Thunderbolt Review

The Good

Fast. I do not know if it is because of the Snapdragon processor or the HTC UI, but this phone “feels” a lot faster than my over-clocked Droid X. While the Thunderbolt does not score that much higher than my Droid on benchmarks, like Quadrant or Linkpack, it just feels all-around faster.

thunderbolt review

Feel. The Thunderbolt “feels nice” in your hand. I just do not know another way of saying it… like it belongs there. Plus, if you are a fan of the vibrating keyboard, it really seems like you are typing on a reactive surface… unlike the X that just feels like it is buzzing in your hand.

Integration. On my Droid X, many people go out of there way to remove the MotoBlur. We remove them because they are typically so poor in functionality and slow the phone down. When using the built-in Sense UI on the HTC, I felt no desire or need to do that. Everything seems well integrated.

The dialer. I really wish I had this dialer on my current phone. It has more options, and a much nicer speed dial. I also like the way it separates your contacts when you list them.

The kickstand. I found myself using it a lot. It works in either orientation, so it is convenient. Yes, it adds a bit of weight, but in my mind, it is worth it.


The Bad

Battery life. At first the battery life seemed pretty good, but when I started pushing it and queuing up tasks, it reminded me of one of those big-block 1970’s cars where you could actually watch the fuel gauge go down as you mashed the throttle. I saw it go from 80% battery to 50% battery in about 20 minutes of hard use. I have seen no reports, of anyone, successfully using the phone for a full 8 hour day without having to put it on the charger. If you do not plan on dragging a charger around, you will want to buy the extended battery for this device.

The speaker phone microphone. I attended a few conference calls on this phone, and used the speakerphone, as I do not like a bluetooth headset stuck in my head for an hour. On all the calls, when it was my turn to speak, people had problems hearing me and actually talked over me while I was speaking because they were unaware I was talking.

Long boot times. This seemed pretty consistent. I do not typically let my devices go to 0% battery too often but, the start time certainly is noticeable when you have to restart the Thunderbolt.

Weight. It is a tad on the heavy side, but I would not give up the kickstand to make it lighter, so it isn’t really that bad.

4G in a 3G world. If you are lucky enough to be one of the 175 cities getting 4G this year, then the fact that this phone has 4G will mean a lot more to you. For me, I am not going to See 4G this year. Of course, that isn’t really the phones fault.

No HDMI Out. The lack of HDMI has me scratching my head, since this phone is of similar design to the HTC EVO which has an HDMI port. It makes me wonder why they didn’t or couldn’t include it.


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