Don't buy phone is crappy and verizon and HTC don't care to fix October 16, 2011
Reviewer: k Taylor
Plain in simple I wanted to be a early adopter to the 4g network and for that I got burned don't purchase this phone unless you plan on rooting it and doing something useful with it. Here are my complaints and I seem to have to same problems as many others, First problem and most annoying is the SMS feature is always crashing whenever you select a message the txt message app crashes and says try again the only fix is a reboot of your phone which takes about 5 good minutes and even then give it an hour and your having a major problem with your phone. 2. Next issue when you are able to send text messages and your right a message to a person when you push send the message copy's over to another contact and sends it to them. I have had to many people asking me what I was talking about and when you use your phone for texting info between employees and your boss things can get very messy with that real quick. 4. Reboots every now and then the phone simply reboots or shuts down with now explanation. 5. Connectivity seriously for a company sporting that 4g is the best it sure does goes down quite a bit.6. When there issues when the phone first came out Verizon and HTC seemed to look into and take care of it now they simply don't care. I got locked into a new 2 year contract for a phone that simply doesn't work. When your pay a premium of 300 bucks for a new phone which is suppose to be there flagship 4g device you expect better and your don't get it. I'm done with HTC I am moving over to Samsung and Verizon I think I may just spend the money to cancel my contract haven't decided that yet.
Don't get the Thunderbolt! July 1, 2011
I got a Verizon Thunderbolt 2 months ago and I find it to be a problematic phone. Yes it's fast for the internet and watching any video material is great BUT the phone has inherent shortcomings and is a flawed device when considering everyday usage. I read the reviews prior to my purchase and all of them talked about the Thunderbolt being a battery hog. I asked the salesperson about this and he said no, the battery life is quite good and if you run into problems just toggle the phone off of the 4G LTE setting back to a 3G only device. As it turns out the phone is an extreme battery hog in 4G LTE and one should be near your plugged in charger if you're going to use 4G LTE. You can get maybe 45 to 60 minutes of "non-plugged in" usage from the device. Not nearly long enough o use the phone as a portable entertainment device (which is one of the device's primary feature benefits). On the 3G setting the battery life is still far below what I have experienced with previous devices. The phone also shuts down quite often and resets itself, maddening! I'm so disappointed ... Verizon or HTC should recall the phone and give Thunderbolt owners a better device.
HTC Thunderbolt Good Phone, Terrible Speakerphone June 26, 2011
Reviewer: Angel_Pen "angel_rising"
This is a review of the Thunderbolt as a device not the network.
-The larger screen makes a HUGE difference, specially when it comes to typing.
-The battery life is about one day of regular use.
-Other than 4G and the larger screen, this phone is surprisingly one the most mediocre models to ever come out from the HTC factory.
-The back speaker (speakerphone) is tiny sounding, prone to distortion and mediocre, I am amazed that no one has mentioned this problem on their reviews online. I was so taken aback by the awful audio that I went to Verizon Wireless in person and tried three different Thunderbolts, they ALL exhibited the same mediocre audio reproduction. This would not be such a big deal if they weren't marketing the phone as a "media consumption" device (with a kick stand and all) It does not help that the current version of Android does not offer a way to Equalize the sound, like an audio manager. Only when you are using the "Music" app you can turn on a hidden menu that would improve the playback of your mp3 songs via speaker.
The equalizer does not work on any other source of audio including YouTube or phone calls.
If you open the kick stand on the back you can see the cheap speaker hiding behind a metallic grid, this grid is probably the source of the distortion. Opening the kick stand increases the metallic distortion quite noticeably.
If you already have the HTC Incredible a new Thunderbolt is going to feel like a downgrade, just wait until HTC makes a better phone (Bionic?). Ironically, the speakers on the competing 4G phones are similarly mediocre.
MultiMedia Phone May 28, 2011
Reviewer: Robert Archacki (Chester, Pa United States) -
If you're looking for an alternative to the I-Phone this is it with one glaring exception: the standard battery's life is dismal.(the extra capacity battery/cover is a little big but lasts 10-12hrs with moderate use) I knew this before purchasing and bought it anyway- the great features were just to much to ignore. The display and available apps are awesome.
Wish Google would design an application/task killer and include it in the Droid OS.
It's a beast. And this is good and bad. May 10, 2011
Reviewer: Pecos Bill (Gaithersburg, MD United States) -
Decided to repost my review with some edits after spending more time with this phone.
One thing I want to say up front is that this phone has replaced my Garmin GPS and my iPod. The "Navigator" program is free and fantastic for turn-by-turn vocal directions and the 32 GB of storage holds my music library with room to spare. The 4G connection also makes the internet extremely friendly to use.
Battery life, though, is really really bad. Bad like whoa. It's the display. It's a great display, but wow. Every time I check, the display is the #1 power consumer by a huge margin. On my friends' Droid phones, the display doesn't stand out nearly as much on the list of battery eaters. Consequently, they can use their Droids for a day and a half and have half a battery. I use mine for literally 2 hours and have half a battery. In fact, it consumes so much power that if I leave the screen on while it's charging, it won't actually gain any ground.
So my short advice is that if you get this phone, get power adapters. I am keeping the phone, but it's plugged in almost all the time. Luckily, the mini-USB cable it uses is common enough that I have several wall adapters from other devices that work for it, and I have a car adapter for it as well.
So anyway, this is my first smart phone. I avoided getting a smart phone for a long time. I went from "meh" to completely hooked in one day with this phone.
I confess that I initially bought it to try my hand at developing smart phone apps. Apple's draconian methods and strict "Apple only" restrictions are going to make everyone suffer in the long run, just as the Apple/Mac brand desktop computer has suffered relative to Windows machines in terms of popularity, available applications and available hardware -- Apple is not a very friendly company and Does Not Play Well (or at all) With Others. They have their reasons, and maybe they aren't bad ones, but they're why I still use Windows and now, a Droid.
Check the charts for availability. It's sketchy where I am on the far outskirts of D.C. but the closer you go to a major city or major interstate corridor the more likely you are to get it. I get 4G at the office and I use my regular internet wifi at home. Don't have a wireless network at your house? Not a problem -- plug the Thunderbolt into the USB port of your computer and it will share your computer's internet connection. Anyway, if you do get 4G you'll note it's blazingly fast compared to the 3G phones, which makes the internet a lot more practical. Web pages load up just as fast as they do on my home computer.
(If you don't have 4G, the phone will use whatever is available but then, if you NEVER have 4G, you could just get a cheaper Droid... That said, I'm sure we'll see rapid expansion of 4G availability. It's gonna be huge. How can it not? It's kind of awesome.)
Awesome. Kickstand on the back of the phone lets it stand up on the bottom or side. There's a forward camera (for video conferencing or taking a picture of yourself) and a rear camera (for regular pictures/videos). There are 2 bright LEDs for taking pictures or just as a flashlight. Built in GPS, wifi and bluetooth. It can act as a "wifi hot spot", allowing you to get online with other devices. Standard earphone plugs. Mini-USB connection.
No slide-out keyboard. Can't say I'm bothered by this, but just so you know. The keyboard appears on the screen when you need to type and you get a vibration feedback when you push a button, so it seems fine (note: for a larger keyboard, hold the phone sideways). I was terrible with it at first but have greatly improved my typing speed after a couple weeks with it.
It does come pre-loaded with applications but I don't see the problem here. It will annoy power users but most people will either not notice or actually appreciate that the basic things they want to do (like music, GPS navigation, messaging, email, internet, etc) are pre-loaded and ready to go.
Bottom line, I'm really enjoying the phone. It's a true hand-held computer and it's really handy to have access to so many things, all integrated nicely into the phone. Facebook, YouTube, all the websites I often see other phones having problems with, etc. It's hard to find serious fault here other than the battery. This thing is a beast. It's powerful, and the battery is not nearly up to dealing with it.
great phone, love it April 26, 2011
Reviewer: Jacob2626 (Los Angeles, CA) -
almost everything about this phone is great. fast (phone itself and 4g), great apps, very little bugs.
cons: battery is not great, but no 4g phone will be, until they fix this battery issue, that probably wont be a for a while.
Awesome, only waiting on netflix. April 5, 2011
This phone is responsive and elegant. The 4.3 display far outshines a smaller screen. Regardless of resolution. Save your eyes the trouble. I read books on it, listen to music, stream video... In other words it's great. I wish there was netflix support. This is to do with the darn DRM. If the snapdragon in the thunderbolt is covered by the DRM then we may be seeing netflix. I hope so. The battery life... well you have to tinker with it. I have to admit I had days were it died in 4 hours. But yesterday I got 15 hours out of a single charge, with average use. There are tons of guides to improving battery life online, find and read them. Also we are expecting the 2.3 gingerbread update this spring! This will help with battery management also. Plus, with the thunderbolt you have the option of purchasing another battery. One can't swap out the battery on a iphone. I personally find it handy to have a spare in my wallet. The 4G is great! Though if you aren't using it, I'd suggest turning it off with the app LTE onOFF. If works and will save you the battery heartache! Hey cheers fellow thunderbolt owner's! We are the king's of the coup for about... eh two weeks. :D but I am okay with it. You can settle for something or else you'll never get anything. I am happy I settled for the thunderbolt.
Futuristic Communicator.... April 2, 2011
Reviewer: Patrick (Loudon, Tunisia) -
I upgraded to the HTC Thunderbolt after using Blackberry products (most recently the BB Storm 2) for years. The HTC products are amazing.
Processor Speed. This has to be the fastest smartphone on the market. Opening applications, working through applications, scrolling emails/Tweets...etc, all are a flash. This is the first phone I've owned where I've had to "slow down" the scrolling speed to see what's passing on the screen.
Large Screen. Amazing viewing for mobile web, pictures, and video. However, some people have been surprised with the effect this has on battery life. As with a laptop, the more you task the video and the brighter you want it, the shorter your battery life. You'll need a portable charger and/or the extended battery which is now being introduced. Manage your applications, screen brightness, and battery capacity with this phone!
Android Apps. I found that my Blackberry Storm (stalled at BB OS 5.0) had limited application functionality. I was pleasantly surprised to find upgraded features in Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc with the newer/faster phone. (I didn't know what I was missing).
32GB External Hard Drive. Yes...plug this into your computer and "mount" the device and you now have a very useful portable flash drive. The HTC comes with the 32GB microUSB card installed.
Size. The device is noticably larger than my BB Storm (due to the larger screen). As a huge plus, the phone fits perfectly in my hand during phone calls (i.e., not too big, not too small...as some phones are becoming). However, if you want to wear the HTC Thunderbolt on your belt...prepare for "Geek Style". (It's big). Get screen protectors and a rubber "skin" if you want to carry in your coat pocket, etc. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with how to carry this small computer.
Office/Acrobat. I installed many PDF and Word files on the device. This is the first device where I'll actually use this function (i.e., good viewability on the screen). Given the 32GB of storage, you can take files to read/review and the installed applications open them very quickly. Scrolling and "pinch" to zoom/unzoom is a breeze.
Battery Capacity. Again, the biggest user complaint/concern. Manage it. Turn off WiFi when not in use, don't run GPS-intensive apps unless you need them (or you have a car charger), remove unwanted/unneeded apps. Be prepared to plug the device into a charger (i.e., home/work/car) if you're using a lot of GPS, Video, or Application power. You can't ask for an "SUV of Technology" without expecting to use more energy. Easy to deal with, in my opinion and worth the tradeoff from my outdated Blackberry Storm.
Worth the Wait March 23, 2011
Reviewer: M. Manganiello "Mike" (CT) -
Great phone and nice features. It is not as big and heavy as many people claim to be. The battery is not that bad. I have had the phone for a couple of days and I usually have to put in on the charger for an hour around mid day due to the fact that I cannot put this phone down. I switched over from a blackberry. Android is so much better. Phone is super fast even when you are in a 3G area. I debated between the Thunderbolt or the iphone. So much more options than the iphone and the Thunderbolts speed blows the iphone away.
Perfect when Rooted + extended battery October 26, 2011
Reviewer: Ali "Carbon" (Cali) -
I had no idea what ROOTED meant until I bought this phone and SWEET JESUS! It means you install an Operating system that is not the stock Verizon Operating system and the new OS unleashes the true powers of your phone. Then it's one hell of a phone (with minor complaints). I bought my rooted scratch less phone off of ebay (used) for 250, then spent 100 box on accessories (Screen protectors burned half!). The $20 extended battery lasts me all day (7am-10pm) with about an hour of heavy use and zero charging. I could not be any happier with the upgrade from my Blackberry (with unlimited data which carried over).
4G network with Verizon (12-17mbs in los angeles)
Huge beautiful super LCD screen, perfect for watching shows late at night or reading kindle books or playing the latest games.
Quality 8 MP camera(with quite a few opti),
HD Video recording,
front facing camera
1MGH processor (super fast! no lag playing the latest games)
40GIGs of Memory
Tethers internet for free (when rooted)
Awesome Apps (AndriodTV Primetime is my fav)
Also a Radio
Can browse internet, run apps when on calls.
Amazing voice recognition system (usually no need for typing texts!)
Has a BIOS like system manager(great for recovery and backup and installing newer Operating System)
The touch screen keyboard gets getting used to for those of us without prior experience,
no dedicated camera button,
have to clean the screen (!),
the need to be rooted (becomes a Pro when rooted!)
In my opinion if you are reading this review at the end of 2011 and looking for the latest and greatest, you might wanna save yourself some money or a contract and get a clean used HTC thunderbolt (came out about six months ago) which not only matches Iphone4S and Samasung S2 in terms of power and functionality but surpasses both when considering the value (and Verizon 4G). I hope HTC keeps up the good work and good luck to you no matter which path...ehem.. phone.. you pick! :
Superb OS but Horrible Phone Service using 3G April 14, 2011
Reviewer: Rafter Man (Mi Casa) -
I waited a few weeks before purchasing the phone so that I could read all of the reviews and make a smart purchase, the reviews came out and the only real downfall noted was the battery (which was to be expected). Having the HTC Incredible prior to this phone, I was aware of how quickly the battery goes down so I was not worried about that part.
My first mistake was purchasing it from the local Verizon Store instead of ordering it directly from Verizon. After leaving the store I noticed that none of the broadband functions were working (they never turned them on), I went to use the GPS and it wasn't enabled (lazy salesmen). Anyways, after getting everything in order I placed a couple calls and noticed that there was significant static in the background but though that maybe it was the area of town I was in so I kept using it for about 2 weeks and noticed it didn't matter where I was, the static was always there. In addition to the static I noticed that applications like Youtube ran like crap, very jittery and numerous pauses, my HTC Incredible worked perfect right next to it??
I think that the problems I experienced were from using a new 4G Phone in a 3G area but I could be wrong. It was unfortunate that my Incredible worked perfectly with virtually the same OS and while sitting right next to the Thunderbolt. As a result, the Thunderbold went back and I'm back on my Incredible....what a shame!
Awesome Phone March 20, 2011
Upgraded from the X. This is much better. I bought the extended battery and it runs ALL day long. All the hype about the battery life is just stupid my X was way worse than this phone when compared to both with standard batteries . Haters. 4g on Verizon's network is lightning fast.
Move ON......There is NOTHING to See Here. May 21, 2011
Reviewer: PonyMomma (Brenham, Texas USA) -
About two months ago, I lost my old, handy, had it for years....NON-smart cellphone (Motorola V750). What an opportunity for all the dataheads in my life. "Just you wait a week or two and go get a new Thunderbolt!" they said "It's going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread!". After living with a loaner for nearly two months while busying myself waiting for the launch of the Thunderbolt, I (along with my father-in-law) bought one two weeks ago. BIG MISTAKE! I've never been so dissatisfied with a new product in my life. In spite of having an AP KILLER, there were as many as 20 apps running in the background all the time, almost all of which I have no need and only a couple of which I could permanently turn off.
Although the phone's power manager said these running apps didn't kill battery life (consuming, according to the phone, only about 12% of the battery's life) on the third day out, I had to put the damned thing on the charger three times during a day of moderate phone use. In the thirteen days I had it, (after charging all night) it was on the charger at least one additional time during the day on six days.
I don't remember how many "pocket" dials I had but one person called me to ask that I PLEASE delete them from my caller list so I would stop dialing them (and YES, I had used the lock feature.............it just had a mind of it's own). I told someone that for every thing I asked the phone to do, it did three I didn't want it to. Maybe it was a lemon but I think the line is just a dud.
One of the reasons I wanted the phone was it's WIFI hotspot feature. But what I found out when I went in that it's a WIFI hotspot AND a phone ONLY when you're in a 4G/LTE service area. In 3G areas, it's either a WIFI device OR it's a Cellphone, but NOT BOTH. USELESS in the many 3G areas I often find myself.
I used it in the 4G environments of Houston and St. Louis and the downloads were fast but not lightning (pardon the pun) fast compared to my old 3G phone. Maybe I just don't need 4G speed for my personal use. I'm not a heavy data user on the telephone. Yes, I know the V750 wasn't a smartphone. I was using a DROID for the two months previous and that was my comparison.
I liked the size and weight of the Thunderbolt (a bit heftier than others and larger screen.....I like that) and the default day/date screen was nice, but the battery issue was simply too much. If the damned thing can't go all day on one charge, I don't need it. For every positive feature, it seems the phone had a half dozen I didn't like and couldn't force to turn off.
I got home from my road trip to St. Louis and my pa-in-law said he was ready to take his back.......he hated the battery life issue. No need to convince me. So, together we went back to Best Buy today, had our old phones turned back on and surrendered the Thunderbolts. If battery life is an issue for you, my advice is to forget the Thunderbolt, at least until someone comes up with a OEM replacement battery that can handle the obvious battery drain problem.
Awful phone December 27, 2012
This is a terrible phone. The battery life is awful, it shuts down on its own for seemingly no reason, the 4G doesn't work most of the time and Verizon is not that great either. I cannot wait until my contract is up in June so I can go with a different carrier and a different phone.
Worst Phone Ever July 18, 2012
I've had this phone since it came out and it is literally the most frustrating electronic device I have ever owned. If I could drop Verizon tomorrow to get another phone for free, I would do so. When it works, which is intermittent, it's quite fast. When it doesn't work (4G now drops every 5 seconds or so), it's worse than useless. The technical geniuses on the web will tell you to do a factory reset, which implies that a user can install software that destabilizes the whole device (or that Thunderbolts will just fail, given enough time). What is this, Windows 95? Or is the problem Android? Or is it Verizon? Who cares, since Verizon won't give you any credit on the device, Google doesn't guarantee their OS will work on it and HTC won't take it back? What a nightmare. Now I'm checking to see if 1) all HTC devices are useless, if 2) all Android devices are useless or 3) I should go back to AT&T (please, no) or change to a pay-as-you-go provider. This type of feeling is why I no longer have a home phone...you'd think telco's would learn. If Apple wasn't the most arrogant company in the world, I'd consider an iPhone again (but I'm thinking about it more and more...). Thanks, Verizon, for giving us a piece of junk with no easy way out.
Best phone on the market April 14, 2012
I have been using this phone for over a year and a half. I got it when it was new, and have had the same HTC Thunderbolt from the beginning. I have dropped it many times and it is still working with no problems. The phone is very well built. It is a great phone with very few problems. Battery life can be a bit short if you use it non stop. however with all the apps out there on the market you can easily make the battery life last the day and even longer. This has easily been the best and most reliable phone i have ever had. That says a lot coming from a guy like myself. One year i went through 7 phones. It got really expensive to say the least. But with this phone i have had no complaints. If you are considering getting this phone, DO IT. It easily beats any competition.
Built in Stand is Awesome! February 2, 2012
Reviewer: Alexandria Hayes (Stratham, NH USA) -
Love this phone - bought an iPhone and took it back b/c I missed widgets, built-in nav, and other Android features. So glad I found this phone! Screen is large and crisp enough and functionality impressive enough that I haven't felt the need to get a tablet. Screen clarity good enough to watch a Netflix movie or TV show, integrated GPS navigation (that I use every day to check traffic), extremely fast true 4G, and all the other Android bennies. My fav feature is the built in stand, which lets me use the phone as an alarm clock, video player, book reader, etc., all without needing a dock. You won't be disappointed in this phone.
Pre-Install Apps Frustrations January 9, 2012
Reviewer: Melanie U. (Monroe, GA United States) -
The Thunderbolt is a great phone, although I need to charge it 3-4x a day if I'm using a lot of it's features. Verizon's got great coverage. Call quality is decent.
My main frustration with this phone are all the pre-installed bloatware (i.e. VCast, Blockbuster, CityID, etc) that I can't uninstall. I believe this is a Verizon issue. So when my plan expires, I WILL be shopping around for a new carrier unless I have more control over a phone that I paid $200 for upfront and a plan I'm paying $90/month. This may seem like a petty reason, but it's constantly wanting to update these apps and they take up the Thunderbolt's resources.
HTC Thunderbolt...great value for the money! December 3, 2011
I had been researching my next smartphone purchase for about 5 months, and during that time, I had gone over the 4G options with Verizon. I initially didn't care for the 4G craze, and started looking at the high end 3G phones first. the Droid incredible 2 had quickly become my choice, until my wife said that I would regret being stuck with a 3G phone for the next two years, and i believe she was correct. the LG Revolution was quickly eliminated, but the Samsung Charge hung in there with the Thunderbolt. The primary reason was battery life. I am the biggest battery life mizer I know, and the Tbolt has reportedly HORRIBLE battery life. But, my research drove me to several Tbolt forums where many many people stated that the battery life is not great, but it's not as bad as some have stated. As of mid October, I settled on the Thunderbolt for my upgrade phone, and my wife and I got them for free from Best Buy the day after black friday. I immediately was taken by the size of the phone, even though I had seen them in Verizon and walmart several times prior to that day. it is a bear of a phone...but it's not the biggest, or the heaviest. if you have average sized hands (guys) it should be fine for you. My wife actually likes the size, and most of her friends are taking to it as well. the 4.3 screen seems to be becoming the standard, so get used to it. I immediately took both phones home, charged them, and installed juice defender on them. the first night/day, the phones were both at 60% battery with "new user" use on them. internet, facebook, etc. the key to battery life with these monster data users is tweaking the phone...just search on the internet and you'll find many tips to ease the battery usage. my wife is not the battery mizer I am, and she reported to me yesterday after unplugging the phone at 6am, at 11pm she still had 65% battery left. this was with light internet, three times on facebook, and several checks of personal email.
I love the display, the ease of usage (we're coming from HTC Eris, so it's familiar territory) and of course, the SPEED. Kansas City has just gotten 4G LTE in mid November, and it's b-e-a utiful. the colors and multi-tasking options are great, and Netflix works like a charm, almost HD quality picture on my phone!!! NFL Mobile looks really great as well.
overall, I'm very pleased with the upgrade, my wife has no complaints at all, and i believe we will be fine for the next two years without the "newest" phone on the market. I'm sure the Bionic, Razr, Rezound and others are really good phones, but the Tbolt can do everything they can do, so I have no complaints, or regrets. I have a tight budget, and for my money, the Thunderbolt fits the bill perfectly. Oh yeah, and I got to grandfather my UNLIMITED data plan over from the Eris. What I don't understand is that just about ALL of the 4G phones out there have the same issue....bad battery life. lets face it, these phones are powerful, and the battery technology has not kept up with them. If you plan to buy a smartphone with 4G, plan on charging them at least once during the day. buy a car charger, or at least have an extra battery with you for a back up. I have two places outside of home I can charge at anytime, though with my tweaks, I haven't had the need to. just do your due diligence and research, and your battery life issues won't be such a surprise.
THUNDERBOLT November 29, 2011
Reviewer: N. Batchelder
I've had this phone for about 8 months now and I love it. I have loaded it up with stupid apps and poorly taken pictures and no matter what i do to it it still works. the only complaint i could have is the stock battery is far to underpowered and dies quickly, this however can easily be rectified with [[ASIN:B004TEYPMM Extended Battery/Door for HTC Thunderbolt (Black)]] I purchased a similar battery (2750mAh) lasts all day and runs just fine.