When Verizon announced its slew of 4G LTE phones and devices at CES 2011, The Thunderbolt was was one of the devices listed as an initial foray into LTE smartphones. The Thunderbolt as a devices takes a close resemblances to the HTC EV, which was released last year. So the question beckon why and old design choice. Simple, it works
The Thunderbolt comes with a 4.3 WXGA display, with an 8MP rear facing camera that records at 720p with duel LED flash, a 1.3 MP front facing camera for video chat. It is power by the latest 1GHz Snapdragon processor. 32GB pre-installed microSD (which is very nice). Running on Android 2.2 and HTC sense UI, a built in Kickstand which also hides the systems speakers and of course has 4G LTE which speed of 5-12 Mbps on Download and 2 to 5 for uploads ( check out our speed test below) and the ability to generate a wireless hotspot for up to 8 Wi-Fi devices. So does the hardware ware feel like the EVO, No. The Thunderbolt has a refined look to it that evolves from the EVO design, with smoother edges and more metal frame build that gives the device a more business user look.
What you get software wise with the Thunderbolt, is the same Android 2.2 and HTC sense UI experience you have seen with other HTC device. The heavy integration of Sense UI onto Android, helps the causal user interact with the device and find and use feature sets with easy. One new feature set that sense provides is the location of the multitask manager in the notification tray, allowing for easy access to your multitask apps.
As is the trend with android today there are a slew of preinstalled apps on the devices, some of which are useful and some are not:
- Adobe Reader
- Bitbop: A subscription service that offers a variety of movies and television shows streamed to your phone,
- City ID: A service that displays the city and state of incoming calls — for the $1.99 they charge after your 15-day free trial expires.
- FM Radio: requires a headset be plugged in to use (it doubles as the antenna).
- Let’s Golf 2: A trial of a 3D golf game with a silly name. $4.99 to buy the full version.
- Quickoffice: Full Edition which is nice
- Rock Band: This is shortcut to download a trial version of Rock Band from EA.
- Slacker Radio
- V CAST Apps
- V CAST Media
- VZ Navigator
Below you will find stills and video recording from the 1.3MP front facing Camera and the 8MP rear camera.
The Video recording is in 720p from the 8MP rear facing camera,, there are no edits to the video, just a collection from different short clips from the Thunderbolt of indoor, outdoor and concert shots.
4G LTE Speed Test
This is where the true strengthen of the Thunderbolt is present here, Verizon expected download speeds range from 5-12 Mbps and upload speed ranging from 2-5 Mbp, but during our non-scientific test using speed test app on the device the Thunderbolt complete blew those number away,
During use with the device, web browsing, app downloads feel and are much faster and zipper, creating a very fast and smooth smartphone experience.
So what do I think of the Thunderbolt, I will peg it as currently the best device on Verizon’s network at the moment. Yes it does have one main draw back which still plagues Android devices; battery life. though did get a solid 8hrs with moderate use.
Other than that the device is sleek, it runs really fast with the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, its got a lovely 8MP camera and a very useful and crisp 1.3MP camera for video chat. and yes the 4GLTE speeds are ridiculously fast and that makes the device a most have on just that merit alone. Definitely a worth buy, especially with amazon selling The Thunderbolt for $130 with a 2yr contract.