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HTC ThunderBolt Review

HTC ThunderBolt

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HTC ThunderBolt Review
The one area that we are not thrilled about with the HTC ThunderBolt is with the call quality. The sound is decent for the most part, however there's a bit of buzzing if we turn the call volume all the way up with someone talking. At this point we’re not sure if all ThunderBolts have this problem, or maybe this is just a bad batch, but it is something to look for and try out if you are thinking about purchasing one. Aside from that, we could also hear a continual background “hiss".

Signal reception remained good around south FL, and showed 2-3 bars most of the time, though we’re not sure if it is showing an indicator just for 4G 700 MHz reception, or is also taking into account standard voice cellular 800/1900MHz reception.

The included 1400mAh battery seems a bit small for a device with such a large screen and 4G LTE data, though it is rated to get up to 6 hours of talk time or 13 days of standby time on a full charge. During our testing over the past few days, we have been able to get up to 7 hours of talk time on a fully charged battery with no data used in the background. But when doing normal mixed usage, which includes some talk time, web browsing, social networking, and using other applications, we could only get about 5-6 hours total before the battery required charging. So it appears to us that the combination of the 4G data, large display, and 1GHz processor will eat through battery time. Verizon does sell a larger 2750mAh capacity battery on their accessories page for $49, which heavy users may be interested in trying out.

We ran a few benchmarking programs on the ThunderBolt to see how well it would stack-up to the DROID X. With Quadrant benchmark, the ThunderBolt got up to 1863, though sometimes would drop down to 1450 (probably because there was another app using the CPU in the background), while the DROID X was usually around 1350-1420. When we ran NeoCore, the Thunderbolt would get between 57-60 fps, with the DROID X at 30-40 fps. And finally we ran AnTuTu Benchmark, which got 1839-1841 on the ThunderBolt and DROID X.

Benchmark tests - HTC ThunderBolt Review
Benchmark tests - HTC ThunderBolt Review
Benchmark tests - HTC ThunderBolt Review
Benchmark tests - HTC ThunderBolt Review


Conclusion:

There’s a lot to like about the HTC Thunderbolt – fast web browsing and data speeds, Sense user interface, ample 4.3” display, 8MP camera, 32GB memory card, and overall snappy performance thanks to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor. If you’re in need of the newest and fastest smartphone now, the ThunderBolt is clearly the best choice out there for Verizon. But our two concerns are with the buzzing we heard in the earpiece speaker, and with the color difference we saw with the displays of the two units we received. Because of this, we’d recommend at this point you purchase it from a local store so you can see and try it out there. Just in case it has any issues, you can exchange it on the spot. But if you aren’t in a major rush, we’d suggest waiting a while, as there are three other LTE phones coming out in the next few months, and it’s hard to tell at this point which one may turn out to be the best. With that said, yes, guys, it is super-awesome to use data with Verizon's brand-new 4G LTE network, and the HTC ThunderBolt makes the experience even better.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 2.2.1, Build 1.12.605.6, Kernel 2.6.32.21 Sat Feb 19 2011


HTC ThunderBolt Video Review:



Pros

  • Fast 4G LTE data speeds
  • Can talk on the phone and use data at the same time
  • HTC Sense user interface & customizations
  • 8MP camera with good picture quality
  • 32GB memory card included

Cons

  • Could hear earpiece buzzing at high call volumes
  • Video chat not available yet with Skype
  • Able to see TFT color & contrast differences between two units
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
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HTC ThunderBolt

HTC ThunderBolt

OS: Android 4.0 2.3 2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.75 GB RAM
Size4.75 x 2.44 x 0.56 inches
(121 x 62 x 14 mm)
6.23 oz  (177 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 6.3 hours talk time

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