HTC Thunderbolt : The android champion of 2011
This is the new smartphone launched by HTC, the first to run on 4G LTE network. Being heralded as the best phone in terms of speed, it has high expectations riding on it. Here is a small review of the phone.
With high expectations attached with the phone before its launch, it does deliver on most fronts. The phone is massive on all fronts with massive hype, massive performance and massive size and weight. It is the first phone to run on LTE. LTE promises speeds on a phone comparable to broadband desktop speeds, thus blurring the lines between desktop and a smart phone experience. The experience on Thunderbolt is quite amazing with brilliantly high download/upload speeds and lower latency connections that provide better responsiveness. All this is backed by solid hardware which provides to the great speedier experience on the phone.
But, it is not a phone free of all faults or downers. It does hosts a few imperfections which buyers needs to be aware of before shelling out dough for this piece of smartest smartphone.
- Carrier: Verizon Wireless
- OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC Sense UI
- Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD8255), Adreno 205 GPU, and MDM9600 chipset for 3G/4G
- RAM: 768MB
- Storage: 8GB internal, 32GB microSD (pre-installed)
- Display: 4.3-inch WVGA with 480×800 resolution
- Battery: Lithium-ion with 1400 mAh capacity
- Ports: microUSB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, SIM slot
- Weight: 6.23 ounces
- Dimensions: 4.75 x 2.44 x 0.56 inches
- Camera: 8MP with auto-focus, dual LED flash, HD video capture, 1.3MP front-facing camera
- Sensors: Accelerometer, A-GPS, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
- Keyboard: Virtual QWERTY
- Networks: CDMA 800/1900Mhz (2G); CDMA2000 EV-DO (3G); 700Mhz LTE (4G)
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
- Tethering: USB + mobile Wi-Fi hotspot
- Price: $249 (with 2-year contract)
Is it for you ?
This is for you if you desire to achieve maximum performance you can derive from a smartphone. It is quite surely the fastest phone out of all existing smartphones in the market today. Running on LTE speeds of +10Mbps, it is bound to run fast but even on 3G network or WiFi the phone loads apps, webpages, videos etc are stunningly quick speed. So if you are the ones who requires great performance from your phone, need a workhorse device and need a equipment which won’t seem technological backward in 2 years, then this phone is for you.
The hardware : It has a hardware which can keep support the speed experienced on the LTE network. Of course, there remains a thought of comparison between WiMax and LTE but seeing shift of major providers towards LTE, it is likely that upcoming spamrtphones will have to LTE complaint in terms of support by hardware. Thunderbolt, with its upgraded 1GHz Snapdragon, Adreno 205 GPU, and MDM9600 chip for LTE has everything you need for a nice LTE experience. Also the issue of simultaneous transmission of voice and data have been solved. Along with this, other hardware specifications add to it – bright, crisp WVGA display, an 8MP camera on the back, a 1.3MP camera on the front, a 32GB SD card (included), a 1400 mAh battery, and all the latest digital sensors.
High Performance: The performance bar set by Thunderbolt is quite high. Even in aspects not involving influence of LTE networks, the device performs quite well owing to the combination of the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (single core), a dedicated GPU (Adreno 205), LTE chip (MDM9600), 768MB of RAM, and 8GB of integrated eMMC storage. Thus performace of the overall phone is a major attraction.
Form Factor: Some pf the smartphones lack with the looks and a strong body. Thunderbolt, hosts as unibody aluminium frame which can be seen as a combination of Google Nexus one and HTC Desire with square body as HTC Evo. This results in a sturdy, attractive metal body. Although the phone is a bit large and on the heavier side, it is quite strong and gives the feel of a phone and not a toy.
HTC Sense: HTC Sense is one of the best UI right now in the market. Many vendors have tried maskig android with their UI and most of the times it is not as good as expected. As noted by many, most of vendors skins decrease the android experience but not HTC Sense. Although, if you are the one to flash your phone and put in totally new ROM then might not be a great plus point for you.
Is nothing wrong with it ?
Absolutely not. It does lack from certain imperfections, if you may call them.
4G Battery Life: With Desire HD, HTC was criticised for the poor battery life it provided. With Thunderbolt running 4G, HTC was expected to somehow come up with major improvements in battery life. The phone comes with 1400mAh battery which is not quite enough for a 4G experience. As seen from use by testers, the phone runs a whole day with use of 3G and Wifi but it runs around half a day on 4G. You would have to employ various setting alteration to make it last longer on 4G (Probably another post about it)
No Dual Core: THe phone runs on single core whereas most phone that would be competiting with Thunderbolt would be running on dual core. HTC has a strong relation with QUalcomm, which hasn’t come out with its dual core processor , thus Thunderbolt only hosts a single core. Although this doesn’t really affect the speed but it could have certainly improved battery life.
Thunderbolt is a right now probably the best smartphone on the shelf. With other makers, coming out with LTE based devices in second half of 2011, the phone seems to have a lot of time unrivaled. Despite the battery issue, the phone is dynamo with its performance and hardware abilities. It is a lightning fast device on 3G and Wi-Fi, but provides and surreal experince with 4G.