HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon Review Roundup: Plenty of Positives

The HTC Thunderbolt, the first 4G smartphone for the Verizon LTE network, was finally released yesterday to a torrent of attention. This much-awaited phone has a lot of people interested who can’t wait to try out its 4G capabilities and its pretty impressive specs. Now we wanted to look at a few of the first reviews of the Thunderbolt to give you an overall view of what the experts are saying.

We issued our own looks at pros and cons of the ThunderBolt before it came out and have issued many posts recently including a look at Best Buy pricing, a comparison with the Thunderbolt against the Droid Bionic and another article about the iPhone 5 vs. the HTC Thunderbolt. Just today we have also looked at whether this smartphone deserves the praise that HTC is heaping upon it, and also told how some are reporting a glitch with text messaging on the new handset but let’s looks at the reviews and see what the people-in-the-know thought.

The HTC Thunderbolt has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 720p video capture, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen and a nifty kickstand, all running on Android 2.2 with HTC Sense.

First off is a hugely comprehensive review from Mark Spoonauer over on Laptop and his rating gives the Thunderbolt 3.5 out of 5 stars. This in-depth review looks at the design, display, audio, software and interface, performance, 4G, apps, battery, camera, pricing, test results and much more and the verdict was that this phone lives up to its name and is the fastest 4G smartphone available by a long way. Of course you must be in an LTE region to benefit from this performance and if you want speed right now the Thunderbolt could be the phone for you.

However the reviewer still preferred the iPhone 4 for its better apps, display quality and battery life, or if you want an Android, suggests waiting for the Droid Bionic also coming to Verizon. The Motorola Droid Bionic is scheduled for release some time in the second quarter, and is a 4G phone but will have a dual-core processor, as opposed to the single-core processor of the HTC Thunderbolt. Pros for the Thunderbolt then were the 4G speeds, camera, the HTC Sense interface, speaker and clarity of calling, while cons were the poor battery life, Skype not being enabled yet, and no HDMI so although this review certainly merited the Thunderbolt as a good phone, it was not considered to be great.

The next review we’re looking at comes from Mike Perlman over on infoSync who gave the HTC Thunderbolt a rating of 95%…now that’s pretty certainly decent! Perlman states that although the Thunderbolt “is not the most groundbreaking device on the planet,” it’s certainly “amongst the top smartphones of its time.” This review is also very detailed and includes a six-minute video too. The phone is felt to be a great start for the LTE network and should be extremely popular although the Thunderbolt did appear to have some drawbacks. Perlman noted the poor battery life, would have liked better low light sensitivity for the camera and also reported the phone was inclined to freeze up on occasion, but agreed with the first review in our roundup that for those who wanted to experience the full advantage of Verizon’s 4G LTE network this phone will certainly fit the bill.

The last review in our roundup came from PCMag and the Thunderbolt received an editor rating of 4 out of 5. Sascha Segan gives a full review and the pros mentioned were the interface, the high amount of storage and once again the high speeds. Simultaneous voice and data and the screen also got the thumbs-up. Drawbacks were on a similar theme, the poor battery life once again, occasional glitches, and also the weight. The bottom line of this review was great speeds but if you’re tempted to grab your Thunderbolt, then probably best to grab an extra battery too.

Overall then from the reviews we’ve seen so far we’d say they were positive and certainly viewed the Thunderbolt as a very decent handset, but it also seems that this device could have been viewed as much greater if the poor battery life had been addressed. Have you already purchased your Thunderbolt and if so what are your early thoughts? Alternatively following the reviews you may be thinking of purchasing a Thunderbolt now? We’d be interested to hear from you so please do send us your comments.