Now that the HTC Thunderbolt is officially available and in stores (though we suggest calling ahead - a few stores in some cities are already sold out), we naturally had to pick up the latest big-screened Android phone and start putting it through its paces. The Thunderbolt's specs, if you don't recall, include the now-nearly-standard 4.3" WVGA screen and 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8mp camera with 720p HD video on the back with a VGA camera on the front, and finally a capacious 32g microSD card.
Oh yeah, one more spec: Verizon's wicked-fast 4G LTE network.
So far in our testing in Miami that network is pulling down a very solid 3 megabits per second and uploading so fast that the Speedtest.net app can't really even provide accurate numbers. The device itself also shows remarkably little lag or stutter - even while Android is dutifully pulling down a very large number of apps and profile information we haven't experienced any notable delay.
Hardware-wise, we're a little tempted to say HTC phoned this one in. It's solid and hefty, no doubt, but a little uninspired and definitely a descendant of the EVO 4G. However, there are a lot of nice little touches throughout - including a soft-touch paint that's a pleasure to hold and a large kickstand that cleverly sits atop the Thunderbolt's large rear-speaker. Not so clever: the microUSB charging port sits on the side of the phone that's on your desk when the kickstand is out, so you literally can't charge the Thunderbolt while it's resting on the kickstand.
We'll have much much more on the Thunderbolt very soon. In the meantime check out some photos after the break. Update: Video after the break!