HTC ThunderBolt on Verizon

Funny thing about golf tournaments -- they don't really like it when your cell phone goes off, or when you're gabbing away while someone's lining up a putt. So it's not unusual to see designated cell phone areas. And Android Central Forums member ibejack96 found himself in such a designated area this weekend, and the area was sponsored by Verizon, which was also showing off phones.

And it was much to Jack's surprise when a rep pulled out -- you guessed it -- an HTC ThunderBolt. And Jack, being the good Android Central reader that he is, took the thing for a spin, snagging video in the process. And Jack, being the really good Android Central reader that he is, pumped the rep for any release info.

"I asked the lady at the stand if she knew when it was expected to be released, and she told me that she didn't know, but that it was supposed to have already been out (the date was pushed back because of problems, namely the battery, which was dying too early. I think it must be because of the battery life the LTE data required.)"

So there you have it. Jack's joined the club of people who have actually held and used a ThunderBolt. (We're having jackets made.) Check out his hands-on after the break.

More on the HTC ThunderBolt in the Android Central Forums

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Reader comments

Android Central Forums member goes hands-on with the HTC ThunderBolt


Lucky son of a gun! Please release this beast of a phone this week! I really am sick of typing in "htc thunderbolt" on google every 30 minutes (yes I know it's my choice) and its maddening lol.. I see he is using the ip4 to record it and i'll be getting rid of that as soon as it drops (at&t to verizon).. Can't friggin wait

This guy is prob. A troll on this site most of the time. Why would you be on here if you carry an iphone.

Dude,stop hating... I have a Captivate but left it in the car because I didn't think they would allow phones at all... it was my dad's iPhone

Calm the hell down buddy. Not all of us are slaves to our OS's and are so naive and ignorant that they think "anything other than what I use is crap". I'm devoted to my Nexus One and Xoom. But I also have an iPod 5th gen, iPod Nano 6th gen, iPod touch 2nd gen, Mac Book Pro, and am a previous user of two version of the iPhone. I guess I'm a "troll" because I don't use the Android devices as masturbatory aids and the Apple products to wipe me clean.

Get over it, some of us here are open minded when it comes to technology.

that is so fricking funny. I do the exact same thing. First thing I do when I wake up, google it. Then that continues until i go to sleep. I would make fun of other people for doing it but i'm consumed lol!

Is he using an iphone to record this???? #notwinning lol j/k
I hope this phone does not release with major battery problems... I've convinced a few friends to skip the IP4 on vzw for this...

Recorded with an iPhone indeed. I wonder... are android phones that good at recording video? I don't think my Desire is. :-(

like when i turned on ESPN-mobile @ a Sprint store and it was women grunting at Wimbledon---got a LOT of concerned looks that afternoon

Wait, does that club stop accepting new members once the ThunderBolt is officially released? Or are you having a whole bunch of jackets made?

If it was running 4G why not check the speed on the browser? That's what I wanted to see. The overall phone looks fast tho.

sweet phone hope I get hands on real soon and that porn track is early 70's LOL hope i"m not showing my age!

Anyone else notice that side scrolling thing in the notification bar? That looked awesome! This made me really excited all over again.

It's some of The new features of sense 2.0 . Which I may add is 100 times better than the original. Love it on my inspire.

Leave it to a VZW Rep to have two Task Killers on thing..... You know what I'm willing to bet the Battery on the thing is fine it's just the Task Killers that are draining it... haha

I got a chance to play with one for a few minutes the other day when an htc employee came in to my store. He said he had no problems at all with the battery life, and it was ready for release.

I guess I will be part of that club a few times as i have spent some time with the thunderbolt and I really like it I just don't know if I like it 299 worth.

Love how he thumbs down to the browser right after showing its connected to 4G, then end video.. damnit got me all excited. The battery on this phone is the only thing that worries me.. 4G or not.. I know how the Incredible was with its tiny OEM battery and I upped it to the 1750mAh Seidio and now its great.. this thing, even on 3G with 1300mAh...

some guy had this phone today in 34th street in the chipotles restaurant he wouldnt let me record it though i dont know why..but its not that good maybe because i dont like the sense ui....and its a single core phone so its pretty outdated

I'm so sick and tired of crap like this spewing out of peoples fingertips on this website..


Did you miss it?









And something tells me it won't for quite a while. This device is fast, snappy, responsive, and more than powerful enough to playback HQ video, simple games/time killers, manage messaging, run apps, GPS/Nav. Not everyone cares to have a phone with a Processor/GPU capable of not quite console graphics on their phone. I'll be stoked about dual-cores whenever the OS, and native Android applications not meant for Tablet/Honeycomb support it, utilizing it to make processing faster, more efficient, and using it to conserve battery life. Until then, a single-core phone is perfectly fine for those of us who could really care less about hardcore gaming. My Incredible does EVERYTHING I need it to, and I don't desire more power, but I would like new features, like 4G, FFC, Simultaneous Voice-Data.

It won't for a while? You mean the next few maintenance releases? Just in case you hadn't heard, yeah 2.4 is dual core supporting release that is also called gingerbread. I bet it's out by June.

Something you may not have considered. LTE may give you 12mbps data speed, but a single core phone won't be powerful enough to render web pages any faster, only downloads.

Finally, do you have to be so obnoxious with your big words and spacing?

Ah, I figured someone would respond with this, Yes 2.4 will bring support for dual-core in applications, but not Android itself. I don't know what planet you're on though, How many phones have been upped to 2.3? Even after it rumored out somewhere that 2.3 was only for the Nexus S, it funnily enough has landed on a very few devices. Widespread distribution of 2.4 is a long ways off, even in the best of worlds.

I have considered that actually, who said I had any problems rendering pages at current speeds? You're ASSuming that I want things to render faster, simply because I want faster data speeds, with Skype Mobile w/Video, LTE will be beneficial there, as well as tethering and a number of other outlets that aren't related to web browsing. As long as I don't end up with checkerboarding that iOS devices fall claim to, which I won't because I don't already on my first-gen Snapdragon, I'll be happy.

And yes, yes I do.. because its apparently not sinking into anyones head that Android doesn't yet support dual-core functionality on phones, even the ones with dual-core processors. 2.4 will be the first step in that direction, til then, we're probably going to see a slew of Android 2.2 devices, with an occasional 2.3.. bet me on it. If you live in the perfect Nexus world, it's also not going to matter since your device doesn't support dual-core, and we know the Nexus's will be the first devices to get 2.4 legitimately.

Understood. But since you apparently want to be an ass...

Have you even thought to take into account that MOST people buying this phone will be signing their rights away for the next two years and that people are actually being SMART by not getting a phone that isn't dual-core, when by Q2 most every smartphone released will be? Since VZW has seen fit to get rid of NE2 and the 1 yr early upgrade option, this leaves quite a few people not wanting to jump into a two year contract especially for a phone costing $300 (and more if you sign a 1-yr).

So essentially what you are telling people is that they shouldn't consider waiting on a phone that will be a bit more "future-proofed" and should jump on this one because they are all idiots and Google wont release a dual-core optimized version of Android for over two years (even when the market will be flooded with them by years' end)?

Interesting theory. Yet you haven't the first bit of insight to Google's update road map.

You have every right to your opinion about this phone being fast/snappy/responsive...yada yada. If this is the phone for you, then by all means, buy away. You don't desire more power or better gaming, but others do. How dare you deride them for wanting something like that.

Those with differing opinions on here (myself included), have every right to those opinions. The only crap spewing off fingertips right now is the crap that is coming off of yours.

Here we go again. Another person who thinks that their opinion is the only right opinion. Let me point out a few things to you...

1. Not everyone gives anywhere near a crap whether their phone is running a dual core processor or not.
2. If you use the philosophy "I'm holding out on getting this because there is something better that should be coming out soon", you will NEVER buy a device. That's the way the market is. Buy a phone for TODAY, not for tomorrow.
3. Please please PLEASE explain to me the ridiculously noticeable OUTSTANDING difference having a dual core processor in your PHONE is going to make. Would I buy a dual-core phone and consider the dual-core processor as one of my reasons, ABSOLUTELY. But it is a consideration point, NOT the reason to make a purchase. If so, I'd be happy to sell you a Jitterbug with a dual-core processor soldered into it.
4. Buying a phone at a reduced price with 2yr contract is not "signing your rights away". You can always buy a new phone everyday if you'd like. It's called retail pricing and should be expected. The fact that carriers allow us heavy discounts is a tradeoff FOR the contract.

People like you and others who think that their opinion was handed down by the almighty and is the only thing that should be followed make me sort of ashamed to be a geek for fear of stereotyping me into the same mindset. P.S., Hitler had that same philosophy.

The teasing is starting to get out of control. My 56 year old boss, who just upgraded from a clamshell to the incredible, is making me look bad. I need a new phone. I have been on BB for far to long.

Trash. All I saw was how unresponsive the Tbolt was to Jack's touch. I hope HTC has the mind not to release crap like this. Please, keep revising it because clearly it is not ready. While you guys are at it, stick a battery in it thats actually worthwhile so we don't have to buy aftermarket ones. I got a DroidX with a BH6X so i can't help but laugh at this. They have no problem giving us 32gb of unnecessary storage, but equip it with 1400mAh battery? At this point in time it's just pathetic that we're seeing a battery with such minuscule capacity being used to power one of the newest most powerful devices in the phone market.

Watch the vid again, it was very, very responsive. A guy over at Droid Forums made it through 13 hours with moderate use and it was at 52%, so clearly battery isn't an issue. The 32 gigs of storage is something that I, a music lover, need. I have the 16 on my Droid 1 and it's completely full.

I don't know wtf is wrong with you, but this phone is lovely.

A Android phone made my HTC lasting 12 hours using only 48% of it's battery. I highly doubt that.

The Thunderbolt is extremely responsive. Works like a charm. When/if you get one in your hands, trust me when I say that you'll be retracting this comment of yours.

I was thinking of switching to Verizon to get this but got the Inspire on AT&T (already on AT&T) instead (not keen on VzW). I liked the Sense UI and such but the battery life was a joke so I switched to the Atrix. The TBolt looks nice but overall I'm glad with my decision. I just feel bad for all the people who wasted money to pre-order this phone that will come out god knows when.

Yo son, that Evo looks hell of dope, kid!!!

(I say that to mean, why all the fuss over a phone that's essentially been released on four other carriers so far? Are the minor differences that this has over the Evo, MyTouch 4G, Inspire 4G, and Desire HD really worth THIS much hype? Grant it, it does have bigger memory and........ a bigger kickstand and.......... really cool commercials, but fundamentally haven't we seen this phone done to death already?)

It's like everyone hates on Sprint for not announcing anything new and here's Verizon trotting out Sprint's 9 month old leftovers and being treated like gods.

Since this isn't the EVO and really isn't anything like it other than in terms of screensize not sure what you're talking about. Besides if you haven't realized it yet or not... network is first and foremost important to a lot of people. They wont just jump ship at Verizon to have an EVO on Sprint's lesser network, and soon to be doomed 4G network technology. This phone does a lot more than the EVO did/does and it has America's most reliable network behind it, which is the big benefactor that you obviously don't get. What good is a great device when your carrier and its network are terrible?

Nothing like the EVO other than screen size? mmmk then...

4.3" WVGA TFT capacitive multi-touch screen
2LED flash
8MP camera
1.3MP front camera
720p video
1 GHz Snapdragon processor
Built-in kickstand
Android 2.2

Other than network, the Thunderbolt and EVO have these main differences: Thunderbolt has 256MB more ram, 7GB more internal memory, Wireless-N capability, and an updated version of SenseUI. The EVO has a slightly larger capacity stock battery, as well as the fact that the internal memory is ROM and can be used for app installation. Thunderbolt's 8GB internal memory is eMMC, and cannot be used for app installation.

I know style is a preference, but I believe the EVO and Inspire look much sleeker and modern compared to the Thunderbolt. The silver/gray on the TB kills it for me.

Keep in mind, when comparing the Thunderbolt and Inspire to the EVO, you are comparing 2 unreleased phones to a phone that is over 9 months old.

The Evo got "Wireless N" when it got 2.2 But by far for me the main thing it has is a SLCD Screen witch is SO much better then the Evo's LCD

Well, it looks nothing like the EVO for starters, its the same size, but no, its not the same phone. Structure of the phone is completely different, btw, the Inspire isn't an unreleased phone. I'm not comparing it to anything, nor am I comparing a Thunderbolt necessarily to the EVO, I like the EVO, save for Sprint's network and the stupid circles outlining the capacitive touch buttons, which make it look cheap IMO. That silver/grey make it look like an HTC device, something modern, but simple and beautiful in true HTC style, I love my incredible, but I wished it had looked more like an original Nexus One. Regardless, style is a personal preference and I don't want another black slate like the EVO.

Network is key here, I don't understand why its so hard for people to grasp that. A lot of people with Verizon, won't switch because its not an option to them. Like myself, I don't really look at other phones because I don't want anyone to be my service provider other than Verizon. You're forgetting that the Thunderbolt can also provide simultaneous voice-data, its a nerd thing, but it is a bulletpoint on a keynote. It will have a second gen snapdragon, which is originally clocked at 800Mhz so in theory 1Ghz on this processor is considerably better than it is on the EVO. It will also launch with Skype, 4G data will be a huge deal to a lot of people in cities that have coverage, and unlike WiMax it will spread much quicker and cover more of the country in shorter time for full nationwide coverage, something I do believe WiMax will never have.

My question was "What is the fundamental difference between the HTC's other 1GHZ 4G phones and the Thunderbolt and all I really got was a bunch of hoo-ha from a VZW commercial. Only one commenter was actually able to spell it out for me, which I appreciate. And, little known fact, EVERY NETWORK CAN DO SIMULTANEOUS VOICE AND DATA NOW!! T-Mo on HSPA+, Sprint on WiMax, AT&T on HSPA+ and VZW on LTE (rumored to be coming to 3G as well). So your little bullet point looses some of it's luster, no??

For you to believe sprints network is soooooooo much lesser than VZN is a joke. As far as wimax being doomed, That's speculation and opinion based on info you choose to view a particular way to make that statement relevant. My roommate works for clearwire. Sprint has said from day 1 rather people want to acknowledge it or not that they're 4G infrastructure was built to be able to make the switch to LTE if necessary. To anyone who thinks that if/when sprint makes the switch to LTE your current 4G devices wimax chip will be left in the dust YOUR WRONG. The wimax chips are built with the LTE bands in them the software patch/update is all that's needed to activate them. I know this for a fact because my roommate has an CLEARWIRE branded overdrive that he hacked to roam on VZN's LTE network. When it's roaming it even reads LTE on the LED display

That's some funny shit.. ya know, when I started reading your reply, I ALMOST thought you were being serious. SO your friend hacked the wrong radio/antenna to work on a completely different kind of network technology, that's amazing! Tell me more!

Verizon is #1 in Customer service and SOLID network coverage, theres no denying that. AT&T may be faster on the 3G end in a perfect world, but if you've ever wondered over to TipB and seen their head to head comparisons between the VZW iPhone and the AT&T version.. its usually pretty damn close and on quite a few occasions, the VZW phone comes out on top. T-Mo.. yeah they're great, if you never have to travel/roam. Sprint is the same way, great, if you never have to roam somewhere. I tried out Sprint back when the Palm Pre came out, I had dropped calls for the first time in my life, and returned the phone and cancelled my plan within my 30 days.

No your EVO won't upgrade to LTE after some magical software patch, its missing a radio and an antenna.

Yes, my Evo gets terrible service. I never make any calls and can't download any data. Also, Sprint's phones have cooties.

*detect the sarcasm yet*

Never said that Sprint doesn't work for some people, it's not AT&T for christ's sake.. of course you can make calls.. but when you compare nationwide coverage, next to customer service reports.. It is what it is, and Verizon wasn't rated number one in 2010 and 2011 for nothing.

My OG Droid is dying fast. Power button is failing, keyboard sounds like it's falling apart, and the screens response is becoming horrid. So, who's leg do I have to hump just to get this phone out already!!! I'm starting to think the Bionic will show up first

If the Bionic Shows up first that will be a real slap in the face of HTC since they have already Claimed the "First" Spot on Verizon, they claimed so it is there Birth Right.

They WERE first - the phones have been sitting in the back rooms of all the stores for almost a month. Bonic will be the first 4G phone that Verizon actually lets customers USE.

From this point until release, I will just live vicariously through you Jack! Thanks for the great share bro! :)

Does anyone know if the Thunderbolt is actually coming at ALL?? I would like to say yes but since we cannot seem to get the thing here and we were supposed to have it already, I would say you can expect it by the Spring of 2012. Good Luck

The second Gen snapdragon processor in this phone is much more powerful than that in the EVO. Its really discouraging that EVO fanboys still think that a phone with absolutley no GPU and crap 4g technology is equivalent to this phone. This is what the evo should've been.

sadly, me too.
i've turned on 4g maybe 3 times and have never found it anywhere but major highways in my city.
if LTE, at launch, is actually widespread coverage (actual coverage--not "expected signal"), then WiMax can just go ahead and die. it has no building penetration compared to LTE.
but if the Evo 3D can trump the TB, then i'm gonna be basking in some price wars!

im a verizon rep at a retailer and ive played with the thunderbolt twice , a htc rep brought one in and i got a good 45 mins to play with one at a training, battery life seemed fine to me, and i dunno if this is already known but the rep told me that you will be able to do simultanious(Cant Spell) voice and data on 3g

im a verizon rep at a retailer and ive played with the thunderbolt 234,823,653 times. In fact I have had it turned on nonstop from the 1st day it was delivered to my verison store (2/14/11) the battery is still going strong!!! My boss said that we were not allowed to sell them yet until we can drive the price up over $300 (originally they were marked for sale @ $19.95)

Sorry folks, but you are going to have to wait some more - and for no good reason, we just like watching you squirm.

I submitted a news article to Android Central and I guess it didn't go anywhere. So there is a real world user who has a ThunderBolt, he does not work for Verizon, but is a large corporate customer. He is real and actually lives in the same area as I do.

If you are interested in reading his experiences, have questions or want to see sample video and pictures then post a question / . I am not cross promoting another site, but simply putting real world info into users hands.

By the time the Thunderbolt is finally released, it will be so out dated even the Blackberry Storm3 will look like high tech by comparison.

I would like to believe this statement however the Storm 3 is already outdated and it hasnt even been released. I am a storm owner hence the reason I cant wait for the Thunderbolt. I purchased an EVO and wrote with red Crayon Thunderbolt, do you think it will keep me happy?