock-band. Does not work at all, shows the “Rock-Band” logo, then goes to a black screen and quits out. Not really that good and does not need to be included on the phone.
  • Adobe Reader- read documents
  • V Cast Apps & Media/Navigator/- Verizon apps
  • Quick Office-Found on many Android forms, includes Excel and Word Capabilities.
  • Kindle-E-Book Reader

Android 2.2.1 runs great on the HTC Thunderbolt. It is truly amazing to see it running this fast on a phone. They also have 2 app stores now, the Amazon App Store and the Android Market. Overall it makes for a great user experience when using the phone.

 

Bottom Line

The HTC Thunderbolt is a monster phone. It is heavier and thicker then a normal phone. But, it is an awesome phone. It is also insanely fast, with Verizon’s 4G LTE Network. Not only is the data fast but the phone has lighting speeds. The phone is great overall. We would recommend it to any one who wants an awesome smart phone. If you want something you can watch videos on then look no farther, it has 4.3inch screen, a kickstand, and a awesome speaker. It is truly an awesome phone, the price however is not the cheapest. It will cost you $250 with a 2-year contract from Verizon. Like we said we recommend it to all, if the price isn’t to high we recommend you go take a look at it; you will most likely love it. You can see it here. We would like to thank Verizon for providing us with the HTC Thunderbolt.

 

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