HTC Thunderbolt Review

After 20 hours of waiting for my Thunderbolt, I happy to say I’m very impressed with the phone. Especially since I got the $600 phone for $230 with a 1 year contract. I purchased the phone Thursday around 6pm and FedEx delivered the phone around 2pm on Friday.

The Good

Size: The phone is very slim and with the 4 inch screen I can easily check emails, look at web pages, and watch videos on YouTube.

Speed: Quick. The phone is “lightning” fast with the 1 Ghz processor. I didn’t have any issues with loading applications, all are very responsive.

Interface: This is my first Android phone so I love the HTC Sense interface. The clock and weather on the home screen is one of the features that attracts me to the HTC devices instead of the Motorola. Also, the HTC phones are styled with more curves and less physical buttons than the Motorola equivalents.

RAM: The phone comes with 768 MB of RAM and when I view my usage, I still have about 220 MB free which means I don’t have to worry about degraded performance.

The Bad

Battery: Although there are numerous power saving features available, turning off certain features like autosync is not a viable option for me considering I like to see when I receive emails from multiple accounts.

Android 2.2: Even though the phone is brand spanking new, it doesn’t have the latest version of Android (2.3). I understand no phone is perfect, but the release is a few months old so I can have high expectations šŸ˜‰

Email Priority: Let me clarify. I used the original Blackberry Storm for 2.5 years and I loved how the phone was designed to send and receive emails and text messages. All I had to do was turn on the mobile broadband and the emails would start flowing. With the Android OS (and this is more in the way the OS is designed than the actual phone), the device is designed to be a multi featured which makes it a little harder to find the emails. On the Storm, I knew exactly when I received emails because the messages icon would show a red icon and a message indicator would show up at the top of the phone. On the Android phones, only a notification at the very top of the phone appears just like every other application and the icon does not change. It’s not a deal breaker, but users moving from a Blackberry to an Android phone show realize there is a little more customization available which could prevent the phone from clearly prioritizing emails and text messages over weather updates and friend status updates.

Preinstalled Apps: I don’t know who decided that loading any consumer purchased system but the phone came with the following apps that I cannot remove unless I root the phone: Bitbop, Blockbuster, City ID, Kindle, Lets Golf 2 (with a picture of Barbie on the icon), Rhapsody, Rock Band (not even the game, just a link to download the game), Slacker, Stocks, TuneWiki, and VZ Navigator. I’m sure there are individuals who use all of the apps on a regular basis, but for those that do not, I feel it’s a waste of resources. It’s my phone and I’m paying monthly for it, shouldn’t I be able to decide what I want on the phone?

The Verdict

To sum up everything, I’m very happy with the beautiful Thunderbolt and I’m willing to live with the bad. I’m going to miss the Blackberry Storm for it’s quick typing and long lifespan, but I’m looking forward to upgrading my digital life with the new Thunderbolt from HTC.

“It’s not your dream phone. It’s the one after that.” -Thunderbolt

Note: I was not paid for this review, but if HTC would like to pay me for it, I would be happy to take free money.

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