If you know me then it shouldn’t surprise you that I just left the Verizon store with a brand new HTC Thunderbolt for their LTE network. I’ve never been one to wait especially with technological devices, because in this day and age if you wait for the next best thing you’ll never experience it in the first place. So yes, I’m on my 3rd different Android device in less than a year, and no it isn’t because the other ones have broken. I just can’t seem to remain content with my gadgets if I know there’s something better out there, as was the case with my recent purchase of the HTC Thunderbolt and my old Droid X.
This isn’t meant to be a full review, but rather my early impressions of the Thunderbolt. I plan on doing an in-depth review in the next few days once I’ve had more hands-on time with it. Until then I just want riff on my immediate likes and dislikes of this 4G enabled phone.
First off, I love the look and feel of the Thunderbolt. It has a very nice gun metal and black color scheme that look great paired together. The included kickstand even manages to make the back of the phone sexier than it already is. As far as the overall look I’d say it’s very similar to the Sprint EVO. It has an eye pleasing 4.3″ screen that has some very vibrant looking colors on it. Even though the resolution is less than the iPhone 4 I’d still say that the Thunderbolt has a rich looking screen that only the most picky video-phile would balk at. It’s not like I’m planning on only viewing HD content on my phone, so I’m really not that bummed out that the Thunderbolt doesn’t have a similar resolution to Apple’s retina display.
This phone has a nice weight to it as well. It doesn’t feel as cheap as the Droid Incredible, and it acutally feels like there’s some guts to it. I’ll be interested to see how it feels once I install the extended battery in it. I’m not going to do that quite yet because I want to get a true reading on how the stock battery works first. This is mainly because the one negative I’ve been hearing about the Thunderbolt is that it has a sh*t battery. I can say that it did seem to be eating up juice quicker than my old X, but then again I haven’t tricked it out yet, so it could get better, or worse.
I’m glad to be back on the Sense UI, because I always felt that it was integrated and more feature packed than Motorola’s Blur. I love that I can change and have multiple themes and styles at the push of a button. For someone who takes screen customization to the next level these features will definitely keep me busy as I try and find the perfect layout for my new man-toy. I like that I can save my scenes/themes as well because I felt very limited with what I could do on my Droid X. The Sense UI also has a nice recent program feature that shows up when you slide down the notification bar, which I’ve never had before. There’s also a personalize button that makes it very easy to change sounds, wallpaper, styles, widgets, etc. This is huge for me because I always like to keep my phone looking unique. I can’t just have one layout and that’s it. I like changing sounds, wallpapers, and the like daily, so it’s nice to have an easy way of keeping my ADD at bay.
The real magic of the HTC Thunderbolt comes from the LTE network. It really is no joke. I was able to pull up the EntertainmentBuddha.com mobile site within a snap of a finger only using the 4G network. I would even say that it felt faster than using Wi-Fi. I’ll be doing more speed tests, but at this point I’m definitely a believer in Verizon’s LTE network. I don’t seem to have an issue with 4G coverage except in my geek bunker, which is underground, so the lack of 4G is to be expected.
At this point I feel like I’d be doing you and the Thunderbolt a disservice if I kept on rambling about it. I need more time to really get in tune with my new toy to discover all of the great, and not-so-great features of Verizon’s first 4G phone. Right now I’m obviously in love with it because it’s something new for my cracked out geek brain to play with, but once the freshness wears off I’ll have a better feeling if I made the right call in becoming an early 4G adopter.
Plus, I still feel quite retarded from my St. Patrick’s Day adventures, so I’m not even sure if I’m typing coherent sentences. The more I think about it I can hardly get my brain to fire on the right cylindars to even use a keyboard, so I apologize for the sloppy work. Stay tuned for my full review of the HTC Thunderbolt, which should be published within the next few days. You now feel like you need a new toy to play with…
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