The HTC Thunderbolt has a big 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen and is mostly made of metal. The phone measures 4.75" x 2.44" x 0.56". The phone has 8GB of internal storage and uses a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 768MB of RAM.
The HTC Thunderbolt feels much larger in the hand than my iPhone. I like the looks of my iPhone screen better for video, but the larger screen on the HTC Thunderbolt is very nice. My local area has no 4G access, but while I had the HTC Thunderbolt, I went on a road trip to San Antonio and that city is covered by a LTE network.
I used the HTC Thunderbolt in hotspot mode to connect my notebook to the LTE network and the speed delivered was very impressive. I live in a more rural area and my wired broadband connection wasn’t as fast as the LTE network in San Antonio. I was able to stream video and surf the web smoothly and flawlessly. I wish I had LTE in my hometown.
The HTC Thunderbolt also has a very nice camera that takes photos that look good and have good colors. The 8MP rear camera shoots still shots and 720p HD video. In bright conditions the photos looks very good, as with most smartphone cameras low light shots get grainy quickly. Video quality was good as well with smooth playback and nice colors.
You do need to be aware that using that speedy LTE connection with the phone as a hot spot sucks down battery live. I saw about 2.5 hours of runtime before the phone was nearly dead. If you are planning to tether a lot, you will want to be sure that you have the AC adapter handy. If all you are doing is voice calling and some minor web surfing you should be able to make it all day on a charge.
One of the things that are the biggest disappointment on the HTC Thunderbolt is that the phone has only a single core processor while competitors on the market are using dual-core Tegra 2 processors. The dual-core smartphones are much faster than the single core phones in many instances.
Call quality was good on the Verizon network and the phone worked well. I wish it had better battery life and a faster processor to churn though the apps I might want to run. In the end, this is a nice handset if you want LTE, but if you are in a non-LTE area, you can find devices that will give you more for your money. I'd say the HTC Thunderbolt is at the mid-range to upper mid-range of the Android wares out there.
The HTC Thunderbolt is a solid mid-range offering with sub-par battery life if you use it as a hotspot. The standard phone and web surfing features work just fine.
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