HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 2.6 x 0.5 inches ; 5.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B004M5HB6U
  • Item model number: ThunderBolt
By : HTC
List Price : $699.99
You Save : $699.98 (99%)
HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Product Description Product Description

One of the world's first 4G LTE Android smartphones, the HTC ThunderBolt 4G for Verizon Wireless takes advantage of the fastest, most advanced 4G network in America. It's powered by a lightning-quick 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and offers a vibrantly colorful 4.3-inch Super LCD multi-touch display. Capture brilliant photos and HD 720p video with the 8-megapixel camera on the rear, and enjoy video call capabilities with the front-facing camera. And with the Android 2.2 OS, you'll be able to experience the full Internet thanks to its support for Adobe Flash 10.1--enabling you to play games, watch videos, and more.

The HTC ThunderBolt, enabled for the ultra-fast Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network (see larger image).

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network provides speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon Wireless' 3G network. With 4G LTE, you'll enjoy simultaneous voice and data capabilities, allowing you to check e-mail, browse the web, download an app, and check directions on Google Maps while on a call. Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network currently reaches one-third of all Americans, with plans to expand the network to the company's entire 3G coverage area over the next three years.

Includes ROCK BAND Mobile.

In addition to Android, the ThunderBolt 4G also offers the next-generation HTC Sense user interface experience, which includes quicker startup times from hibernation mode as well as a consolidated view of your favorite social networking sites. The ThunderBolt 4G also comes with ROCK BAND Mobile pre-loaded, so you can shred on the go with multiple levels of difficulty from dozens of classic songs.

Other features include an 8 GB internal memory, pre-loaded 32 GB microSD memory card, Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking with Mobile Hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, integrated speakers with Dolby Mobile + SRS WOW HD surround sound, DLNA certification for wireless media streaming to other devices, built-in kickstand for easy media viewing, and a 1400 mAh battery for extra-long talk time.

Android Operating System

The ThunderBolt 4G runs the latest Android operating system--OS 2.2 (aka, Froyo)--which provides a faster overall Android experience as well as greater multitasking capabilities. You'll be able to receive notifications, listen to music, and even record GPS data without keeping the application open. And it features a plethora of new enhancements, including an improved onscreen QWERTY keyboard, full push corporate e-mail, and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for access to the full Web. It also offers enhanced Exchange support, with Calendar syncing, Global Address Lookup, improved security, auto-discovery, and more.

With integrated Google technology, the ThunderBolt 4G brings one-touch access to the popular Google mobile services millions use every day, including Google Search by voice, Google Maps with Street View, GTalk instant messaging (with presence capabilities), YouTube, and Picasa. The ThunderBolt 4G also provides easy access to both personal and corporate e-mail, calendars, and contacts supported by Exchange Server and Gmail. And through Android Market, you'll get access to thousands of useful applications, widgets, and fun games to download and install on your phone, with many more apps being added every day.

HTC Sense Mobile Experience

With the next generation of the popular HTC Sense mobile experience, the HTC ThunderBolt 4G automatically delivers your most-wanted information to your screen. It offers even more ways to stay connected--including FriendStream, which delivers Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr updates in a consolidated view. And you'll be able to pinpoint the location of a lost phone on a map, send a command to make the phone sound an alert--even while on "silent" mode--through the web site. If needed, you can also remotely wipe all of the phone's data with a single command in addition to forwarding calls and text messages to a different number.

Video chat capable over 4G LTE and Wi-Fi (see larger image).


  • Ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity via the Verizon Wireless 4G Mobile Broadband network, with expected download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps. See more about 4G LTE below.
  • Easy access to social networking via HTC Sense including updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.
  • Onboard GPS for navigation and location services
  • Integrated Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation, street and satellite views
  • Ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g/n) for accessing home and corporate networks as well as hotspots while on the go.
  • 4G Mobile Hotspot capability allows you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot using your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE connection, which can then be shared among up to 8 Wi-Fi-capable devices. (Note: Mobile Hotspot capability will not be available at device launch.)
  • Bluetooth connectivity (version 2.1) includes profiles for communication headset, hands-free car kits, and the A2DP audio streaming Bluetooth profiles.

OS ; Software

  • Android 2.2 operating system (Froyo) with over-the-air upgrade capability for future OS releases.
  • ROCK BAND Mobile with multiple levels of difficulty, dozens of classic songs, and multiplayer mode to challenge your friends over Bluetooth.
  • DLNA capabilities enables you to share your photo albums, videos and movies wirelessly with a compatible HDTV or other DLNA device.

Communications ; Internet

  • Full messaging capabilities including SMS text, MMS picture/video and IM instant messaging (via popular services including AOL, Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger, and Google Talk).
  • Access to personal and corporate e-mail (including support for Exchange and push Gmail).
  • HTML Web browser (WebKit-based) with support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for accessing Flash-enabled websites, watching video and playing games.


  • Music player compatible with MP3, WMA, and AAC
  • Video player compatible with MPEG4, WMV, XviD
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Dolby Mobile + SRS WOW HD surround sound enhancement


  • 32 GB pre-loaded microSD memory card with support for other optional cards up to 32 GB.
  • 8 GB internal memory


  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat capabilities.
  • 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash plus auto focus, face detection, and geo-tagging.
  • HD 720p video capture capabilities (1280 x 720 pixels)

Design and Hardware

  • 1 GHz Snapdragon processor speeds up everything--from playing games to watching shows to opening files from work.
  • 4.3-inch Super LCD display with capacitive multi-touch capabilities, proximity sensor, and light sensor (480 x 800 pixels).
  • Onscreen QWERTY keyboard
  • Dual microphones and noise canceling technology for clearer calls.

More Features

  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Micro USB 2.0 port with mass storage capabilities.
  • Speakerphone for hands-free communication.
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility: M3 and T3

Vital Statistics

The HTC ThunderBolt weighs 6.23 ounces and measures 4.75 x 2.44 x 0.56 inches. It comes with a long-life 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery. It runs on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, as well as EV-DO, Rev A 3G and CDMA 800/1900 frequencies where 4G LTE is not available.

What's in the Box

HTC ThunderBolt handset, rechargeable battery, charger, 32 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network allows you to download photos, apps, and games in seconds and entire movies in minutes. LTE (or Long Term Evolution provides significantly increased upload and download speeds over 3G networks, as well as significantly reduced latency (or lag time). Verizon Wireless expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5-12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2-5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments.

With these blazing fast speeds, you'll be able to stream HD movies without the annoyance of constant pauses to buffer the video stream--as well as quickly download HD-quality movies right to your phone in minutes. Additionally, you'll be able to download a new song file in about 4 seconds or upload a photo to your favorite social networking site in about 6 seconds.

And with video chat capabilities via the 4G LTE network, you'll see callers face-to-face while you're on the go. In addition to chatting with other compatible smartphones, you'll be able to video conference to users on PCs.

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE mobile broadband network will also redefine the mobile office for business users. Business applications that used to require wired networks will be untethered forever, allowing you maximized productivity and efficiency while you're out of the confines of your office. Enhanced security lets you tap into most VPN networks with less waiting, and faster responsiveness enables you to upload 10 MB presentations back to your team in less than 25 seconds.

Also Available for This Android Device

Amazon Appstore for AndroidGet a great paid app for free every day.

KindleBuy a book once and read it everywhere with our free Kindle Reading App for Android.

Amazon MP3Shop 15 million songs and stream your Cloud Drive music directly from your Android device.

IMDBFind local movie showtimes and TV listings, watch trailers, and search the world's largest source of entertainment information.

AudibleDownload audiobooks directly to your Android device, then listen wherever you go, get audiobook news, earn badges, and more.

Amazon MobileShop for millions of products, get product details, and read reviews--right from your mobile device.


HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)


Technical Details

  • Ultra-fast, 4G-enabled smartphone running Android 2.2 with 4.3-inch multi-touch Super LCD display
  • GPS for navigation and location services
  • 8-MP camera; 1.3-MP front-facing camera for video calls; HD 720p camcorder; Bluetooth stereo music;
  • 1400 mAh rechargeable battery for extra-long talk time and video playback; released in February, 2011
  • What's in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, charger, 32 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide
  • microSD expansion; HTML web browser; corporate and personal e-mail
HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Costumer Reviews

If you're looking for an honest review of the Thunderbolt (mind you, I've only had it a little less than 2 weeks at this point), please read on.

First, a little background: I've been a Verizon customer for years. I previously had an LG Env2 for 3 years before buying the Thunderbolt. Like a lot of you, I'm sure, I waited and waited and skipped over several releases of the iPhone (on AT;T), desperately hoping for something equal or better on Verizon. For better or worse, I stood my ground and kept on waiting for something on Verizon. I was eligible for an upgrade about this time last year, but I never pulled the trigger on it for one reason or another. I guess I just never found a phone that really made me want to spend the extra money for the data plan (although the Droid Incredible came close). As soon as I heard that the LTE phones would start to roll out in early 2011, I knew I was waiting until that point to use my upgrade.

That brings us to the present. Dismayed a little by the continuous delays that plagued the release of the Thunderbolt, I waited patiently until the weekend following the release. I told myself I was going to wait a little longer to see if there were any major problems. I was a bit nervous on this purchase, just based on the rumors I'd been hearing about (and reading about) that delayed the Thunderbolt's release. In the end, though, I decided I just couldn't wait any longer and I made the purchase. My $50 upgrade credit (incidentally, the last time I'll be able to use one of those on Verizon, since they're doing away with the program) brought the price of the phone from $250 down to $200. Initial set-up at the Verizon store was minimal and I was out the door fairly quickly.

A few caveats here, before I dive into the guts of the review:

1) I live on the East Coast, in Arlington, VA. I frequently travel up/down the I-95 corridor to NJ/NYC/CT/etc, where Verizon's 4G LTE signal is very strong.

2) Even though this is my first Android phone, I'm quite familiar with the operating system (OS) since my fiancee has one (Droid Incredible) and my father has one (Droid X). I've spent extensive time with both of those phones, so I have a pretty good reference point.

So, the first thing everyone wants to know is, of course, about 4G. (This is certainly the start of the "Pros" category, by the way.) As I mentioned above, I spend most of my time on the East Coast in the mid-Atlantic region. I've found the 4G signal to be excellent so far. During a recent trip from Philly down to Arlington, VA, I had 4G signal a good majority of the time. There were definitely spots in Northern Maryland and Delaware that didn't have 4G, but once I hit the outskirts of Baltimore, I had 4G signal pretty much the rest of the way south to Washington, DC. Keep in mind, too, that the 4G LTE network (on this phone, anyway) is for DATA only. It won't be until later this year or next year that Verizon starts to release phones that actually make phone calls over the 4G network.

The 4G LTE network that Verizon has up and running is BLAZING fast. I can't possibly overstate that in any way, shape, or form. I have a Comcast cable modem at home that provides Wifi to my apartment. The 4G speeds that I'm getting with LTE right now are FASTER than my home network. And not even really that close, to be honest. Verizon's 4G network is considerably faster than the Comcast cable modem. How much faster you ask? Take these numbers for instance (generated using the app from the Android app store):

On my home Wifi: 2941 kbps DOWNLOAD, 1390 kbps UPLOAD

On Verizon's LTE network: 5102 kbps DOWNLOAD, 21214 kbps UPLOAD

In case your math is a little rusty, download speeds are almost twice as fast on the LTE network. Upload speeds are 15+ times faster! That's compared to a CABLE MODEM! That's insanely fast, folks! The big question, of course, is will those speeds continue to hold up as more folks jump on the LTE network? I can't answer that question since I'm not a Verizon engineer. I certainly hope so, that's for sure. Verizon's network is their reputation, so I'm willing to bet that the speeds hold up fairly well. And let's face it -- even if there is a slight downgrade in speed once more folks are on, it's still insanely fast for a cell phone.

To go along with the network speeds, lets discuss the Mobile Hotspot on the phone. You can connect up to 5 devices to the hotspot. My understanding is that the mobile hotspot option is free on this phone through mid-May (roughly, don't quote me on this). I tested it out this weekend, and it performed flawlessly using my MacBook. Speeds were, again, outstanding. I didn't run any numbers, but just browsing the Internet seemed considerably faster when connected to my phone (vs. the Cable Modem Wifi). Definitely an awesome feature to be able to turn the phone into a mobile 4G LTE hotspot. Am I going to use that feature after May when I have to pay extra? I'm not sure, but it's certainly a great option to have for some folks. I guess the answer will also depend on Verizon's pricing structure, whenever that fully emerges.

The phone itself feels well put together. Make no mistake about it: it's LARGE. But it's not too large. Personally, I think it's the perfect size for cell phone. Screen size is the same as the Droid X at 4.3 inches, although the phone itself is smaller in profile and feels a lot nicer to hold than the Droid X. It's great for any type of video, Google Nav, etc etc. The list goes on, but the screen is big, bright, and beautiful. Is it the latest and greatest screen technology out there? I doubt it, but it certainly looks really good, I can tell you that much.

That about does it for the PROS. Now for the CONS. Some of them are nitpicky, and some are not. Some may be mixed with future updates, and others probably won't.

First thing I noticed when I got the phone home: Verizon loads this thing with bloatware CRAP. I don't know about you, but that really, REALLY annoys me. Not so much that they put it on there, I understand that Verizon probably has marketing agreements with other companies (Blockbuster, for example). I can live with that. That's if they made the apps removable - they are not. And that's what drives me absolutely crazy with this phone. The only program that can be deleted from the device is CityID. The others are baked into the ROM - meaning that even if you go though the procedures to delete them, guess what -- they're still there! They don't go away And there's nothing you can do to get rid of them, short of rooting the phone (which I'm not recommending). To name a few: Blockbuster, Bitbop, Amazon Kindle, Lets Golf 2, Peep, Rhapsody, Rock Band, Slacker, VCast Apps, VCast Media, and VZ Navigator. Keep in mind that some of these apps run AUTOMATICALLY in the background (draining battery! which I'll get to in a minute). If you didn't just read that list and say "Are you kidding me?!?!" then you're nuts. I have a demo of Lets Golf 2 on my phone that I CAN'T DELETE because Verizon says so. That is total crap, in my opinion, and a huge downside to this phone. I'm okay with them pre-loading it on their phones - just don't put it in the ROM. I literally hate that Verizon thinks you should have no choice on deleting some apps. Huge minus for this phone.

That leads me nicely into battery life. Believe (most of) what you read. It's more or less a disaster. I'd like to tell you otherwise, believe me! And it's even more annoying when you realize there are Verizon apps running in the background that you can't get rid of (or stop with a Task Killer program -- they pop right back up!). If you run this phone on the 4G LTE network all day long, I'm here to tell you that it's HIGHLY unlikely you're even getting through the day without having to recharge. I found that I average (so far) about 4-6 hours between charges. And that is NOT with heavy use (streaming video, etc.). That's with light-to-moderate use during the day (1 or 2 quick phone calls, checking Gmail and Facebook, etc). If you read the reviews on here (and elsewhere - check on Verizon's own forums), you'll see people complaining of the same thing. I really hope that Verizon will put out a software update to address this issue, as it's most certainly one of the phone's major problems. Having said that, there are ways around the issue. Using different apps from the app store (Phone Info is the one I use), you can force the phone to operate in 3G mode only. That definitely helps batter life tremendously. You can also download/purchase a "task killer" app to close out apps running (draining battery) in the background. That also helps, but the biggest saver of the battery is forcing the phone into 3G only mode. Which, for me, is quite frustrating. Yeah, I'm saving on the battery life, but one of the MAIN REASONS I bought this phone to begin with is to access the 4G network. So it doesn't do me much good to run it in 3G only mode, although I'm forced to do it right now because of the battery life. It's frustrating, to say the least. Is it something Verizon will fix in the near future? Let's hope so. Just be aware of this issue before you buy this phone (many of the rumors surrounding the delayed release of this phone centered on the problems with its battery life).

Phone call quality is mediocre, at best. When I think of a word to describe the call quality, what comes to mind is "meh". That's really all I can say. For a device this technologically superior, it's call quality should be fantastic. It's NOT - it's just OK. Both the Droid Incredible and the Droid X are FAR superior than this phone in that regard. Why? I don't really know. If you... Read more›

As a previous iPhone 4 user, I would say I was apple brainwashed (or is it "applewashed"?) and thought the iPhone was the only smartphone worth considering. Well, the iPhone truly is a great phone, but a combination of AT;T's miserable service - including 5-10 dropped calls a day on average and terrible reception otherwise - the iPhone was often rendered a $700 smart paperweight unless WiFi was accessible. So why not get an iPhone 4 with Verizon you say? Well, after hearing about Verizon's new LTE network and the new HTC Thunderbolt I decided to take the plunge into Android for a change of pace.

I will not talk much about Android itself, well, because this isn't a review of Android. However, I will say that I really like HTC's Sense overlay and the level of customization that is possible. HTC's platform and the Android GUI's feature set is impressive compared to the iPhone's cut and dry. I love the widgets and having instant access to a bunch of useful information on the home screen.

So about the phone. The phone is substantially bigger if you are used to the iPhone. The size alone might rule this phone out for some people. It works out well for me since I have bigger hands and felt myself squinting at the iPhone screen. Reading and viewing text is made a very pleasurable experience on the Thunderbolt given the screen size. In terms of data speed, the phone is blisteringly fast when on Verizon's 4G. The speed of the GUI is smooth, albeit not as smooth as the iPhone 4. For example, when scrolling amongst apps, it's just not as fluid. It's not a deal breaker by any stretch and perhaps they might tweak this a bit in future OS revisions.

In terms of style, where the iPhone 4 is svelte, the Thunderbolt seems "all business". The case itself is robust and hefty but the material is actually a bit slippery - a good reason to opt for a rubberized cover of some sort. Nonetheless, it does feel good in the hand and quality made. I'd say the touch responsiveness with the capacitive screen is near equal to the iPhone's.

The camera is a downgrade from the iPhone 4 but is still passable. For me this really wasn't a big deal since I have this incredible invention called a digital camera for high quality photos.

The stock battery life is not as good as the iPhone, but it's also not bad at all for average use in my experience. Unless you are simultaneously streaming your HD soap opera over 4G, syncing 30 apps, playing Angry Birds, and listening to music through your bluetooth headphones, you'll probably find that the battery life is satisfactory. That being said, the iPhone 4 vs. HTC TBolt battery comparison is not truly apples to apples one (no pun intended) because the screen is so much larger on the HTC and it's running 4G. But guess what: you can actually replace the battery yourself without sacrificing your phone to Apple, and furthermore, you can replace the battery with an extended one if you need it. What luxury.

So there you have it. Coming from the iPhone 4 I feel like I made a great upgrade, and I am no longer having my blood sucked by AT;T. While both phones are without a doubt superb, my preference is for the HTC. Faster and better things will surely come down the pipe like they always do, but this is a great phone for the here and now.

-UPDATE - APR 28 -

I just wanted to post a quick update on my experience with the Thunderbolt thus far. I still am very pleased with the phone, and I find it cumbersome when I go back to using my girlfriend's Iphone 4. I've grown accustomed to the bigger screen size (which I think it's just about perfect).

It does seem like the phone has some issues switching amongst the 3G/4G radios and I hope HTC will release an update soon. For instance, at times it seems like the handoff isn't smooth and apps like Pandora will skip momentarily. I also find it annoying that certain apps (such as the internet) won't transfer data when on basic 1X service like the iPhone would (albeit super slowly which is expected). Perhaps this is also something that could be addressed.

I would like to make one suggestion and recommend purchasing the aftermarket charger/battery options provided by Seidio if you find yourself draining the battery. They have a nice battery charger that will allow you to charge your spare and your phone at the same time - which is great for those days when you use the phone more and need the extra juice. I don't often need to change the battery during the day but on the weekends it's nice to have the spare.


HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)


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