HTC ThunderBolt unboxing and hands-on

HTC ThunderBolt unboxing and hands-on
Ever since our first look at the HTC ThunderBolt back in January at CES, we've been awaiting it's release, which is now upon us. We got our demo unit today, and couldn't wait to try it out, especially since it was originally planed to come out a month ago.

The box is all black, very minimalistic, and included with the ThunderBolt is a 1400mAh battery, SIM card, SanDisk 32GB Class 4 microSDHC memory card (pre-installed), battery cover, user guide, and a wall charger with a detachable microUSB cable that can also be used to connect the phone to your PC. One interesting thing that we noticed is that the back of the phone has a few metal pins that line-up with metal connectors on the battery cover. One of those has GPS printed next to it, another on the phone says BT (Blue Tooth), but the smallest connector near the top doesn't say what it is for. Though we're going to guess it's the 4G LTE antenna, because if the phone is use without the battery cover installed, it will drop down to 3G or 1X. So make use the back cover is on securely to get 4G reception.

On the front is a large 4.3" 480x800 WVGA resolution TFT display with 16 million color support. Images and videos look good, and text is sharp and clear, though we did notice the ThunderBolt's screen isn't quite as bright as the one on the Motorola DROID X, with both manually set to the highest backlight level. Along the bottom are the 4 capacitive touch-sensitive control buttons, and with the volume rocker on the right side. Up at the top is the 3.5mm headset jack, and the power/lock key, but it's a bit small and flush with the surrounding plastic, so it can be a bit hard to find by touch alone. On the back is the 8MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash, speaker and kickstand, which comes in handy when watching videos.

The HTC ThunderBolt feels a bit bulky in the hand, even more so than the Motorola DROID X, as the ThunderBolt is not only thicker, but wider too. Even though the ThunderBolt is constructed out of plastic, it has a very solid weight to it, again feeling heavier than the DROID X.

We like the updated HTC Sense UI that is on the device, as it comes with 6 scenes and 5 skins, both of which allow for some nice customization. There are also 7 home screens, and moving between them is very fluid without any noticeable delay.

Below is our unboxing video of the HTC ThunderBolt, with more videos to follow, and also our full review, so be sure to check back.

Related phones

  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1400 mAh(6.30h talk time)



1. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Nice :)

2. nissan_driver24

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 15, 2011

Picking this up as soon as my local Verizon store opens :)

3. MOTOX unregistered

I feel really stupid buying it on ebay....for some reason right now....on verizon...the off contract price is 444.99 and i paid 629.99 thinking it would be 599....fuck i hope that price goes up, lol.... other than that...pls be skype and online for it....otherwise im happy..

5. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Thats why you wait for an official release. People were trying to sell the inspire for $600 before it was released and I bought it for the real price of $399. Patience is a virtue except for the overhyped and overpriced thunderbolt. After all the delays this has gotta be a disappointment.

11. MOTOX unregistered

Well i feel better now because verizon's real price went back to 599.99....with tax thats more than 629.99 so....few. llol

4. BaiGanyo

Posts: 308; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

Sounds like a real dud compared to what's already out. Speeds sound like 3G when the compared it to the droidx. Looks like this one's gonna sink like a rock.

6. redman

Posts: 12; Member since: May 14, 2008

I have an original Droid and thinking about moving to the Thunderbolt. Does anyone know if Google voice will integrate perfectly with this phone like the Droid? As in, the Droid allows me to set Google voice as my standard service, so it shows my Google Voice number when I call people. Thanks!

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Not to mention it has one of the coolest possible names for a phone. I think this will be a hit for Verizon. People will want a 4g phone.

8. pogi unregistered

Still can't do data and calling at the same time...until then I'm sticking with T-mobile

9. jkeskel

Posts: 52; Member since: May 23, 2009

Actually you can with the Thunderbolt.

10. Allday28

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 19, 2010

Ummm yes you can. Its the forst phone to do it and you can even do it over 3G.

12. Mjolnir22

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 17, 2011

Browsing speeds can be an issue with the software on the phone, not the network. I saw download and stream tests and they both blew anything on market out of the water. The browser might not be optimized for 5-7mbps and the crazy upload. So the browsing speeds are slow as droid x, but not downloads/streaming. Use your head on why that might be before you label a phone a dud lol


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I got my Thunderbolt at about 2 pm today. I love it.

14. Ralston1983

Posts: 71; Member since: Feb 03, 2011

Did a speed test in NJ today. this is sick speeds -

15. Nunez20v

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

I've been using the TBolt... the battery is not doing good at all. The phone is actually running hot (temperature). I think I am going to have to send it back. The Google Maps app is totally off and not accurate with location. Not sure if its just the device I got or anyone else is having this issue.

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