DONT DO IT! August 11, 2011
Started off great for about 2 weeks... Then, the storm of bugs, crashs, boging and other issues hits! The internet 4GLTE speed is excellent and the phone is very clear. Those are the only positives I have to say about this phone. The lock button stopped working. The battery seriously lasts 5 hours. The phone call design is poor, I hang up with my cheek all the time. I attempt to open a text and it will open a message pages down the list. It has sent messages to the wrong contacts. Googles says an app killer is not requried but there is no way to use this phone with out one. It bogs down so much it is unberable! The internet might be fast but it takes 15 minutes for the phone to react.
GET THE IPHONE! I wish I would have. I would sacrafice the interent speed for a phone that works any day!
Love it!!! August 8, 2011
Reviewer: John Davis (Alabama) -
I love the phone, and yes I have had the rebooting problem, but it is all fixed now with the last update. Phone is fast and the HTC Sense interface is awesome. In case you haven't heard, LTE is astounding. The only down side to the phone is battery life.I didn't take away a star because it hasn't been a problem for me it will not quite last all day, but if you can charge it some once a day you should be fine unless you have everything set to update every 5 minutes. The screen is great, and the phone has just got Netflix so you can use that on the monster, just keep the charger handy, because it will kill the battery.
Thunderbolt - battery life is the cost of being on the edge August 8, 2011
Reviewer: Alan Chenkin "Powman" (Washington, DC USA) -
I have had a Thunderbolt for 4 months now, I don't use all the features, and if I did - the battery would be dead in 90 minutes.
This phone should come with a disclaimer about the battery life! It's abominable!
I bought chargers and hi-capacity batteries for my HTC Incredible, which did not transition to my HTC Thunderbolt... Hundreds of dollars invested, wasted.
If you buy this phone, or plan to, consider the following:
HAVE EXTRA CHARGERS AROUND. PERIOD. YOU WILL NEED THEM. (Car and Wall Chargers)
Disable or turn off Apps you don't use - THEY ALL EAT POWER!
Check your phone often; It may upgrade/turn off/shut off key features, all to conserve power. Remember, you need a phone - not to be an attendant to a device which will turn off or die when you need it most.
High capacity batteries cost money, and may not transition to your next phone. This is a hidden cost of using this device.
When it is powered up and running, great. when it dies on the train and I am less than halfway home, well, it sucks to be me...
Don't get me wrong, its not just the Thunderbolt - all smartphones, Apple included - suffer from increased demands on old battery designs that are not sufficient for the phones. Sadly, this is the norm for these devices.
Just my .02 cents
despairing smartphone user.
Too many issues August 7, 2011
Reviewer: Traber (Portland, Ore.) -
I've only had the Thunderbolt for three days, but I've put it through its paces. The bottom line for me is that there are just too many issues to deal with for such an advanced phone.
I currently have an AT&T iPhone 3GS. The main reason I went with a Thunderbolt is because I just got Verizon 4G LTE coverage in my area. I use my phone mostly for internet and other online uses and the AT&T 3G speeds are painfully slow.
When I first activated the Thunderbolt, it immediately updated to new software. But that didn't prevent the phone from having a very difficult time finding and maintaining connections to 4G or even 3G. For no specific reason, the phone constantly hunted for a network, then would ultimately land on 1X connection speed (which is the lowest connection) for most web connections.
I tried all kinds of settings and remedies for this situation to no avail including hard reset, forcing a 3G only network, etc. I don't want to have to remember to switch 4G on or off every time I get on and off the web. Phones of this caliber should just "work" right out of the box. That's one thing I will say about my iphone - I've never had any hardware problem of any sort for the entire 2 years I've owned it.
In addition, the phone seemed to have a hard time finding the proper network for voice calls. While in a grocery store in a location that should have good coverage, I couldn't even get a signal for voice calls, never mind an internet connection.
Also, the battery life was dismal (as most others have reported). Probably in my case it was due to the phone constantly trying to find a viable network all the time.
I like to tweak settings on things, but once tweaked I want things to work. That didn't happend with the Thunderbolt and I'm sending it back.
I wish there was high-quality, reliable Verizon phone to take advantage of the new 4G LTE network, but based on most reviews, it doesn't look like there is one - yet. I'll probably be waiting for a 4G version of iPhone.
Seriously weak off the shelf August 1, 2011
Reviewer: Martin Dolciamore
I bought my Thunderbolt at a Verizon store and while it has a ton of wonderful features, off the shelf it is completely anemic - battery life lasts maybe 4 hours with any serious use. Worthless. However, if you get the 3200 mAh battery, then you've got an awesome phone baby - just pissy that Verizon doesn't work on providing the best bang for your buck - after all for them, it's in the air time and data package, I believe the hardware is the least of their concerns.
So 2 stars for the way the phone is marketed and 5 stars if the phone was sold with the right battery.
Awesome phone with great features! July 31, 2011
I purchased this phone from Amazon Wireless full price (without activation) and activated it on the Nation PCS unlimited plan. So far it's been a great phone, I'm going into my second month of having it now.
At the beginning it rebooted a few times by itself out of nowhere, I looked into this problem and apparently it's either related to over heating or low signal, I'm going with low signal. Seems like when in a not so good coverage area it updates the PRL and restarts itself.
Anyway, overall it's great. The 4 inch screen is more than big enough and is still small enough to fit in your pocket. The 1Ghz processor actually outperforms Verizon's newer phones with a 2Ghz processor in many test, including my own. Benchmark test showed my Incredible outperformed all phones, including the Evo and Thunderbolt.
About that battery.... July 31, 2011
A recent (July 2011) software update allows you to turn off the 4G modem. With the phone in 3G mode battery life is very reasonable I can easily get a full day out of it. Without this feature the battery life would make me hesitant to buy another one for my wife.
As other users have stated 4G is incredibly fast but for casual use like maps, Facebook, weather and normal web browsing the 3G performance is outstanding. When you really need it just pop on the 4G/LTE modem and away you go. Like with the just released Netflix application.
Note:Go to Settings/wireless/mobile network/Network mode and select CDMA only.
Poor battery life July 29, 2011
Reviewer: Jacob Sam (Utah) -
After several months of use I can't get over the poor battery life. Even with all of the software and settings optimizations to tweak I still carry 2 extra batteries to feel comfortable taking it anywhere.
Speed is nice, screen color good, I use the kick stand quite often, but it's unfortunate you must extend it to get decent sound from the speaker, otherwise it is occluded.
Problems Problems Poblems July 28, 2011
Reviewer: G. Brown (Modesto, CA USA) -
Done, finished,kaput! So many problems with this phone that I will have to deal with for 2 years, TOTALLY UNFAIR!Freezes up, constant reboots, UNWANTED AND NON REMOVALBLE APPS, BATTERY LIFE IS RIDICULOUS,no Gingerbread update, AND ON AND ON. $700 for 2 of these phones and they are not worth it. Cell phones should have a lemon law just like cars. Will be getting the I-Phone when all this is over.
All around great Smartphone May 11, 2011
Reviewer: J. Rife "Reviewer"
Some People love this phone and some hate it. I think the hate comes from to high of expectations expected out of an almost year old phone. This is the very first Verizon 4G phone and it's ahead of it's time, in fact I think it's better than many phones on the market currently. Some experienced rebooting issues (software related) and the battery life isn't the greatest (First 4G LTE Phone what do you expect?) Some complained it's laggy (mine runs smooth, you must have everything turned on)
1.)It has a 4.3 inch screen while the new iPhone still rocks the screen you have to squint at.
2.) HTC make and extended battery and the battery last a long long time, I love it.
3.) Responsive Screen and 768MB Internal ram (not bad for a year old phone) and comes with 32G SD card.
4.) Well built and has some weight to it, doesn't feel cheap like alot of phones.
5.) Awesome 8MP camera and 720 HD Video recorder, sure it's not latest tech, but it's plenty good enough.
6.) Kickstand comes in handy while watching Youtube videos
7.) The extended battery is great and if you get a case around it's not as massive as you'd think, it's a little heavy, but fits in my pocket. I think it's quite fine. The phone is all screen basically and not to much edge so this helps, great design all and all.
Cannot Be Happier After Finding A Solution to the Battery Issue! May 11, 2011
Reviewer: F. Wang (Los Angeles, CA USA) -
This is a 4.5* review. Since there are enough comprehensive reviews already, I will not repeat what other people have said but will focus on two things that I found particularly useful to make this phone work well:
1. Battery conservation
2. Desktop space
I know I said I wouldn't repeat what other people had said, but I just can't help saying "I LOVE THIS PHONE!!!" I'm extremely happy with the interface, the sensitivity of the touch screen, huge screen with vibrant colors, quality of the photos taken, and the lightning fast 4G LTE speed (no different from a LAN connection). The voice quality is truly mediocre, and hince the -0.5*; but given that I use this phone more for apps and less for phone calls, I can live with that.
Let's get back to the main topic.
1. Battery Conservation
This phone is a battery hog, if you keep the original setting. When I first got the phone my battery juice would drop to 35% in 2-3 hours. Some people suggested that buying a bigger battery will resolve this issue. I didn't want to spend more on the battery or making this heavy phone bulkier/heavier than it already was. So I went for other approaches.
When became untolerable after two weeks, I started looking into task killer apps. A friend of mine recommended the free app "Advanced Task Killer" (see my detailed review on that one). I experimented with it for over a week, using different settings each day in combination with different antenna connectivities. This approach completely resolved my battery issue. After all test cases, I found that using the "Agressive" killing mode set at each screen off with only 3 essential apps on my Ignore List, my battery will be at 85% level after a 15-hour day when only keeping the phone antenna on. If I leave the GPS and mobile antenna on, the battery will be down to 40% after a 10-hour day. Since I have to charge my phone overnight anyway, I no longer worry about this phone running out of power during the day.
The phone charges pretty quickly. It can be fully charged in 2 hours from nothing using the power outlet (but noticeably slower if charged from a computer).
The key is to actively manage your antenna usage and other aspects of the phone together with the task killer. If you have online access from your computer most of the time, turn off the WiFi, Mobile network, GPS antennas when they're not needed. Set your screen off, animation, and screen brightness at a non-wasteful level.
2. Desktop Space
Effective use of desktop space can help: navigation, bloatware, and battery power. Yes when it is very easy for you to turn off that antenna, you will be more likely to turn it off and save the battery juice.
This phone starts with 7 screens, by default filled with useless apps on some pages. Here is what I recommend:
a. Delete all apps shown on the desktop. You won't lose the apps - you're just removing the shortcuts.
b. Browse through all apps and determine what you frequently need.
c. Categorize your needed apps and assign one page to each. I have:
Hardware (all antennas, camera, flashlight, clock, etc.),
Software (utility apps)
Emails and Communication (Gmail, social network apps)
d. Arrange the pages so that the more frequently used apps are closer to the center page. I also heard that there was a way to expand to more than 10 pages in case you run out.
After I finished managing my desktop, I no longer need to use the "All Apps" page. The bloatware no longer bothers me - I know they cannot be deleted; but I won't see them and my task killer app kills them if it sees them. I always know where my apps are and can get to them quickly.
In summary, this phone works wonderfully with configuration that suits your own needs.
Headsets don't work April 29, 2011
Reviewer: Amateur Photographer
You cannot use a wired hands-free headset with this phone. This isn't just my phone. I called HTC, and they said that this is a "known problem," and they have no idea if or when it will be fixed. This is a defective product that Amazon should not be selling, at least not without clear disclaimers.
Great phone with some quirks March 25, 2011
I love this phone, its been great for me. But... It has a few little issues. Here are the pros and cons.
- Great camera
- 4G LTE, extremely fast
- A Verizon phone
- Very nice screen
- Battery isn't that good, only lasts 2-3 hours on LTE and 4-5 hours on 3G
- I have a slight light leak around the bottom buttons, other people around the internet seem to have it as well
- The lock button is small and a little hard to press sometimes because its flush to the top of the phone
- There is currently no way to turn off 4G via a widget, HTC should have an update to this soon
- 4G LTE is not available everywhere yet, so if you want it then don't get this phone quite yet
- Android itself is great, the marketplace however is not. I'd go with Amazon's App Store, much better so far
Thats my view on it, hope you like your device if you get one. I love it.
Great Phone, terrible carrier December 9, 2011
Reviewer: Atlantic Biodev "Amazoncustomer" (PA, USA) -
The HTC phone is great. The carrier, Verizon Wireless is terrible. Just be aware. I have been a loyal Verizon Wireless customer since 2004, paying about $160 per month for their service in PA (expensive just to talk once in a while and surf the net a few times per month). I recently received a $388 bill as I had gone over my minutes allowance by accident. There was no warning, they did not tell me that I had gone over (they easily have the technology to do so). Decided to cancel my account because of this as well as the economy. I decided to go with Virgin Mobile USA, where they have an unlimited plan (phone calls, email, data, etc) for just $55 per month with an android or blackberry, etc; No contract, you just pay when you want the service. I was 18 months in to my contract, so Verizon Wireless charged me an early disconnection fee of $175. I had requested termination of my account on 30Nov11 and already transferred my numbers to Virgin Mobile USA. I now have no lines active with Verizon Wireless, however, because my billing cycle runs until the 20th of the month, they will not allow me to disconnect (in disagreement with their contract; and they are charging me a $175 fee for early disconnection). So they will charge me an additional 3 weeks (~$130) for providing me with no service, even though I have requested to have my account closed out several times. To close the account it is going to cost $388 + $175 + $130 = ~$693. So just be warned when you sign up with this carrier. In contrast, I am now paying $55 per month with Virgin Mobile USA for unlimited everything, their service is fantastic and I'm very happy.
Love This Phone!! September 3, 2011
Reviewer: wild arkie (Portland, Oregon) -
Got my phone this week and absolutely love it -- the screen is beautiful and the speed is great. I got JuiceDefender from the Android Market to prolong battery life and as of right now it's been off charger for 33 hours and still has 50% battery left (light use). Unless you are watching movies and/or talking on the phone constantly, you should not have a major problem with battery life as long as you have a battery app like JD or Green Power. Be willing to accept that you will probably need to charge it at least every other day. And yes, there is definitely crapware on this phone, but there are apps that allow you to move things over to the SD card (using the phone's interface you can also delete apps from the app drawer so you don't have to look at the icons, but the apps themselves are not deleted). If you root, you can get BloatFreezer which temporarily uninstalls things you don't want. Don't delete apps from the phone, though, if you want to receive wireless updates from Verizon. Other comments: Phone is slightly heavy; I am using my bluetooth headset which I would rather do anyway. Case and screen are prone to fingerprinting so you will want to get a case and screen protector.
Will update if I have anything else to add. Thanks to all those who have written VERY long reviews because they were instrumental in my decision to choose this phone over others. Cheers.
ALL HTC phones with Bluetooth 3.0 are not backwards compatible with older cars! August 14, 2011
Be warned! My BMW doesn't have Bluetooth 3.0 and I've exhausted every resource trying to get phonebook sync to work with my BMW which doesn't have Bluetooth 3.0. I've tried:
-Call HTC Tech support, they told me to talk to my dealer
-Went to the dealer, they couldn't get it to work
My old HTC Evo 4G worked just fine.
I recommend don't buy July 25, 2011
Reviewer: ALEXIOS BACOLAS
This is an average phone at best. Coming from an iPhone the TB feels cheap to the feel. It feels way too thick. The plastic parts flex a bit too much to feel any kind of quality. It doesn't do anything special in particular, it's not blazingly fast (mostly due to the lack of a duel core), it doesn't have a brilliant screen, it doesn't take 3d videos or the best 2d videos, the battery is horrendous. Without power management apps to help, plus additional chargers stored wherever you go, your battery will last 4-5 hours the most (with partial use and mostly on standby) If you load it with too many apps it will slow down. That's the second most annoying thing about the phone. I'll get to the most annoying thing last.
Verizon bloat ware runs in the background contributing to the slowdown and battery life. Plus it has some glitches. It keeps nocking off the 4g network. Now thats sounds normal since it's a new network you may think, but it drops the 4g network and it doesn't go on the 3G network instantly or the edge network, how about no network. Somehow you can call out, but no Internet access. You have to go to the menu and uncheck networks check box off and on again, then the 4g reengages. The widgets for news, Facebook stop working at times not updating, you have to delete them and reengage them.
Now the most annoying thing... The support from HTC and Verizon. What I mean by support is updates for glitches and improvements.. Perhaps I was spoiled with iPhone. They promised gingerbread to come when the phone came out. It's been five months still waiting. New HTC phones are coming out with gingerbread and HTC sense 3.0. It seems they care less about the existing customers, just the new ones. don't get me wrong they came out with an update after five months that fixed random reboot glitches, and improved network connection, that by the way increased network connection problems as I explained above. And no HTC sense 3.0 for thunderbolt at all, hardware not fast enough. The phone came out 5 months ago, and it cannot support the latest HTC software. Already became obsolete in five months.
You do not have the phone update support you get with apple, new generation or old, everyone gets the updates and improvements. Plus the hardware will keep up with the software for at least the life of the contract. In other words I'm waiting for iPhone 5 to come out, and selling the thunderbolt, and yes with a big monitory loss..
Who ever still wants a thunderbolt I recommend you root the phone to at least kill the bloat ware pluss put a proper ROM on it.
Awesome phone! A month later. July 18, 2011
This is my first smartphone I have owned and I absolutely love it!
I have played with my mom's phone (Droid X) so I was use to the 4.3 inch screen experience. Although, I liked the new/different experience that HTC brought to the phone with their special interface and there is nothing that her phone can do that my can't do at least as well except for one thing. That one thing would be battery life.
If you are using your phone to play games, check facebook, text ,et cetra then you will only be able to get about three hours of life. Even if your not using all of these features there still is a chance that you only get a couple extra hours of life due to the fact that it is constantly trying to find/stay connected to the 4G coverage you may or may not have which drains battery. In my home I have 4G coverage so the battery is great and I can do everything I want for AT LEAST three hours but if I go to work (KMART) it drains the battery quickly even with the phone in standby in my pocket due to the fact that it takes more to stay connected through the metal (and whatever else) that makes up the building.
REMEMBER, that this is a smartphone and hence it is using energy not just to stay connected for calls and texts and what have you but it using energy to check weather, mail, games, et cetra and therefore you should expect to charge your phone almost every night and not like other phones that are, well, just phones. This is the main reason why I decided to give it five stars instead of four even despite its mediocre battery. The battery isn't just powering the phone but it is also powering the games I want to play and if you start powering all these different things there is bound to be some drop in power/battery life.
Also for your information, I have had problems (and from what I've read others have too) with my phone restarting and from what I have read it seems to be if you have the newest android version is what seems to cause the restarts. For me it isn't much of an issue since it seems to only do it while I'm not using it. Like when I happen to look down at my phone I see that it is restarting but not when I'm actually texting or something along those lines (which is more than I can say for my old Motorola Kraze). I imagine that this issue will be fixed soon and I completely expected issues like this since it is a newer phone and one of the first 4G capable phones out of the market. Since I believe that this is more of a software issue I again decided to give it five stars instead of four due to the fact that I am reviewing mainly the phone. This issue could be caused with VERIZON'S 4G or HTC's interface (which would be closer to the phone review) or it could be an issue with GOOGLE'S OS. Either way I can't take off for something I'm not for sure on.
I also can't wait for gingerbread to come to my thunderbolt which along with added features should also fix the restart issue and since I believe I read it is coming in the summer Thunderbolt users should be getting the update hopefully very soon. :)
Reboots constantly, without warning July 11, 2011
Reviewer: Internet Person "Internet Person" (RVA) -
Great phone if it worked properly.
Since the last update Verizon sent out (~May 2011; It's now July), the phone reboots frequently and without any indication, during phone calls, random apps, web surfing -- it just cuts out and reboots. There's no discernible reason as to why, it just happens (Plenty of web blogs about this problem).
The battery life can also be poor if you don't pay some attention to cutting off GPS and Wi-Fi apps when not in use.
Otherwise it's the fastest phone I've ever used. Even without 4G in Virginia, it's fast on the internet and app loading. There's a nice screen and the interface is intuitive, well-organized.
It just stops working and reboots at random. And the battery drains faster than slower phones.
I would have rated this phone 4 stars if the only glaring issue was a weak battery (The TB holds enough charge to last through the day and be docked at night pending normal usage; charges quickly enough too.) BUT the reboots are just too unreliable: Running GPS in the car -reboot- ; talking on the phone -reboot- ; texting -reboot- ; listening to music -reboot- ; searching web for quick info -reboot-. You can see how that shakes confidence. It's stable enough to use 95% of the time, but then it costs too much and really only deserves 2 stars if that's the case.
Look elsewhere. Verizon gobbed this one up, for all of the hype it's been disappointing.
Awful -- buyer beware! July 10, 2011
Reviewer: Karen L. Hope
As I do with most everything I buy (especially electronics), I researched the Thunderbolt A LOT before I purchased it. It seemed most problems that were griped about were regarding poor battery life. I eventually figured the battery life wouldn't be too much of an issue since I'm not the kind to use video or surf the Internet all day long. (To be fair the battery life proves to be not so great, but it generally gets me through the day.)
What is the absolute deal-breaker for me is the HORRIBLE lag time on this phone, which to me is ridiculous given the fact that the Thunderbolt is touted as being "lightning fast." Another reviewer noted that it's as if the processor cannot keep up with the phone, which sounds like the issue I'm constantly having. I will go to make a phone call and the buttons just don't register. From my "favorites" menu I may hit my husband's name, for instance, and it may be a full MINUTE before the phone decides to dial and connect the call. Same thing with composing or replying to a text -- I'll try to push the letters to type and nothing happens at all. What if I needed to get a hold of someone urgently? Or call 911?! The phone is completely unreliable. It has other issues, too, such as randomly restarting itself, but the lag time is what absolutely makes me hate my phone. And I'm in a 4G area, where it *should* be super fast. Instead I'm left with a phone which sometimes won't even dial. Unbelievable.
I'll be attempting to beg Verizon to refund my money, though I'm certain that will be to no avail. If anyone has had any success returning the Thunderbolt (rather than just getting a replacement), please let me know if you wouldn't mind. Or if anyone else has experienced these terrible lag issues (I'm certain I'm not the only one), please do advise.