Customer Review

144 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming from an iPhone 4 user on AT&T..., March 24, 2011
This review is from: HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 4, 2012 11:31:10 AM PST
HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) is this unlocked phone ?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2012 2:27:52 PM PST
R. Vogt says:
No, hence the (Verizon Wireless). You need to do a search for an unlocked phone.
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