A Different Android Experience March 26, 2011
Reviewer: J. Neuenhaus (NY USA) -
Owner of original Droid on VZW since 12/09. Purchased the Bolt on 3/17/11. Heavier than normal use since Bolt was purchase. I consider myself fairly technical, can write some simple software, etc. Noticed some issues missing from the other reviews, so I'll share my experience.
Will most likely be returning the phone before the two week return period ends.
Fastest phone I've used and is the closest to matching the touch-responsiveness of an iPhone. For me, there are too many bugs, too many features locked-down and I expect (hope) for some better device choices in the near future.
(i) I get ~30mb/upstream connection on 4G (as measured by the Ookla speed test app) compared to ~0.5mb/upstream with Time Warner Cable Internet in NYC. Downstream data is great too. [UPDATED BELOW]
(ii) The phone has fast processors. The only thing it choked on was Angry Birds, but the old Droid had trouble with that one too.
(iii) The kickstand has actually been far more useful than I had imagined.
(i) Internal Memory Size. The claim is 8GB's of internal memory, but the phone actually only makes ~2.5GB available to the user.
(ii) Bloatware. There are about a dozen apps installed to the phone that cannot be removed (resulting in the point above). In addition, a number of these apps start automatically, so your phone has fewer resources available to run apps that you actually want. I was told by Verizon that removing them will void your phone warranty. If you want total control over your device, then this is not the phone for you.
(iii) Video recording. The microphone barely picks up any noise. Perhaps a software update will fix this, but any videos you record will be very difficult to listen to.
(iv) Battery. You've heard about this; lasts less than one day. If I was going to keep the phone, an extended battery would be a must. As phones become more useful, it makes sense that your frequency of use will increase as well; this makes a good battery that much more important.
(v) Front Camera. There is no native software (yet) to make use of the front facing camera. You'll have to download an application from the Android Market if you plan on having a video chat. Hopefully Google adds this to their Google Talk app at some point.
(vi) HTC Sense UI. The Sense customizations that HTC puts on all their phones is a new pet peeve of mine. I feel like my Motorola Droid was much more customizable. In particular, there is a shortcut on the bottom right of the screen to your personalization menu at all times. I can't imagine why anyone would need constant access to this, but you can't change it. There are plenty of other things I don't like about Sense (contact management, SMS, etc.), but this is more about personal preference.
Can't comment on hotspot or DLNA streaming, as I haven't used them yet.
Just a couple of points to add:
* Hotspot worked well, but I discovered that the Speedtest app (noted above) was misreporting the upstream data speeds. On my laptop, connected to the internet via Thunderbolt's hotspot, speedtest.net reported that upsteam data speeds were closer to ~4mb/second (much more believable).
* In the end, I decided to return the phone. Lack of camera sound recording & terrible battery life (both seemingly hardware related) were the two most significant factors that led me to this decision. I don't see either of them getting fixed with either a software update or by rooting the phone, so I'll just need to wait for a better option (maybe a Nexus S LtE?).
Terrible battery October 19, 2011
The battery on this phone sucks!! It only last me about half a day, I have to put it on the charger everynight. If I can't get it to the charger it goes dead and I have problems with it recognizing the SIM card. I have to remove the battery and SIM card and re-insert everything all over again. I will be getting ride of this phone and buying the iPhone!
Avoid September 20, 2011
Reviewer: AnybodyHome (Florida) -
I'll be simple and to the point. It sends text messages to wrong people and have extreme difficulty connecting to any mobile network for internet. WiFi works fine, but getting connected to 3g or 4g just won't occur. Phone may say connected or "will use if wifi not available", but it doesn't connect.
If you are currently in the market to buy a phone, better/newer phones are out there. Avoid this one.
Problems I have with this phone:
- 4G rarely works/difficult to connect to the network
- Phone restarts/loads after a few days, causing slowness
- The normal message client is horrible and requires a third-party application to confidently send texts
Terrible Phone September 1, 2011
I've had this phone for 2 months, and am currently online ordering an iPhone at full price because that sounds better than keeping this terrible phone. First Thunderbolt kept freezing up within just days of getting it, and after a few weeks, Verizon tech had to reset it to factory settings. This is more inconvenient than terrible, just having to put settings and apps back, but would've been fine if it worked. After reset, my texts started sending randomly to the wrong person, and it still froze. LOOK INTO TEXTING TO WRONG PERSON, ITS A KNOWN ISSUE WITH THE PHONE AND HAS NO CURRENT CORRECTION. Verizon's solution was to get a refurbished phone. I got my current, refurb phone and it does all the same things only more frequently than the first one. Additionally, it restarts itself constantly, doesn't show in my text menu when I have a new text right away sometimes, and i'm constantly having a number of other issues that are just the icing on the cake. I really hope this review keeps at least one person from wasting their time and money on this phone.
Initial infatuation rapidly fading March 30, 2011
Reviewer: J. F. Jasper "JFJ" (WA) -
You may want to wait for the bugs to be discovered and resolved. Data and apps can be lost when the system resets itself or you have to perform a hard reset. Here is my TBolt story.
I was due for an upgrade phone from by Bberry at 2 years with an unlimited data plan. I considered a new bbery, a bberry storm 2, an i phone or a droid. The features of the TBolt with 4G, touch screen, video, multitasking, large storage etc were very inviting. The V salesman adding the final pitch to convince me it was the best way to go.
Day #1 and 2 were relatively flawless. I liked it a great deal. However, voice quality a bit echo like, not as smooth as the BBerry.
Day#3 - I missed a few of my BBerry apps so looked up and easily downloaded similar apps for my TBolt. These included a file manager, a password safe, and a sport related app. The file management on this phone is not easy. The only ways I have figured to manage files is to hook to a PC and put TBolt into disk drive mode. The app I downloaded is good for helping to organize transfered files, but does not make it easy to move music files from the SD card to the installed music folder that came with the phone. I am still trying to figure it out.
Day #4 - Bug. I was sitting around typing on my laptop when I noticed the TBolt had rebooted itself for no apparent reason. Afterward I was unable to connect to the mobile network. That is how one normally connects to the internet, the app market and some other features. I performed a soft reboot with no resolution. I shut it down and removed the battery with no resolution. I did not want ot perform the hard reboot as it would lose some downloaded apps and some data.
Day #5 Took the phone back to Verizon. They haven't heard about this problem yet even though forums have documented it. The staff tried several setting changes, soft reset, battery in-ad-out with no resolution. She said she would try the hard reset. If that didn't work she would replace the phone. Again, I was afraid of losing data, but had no choice at this point. The hard reset worked, but two free apps were gone. Fortunately the Google data was safe - contacts, emails, calendar.
Some Pros - many programs installed, a thousand apps downloadable and increasing, FAST, very legible good screen, high storage capacity, modern touch screen use with pinching or expanding to zoom, multiple email accounts, vibrating feedback for touchscreen, autocorrect, good navigation without having to pay extra, many features I have yet to discover.
Some cons - short battery life, voice quality, instability issue mentioned above, larger than BBerry, not ergonomic, no voice input when headphone or plugged into car stereo
Must Root!!!....if not dont bother.. April 29, 2011
Reviewer: Eric Medina
Even though, as of right now, I am having a wonderful experience with this phone, I must rate it one star. Yesterday i went through a whole 12 hour day without having to recharge. The reason this device is working wonderfully for me is because I went ahead(after an awful experience with bloatware and battery life), took the plunge, and rooted the phone. I also installed a custom ROM intended to be efficient and save battery life. If your not willing to root this phone, stay away and wait a couple weeks until the Samsung droid charge is released because you would be lucky to get upwards of 5 hours on a single charge from this phone. I must say, personally, with the android Rom I have install on this device after rooting it, I have had a better experience than i have had with the Iphone 4. With Verizon's 4G LTE network, its just the icing on the cake. But fact is, what apple does right is what these other phone manufacturers do wrong when porting the android system to their devices....as I should have never had to risk bricking my phone or going through the rooting ordeal in the first place.For me,it was a stressful few hoursas I have never had any rooting experience before.
For those of you who do feel confident to root your phone, the good news is that due to this being Verizon's first 4G phone, it is getting alot of attention from developers resulting in plenty of cool ROMS with many nice features.
Stay away April 26, 2011
Reviewer: J.B. (Everett, WA USA) -
I recently made the mistake of Buying this phone and I am still regretting it. The phone is a nice phone and the Verizon 4g is great, but the battery life sucks. After a full all night charge, going to work and sitting it on my desk and not using it other than to check for texts and hit the app killer, the phone was dead after about 4 hrs. I have heard that you can turn off the 4g but what is the point of buying the phone in the first place. I sent it back to Amazon wireless after two days, that was over 2 wks ago and had to call them to re-set my upgrade eligibility. I'm still waiting for a refund.
I went and bought a Motorola Droid X from Costco, less hassle, and the phone is great and the battery is lasting all day with moderate use.
Yes is fast, but not to fast with a dead battery when you need it the most!
battery life -5 stars!!! April 4, 2011
Reviewer: WmS. "Loutha" (Montclair, New Jersey United States) -
This is my 1st smartphone, I wanted to wait for the 4G network to come out before I upgraded and against my better judgment jumped on the Thunderbolt bandwagon. I'm coming from an LG Touch so ANYTHING is an improvement over that junk... I've gone through 4 replacement phones but hey, that's what I pay insurance for.
The Thunderbolt is a vast improvement over my previous phone but I have to say the battery life is the worst I've ever seen. As much as I love the "Pros" of the phone the battery life is unforgivable. There is WAY too much customizing to get better battery life & that doesn't always work; screen at < 30%, no wifi, no bluetooth, no gps & no 4g and I can barely get to 8 hours without completely dying. I read the release date for the phone had been pushed back several time in order to address the battery.... it should've been pushed back again! Who ever designed this phone must have wanted the phone to fail. For whatever reason the ever-so-advertised kickstand blocks the speaker, the rocker for the volume is way too sensitive (I find myself turning the volume up or down by accident a lot) & I'll never understand the decision to put the port for charger on the side making it impossible to us the kickstand while charging the phone. If you plan on watching a movie don't stream it or watch it on youtube cause if you do your battery will die before the movie is over. Lastly, the un-removable apps... Bitbop, Blockbuster, Footprints, Friend Stream, Let's Golf, Peep, Rhapsody, Rock Band, Stocks, Twitter, V CAST Media & VZ Navigator not only cannot be removed they also add to the battery draining since they always seem to be running (if you open up Advance Task Killer you'll ALWAYS see them listed).
Now that I got the "Cons" out of the way.... I LOVE the weight of this phone, it feels really solid not cheap. The camera is amazing just be sure to check your settings before using it (my 1st few pics were grainy until I saw that my settings were low). The Apps are wonderful, like I said earlier I came from using the LG Touch. The screen is beautiful... you won't see it on a sunny day but it is vivid, bright (if you don't mind sacrificing the battery) and large (4.3 is a lot of screen)! The music on it sounds as good as my ipod or zune (as long as I'm using headset, it would probably be good with them if the kickstand wasn't covering the speaker!!!!). And of course the 4G (which is more with the network than the phone) is super fast! My max down/up load speeds are 18.44Mbps down/ 39.28Mbps UP with 2-3 4G bars of signal strength.
All-in-all, if you're a person that's into having the latest & greatest this phone is for you, it definitely will not disappoint. If you don't mind buying the extended battery and bumping the weight up to a "blunt object" status, this phone is for you. If you on the fence like I was on launch day wait.... it's not worth it for the battery alone. Hopefully they'll address the issue and get an upgrade out, a better battery or both if not this month & next month they''ll be a lot more 4G options to choose from.
New and Improved! October 30, 2011
This phone has been big time critisized for poor battery life and being bug ridden. Two weeks ago, I bought a "like new" TB, for more than the contract price, but a good deal. Sure enough, Verizon and HTC launched major updates last week. Both to firmware and software - bringing the phone up to Gingerbread. With the HTC extended battery I am now getting 2 solid days of use without charging. This is with a mix of moderate to heavy use - phone calls, texts, streaming music from Amazon, "a lot" of web surfing and sometimes a movie. No doubt this phone is not as slim or "sexy" as the new phones hitting the market. It is a solid phone that Verizon and HTC have finally fixed.
Update: I can't express how this phone has been fixed by the HTC update. I have now gone back to the regular battery on normal business days. this would be about 2 hours wb surfing, 1 hour on phone, 15 emails and 50 texts. I have noticed streaming audio drains the battery, but the HTC music player is much better, small sips. Great 4g phone that you can get for a great price. I only wish verizon and its handset makers would release working phones and not make customers wait months for them to release updates that make the phones work as advertised.
Sadly, this is the worst phone I've ever had. October 16, 2011
Reviewer: Heather (Michigan) -
I tried my phone for a month only to find out I only had 14 days. Since then I've found more and more things I do not like about this phone. I've tried really hard to not make a big deal about it-- it's just a phone-- but whoever designed the thing was on crack. My favorite feature by far is the built in kickstand. Every phone should have one. But the designers put the speaker behind the kickstand so your music, if you aren't listening to it with headphones, is completely garbled. I also have the problem that if I try to skip a song and a text comes in simultaneously, the sound goes out completely. You can't restart the phone, or just try to restart the music-- you have to get a text again FROM THE SAME PERSON. I don't even understand how that hiccup even works like that but it is a huge frustration for me.
The battery life, of course, is the worst thing of all. Not to mention the design of the screen-- the phone button is at the bottom of the screen by the back key and I've accidentally made about 1,000 calls a month until I discovered the App Lock app. Thank god for that.
4G is noticeably faster than 3G-- I'll give them that-- but I don't have 4G around my house and anywhere I really need it, I have access to wifi. That's not a make or break thing for me.
I would definitely recommend looking around before settling on this phone. I honestly have never been so disappointed with a smart phone before.
Recent update has fixed the problems, battery needs to be managed July 12, 2011
I know you've read all the negative reviews, and I'm not going to dispute them or the problems people have had, which are valid. I will say that my own experience has been positive. I decided on the Thunderbolt despite all the reviews (really liked it in the store), and have been using it with the newest software update (July) that came out. I considered the other 4G phones (Samsung and LG), and just liked the build and function of the Thunderbolt better. I haven't had any shutdowns or restarts since using the phone. I'm coming from a LG Chocolate Touch, so for me, this is miles ahead of what I had. The battery life is acceptable. I can get through a full day without recharging during the day. I use the phone, internet, email, gaming, and texting at what I would consider a moderate amount, so for me the battery life works. If you read the reviews for the other 4G phones you will find that people are experiencing the same type of battery issues (some say it's great, others say it's terrible). Batteries simply aren't far enough along to handle what these phones are able to do (4G internet, text, GPS, Bluetooth, phone, big screen, fast processor) and last all day with constant use. You'll want to check out the HTC extended battery if you are a heavy phone user.
If you are going to buy a 4G phone, then you need to become good at managing your battery, turning off what your not using all the time (GPS, Bluetooth, etc) and you will extend the life to get through the day. You also need to expect to charge your phone once a day (I can go two days, but I'm not a heavy user). If you are a heavy user (4-6 hours on your phone a day, constant email and texting, chat, etc) then consider a 3G phone for now. These aren't at that level yet.
Check out the android forums and read about the Thunderbolt before you buy. The latest update fixed many of the core issues that plagued the phone earlier, especially the GPS lock and restart issues. Or, wait and go for one of the next generation 4G phones. Every phone has its problems, especially 1st generation technology, so good luck!
Update: I've really enjoyed using the phone, and wanted to add some thoughts on the features:
Internet: 4G is lightning fast, has been fun using it on the go.
Ringtone creation: You can purchase or upload your own library of songs and edit them down into ringtones. It's great because you can pick the exact part of a song you want, and it costs less than the ringtones Verizon offers.
Email/text: Seamless, integrated well, so much nicer than my previous phone.
Check out the Seidio HTC ThunderBolt ACTIVE Case, which is a great case that fits the phone well.
Also, for those who are upgrading: If your previous phone with Verizon had Mobile email, then you may start getting random texts from what appears to be an international number, asking you to reply to stop the texts (charge may apply, so it says). This is caused by your former mobile email system checking your email account over and over, and texting you because you no longer have the mobile email app to receive the info it's sending. Anyway, just change your email password and the messages will stop.
UPDATE 2: Netflix is now available and working for Thunderbolt. Gingerbread update should be out soon.
UPDATE 3: Still really enjoying the Thunderbolt. I charge once every two days now. I've been curious as to how the other 4G phones were doing, so I checked out some of the reviews. I was surprised to see so many reviews for the Charge that talk about "managing battery life" and so forth to get a day of use out of the Charge. Why aren't more Thunderbolt users who have battery problems doing the same? Oh well.
Fun but some serious flaws June 18, 2011
Reviewer: J. Hansen (Belmont, CA United States) -
So I've been using this phone for about a week and as others have noticed the battery life is a HUGE issue. I'm used to a Palm Pre where I could go a weekend without charging it so left my charger at work. With this phone it's a constant battle to keep it powered.
The email client, IM client, keyboard etc are all vast improvements over the Droid 1 which I gave back after two weeks. HTC and Google have both come a long way on their designs and usability to the point it's fun to use.
The speed on the 4g, at least in Silicon Valley, is amazing. This is one of my major pluses on the phone.
My HUGE pet peeve with this phone, and something annoying me enough I am contemplating returning it, or at least hacking it, is the un-installable apps. Why the frack should I have to keep some stupid golf game on my phone forever? Scroll up and look at the price of this phone. I could deal with it if the phone was a giveaway I got for free, but at this price I should have NOTHING forced on me forever. Install a bunch of apps by default, fine, but don't make it so I can't get rid of them.
I feel like I should be getting a discount on my monthly bill for being advertised to every time I open the apps menu.
Needs Work June 10, 2011
Reviewer: Tru Blu (Englewood, New Jersey) -
I've had this phone for three or four months, and it's got more good points than bad ones. The 4G is lightning quick, downloading is almost as snappy, and the screen is big and brilliant. The camera is great and being able to use any song for a ringtone through GTunes is cool. The biggest drawback is the battery; it doesn't matter how much or how little you use this phone, it WILL be dead or close to it long before you get some zzzzz's. I can't count the number of times my phone died while waiting to pick someone up, waiting for an important phone call, calling a friend for directions, etc. Even charging it overnight and keeping it plugged into a car charger every minute I'm not using it isn't enough to keep it charged for 75 percent of a day. I had an iPhone before this and didn't think it was awesome until I got locked into a two year deal with the HTC. IPhone has an awesome battery although the HTC has a better connection with 4g. I understand ATT has 4g, so that rubs out the HTC's advantage. IPhone has better free apps also. Maybe they'll get the battery issue resolved, but I wouldn't risk it again.
Thoughts from an iPhone convert May 20, 2011
Reviewer: D. Friedland
GREAT network, nice phone plagued by stupid software politics and outrageously bad battery life. Although I consider it a step up from my iPhone 3GS, it might have been smart to wait for the next generation.
Overall, I have to say, I loooove this phone. The LTE network is unbelievably fast; for the first time in years, I went away for the weekend without a laptop. Going from AT&T's so-called service to Verizon's LTE network is a major reason I love this phone so much; it can actually make and receive calls on a consistent basis! However, the Thunderbolt lacks Apple's attention to detail. I've had it for just under a month now, and I think it would take a lot for me to go back to an iPhone, for all its ease of use.
*Battery? What battery?*
The first glaring fault I noticed was the battery it comes with. From a full charge, it died after four -- count 'em, four -- hours of sitting on my desk, with the occasional Facebook check. Apple would NEVER ship a product with such a fatal flaw, let alone a flagship-type product. I did fork over another $50 for the extended battery, and that has been a major improvement to the tune of two-three days of fairly intense usage. However (another Apple no-no) when I last checked, there were no protective cases for the phone with the extended battery installed. Not no licensed cases or no nice cases; no cases at all. However, with the help of a "military-grade" screen protector, the entire phone still looks brand new.
I must also say that when I picked up my old 3GS the other day, it felt amazingly light, though the bulky battery adds only minimally to the weight of the Thunderbolt. An HTC rep did tell me that a battery-enhancing update is in the works, but I haven't seen it yet.
*Mac-friendly? Not so much.*
Another major impediment to the Thunderbolt being an iPhone killer is its utter lack of official Mac software. That's right: HTC's software is PC-only. I sync mine using a third party solution, which took a look of finagling to finally get working. It still occasionally throws errors during syncs, but for the most part, it's good. (The software, The Missing Sync, is the same brand I used to sync my Palm Clié to my Mac a decade ago. Does HTC really want to follow in Palm's footsteps? One must wonder why they aren't taking this fairly simple step to lure the iPhone audience.)
*Software, um, situation*
Although I appreciate the freedom to install a wider variety of apps on my phone, Apple's tight controls make things a lot clearer for the consumer. I'm rapidly learning that software on Android (or perhaps just on this phone) could be best described by a word that is not PG-13 -- one that Jon Stewart used with "to the White House" during a recent campaign, let's say. Other reviewers have mentioned the incredible amount of bloatware this thing comes with, and they aren't kidding. When I emailed HTC to complain about the fact that I was stuck with "Let's Golf 2" (among other equally useless things), I was told that was Verizon's call.
From what I've seen, there seems to be a fair amount of finger-pointing in the Android world, instead of problem-solving. Another example: Swype. The nifty text input a friend showed me on her Droid years ago was the one thing I always wished my iPhone did, and it's a big reason why I considered an Android phone in the first place. Silly Apple user -- I thought it was part of the OS. Long story short: you can download the beta of Swype onto the Thunderbolt, but it's a beta with a few big shortcomings:
1. Heaven forbid your battery dies or you power cycle the phone -- Swype won't input swiped text once the phone reboots. I managed to fix it by switching to the default keyboard and back, but others are reporting licensing issues as well.
2. Some fields are particularly finicky, and will select the word you just finished inputting such that you end up replacing it over and over again.
3. Text messages do not auto-space or capitalize. Swype says this is HTC's problem and there's nothing they can or will do to fix it; apparently HTC's SMS client thinks that's a URL box. The only fix seems to be downloading a third-party SMS client. (See what I mean about the finger-pointing?)
However, I have to say that the speech-to-text feature is quite good; I'm wondering how I never had it before.
As I said, there are a lot of things I love about this phone and the Android OS, like live wallpapers, the notifications bar (again, how did I live without that?), Swype (when it feels like behaving), widgets...but for the software flaws and battery, I have to deduct a star.
After almost a year with this phone, I cannot WAIT to get something else. It's a behemoth, and it can't handle simple tasks like making phone calls or turning on the mic for a Google voice search on a consistent basis.
Excellent phone, fantastic speed March 29, 2011
Reviewer: FatherOfFiftyMonthOld (Dallas,TX) -
I am currently switching from Virgin Mobile to Verizon so you know where I was previously. This is an excellent phone and my first smart phone with a data plan. I love it! I am in the DFW metroplex. Fastest speeds I have seen using Speedtest.net's app is 18 down/36 up with 4G service. It recently has slowed down but still wicked fast.
Everyone mentions battery life with the 4G LTE service drains the battery. This is true. There are things you can do to extend battery life, many of which can be found by searching the internet (especially useful if you are not used to tinkering with every little setting like I was). I am currently on a stock battery and have lasted the entire working day with no recharge. This allows me to enjoy my phone and not have a dead battery. It also saves me $50 from buying an extended battery.
The best thing you can do is download the Phone info app from the Market. Click phone information. Scroll down. Under set preferred network type click CDMA auto (PRL). This will switch you to 3G service. By itself this will save you gobs of battery power. When you need 4G speed you can change it back to CDMA + LTE/EvDo auto.
If that's not to your liking you can follow this cnet article and do the same thing by typing a code into your Thunderbolt.
These apps I found also help see what's draining battery and close them if necessary:
Spare Part - see what app/widget is eating up your battery. Then you can change settings or delete the app if it's too much
Refine Efficiency - kill or close items
Auto Memory Manager - change Android default memory settings to reclaim memory and have the system close down things you aren't using.
I expect HTC to release an update to optimize battery usage in the future. Go ahead and enjoy the phone! Unlimited data + great interface + Very fast = Fun!
I talked to a person in a Verizon store to see if Verizon or HTC will address the battery issue on the 4G LTE network. The representative said the phone was working as it was designed to work and no update would be coming. My battery died on me using only 4G after 4.5 hours today with heavy use. Thankfully I have my charger today. I would use 3G only to save battery life but I am having trouble staying on the 3G network. Based on what the representative said I am downgrading the review from 5 to 4 stars. The inability to delete pre-installed bloatware is also a negative.
Also, I am able to charge the phone in landscape or portrait mode. Some reviewers have said they are unable to do so. The kickstand is very clever and very usable in both directions.
I used the HTC Flashlight widget for the first time. There are three different brightness settings. The LED's are bright! I love it. It's better than my iPod flashlight app.
I also found out about live wallpapers. Those of you already on Android have enjoyed this feature for a while. I was blown away by the feature coming from an Apple/PC world. For those of you that don't know live wallpapers feature things like galaxies moving, grass swaying with the wind, a fish full of aquarium as your wallpaper while your apps are in the front. Very cool!
The free app of the day on the Amazon App store is very useful. I have downloaded some nice apps from the store.
Google Maps comes with turn by turn Navigation. That is handy in a pinch for a GPS replacement. What's neat is you can speak your address into the phone.
I do recommend getting a car charger. On long trips or at the end of the day when your battery is low you want to be able to use your phone. I will be getting one shortly.
Very good phone, satisfied. March 21, 2011
I went to a local Verizon store as soon as I saw the email notification from Verizon telling me that the phone was available. Got the phone right there and started a new plan.
Have used the phone for 4 days, and very satisfied.
I used an IPhone 4 last year for a week, did not like it and gave it to someone else.
I know I am going to keep this Thunderbolt, it is better than IPhone 4.
Some here mentioned the short life of the battery, I disagree.
The sales person from Verizon store pointed out that turning off GPS help saving the battery and it does. I get 12 hours with the default standard battery. I also got an extended battery and it lasts 32 hours after fully charged.
Only complaint I have so far is that it is hard to find a case that holds the phone when the extended battery is used.
Took me by surprise...in a good way! March 21, 2011
I've got to say, when this phone was first announced at CES, I was pretty disappointed. Compared to the Bionic and others, the tech specs just did not stack up. I told myself, "I'm not going to take that piece of crap, I'll just wait until June for the Bionic." However, when it released I decided I couldn't wait until June and decided to compromise on this phone. But now, after a week of use, I can confidently say that this phone is flat out amazing. The user interface is spot on, camera and video is crystal clear, call quality is amazing, innovative and beautifully done HTC widgets, decent battery life, and oh sweet baby is this thing fast. It is, hands down, the best device Ive have ever messed with. Bottom Line: If you are like me and on the fence deciding if you want to take this phone or wait for the Bionic....You've got all you could ever need right here. DO IT!
I will be returning the phone April 1, 2011
Reviewer: Rachel (UPLAND, CA, United States) -
My blackberry died and it was time to upgrade. I wanted something Android and fast, and this phone looked promising. I wait a week with no phone, just because I wanted the Thunderbolt over another phone.
But, my Thunderbolt battery lasts 4.5 hours, with little use, even with brightness set to 19%, timeout to 15 seconds and all the cool friend streaming features turned off. The phone says it has 40gb of memory, but so much stuff comes pre-installed, non-deletable, that you have much less to use. Some of the apps (Blockbuster) constantly scan your location, really draining the battery. And you can't delete that. You can, however, "download and update it" so you can turn that feature off. Yes, you can root the phone, and delete it, but that voids the warranty and the battery will still be woefully underpowered.
My mobile phone isn't so mobile when I need to carry a charger around. I would hopefully wait for an upgrade, but according to the blogs, that doesn't seem like an immediate priority. That, coupled with the fact that this phone was originally delayed because of battery issues, implies there are deep-rooted issues and it doesn't seem like there will be a fix anytime soon.
Any of the awesome features this phone has are overshadowed by fundamental problems. It's fast, it can internet and phone at the same time, it has a lot of memory - none of it matters when the phone can't act like a phone more than 4 hours at a time.
Battery life makes this phone unusable April 24, 2011
Switching over as a long time iphone user, i have no idea how horrible the other side is in term of battery life, especially the thunderbolt. It was a "are they for real?" moment. A FULL charge is gone after 3 hours of normal intermittent web browsing, and with 4G off, it only lasts 5-6 hours, not enough for even a 8hr work day. It became a constant worry to charge/check my phone's battery throughout the day to make sure it's still alive so i can receive calls, where as the iphone easily lasts a whole day of heavy web use without any concern. A phone should not add this much annoyance to your daily life.
The 4g speed, big screen, features etc.. are all great. Except the thunderbolt should NEVER be released in its current state. The $50 extended battery pack should be designed into the phone for free, not as a crude bulky addon the customers are forced to buy.
The thunderbolt as it stands now on its own is unusable, only with the bulky battery pack does it becomes tolerable. I will be returning this and waiting for the samsung droid charge that's coming out this week. If the battery life is equally bad, i will just go back to my iphone and wait until apple implements lte 4g in the future.
The verizon LTE 4G is light years ahead of the competition, unfortunately the only phone that supports it - the thunderbolt, is sad joke as its network flagship.
Thunderbolt - Large and in charge - battery needs to be better October 26, 2011
I have had the Thunderbolt for almost 8 month now and I am very happy with it. I use the phone for everything. It literally is my pocklet computer. The phone is a bit large but I usually carry my cellphone in my back pocket which makes it a none issue. The kickstand is an A+ addition to any phone and the speaker can belt out tunes for the masses. This phone takes great pictures and videos. My only drawback is the battery life. If I am streaming music or or using the navigation without having the phone pluged in, the battery dies in about 4 hours. Sometimes less if your running multiple apps. All and all I am very happy with this phone and hope it last until my next upgrade.