HTC ThunderBolt ReviewHTC ThunderBolt 8.5
Being that the HTC ThunderBolt is the first smartphone to utilize Verizon’s 4G LTE 700MHz network, we were very interested in seeing what type of data speeds the device could get. First off, for standard web browsing, the ThunderBolt was able to completely load the PhoneArnea.com home page (included all Flash content and ads) in only 22 seconds, compared to the Motorola DROID X that took 45 seconds to load the exact same page (including Flash and ads) using Verizon’s EVDO Rev A network. We tried a few other web sites, and all loaded two-to-three times faster on the ThunderBolt.
Of course, the Webkit based web browser displays sites just like they would appear on your home PC and supports multitouch pinch-to-zoom and Adobe Flash content. One major benefit with the ThunderBolt is that you can use 4G data, such as web site browsing, while simultaneously talking on the phone too.
download speeds from the Android Market. First up was the Adobe Flash 10.2 update at 4.24MB, which took 13 seconds to download on the ThunderBolt and 42 seconds on the DROID X. Then we downloaded Angry Birds Lite at 11.44MB, which only took 18 seconds on the ThunderBolt, while the DROID X took forever at 2 minutes and 40 seconds to download. Noticing a trend here?
We did try the SpeedTest.net app, and on the ThunderBolt got 9.42 to 12.0 Mbps downloads, but the upload speeds were messed up saying it was 32 Mbps, so we think the app might not be fully compatible with 4G LTE devices yet. But when used on the DROID X, we got about 1.25 Mbps download and 0.54 Mbps uploads.
Lastly, we wanted to see how the HTC ThunderBolt and LG VL600 USB modem would compare 4G data speeds when connected to a PC. The ThunderBolt has a feature called Internet Connection Mode, where you can connect the phone to your PC via a USB cable and use the 4G data network as the PC’s internet source. When doing this, we were able to use our FireFox web browser and run the regular SpeedTest.net web site. In doing so, we got a download speed of 11.53 Mbps and an upload speed of 6.50 Mbps with the ThunderBolt. We then removed it and used the LG VL600 modem, which gave us a download speed of 10.61 Mbps and an upload speed of 6.48 Mbps.
The 4G Mobile HotSpot app allows you to connect up to 8 devices to the ThunderBolt via Wi-Fi, which in turn uses the ThunderBolt’s 4G connection for data. We tested this with the DROID X connected to the ThunderBolt, and were able to get 10.43 Mbps download and 3 Mbps uploads using the SpeedTest.net app.
Based upon our tests and usage, it is obvious that the HTC ThunderBolt is a clear winner and has the fastest web browsing and data speeds of any smartphone currently on Verizon, but that’s because it’s the only 4G smartphone on Verizon for the time being. It also appears that Verizon isn’t throttling speeds back (yet), as the ThunderBolt and VL600 modem got similar results. It will be interesting to see if over time throttling does occur as more people start to use the 4G network.
1. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 421; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)
Mine also has a little static/buzz when the earpiece is turned all the way up... however i will say, that when turned all the way up, the volume is just way too loud. Its almost speakerphoneish. I have mine turned down to the half way mark. Not bc the quality, just bc the volume level.
as for my battery, i just got rid of my Incredible for this phone, and i think this battery is actually holding up better than my incredibles was.
2. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 421; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)
ALSO I FOUND THIS ON SKYPE'S WEBSITE:
I WOULD ASSUME THIS WOULD BE TAKEN OFF BY NOW IF SKYPE WAS NOT MAKING THE APP ANYMORE. SEEMS THAT IT MIGHT NOT BE DEAD AFTERALL.
3. Griffin2003 (unregistered)
the review states that the Thunderbolt is much faster than the Droid X loading web pages, yet you have a video on the site showing a real time comparison where the conclusion was that they were about the same speed. Can you explain this?
5. AstroStrat89 (unregistered)
I think they stated that all the flash content was turned off on the X.
4. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
Exactly, the Droid x killed the thunderbolt. Stop trying to make this phone better than it is.
7. Rejeimha (Posts: 18; Member since: 29 Jul 2010)
Go back and read the update on the comparison test. They admitted that the DX was rooted in order to remove the flash ads from the browser, and the Thunderbolt was keeping up with it out of the box even though it wasn't rooted.
18. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
i said on that comparison test and ill say it again. give it up tre-nitty.... your overwhelming bias is very apparent. its clear that anything you say regarding verizon should just be over looked. you have made up your mind already before the facts are out. thank you PA for letting the truth be known. i had previously said PA is the fox news of phones by how they tried to slam the thunderbolt and verizon with their faulty speed test comparioson and although i wont take back my comment i will commend you for letting us know the actual speed comparison in this review.
6. AstroStrat89 (unregistered)
my cons so far... (upgraded from Eris)
It's just silly I can't charge and use the kick-stand
Screen is washed out in sunlight, Eris wasn't great either
Seem to be some very minor network "glitches" where the conx needs to reset or something. (update fix?)
cost, If I hadn't had a $100 NE2, i would have never gotten one.
Some pre-installed apps are annoying.
Would like a camera button.
Things I like
Screen otherwise is very nice to look at.
Eye popping 4g speeds
Very snappy even when running lots-o-apps
Sense upgrades are nice and useful.
LED under ear piece grid makes nice pattern on the ceiling in the dark :-)
Kickstand more useful then I thought
I think the camera is better then most give credit, the flash worked well for me.
I like the weight my self, feels nice in the hand
Free hotspot til May 15th! Sweet.
Things people need to relax about.
Battery life, give it time and I'll bet battery life will get better. The Eris was bas at 1st too. Also it seems to be the screen that's eating the battery. Not the 4g, but what do I know?
not dual core, I know two is better, but how much more battery will that take, and are you running a web server or something? Geeze.
No HDMI, really? Realllyyy? use the stream Luke.
8. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
I played around with it. The speeds are impressive.
9. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
coming from you dude thats a complement
10. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
I'm not the troll. You sniggly and the rest of the Apple bashers are the trolls. I have no problems with android phones. I'm happy with my iPhone and at the same time realize other companies make good phones. I don't need to bash everyone that doesn't want the same phone as me.
12. Kjayhawk (Posts: 293; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)
I agree, I hate when people bash the iPhone just because its an iPhone. I get even more pissed off though when Apple fanboys get in an argument that makes no sense and act like they know what they are talking about, same goes for android fan boys. I don't pay attention to who is who, but overall I agree with your argument, things just get plain annoying
15. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I'll Give you thumbs for saying you aren't a troll, and I'll try not to strike you, but sometimes you do look like one.
bout calling me troll, I don't think I go brainlessly bashing against apple, But i can be proven wrong. I have to say they(Apple) produce pretty darn good stuff, I just hate when people brag calling other peoples tech trash or useless crap and start doing the 1 vs 100 comparison among other I say the apple VS android is a win loose comparison with anyone you win something and loose something.
13. Nunez20v (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Feb 2011)
I returned mine today. I was only getting about 3 hours of battery life and the phone was actually running hot in temperature. The google maps and any other "navigation" app were totally off and not accurate. Don't get me wrong; the phone has great DL speeds in the Dallas, TX area. I just can't deal with the battery life and having to charge it up to 3 times per day. Also, the phone said it came with 8GBs; after a couple of apps downloaded I was down to 2GB. Maybe the Bionic will hold it down.
19. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
it sounds like you had a deffective phone buddy..... maybe you should of just exchanged since you still had 11 days to try it.
24. Nunez20v (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Feb 2011)
Maybe I did have a defected phone; just as well as 4 other people that same day @ Verizon (including the rep himself). But I guess that's why they offered the 14 day worry free return policy right? =)
37. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
yeah or maybe your lying.... i have the thundrbolt my sister has the thunderbolt my mom has the thunderbolt.... thinking about getting grandma the thunderbolt..... none with problems you speak of. and it looks like those problems cant be as widespread as you say or there would have been a recall by now. battery is nothing special but clearly 3 hours is not what should happen. i get about 20 hours of battery a day using it very frequent. lucky for me im not awake 20 hours a day. you suck troll!
39. Nunez20v (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Feb 2011)
I suck troll? WTF is this, kindergarden? I chose not to keep a phone because of its performance and the issues it provided. I just went back to my simple and very effective BlackBerry Curve. Obviously you've read continuous posting on the battery life. If they haven't had a recall for the device they probably will in a couple of months. Look at everyone trying to figure out how to turn this off and turn that off yet not being able to enjoy the full functionalities of the phone. What's the purpose of pocketing out $250 if I can't even enjoy it?
25. theo14461 (unregistered)
Returned mine also. Great display, good call quality, nice build and feel, horrific battery life. Would drain 20% in about an hour of "normal use"
27. theo14461 (unregistered)
I'd like to update my last comment. I must have had a defective TB, exchanged it for another, and battery life is MUCH better.
41. bugsbite (unregistered)
The phone is not defective we just got the phone yesterday and only getting 3-4 hours of battery time and it does run hot, I have no clue how tragichero is getting 20 hours ( maybe running 3G?). Do a Google search this is a known problem.
Will return promptly..............
14. griffin2003 (unregistered)
Regarding downloading apps, doesn't the phone have a 32GB SD card? Can't that be used for apps?
Battery Life -
If you remove the Sim card, does the phone work as a 3G phone? If it does, this would allow testing if the 4G or the display is the source of the battery drain?
In addition, when we had dual digital / analog phones, if you were in a weak area, the battery would drain faster as the phone searched with high power analog transmit to snag a tower. What happens with the 4G channel when you are not in a 4G area? Does the phone burn more battery trying to find towers that are not there? These might not be questions for the Thunderbolt alone, but for all the new 4G phones.
20. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
the phone wont work on 4 or 3g if the sim is out so that test wont work. it needs the sim. yes it uses battery looking for 4g network while in 3 g but using the term burn or drain is an overstatement.... hardly anything at all. the phone shouldnt get only 3 hours and if it took up that much memory its clear nunez just bought a defective phone
16. etownone (Posts: 40; Member since: 25 Jul 2010)
Now i'm hearing rumors or the Droid Bionic being released mid April ...
and my upgrade is on march 31, and i was set on getting the TB.
Mostly every review complains about battery life ... and recommends to wait for the Bionic.
i was so ready to upgrade to the TB ... especially since Verizon might get rid of that unlimited data plan ... but now i'm thinking to take a chance and wait for the Bionic.
bigger battery, dual core CPU, HDMI, qHD screen, and the option of a laptop dock in the future.
22. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
im waiting for the bionic too. its the best phone to be realeased at least in the first half of this year maybe the whole year
23. LionStone (Posts: 747; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
Yea, it'll be interesting to do some comparison testing with the T-Bolt and Bionic. The TB is very quick, and like the article stated I also clocked about 18 seconds to download Angry Birds...under 30 seconds to download and install. Near SFO area, 11mbps down and 4 up.
The display is clean and sharp and Sense UI I think looks great and feels polished. It does have a good heft to it and I like that. I can definitely be happy with this phone for the next two years. Im coming from the Incredible so sound quality is much better. I don't notice the sound difference with the kickstand open or closed, it sounds great either way.
Hopin for some Netflix and Skype video/chat in the near future, will try Tango...still need to test dlna...Mine also says only 2 something gb available, so I need to go in to see about that one.
17. griffin2003 (unregistered)
According to the review in Phone Scoop, the battery drain is caused by using 4G and in an area without 4G, the battery life was much better. They promised numbers soon.
I also found a comment that I cannot find again that said you can dial a particular number (some sort of support number) and force the network preference to CDMA. This seems pretty drastic, but without control on the phone itself, it would all you to save the rest of the battery in desperate situations.
21. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
DO NOT DIAL *228 on the thunderbolt unless you want to DESTROY YOUR SIM CARD. if you dial that number your sim card will be obsolete and you will have to get a new one. sheesh
26. ANTHONY G (unregistered)
its a nice phn but its so call lte such.my phn switches from x1 3g.4g. internet fades out,calls are cuting in an out so on so on. call vz , oh its doing that? what a joke
|Display||4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) TFT|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.75 GB RAM
|Size||4.75 x 2.44 x 0.56 inches|
(121 x 62 x 14 mm)
6.23 oz (177 g)
|Battery||1400 mAh, 6.3 hours talk time|