HTC Thunderbolt November 29, 2011
I love this phone! It is my first smartphone and using it is a blast. It seems to do everything a smartphone should do and do it quickly. The ONLY downfall is the lack of battery life, but I thankfully read all the prior reviews and ordered and extra battery and additional charger so that I will never be without life. I would highly recommend this phone. Take advantage of Verizon's free 4G for the price of 2G while it lasts! I will probably never be in a 4G area to utilize that feature of the Thunderbolt, but recieving double the G's made it worth the purchase. FYI,Amazon was $50 cheaper than Verizon and also had many of the OEM accessories for CHEAP!
Don't Get It For Access to 4G...LTE isn't where it needs to be yet... October 13, 2011
Reviewer: Krystal Hillsman "genie" (TN) -
Overall, I have very few gripes about this phone. It's relatively attractive, comes with a lot of nice features, and the screen display quality is amazing.
Major highpoints of this phone:
-The 8 megapixel camera takes great pictures! The front facing camera is of considerably less great quality, but it's a really nice touch and still takes pretty decent pictures and video.
-My phone came with a 32 GB mini sd card which offered awesome storage capacity.
-Call quality is excellent, very clear, no dropped calls, though I did accidentally hang up on people a couple of times.
-The kickstand is a nice touch, though the brushed aluminum coating is peeling off.
-It's highly customizable from ringtones, to home screens, to everything.
-Android App Store
-Relatively easy to use
-Battery Life: it was horrible the first few months, lasting about 6 hours on average before needing to be charged. But once I turned off notifications for my Yahoo! Mail app, it has significantly improved to what I would consider reasonable good battery life for a phone that uses up that much energy. If I use the internet lightly and only talk on it for an hour or less, it gets me through the day.
Now for the lower points:
-I'm not impressed with 4G LTE. It could be the fact that what started off as marginally faster browsing in the first few weeks, has slowed down considerably in the past few months. It's now not any faster than my friend's and family's 3G phones. I'm not saying it's slow, but it's noticeably more sluggish than the first few weeks I had it. (And I've tried all the basics like clearing the cache and what not.) So don't get this phone because it's 4G because I don't think it's worth it yet.
-While the camera takes great pictures, I've had pictures and video disappear on me for days at a time and then reappear up to 2 weeks later, after I pronounced dead. I'm glad the pictures and videos came back, but it's stressful. Sometimes when I download picture attachments and save them to my phone, I have to save them twice to get them to stay.
-As I noticed someone else pointed out, sometimes the phone will send text messages to the wrong person. I've had this happen to me three times. The first time I blamed myself, figuring I'd accidentally hit the wrong person, it's a touchscreen, it happens, but the last two times the two people were no where near enough other. Luckily we all know each other very well, so it wasn't embarrassing, but it's still not appreciated.
-The phone is big. That's good for watching videos and playing games, but I have smaller than average hands so holding this thing with one hand and texting at the same time isn't as speedy as I would like it to be. That's just a minor gripe though. My biggest complaint with the large size is how hard it was to find cases I liked with a phone this size.
-I was a regular user of My Verizon to check on my usage and pay my bill, it took Verizon over 5 months to get it compatible with the Thunderbolt, sorry but that's unacceptable.
At the end of the day, I'm happy enough with this phone to keep it for the time being, but I am already shopping around for something else. 4 stars because I can't do half stars and it really is a pretty good phone overall.
A review for those who aren't techno-geeks September 16, 2011
Reviewer: G. Edwards (Chicago) -
When it comes to technology, I know just enough to mess things up. So this is a review for people who just want a simple, non-technical review. I love the androids because I can always do things on my phone that my kids' iPhones can't. Like free Google maps vocal directions or the Swype keyboard for example. I had the Droid, then the Droid X, and now I have a Thunderbolt because I thought 4G was the next great thing. However, the "speed" is mostly felt when you are downloading information. Honestly, I can't tell any difference from my Droid X. And even with all that speed, Netflix still pauses periodically during my shows to "buffer."
If you use your phone as a phone (Really? People still do that?) or just want to browse or play simple games, you won't feel much difference in speed from some of the 3G phones such as the Droid X. But you will in the pocketbook. The hot spot for the 4G is $10/month more. Also, since I live in a Chicago high rise, I need an extender to prevent dropped calls. But with a 4G phone, my old extender (old = 18 months!) won't work, so now I have a land-line plus the Thunderbolt. Oh and you better buy an extra battery with a battery charger because you can easily go through two batteries during the work-day.
The good - the screen is probably the biggest that's available right now and it comes with a front-facing option for the camera. So, if you need a new phone anyway, the Thunderbolt is great, but if you already have a pretty good 3G android, my suggestion is don't bother.
Not what it was cracked up to be September 14, 2011
I waited eagerly for my contract for my BB to be up so I could upgrade to an I Phone. The sales people at Verizon convinced me to wait for the new and wonderful 4G ThunderBolt which I did. They convinced me that the ThunderBolt was a far more advanced and streamlined choice since it was 4G, had all these wonderful features. I bought the phone with the extra battery attached and then had only two weeks to try and figure it out before returning it (if I didn't like it). Too fast a turnaround. Two major problems with the phone: 1) Calling out using a bluetooth earpiece is a frustrating game, even with the most noise-filtering bluetooth and 2) Syncing with my MacBookPro is impossible! I am hoping that the IPhone5 (or whatever model comes out at the end of my two year contract with the ThunderBolt) will be a better fit for my needs.
From iPhone 3GS to Thunderbolt 4G September 13, 2011
Having come from an iPhone 3GS I was looking for speed, speed, and more speed. I found it in the Thunderbolt 4G. Getting used to the "flow" of the TB was pretty easy. Once I figured out that I could pick from a few different setups for my home screen and customized my applications to the way I wanted, I didn't miss my iPhone at all. The fact that I got free apps/mp3s daily from Amazon didn't hurt either. I installed SWYPE as my new keyboard and I am enjoying it though I need to spend more time on it to get quicker. All in all using AmazonWireless.com for my phone and service was a pleasure. The only thing I wish I could have done to begin with would have been to get a choice of phone numbers. I called Verizon and got a new number to match my needs, other than that awesome service all around!
HTC Thunderbolt Review! September 8, 2011
Reviewer: JKH3942 (Scottsdale, Arizona, United States) -
I have now had my HTC Thunderbolt for exactly a week. As always, Android is absolutely amazing, Verizon's network is amazing, and HTC Sense is amazing. The Thunderbolt was extremely fast, wether on Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G LTE. Widgets are spectacular, as is Android's support for Adobe Flash and Android's wide selection of applications in the Android Market. The web browser is by far the best mobile web browser I have ever seen, beating Atomic Web and Safari on iOS.
There is, however, a few cons of the HTC Thunderbolt. The most annoying flaw with the Thunderbolt is the battery, which lasts around 2-3 hours on 4G and 5-6 hours on Wi-Fi. The second most annoying flaw of the Thunderbolt is a power button located at the top of the device. It is difficult to locate and EXTREMELY difficult to press in! Other than that, there is occasional crashing of apps and some freezing (every electronic device has those problems).
I was very impressed by the startup speed of the Thunderbolt. 7 Seconds! It takes the iPhone 4 about a minute to startup. I also love the notifications on Android, especially the drop down menu that displays all the notifications and recently opened applications. The wide range of settings is also a huge positive of Android. Most applications generally work very well and smoothly. There is occasional lag of certain applications, but the Thunderbolt generally works face fast and efficiently.
Overall, the HTC Thunderbolt is a superb device. The biggest positive of Android for me, is widgets. WIdgets have made my life so much easier and make the device a lot more appealing than other mobile operating systems. I would most definitely reccomend the HTC Thunderbolt to any Verizon Wireless customer. Even though it is not the most up-to-date smartphone, it is only $0.01 on Amazon. If you are a customer of AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, HTC has similarly-designed Thunderbolt smartphones including the HTC Inspire (AT&T), HTC Evo 4G (Sprint), and the HTC Sensation (T-Mobile).
Great phone and what a deal with Amazon Wireless...got it over Incredible 2 September 7, 2011
Reviewer: PJ (San Diego, CA) -
This is my first smart phone and so far I love it. Mind you, I am not a tech person and don't know the nitty gritty of the phones, but I can give an honest take on it. I had the Incredible 2 for a month and didn't like the smallness of the phone. Also, the texting got buggy on me. It felt awkward in my hands because it was thin. So, I exchanged it for the Thunderbolt and I am so glad I did. The speakerphone is much better on the Thunerbolt. Also, it feels more ergonomic in my hands. Yes, it's a little heavier, but no real difference to the Droid charge. I don't live in a 3g area, but I figure in the next 2 years 4g will be where I am so why not get a 4g phone.
I feel like the Thunderbolt is the twin of the Incredible 2. Just easier for those of us with not so dainty hands. Also, after trying out the different option phones in the Verizon store, I really felt HTC had the most user friendly set-up. I almost got the Samsung Charge, but I felt the Thunderbolt was a little easier to navigate through.
Yeah, a lot of people are bitter about the battery life on the Thunderbolt, but I don't really have a problem charging it every night. If you are a heavy data user, then yes, you'll need to charge it more than just at night. But, if you get any other of the 4g phones, you're going to do the same thing. I use Pandora and play some games. When I do, I notice the battery drain. But, no really big difference over the Incredible 2. Both great phones, but the Thunderbolt is for me!
I don't understand why this phone is release to the market August 19, 2011
what good is a phone if battery only last 3 hours
what good is a phone if it Bluetooth can't connect to your car? ( google htc thunderbolt bluetooth issues before you want to buy )
its good for paper weight ( but not good if you want to carry it around like a phone )
that's about it
A potentially great phone ruined by poor battery life August 19, 2011
Reviewer: Stacy E. Burrell "stacyburrell.blogspot.com" (Detroit, MI USA) -
I've had this phone for a few months and have been through all the ups and downs with it. Won't belabor a lot of the points made in prior reviews. I like the big screen and features. Is pretty fast when it does use 4G, but still fast with 3G. Call reception is clear and have minimal drops. It does freeze at times and will crash and reboot which can be irritating but I haven't experienced an excessive amount of problems with these issues. There are issues with texting in that it can be less responsive at times and open another text conversation though I selected another and assume it's the phone as I never had this problem with other devices. The major disappointment is the battery life. Even being on standby and sending the occasional text, the battery life is good for about 4 hours, necessitating the need to carry a charging cord with me at all times.
Overall, this could have been a very good to great phone. I can put up with the glitches, but the low battery life makes this a deal breaker and I would recommend looking for an alternative Android phone. It would be nice if HTC/Verizon came out with a new version that deals with the major issues and either replace or give a deep discount to those who bought this version.
Unusable August 16, 2011
Reviewer: Rich J (NYC) -
This phone is absolutely unusable due to the battery issues. I live and work in NYC, and I'm lucky to get 3 hours out of the phone with light usage (checking sports scores, and Gmail). If I use the phone or Web browser for any length of time, the battery life goes to around 1-2 hours.
I've resorted to carrying a charger in my briefcase, and if I'm not in my office, I'm always looking for a place to plug in and charge. This becomes a hassle when I'm at meetings in remote offices and I'm looking for a plug so the phone can be used.
I've never had a phone die so quickly - I've installed paid applications like "Juice Defender" which has given me maybe another 1/2 hour of charge. I've killed running applications, turned off bluetooth, disabled Wifi, etc.
The phone is just a lemon....and a major inconvenience, as if I'm not able to charge for a few hours, I can count on the battery being completely dead.
Awesome phone with Way too many issues! June 22, 2011
I bought this phone to upgrade from the Droid Incredible and was very excited to receive the Thunderbolt. That excitement lasted only for a few weeks. Now, I know many people are bashing this phone due to battery life, but I think they are exaggerating or since they just got it, used it for 4 or 5 hours straight with wifi, gps, 4G, etc. on so of course the battery drained. That being said, battery life really isn't that great, although most days I can go from about 8am to 5 or 6 pm with moderate use.
The biggest problems I have with this phone are all the bugs and annoyances with the software. First off, my phone will reboot itself at least once a day. One day it reboot itself 3 times between 8am and 10am, then twice again in the afternoon. This is unacceptable for a phone of this price (or any phone for that matter).
The next problem is that the gps takes forever to find a signal. With my Incredible, I would go to maps, enter an address and within 10 or 15 seconds the voice activated nav would begin. With the Thunderbolt, the fastest I've ever gotten signal has been about 3 minutes, with most of the time having to wait over 5 minutes. Again, unacceptable.
Then there are the things like accessing the notifications tray. I swipe to bring it down, and it will take about 5 seconds before it finally does come down. This usually only happens the first time I unlock the phone and then it works fine. But sometimes the only reason I unlock it is to see a new notification I received and it's very frustrating that there is so much lag.
Finally, the big problem I have is the constant freezing. It doesn't freeze to the point where I have to do a hard reset, but it will freeze for 20-30 seconds so I just have to wait on it. This happens every time I download an app, after it installs, the phone freezes. yesterday, I was trying to make a phone call but every time I pressed the "call" button the screen turned black and nothing happened until I pushed the "home" button.
Oh yea, and one more thing I almost forgot that's also a big one. I used to have 3G every where I went near my house. I would Never go down to 1X. Now, if whenever I drop my 4G connection, it will drop down to 1X, it will never go to 3G. That wouldn't be a problem except that their 4G network isn't really all that great yet and 1X is almost useless.
I bought this phone having no doubts I was going to love it. And while I did for the first few weeks, I soon realized that the issues associated with this phone are way too many and way too big. Supposedly it is getting the upgrade to Android 2.3 (gingerbread) at the end of this month and included are fixes for some of the problems I stated. Whenever I do receive that update, I will come back and revise my review. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because when the phone does work, it's a hell of a phone. Too bad there are so many issues plaguing this phone...
htc tbolt June 15, 2011
Phone had some reboot problems with ota update. From the factory, the bolt wasn't ready for prime time. But when rooted with the right rom, the bolt is amazing!! ;) I had over half a dozen android phones, battery isn't a big deal to me, as with all android phones, it last ya the work day with moderate use. Yes, with 4g on, it sucks battery like a mug!!! Best phone I've have so far, again dual core is in the future for me, I love my smart phones! :-)
This thing SCREAMS!!! June 3, 2011
Reviewer: P. Maisonet
I left Sprint and the Evo to get some 4G love(in San Diego) with this thing and man the 4G speeds are awesome!! The battery is no biggie for me cause I have a car charger so whenever Im on the go I have that. There are a few welcomed differences between this phone's Sense UI and the Evos. Overall Im very happy with this device and the coverage.
Love my Thunderbolt June 2, 2011
I researched phones quite a bit before purchasing the HTC Thunderbolt. It is a pretty amazing device that has cut my traditional PC usage by about 90%. I purchased the HTC Thunderbolt even though I was originally concerned because of so many reviews slamming the battery life. I've not experienced the bad battery life that others have reported as I usually can go two days on a charge. That is two days of fairly constant usage. I've only had a couple of days of heavy Internet usage, viewing movies, and playing games where I needed to charge at the end of the day.
My phone area should be getting 4G service soon and I will be ready with my HTC Thunderbolt. 3G is adaquate but still I can't wait to see how 4G performs.
My only complaint with my HTC Thunderbolt is with the location services. I'm not sure if it is the phone or Verizon but my phone frequently has me located in Philadelphia or 30-40 miles away from my real location. This is a bit bothersome and I'll keep working on it to see if I can get it fixed.
Terrible Hiss in the headphones May 17, 2011
There is a terrible hiss when using the headphones, I find it unbearable and can't use the phone to listen to music at low volumes without the hiss overpowering the music. I have tried several headphones(apples, set of eclipses and some generic ones) and several different thunderbolts (my wives, mine and Verizon's floor model), they all have the same problem. So if someone listens to a lot of music or podcasts (80 percent of my use) on there phone then do not buy this model get a Samsung instead (tested those and they don't have any hiss at all) before you think this is an isolate incident, google "headphone hiss thunderbolt" and you will find a ton of people saying the same thing. It is common among HTC phones, the evo I had before this had the same problem but it was only about 1/3 to 1/2 as loud as the thunderbolts hiss. Either way even with all this phones great features I simply cannot take the hiss and I will be returning it to amazon wireless.
GPS takes about 20 to 25 minutes to pick up a signal (picks up faster the second time you turn it on but seems to need to be turned on every three or four days to have the faster signal acquisition) i.e the first time you use it 20 to 25 minutes, second time a minute, don't use it for a week then 20 to 25 minutes again.
Constantly dropping calls seems like every other time I talk to my wife on the phone it drops a call either on her end or mine, and we live in a Verizon 4g area (Orlando)
Every 4th or 5th time we talk to each other there is a huge amount of static on the line and you have to hang up and call back.
Text Message field is configured wrong so the SWYPE keyboard does not work right when sending text messages.
Has a huge problem staying connected to 4g indoors and even when it does connect you are looking at closer to 500k down of actual speed, not 5mb to 10mb theoretical.
All in All I was extremely disappointed with this phone coming over from the evo.
Great phone with mediocre battery. May 12, 2011
Reviewer: Douglas E. Feavel (Vincennes, IN, US) -
My brief title provides the short story that I want to share with perspective purchasers: A great phone, but don't expect to get more than a few hours of real Internet-based phone usage from the standard battery.
One month in May 5, 2011
Reviewer: David Ventura "David Ventura" (Hearst Castle Country) -
This is not my first "Smart" phone however I will say that thusfar it is the best. It is lightning fast and is truly like a small computer. I've had phones that I wanted to whip against the wall I was so frustrated with them - thusfar this one does not fit into that category.
Activation process is flawed, poor integration between Amazon and Verizon April 29, 2011
Reviewer: Bill Crook
I have a similar story as other reviewers with regard to the activation process. After spending 35+ minutes on the phone with verizon wireless the net result is that they recommend I go to a verizon store. The initial customer service rep put me on hold while she talked to tech support, they told her to contact another department, who told her to contact another department, who told her to send me to tech support. round and round we go. The tech support guy couldn't figure it out and was asking ME how Amazon obtains their sim cards. I guess during their integration they forgot about customer care. way to go! Needless to say they haven't worked through all the details.
it's been over a day and still no service. at least I have wifi :/
Good but battery needs work. April 24, 2011
I am in a strange situation in that I owned the Thunderbolt for about 10 days but I returned it because of the poor battery life. I have to say that I regret returning the phone and I could have learned to live with the sub par battery life because the phone was very fast, responsive and 4G was awesome on the Verizon network. I do not see anything that can replace the phone in the present Verizon line up. I was holding out for the Bionic but it seems that it will not be released till the Fall according to chatter on the blogosphere. I am contemplating getting the iPhone 4 but after experiencing the Android platform it is hard to go to a closed system. I may just go ahead and get the phone again. If you are on the fence about an Android phone and can live with a short battery life then go ahead and get the phone.
The good bad and the ugly. April 16, 2011
The good: This phone is very fast in loading apps, and switching around on the screens. 4G LTE is blazing fast when you get a good signal. The clarity from the ear speaker is great. I keep the volume at the lowest or one click up most of the time. I love the interface (HTC Sense) and the ability to customize. Android 2.2 is awesome!
The bad: Some of the apps that are very popular in the Android community "Force Close" a lot. I am using a lot of recommended apps as well as name brand ones. The antenna in this phone strikes me as a little weak. Some times the GPS takes a while to locate me even when outside. I have pulled my phone out of the holster to check the weather to find out I am in Malaysia, Hawaii, or Brazil. I have never been to those places I am in South Florida. Also the signal jumps back and forth from 4g to 3g a lot. I have noticed that the auto dimming acts strange at times dimming and brightening while I am in the same spot.
The ugly: The battery life is horrible! I bought the extended battery, and a car dock (Buy the dock made for this phone!). The phone will not fit the car dock with the extended battery and the extended battery is huge. I use the alternate battery when traveling.
The ehh: The touch screen is very, very sensitive. Also I have jumped in my car with a full charge (stock battery) and put the phone on the dock to charge while running the GPS, and Pandora. When I shut all that down and removed the phone the battery was reading halfway discharged even though I was charging it the whole time. I've had some issues waiting to get my Jawbone Bluetooth to connect. And hey Verizon....... BRING ON GINGERBREAD!