HTC Thunderbolt : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. New Phone 2011 HTC Thunderbolt Specification Price,cell phone reviews, This unit has an 8-megapixel camera on the back, which supports HD video recording. It also provides a VGA front camera for video calling. The DLNA capabilities Thunderbolt enables to stream and share content directly to compatible home theater components, including HDTVs and stereo receivers. At CES 2011, Verizon and HTC unveiled their first ever 4G LTE-enabled smartphone.
Of course, all new dual-core processor Android smartphones later this year, the HTC Thunderbolt lacking in processing power, but certainly, it is probably one of the fastest 4G phones, you can now buy and the only 4G phone on Verizon. That’s probably the highlight of this 4.3-inch phone, you can do much more with new 4G Verizon’s LTE network.
The HTC Thunderbolt comes with a Qualcomm MSM8655 CPU 1Ghz, 768MB RAM, 8GB internal memory, 32GB SD card pre-installed, Android 2.2, 720P HD video recording, and the HTC Sense UI. Taiwan based smartphone manufacturer HTC, has announced the latest 4G smartphone, HTC Thunderbolt, at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 in Las Vegas. The new Thunderbolt will be available through Verizon in the United States. HTC Thunderbolt has a huge 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, a maximum multimedia entertainment on 4G LTE provides Verizon’s network. The diaplay screen supports 800×480 pixel resolution. Thunderbolt Froyo 2.2 runs on Android operating system and is powered by 1GHz Snapdragon processor.
HTC Thunderbolt Specification
- General 2G Network CDMA 800 / 1900
- 3G Network CDMA2000 1xEV-DO / LTE 700
- Announced 2011, January
- Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2011, Q1
- Size Dimensions 122 x 66 x 13 mm
- Weight 164 g
- Display Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches
- Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- HTC Sense 2.0 UI
- Multi-touch input method
- Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
- Loudspeaker Yes
- 3.5mm jack Yes
- DNSe (Dolby mobile sound enhancement)
- Memory Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
- Call records Practically unlimited
- Internal 8GB storage, 768 MB RAM
- Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, 32GB included
- Data GPRS No
- EDGE No
- 3G Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps, LTE
- WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
- Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
- Infrared port No
- USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
- Camera Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
- Features Geo-tagging, face detection
- Video Yes, 720p
- Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP
- Features OS Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo)
- CPU 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon
- Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
- Browser HTML
- Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Games Yes + downloadable
- Colors Black
- GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
- Java No
From a head-on perspective, the HTC Thunderbolt is almost identical to the HTC Inspire 4G. We're assaulted by a sizable 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display and a panel of haptic feedback buttons: Home, Menu, Back, and Search. Just like the Inspire 4G, the HTC Thunderbolt's screen was highly sensitive and offered an impressive graphics spread. However, the HTC Thunderbolt strays from the Inspire by embedding a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera next to the handset speaker. At some point, users will be able to take advantage of video calling via skype, but that wasn't available to us just yet. To compliment the front-facing camera, the HTC Thunderbolt is equipped with an 8-megapixel primary camera on the back with 720p HD video recording capability and a dual LED flash.
Aside from the front-facing camera, the HTC Thunderbolt is a memory machine compared to the Inspire 4G. Out of the box, we get a whopping 32GB MicroSD card and 8GB of internal storage, bringing the total to 40GB from the starting line! The HTC Inspire 4G has 4GB of internal space and an 8GB MicroSD card, offering a net of 12GB out of the box. For the multimedia junkie, the HTC Thunderbolt packs in one of the largest storage capacities in its class. Unfortunately, accessing the MicroSD card on the HTC Thunderbolt means removing the battery—something we didn't have to accomplish on the Inspire 4G, thanks to its separate compartments. Therefore, we found it was best to connect the HTC Thunderbolt to a computer via the included USB cable for drag-and-drop action.
Lastly, you'll notice that the HTC Thunderbolt has a kickstand for propping the phone up while watching movies and playing certain games. Not only that, but we truly dig the Thunderbolt's style, flaunting a gunmetal gray and matte black color combination with stainless metal kickstand running across like a belt. The Thunderbolt also offers the standard architectural fanfare, including a 3.5mm audio jack, volume control rocker, open USB terminal, and Power/Lock switch. Portability wise, the HTC Thunderbolt is slightly thicker than the HTC Inspire 4G, but we prefer its looks over its AT&T cousin any day.
Software and Interface
The HTC Thunderbolt is equipped with a 1GHz Snapdragon MSM8655 chipset with the Adreno 205 GPU for improved graphics and video hardware acceleration, which is the same configuration found in the Inspire 4G. More common traits consist of the Thunderbolt's Android 2.2 OS with the latest iteration of HTC Sense. It's worth noting that the HTC Thunderbolt will receive an Android 2.3 upgrade within the near future, an OS tweak that we praised on theNexus S. Let's just say the HTC Thunderbolt was one of the faster smartphones we've tested, enabling us to fly through screens and pages effortlessly.
But the star of the show was HTC Sense. The latest version of the highly acclaimed interface offered more versatility in the appearance department via the Personalize feature. Here we could choose from various Scenes, which acted like profiles that were tailored to a particular user's interests. Social, Work, Play, and Travel were some options offered by HTC, and we could also apply Skins (Themes) that customized the entire look of the phone. In fact, when we tap and hold on one of the Thunderbolt's 7 home screens, the Personalize screen pops up, offering Widgets, Applications, Shortcuts, Folders, and even Sound Settings.
We got Leap, which allowed us to pinch and zoom a home screen to display all home screens minimized at once, and HTC Sense offered its famous Weather widget with live weather updates and animation. We really liked the fact that the dropdown menu displayed our most recently opened applications, and Androids Manage Applications program enabled us to kill programs that were hanging around and chomping memory and battery life. Overall, the HTC Sense experience was seamless and refined—certainly an example of premiere phone software.
Thanks to Android 2.2 with Flash 10.1 support, our browsing experience was enhanced with the ability to view flash content right from within the browser. For instance, we could load one of our reviews and watch the embedded YouTube video right on the page without a hitch. Audio matched up perfectly, and we could even pinch and zoom while watching. The HTC Sense experience fortified our browsing experience with a robust Bookmarks menu and the ability to scroll through open windows. Bookmarks included Favorites and History, controlled via a virtual sliding switch with flawless graphics.
Search allowed us to not only search our phone for anything, but the Internet as well, so it was more of a universal experience. We will say that our HTC Thunderbolt review unit froze while we were jumping between windows, and the phone needed a restart in order to get back on track. We're hoping that the Thunderbolt used its "Get Out of Jail Free" card with that unfortunate behavior, but based on the random glitches we found on the HTC Inspire 4G, it looks as though it might be more of a normal occurrence.
4G and Web Surfing
This is the reason you want this phone. The Thunderbolt is the first handset to tap into Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network, offering blazing speeds in 38 cities and counting. The Thunderbolt made quick work of popular websites, downloading the mobile versions of ESPN, NYTimes.com, and Yahoo in 3 to 5 seconds each. The full NYTimes site loaded in just 13 seconds, but it took an additional 23 seconds with Flash enabled. A high-quality HD trailer of the movie Limitless started playing in 3 seconds and never stuttered; when we tried streaming the same clip at low quality over 3G on the Verizon iPhone 4G, it took 9 seconds to start playing and skipped multiple times.
How much faster is the Thunderbolt than other 4G phones? In New York City, download rates ranged from a low of 3.9 Mbps all the way up to 17 Mbps. The average was 8.3 Mbps, which is nearly 4 times the average speed turned in by T-Mobile's fastest 4G phone, the Galaxy S 4G (2.4 Mbps). Sprint's fastest 4G phone, the EVO Shift 4G, maxed out at 9.4 Mbps, but generally offers speeds in the 3 to 4 Mbps range. So the Thunderbolt is about 3.5 times faster than anything on T-Mobile's network and at least twice as fast as Sprint's 4G phones.
The Thunderbolt's upload speeds were literally off the charts in the Speedtest.net app, so we don't trust those numbers. However, in hotspot mode the device delivered rates in the 4 to 7 Mbps range. That beats the pants off of Sprint's phones (typically about 1 Mbps up) and T-Mobile's (1.7 max). That means you'll be able to share photos and videos much faster on the Thunderbolt than you can on other networks.
We're also happy to report that hand-offs from 4G to 3G (and back again) didn't take very long. When emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel into New York City, the Thunderbolt switched from 3G to 4G in less than a minute.
One of the best things about the Thunderbolt is that its lightning-fast speeds aren't limited to the phone itself. You can share that 4G connection with up to eight devices, and through May 15th you get unlimited data for no extra charge. After that, you'll pay $20 per month for 2GB, which isn't a lot of data when you have this kind of performance.
When we connected a laptop to the Thunderbolt via the Mobile Hotspot app, we consistently saw download rates in the 14 Mbps range and uploads from 4 to 7 Mbps (as mentioned above). Complex sites such as CNN.com, ESPN.com, and NYTimes.com loaded in just 5 to 7 seconds. We even loaded Yahoo in 4 seconds--while streaming Hulu in another tab in Firefox. By the way, the video started playing almost instantly.
The Thunderbolt delivered even faster results when we connected via USB, reaching a high of 19.3 Mbps on the downlink. Going this route isn't a bad idea, since hotspot mode chews up a lot of power.
Multimedia and Productivity
The Android Market was readily available to handle all of our gaming and application needs, belonging to a giant library of titles that seems to be increasing the quality of its content. 3D gaming was a snap for the HTC Thunderbolt, and the phone offered DLNA for wirelessly streaming to digital home devices. With 40GB of storage, the HTC Thunderbolt rocked for compiling giant movie libraries and storing ample music titles. Social networking was taken care of by the FriendStream widget, which acted as a live stream of status updates, and we could keep a Rolodex of our favorite contacts thanks to the Favorites widget.
In addition to Google, Verizon Wireless' new 4G LTE smartphone gave us Flickr, Skype, Facebook, AIM, and other IM programs that could only be used as part of a My Verizon profile. Skype will offer video calling down the line, but we'll have to wait for it, and that's going to be one of the highlight features on the Thunderbolt. Lastly, the HTC Thunderbolt had QuickOffice for modifying Microsoft Office documents, and Exchange Email support. The bottom line is that the HTC Thunderbolt is one equipped phone.
Apps, Music, and Video
While the Android Market certainly offers plenty of compelling options (more than 200,000 apps and counting), Verizon and HTC bundle a few fun and useful apps to get you started. On the video front there's the Blockbuster app for downloading movies but also Bitbop for downloading TV shows (and some flicks). We pulled down an episode of theColbert Report in six minutes over Wi-Fi. The selection is sparse, but the video quality is top-notch. You'll pay $9.99 per month after the seven-day free trial.
Verizon also throws in Rock Band and Let's Golf 2. We found the latter more compelling, even if the load times were sluggish. We could make out fine details such as the grid pattern in the freshly cut fairway. Other highlights include a Kindle app for reading eBooks, QuickOffice, and TuneWiki (which displays lyrics for your music collection).
Call Quality/Battery Life
We had no major complaints with the call quality on our HTC Thunderbolt review unit, and actually preferred it over the HTC Inspire 4G on AT&T. That said, both phones exhibited a very similar battery performance, though the HTC Thunderbolt has a more superior 1400 mAh pack compared to the Inspire 4G's 1230 mAh juice box. Regardless, the HTC Thunderbolt will definitely need a daily charge, just like any high-end smartphone, and in some cases an additional charge throughout the day will be necessary.
One arena that the HTC Inspire 4G has the HTC Thunderbolt beat is the camera department. The phone has an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p HD video recording. When we looked at the diminutive size of the Thunderbolt's lens compared to the Inspire 4G, it was obvious that low light for the Thunderbolt would be taking a major hit. And it did. We tested the Thunderbolt against the Inspire 4G and HTC's new Arrive, and both phones offered twice the amount of exposure when the lights went out. Bright light shooting was great, however, and above many other phones in its class. However, you'll find that the flash will be needed very frequently on the HTC Thunderbolt.
We experienced the same phenomenon in video mode—bright light looked dandy while low light was exceedingly temperamental. Fortunately, the video light and touch focus could be employed while recording video, and that is a prime feature to have on a phone these days. However, the HTC Thunderbolt does not handle motion that well, especially in minimal/low lighting conditions. It's still a phone camera, while we look at the iPhone 4, which rivals certain point-and-shoot cameras. The HTC Thunderbolt does have a great shooting interface with Effects and control over Exposure, Sharpness, ISO, and more. The camera on the HTC Thunderbolt is good, but the Inspire 4G holds the edge, thanks to its superior low light sensitivity.
HTC Thunderbolt – infoSync Diagnosis
Verizon's first 4G LTE phone is not too shabby at all. The HTC Thunderbolt joins one of the strongest data networks in the country and gives users 40GB of storage space out of the box. It has a front-facing camera, Android 2.2, HTC's beautiful Sense interface, and a kickstand to hang with the rest of the premiere multimedia smartphones. Yes, the HTC Thunderbolt is indeed a striking start for Verizon's LTE network, and will certainly be a hot seller this year.
We could have used some extra battery life and a camera with better low light sensitivity, but our main concern centered around the Thunderbolt's tendency to freeze randomly like a deer in the headlights. After spending over a month with the HTC Inspire 4G, we have seen the phone freeze or glitch up intermittently, but it's usually due to an unstable application. The fact that the Thunderbolt called it quits while we were browsing the Internet led us to proceed with caution when we were prepared to go balls to the wall with this phone.
Regardless, the HTC Thunderbolt is one of the best smartphones on the market, and will definitely fit the needs of those who live within LTE territory. With download speeds of 5 - 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 – 5 Mbps, the HTC Thunderbolt is the first of the soldiers on its way to 100/50 Mbps speeds Verizon Wireless hopes to one day offer. But for now, the HTC Thunderbolt has struck, and the competition will be scrambling to clean up the debris.
The Thunderbolt lives up to its name by being the fastest 4G phone on any network--by far. Provided you're in an area with LTE coverage, you'll be able to load sites, download apps, and start streaming videos in the blink of any eye. This smart phone can also easily replace a USB modem or MiFi. Unfortunately, the Thunderbolt runs out of gas too fast. Overall, we prefer the slimmer and lighter iPhone 4, which has a better display, higher-quality apps, and longer battery life. As for Android fans, they may want to wait for the dual-core Motorola Droid Bionic to come to Verizon (complete with beefier 1930mAH battery). Still, if you have a need for serious speed right now, the Thunderbolt will satisfy.
Price and Release Date
The HTC Thunderbolt is available now from Verizon Wireless. It costs $250 with a new two-year contract.