HTC ThunderBolt having 4G connection issues
Since then, we've mostly used the data part of the ThunderBolt, and under heavy use we are having to charge the phone every 4-6 hours. Otherwise if it just in standby mode without much use, we can get about 18-20 hours on a charge. Some people have reported that their units are overheating, though our demo unit has not experienced this.
But there is one problem that we've been having on-and-off, and it appears we're not alone. For some (unknown) reason, the ThunderBolt will cycle from using 4G LTE, to 3G, to 1x (as shown on the top of the display) and then eventually go back to 4G LTE. We've seen this happen with the phone just sitting on our desk, at our friend's house, or if we are out driving. This started about a week after our review, and has continued since then. We've looked some on-line forums, and found a few posts from other people on the Verizon Wireless Community forums (here, here, and here), and also on the HTC Forums (here and here) that are having similar problems.
What's interesting is that some people, who use their phone in a 4G area, are having the same issue as us, with it not staying on 4G, and cycling to 3G and 1x. But for people who only use their phone in a 3G area, it is having problems staying on 3G and sometimes changes to 1x.
One fix that we have tried is to launch the phone's dialer and type in *#*#4636#*#* and select Phone Information. At the bottom it will have "CDMA + LTE EVDO auto" by default. If you change it to "LTE mode" the phone should stay fixed more on 4G. We have tried this and have noticed that it stays on 4G most of the time, though will occasionally change to 3G and then back to 4G, but far less frequently than it did before. If you only use the ThunderBolt in a 3G area, then you could change it to "CDMA auto PRL" as that should keep it locked on 3G more and lessen the amount of times to changes to 1x.
If you have a ThunderBolt and use it in a 4G area and have seen it change to 3G and 1x (while in the 4G area), please let us know in the comment section below. The same thing goes for people who use the ThunderBolt in a 3G area and have seen it change to 1x.
We have reached out to Verizon Wireless about the connection issue, and were told they would look into it and get back to us. We will update you if we learn anything new.
Since we posted this article a few days ago, we've read through the user comments, and some have suggested doing a full factory hard-reset to fix the 4G connection issues. We did the hard-reset on our unit, and unfortunately it did not resolve the problem, as it still continues to cycle through 4G/3G/1x with it set to the "CDMA + LTE EVDO auto" as we mentioned above. But once again if we change it to the "LTE mode" it stays on 4G most of the time, though on Sunday we did see it change to 1x....for no reason.
We hope that Verizon and HTC are working on a solution, as it appears by your comments that we are not alone with the 4G connection issue.
1. ninjakamster (unregistered)
I've had a Thunderbolt for almost two weeks and never had this issue. I live in Houston, 4G area and its been rock solid from home to work and in between on the road. The only way I go to 3G is if I force it through an app I got from the market to conserve battery life.
18. Napoleon (Posts: 60; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)
Haven't had any problems with the 4G connection. And the app LTEon/off has helped tremendously with my battery life. Only complaint so far is lack of a good app for video calling, sometimes hotspot connection just stops working, and the incompatibility of My Verizon on the phone....
37. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
It's actually the dumb reps frying the sim cards when they activate the Thunderbolt. I know my Thunderbolt was having 4G connection and after they replaced my sim card, I've been fine ever since. That's just my opinion though.
42. DSWilson (unregistered)
I also live in Houston, Texas, and yes, have seen my phone cycle between the various levels, even while at home, just walking around.
The best thing I have found for the battery is to reboot the device, and then after it turns on, use the app killer and kill the 14 (still trying to figure out which 14, are running and why) and then the battery lasts much longer.
2. joey18 (Posts: 506; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)
Cell phone are not to perfect i hope dont blame steve jobs for this anything happen to other cellphones most people say iphone my droid x runs 2g in 4g area this my second replacement phone i have bad reception i hate att but when a i change to verizon my old att blackberry runs better then this droid with no sofware
3. HD93 (unregistered)
This actually happened to me yesterday. My phone kept going from 4G to 1X and to 3G to nothing and back to 4G. Weird huh.
4. Ralston1983 (Posts: 65; Member since: 03 Feb 2011)
I'm having the same problem with my 4G. There are points in time where my 4G is slow or just down right non responsive. I went to the store today to get the phone swapped and they did the 4636 code thing, now it's back to being slow. I'm going back sat and getting this thing swapped.
5. TBoltUser (unregistered)
No issue with this on my ThunderBolt.
Keyboard lags in portrait mode immediately after restart though.
6. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
I usually stand up for verizon, but I must say the thunderbolt is garbage. If you're on of the lucky few to have a good model, then thats great... but A LOT of them are having radio issues. This phone was definitely rushed to market to be "first 4G to verizon". Not to mention the battery life is horrendous. I'll wait to get a 4G phone that doesn't suck
12. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
with a name like "testman22" I would think you would be aware HTC is more to blame than Verizon. Why do you think it was postponed so much.. because VERIZON was trying to fix a phone HTC dropped on them.
Set your sights correctly my young padewan.
35. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
very true, then i'll reset my sights to HTC- for having terrible batteries across their entire portfolio of smartphones, for rushing production, and for an uninspiring design that used spare EVO parts
38. Phonecall01 (Posts: 115; Member since: 02 Apr 2009)
lol... VZW was like "that damm EVO is catching too much steam...We need to come up with something quick!!...Call HTC"
52. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
i had an incredible... never once had issues with battery.
its cause htc decided the batter on a thunderbolt should be almost same size as incredibles. asinine.
53. LionStone (Posts: 445; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
yep, never had problem with batt on my Incredible also. I think hTc knows that there will be other batterys coming out (bigger) although it would've been nice for it to already have at least a 1600 mAh. I have a 1600 in my T-bolt now though and it gets me by fine.
54. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
there is... the extended battery is almost double close to 2800 mAh. but with that it also look ridiculous. Not a single case will fit it and even the extended battery door isnt flush with the back of the phone. It looks like your phone has a tumor. Google it, its the dumbest looking battery door i've ever seen...
56. LionStone (Posts: 445; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
yes, I've seen it and its definitely out of the question...i'm hoping for a 1750 mAh from Seido...
7. abit (unregistered)
The only glaring issue I've had is a defective power button (damnit HTC...get the factory to produce better power buttons!). I exchanged it and my current one has been excellent overall.
I haven't seen the cycling between 4g, 3g and 1x, but I have noticed that even if I do have a 4G signal with like 3-4 bars, I have no connection. Turning the radio off and on helps (then again this happens at my workplace where my building is notorious for bad cell reception).
This thread over at xda might help some people with data issues:http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?
8. sdot01 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Apr 2011)
I have just recently been on the bitter end of my phone toggeling from 4g LTE all the way down to 1x but it wasn't for a huge amount of time, but it was weird as San Diego is a 4G LTE covered area. The huge thing with me is that I have noticed recently that sometimes the web pages will lock. I have used my phone to access my online banking and every time I log in it will lock on my account page, will not allow me to go back. So I immediately power down the phone. Also I have noticed the overheating of the battery, not a big deal as it doesn't get extremely hot, but if there is a fix for it I would love to hear it. Again nothing I can't live with at the moment. I have done the simple fix for the toggeling of the 4g so hopefully it will do it less often then it does now. But I must say I love the fact that you can talk and browse the web at the same time. There is a little bit of a lag at first but then its pretty smooth. Oh before I forget I use my phone for my GPS since I travel often, and the GPS is not as smooth w/ Google Navigation. Maybe it's just the unit I have but I usually have to open the application 2 or 3 times before it launches. The first time I open the application it says searching for and will stay in search mode for atleast 3 minutes. So then I will immediately close and reopen sometimes it will quickly find the destination,but if not I will try it a 3rd time and at the moment usually works. I guess 3rd time is a charm. Does anyone know a fix for the google navigation? Or could be a problem w/ the unit.
9. nick (unregistered)
Online banking part, you probably have to enable accept cookies. That's allow sites to save and read cookie data.
10. vzw guy (unregistered)
There was an issue with some phones activated between a certain time. You have to hard reset the device. This should fix the issue.
11. nick (unregistered)
How do you enable DLNA on the htc thunderbolt? Please help! Thank you.
13. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
its called "connected media" in your applications. You need your cell phone, along with whatever your syncing media to, to be connected to the same wifi network or home network. Then you should be able to sync data between your phone and computer, tv, etc.....
14. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
P.S. I literally googled it and found all that. If you search for it there are some good walk thrus.
15. wesly Mathurin (unregistered)
I have been experiencing all those problems with my phone.
It is unfortunate that I can not return my phone but I could,I would definitely got an IPhone.
I think that what has been going on is greed!
So far Apple is the shit!
16. BaiGanyo (Posts: 308; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)
Sounds like a bad phone stuck on a worse network. Looks like another verizon flop.
22. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)
Um, Verizon didn't make the phone or software. HTC and Google did.
17. ZuneLune (unregistered)
I do not have this problem. As with my orignal Droid, the battery drains faster in areas where the signal is weaker, but after disabling background updates in the Blockbuster app, I get normal battery life.
19. Tracy (unregistered)
I had the same problem and spent lots of time on the phone with verizon. After trying everything they asked me to do, check settings, factory reset, etc, they sent me another one. Haven't had the problem since. I also don't have some of the other issues i was having like not connecting to my linksys wireless at home (would get stuck in obtaining IP adress) and other various little issues. But the main one is fixed which was the connection to 4g. I think maybe there was a defective batch of phones that went out. I got my first one on march 17.
20. menenpolar (unregistered)
My thunderbolt has switched to 1x before from 3g, but only when I'm in my office building, other that that its been working fine.
21. des (unregistered)
i have experienced the same issue about two weeks ago. During this time, the phone was sitting on the desk in a 4g area and would jump to 3g to 1X then to no data connection at all. The handset has since seemed to be functioning property.
23. ptcrasher (unregistered)
I love how when a phone sucks on vz it's the phones fault but when it is on att everyone blames the carrier. Obviously the lte network on verizon sucks
31. networkdood (Posts: 6260; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
True, if this was AT&T - everyone would be saying...'AT&T sucks'...say that like Beavis and Butthead....
I know when the first 4G aircards came out, people were complaining that when it switched to 3G, or vice-versa, it would take a couple of minutes before it was usable....usually it is a software issue and should, has been, corrected. This is the phone I will get if I go back to Verizon, but I could get the pseudo 4G INSPIRE, which is basically the same exact phone, with AT&T.
Plus, these issues only happen to 2% of all users, usually - like since when is there never an issue with a phone?
32. networkdood (Posts: 6260; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
ok, now when I posted that comment, it says:
'Comment is editable once for 10 minutes. HTML is not allowed'
ok, PHONEARENA, so where is this option to edit?
24. vzw man vzw (unregistered)
Due a hard reset. The ones activated from 3/28-3/31 were having these issues. The data was not set up properly on VZW's end. But only way to fix the intial programming between the phone and network is to wipe it. I know it's a pain, but it will fix the issue. If people want to hate on this fix, go ahead, but it is the only way. Either live with the problem or fix it. dont cry about it after knowing how to fix it.
25. MorePhonesThanNeeded (unregistered)
Yawn, Hard Reset isn't that bad. I did one to my Droid X yesterday and lost absolutely nothing, except a game save that doesn't allow saving on SD cards. If you have a Google account then all you do is sync contacts and then unmount the SD card, check the file system to be sure no files you want are still on the phone. Then reset the phone to factory, in about 10 mins you should be back up and running, do just as you did with a brand new phone and you will have everything back.
This Thunderbolt is a bit broken, my little sis wanted it but I told her it has issue wait for others like the Bionic and Revolution.
27. chris b (unregistered)
I have this issue as well and I'm in Philadelphia. Sometimes I will lose connectivity completely for about 5 minutes (I checked to see if mobile network was off and it was on every time). Usually a reboot does the trick for me.
28. elandrumiii (Posts: 109; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)
The Evo had problems when it came out and so did the iPhone. All phones have some issues when they come out especially is they are highly anticipated and purchased in large quantities. They will replace or fix them and move on. Now the issues that are network related will be fixed and every one will find something else to be upset about.
29. John Mac (unregistered)
The first time it happened was about a week after the Thunderbolt was released. This was the day that everyone was having a problem with the 4g. Since then I have noticed my Thunderbolt go from 4g to 3g. It mostly happens at work (Queens, NY). I see it bounce around. I've noticed it twice while at home (Nassau County, NY). The phone I have is rooted so I have no idea if it is because of this (rooting) or if it is Verizon's problem. But yes, I have seen this 4g/ 3g bouncing a few times!!!!!!!
30. rob (unregistered)
I've had the phone since day 1, and have reported this issue twice. The first time, they were having a problem with the LTE network. The second time, they tried to get me to do a factory reset.
I frequently have trouble convincing Customer Service that a particular phone may have a problem.
33. tuminatr (Posts: 661; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)
My t-bolt works great no I problems here. I asked my friend who works at vzw he says he has only seen one with a 4g problem but I was effective from activation
34. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 834; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
I have sewn it happen more than once here in NYC
36. 310golden (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Apr 2011)
I bought the thunderbolt on March 25th and took it back on April 7th. I may end up getting it again but I just wanted to weigh my options one more time. I want to see what the droid charge will be like but I also want to be on the 4G unlimited plan so I can be grandfathered in and not have to have a cap on my data.
Anyway, I took my TB back because I was having trouble with my data (internet connection). I'm in a strong 4G area, however, there were 3 times that I walked in an area (while at work) that didn't have good reception and when I walked back to an area that had strong coverage, it literally took 30-45 minutes each time for me to have an internet connection, whether it was 4G, 3G or whatever... Any issue I had with the phone, I contacted Verizon and made sure it was notated on my account. So, when I finally decided to take it back, there were no surprises.
The phone was great when everything was working, "OUTSIDE OF THAT HORRIBLE BATTERY" but losing connection like that was unacceptable. As a regular BlackBerry user, some other issues I did not care for are: EMAIL!!! My main email account is Yahoo so I hate that the TB has to refresh instead of just giving me my email like BlackBerry. I also don't like how you can't read the whole text message details if you have a long conversation with some one. Once you respond, it only shows like the last message, wassup with that??? Another thing I noticed was when you type a website in at the top, the iPhone 4 beat the TB every time. It wasn't until you typed in the search engine that the TB started beating the iPhone 4.
39. Phonecall01 (Posts: 115; Member since: 02 Apr 2009)
VZW is so much better in ads then Sprint. That's why so many people expected so much from the Thunderbolt compared to the EVO. Basically the same phone with a different radio and a few other tweaks.
40. Tony (unregistered)
I live in Boston area where 4 G is offered and this has been happening to me as well 4G LTE, to 3G, to 1x I was a bit surprised to see the 1x more so sometimes I lose it all together. What I have found to work also is to reboot. I use the exstended battery have yet to over heat and with normal use I get a good 18-24 hours out of the VZ battery. Over all I love this phone HTC reception is awesome and I have yet to have a drop call!
41. Sprint_Rep (unregistered)
YOUR 4G SUX hahaha ^You should have got a Evo!
45. phoneDaddy (unregistered)
quote "I think that what has been going on is greed!
So far Apple is the shit!" /quote
The iPhone is a great product, but obviously you've never trolled the Apple forums, have you? You'll find people complaining about all kinds of stuff over there, just like here.
And the "greed" you cite? Apple isn't exactly giving away it's products, my friend. In fact, it makes sure no one can sell any of its phones, computers, or even iPods below a certain price.
47. wackyjazz (Posts: 10; Member since: 11 Apr 2011)
Ok , don’t have an HTC Thunderbolt and realize the Droid X uses only 3G, but I have been having this problem for almost a year now on both my Droid and my broadband card. Something has majorly changed with VZ network. I used to have a rock solid 3G signal – I can see one of the VZ cell towers! Now for the past year my phone spends more time in 1X than it does 3G.
After multiple calls to VZ they sent a FSE out to check my location and the signal was stable but on the low end for signal strength. What is strange is some weeks (phone stays on my desk at work) has a great signal other days I have no signal and my phone is dead by noon. The FSE said it was my equipment so I have had 3 replacement X’s, a Galaxy S and two new broadband cards. I am back on the X but the Galaxy S never lost 3G but when there was no signal it would just give a message of failure to connect.
Currently I am looking at my X the signal is toggling from 1X to 3G and voice is going from zero bars to full bars. I have called VZ so much over this problem that they almost refuse to talk to me. I am soooo tired of the solution being the factory reset. Why is it they don’t understand that if I am seeing the same problem on two different devices and factory reset is NOT going to fix the problem???
Since all this has started I have cancelled my broadband card. I just don’t have an interest in paying $60 a month for 1 - 6k connection vs the 512k – 1.5M connection I used to have. Just FYI I do travel some and my devices work much different in other markets vs my own. For the most part VZ network is broken...
48. Rich (unregistered)
never had this problem. sorry :( mine does go to 3G in low service areas. or down to 1x in really bad areas that have low service. but if im at my house or work or in my 4G area with good service, its LTE all the time.
49. thunderbolt user (unregistered)
Mine cycles all the time it's getting really old. My issue though is when it's doing this I lose internet all together. I have to go in and reset it myself sometimes even have to turn it off and on to get connection again. I have a 2nd trouble ticket out because they say there are no known issues, funny I read forms and now this and have called ### each time it's happened.....I really don't think they know what they are looking for. I know it's a new network and it's going to have bugs but to tell people there is nothing wrong is pretty much calling us liars......and that pisses me off more than the network issue. I just go to wifi when I'm home and don’t even worry about it. It’s where I work I have to reset it 4-5 times a day.
50. JenBen (unregistered)
I live in Phoenix and have had the same 4G/3G bouncing. When 4G works, it's crazy-fast, so I don't mind. If it were a data card, though, I'd be pretty frustrated.
59. PAJARA (unregistered)
I live in phonix too, The 4G is super fast, I've had the phone since day 1 of the release date and did not have any issues with connectivity but recently I have been having the issue with the 4G cycling and then losing connection. I go to settings and rather than turning off and on the phone I just uncheck the data connection option and check in again to refresh the connection. This fixes my problem but it is not something I want to do everytime I have a connection issue which seems to happen at least twice a day. By the way my cycling of 4g happens when I am in a location and not actually moving around or traveling.
51. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)
Maybe you're all just holding the phone wrong
55. Sweeny (unregistered)
Um, this phone has been the most rock solid phone to date. You iphone trolls need to stay in your own forums, enough is enough. My wife has my old iPhone 4 which is great at what it does. But it looks silly next to what I can do with my TB. My phone cycles beautifully from 4g to 3g to 1xrtt. I travel all the time. Battery life on 4g is nothing short of bad. This is my only complaint about it. But with a new kernel and switching to 3g when I don't need 4g has given me a full day and then some and that's running overclocked at 1.41 Ghz. BTW I bought 3 extra batteries and a charger on ebay for $15 so it is a non issue anyway any more. I do not loose 4g signal at all when I'm in the entire Tampa Bay area where I live minus going into steel buildings, where 3g takes its place. It is the first LTE device and Verizon is still working it out. But those of you who are trashing verizon, what are your 4G speeds? Maybe a 1/3 of mine? Oh and for At&T customers how do you like paying per GB?
57. mr. droid (Posts: 278; Member since: 21 Aug 2010)
I will certainly be keeping an eye on this. I am having trouble with my back up assistant through verizon, AND after getting the phone this past Friday, after having it four days, I am having some issues sending and receiving text messages from time to time. what will happen is I wont get any messages in and when i send one, it just sits there with the wheel-looking thing spinning for up to ten minutes until I finally power cycle the phone. Not sure what the deal is with that. should have got a droid2 or fascinate or something like that.
58. mondrejko (unregistered)
I'm glad people are having the same issue as me. I live in pittsburgh and have had the thunderbold for about two weeks. i had no problems at all the first week and was loving the super fast LTE network. However a few days ago I started to have the same proble you stated above. It would randomly go into 1x mode in areas that I usually had full bars of LTE. I had to reset my phone a few times to get it to teconnect to the LTE network.
60. zenith (unregistered)
Had the thunderbolt for a few days now. In 3g or LTE areas, it will drop down to 1x or lose the mobile signal entirely and not return. So far I've just been restarting the phone to bring the signal back up.
61. cdiaz (unregistered)
I have the same problem, called verizon about 5 times alredy and the last thing i did was a factory reset but that didn't work, I really hope they fix this and the battery issue cause other than that the phone is awsome, when it works.....
62. eorourke (unregistered)
Verizon and HTC are aware of the issues with the Thunderbolt and are working on an OTA - which is coming soon. Although no official date has been set, the official RUU is said to have been leaked online. Read more here: http://eugeneorourke.com/go/15
63. 4star (unregistered)
I live in Arlington VA, a 4G area. I have had the phone for about 4 weeks. It cycles to 1x frequently in my home. Usually it stays at 4G, but then randomly pops up to 1x. The only thing that I have found to correct this is removing the battery and restarting. (which is a pain since I have to take off the protective case and back cover to do it). If I just turn off and on, or hit restart nothing happens, it stays in 1x.
I did change my setting to LTE only today as the article suggests but it stayed on 1x.
64. Daine714 (unregistered)
My thunderbolt is acting up.. I cant stay on 4 G in Any Area in Orange County, Ca Always dropping to 3G or most of the Time stuck on 1X..WTH am I paying for the service if I cant use the service?! I read several forums and blog regarding this problem and and they all say there is a fix coming.. There Tech support as well are fumbling about how to correct the problem and when the fix is coming.. 4g service Verizon ??what a joke.. It worked fine for about 3 weeks out of the 8 weeks i have had the Phone so far...how and when will this problem be fixed finally anyone??