The HTC Thunderbolt came out last March with very little hype and fanfare. But, it is one of the fastest Internet phones ever released by the company.
The specs for the Thunderbolt is not really that special. It has a 4.3 inch Super LCD display, Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor with an Adreno 205 GPU, 768MB of RAM, and an 8 megapixel back camera with a VGA webcam on the front to keep it company. But, HTC has fully maximized its capabilities making it one of the best phone out in the market today.
Hey, the Thunderbolt is, in no way, a one-trick pony. Network speed aside, the phone is an excellent performer and is a solid addition to HTC’s impressive smartphone lineup.
As far as build quality is concerned, the HTC ThunderBolt is definitely durable and solidly built. However, its strength is also its weakness. It is extremely large and heavy. It is also one of the widest, thickest, and heaviest smartphones on the market. With its 5.78-ounce weight and its 4.8X2.6X0.52-inch frame, the Thunderbolt is a monster when compared to its contemporaries.
The phone features a 4.3-inch WVGA screen that will give you ample room to maneuver your fingers while touch-typing and navigating Websites when you’re on the go. The display is beautiful and the viewing angles are incredible. Colors are very rich, whites are bright, and text is pretty crisp.
The phone’s simplicity is actually what makes it beautiful. At the top, you have the phone’s power button and headphone jack. On the right side, you can see the volume rocker. There is a standard Home, Menu, Back, and Search buttons on the face of the device. On the back is an 8-megapixel camera (with a dual-LED flash) and a kickstand. You’ll also find a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front of the device for video chatting.
The ThunderBolt runs the latest version of HTC’s Sense UI and for all intents and purposes, this is about the same experience as any other HTC Android handset released in the past year or so. We don’t have to elaborate anymore, its typically just Android Froyo with HTC Sense. All of us should know it by now.
As mentioned, the main selling point for the HTC Thunderbolt is its 4G network speed. In tests, it performs really really well. Imagine, a 99mb file downloaded in under four minutes. That is pretty common for desktops/laptops, but is even more impressive for a smartphone. Of course, you also need to have a good internet connection running 4G for this to be realistic.
The ThunderBolt can share its 4G connection with eight devices via its mobile hotspot function.
Call quality on the ThunderBolt was not crystal clear, but it is okay.
The ThunderBolt features two cameras: a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front and an 8-megapixel one on the rear. Pictures that with the 8-megapixel camera came out well. The photos are surprisingly sharp. Even when zoomed in, the resolution is reasonably good. Colors looked robust and true to the subject. Pictures taken in extremely low light are clear and easy to see, thanks in part to the dual-LED flash. T
The ThunderBolt’s front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera is another story. Pictures taken with it came out dark and a little murky. The front-facing camera is meant for video-chatting services, but there’s no such app that would work on the phone. Skype for Android does not yet support video chat, and Fring doesn’t recognize the camera at all. Qik could be another option, but it does not yet provide a video-calling app for the ThunderBolt. Although it’s nice to see more Android phones with front-facing cameras, without any software to use them they’re not much good.
The Thunderbolt is also a DLNA or Digital Living Network Alliance certified device. This means, the phone can stream photos, music, and video to and from DLNA-supporting devices on your home wireless network. Example, you can stream video to your DLNA-certified TV for playback. The music player can also stream from any media servers you have on your network.