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iPhone: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition
iPhone: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition, by David Pogue (O'Reilly Media), starting at $9.96
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HTC Thunderbolt Cell Phone Review
Author: Sandy Berger 30,267 views
Type: Reviews Last Updated: June 6, 2011
Page: 1 of 7
Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The HTC Thunderbolt is the highly anticipated first 4G phone that runs on the new Verizon LTE network. With promised download speeds of 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps, we were anxious to take a look.

One look at the HTC Thunderbolt box lets you know that this is a classy phone. The sturdy black box looks like a slightly-oversized watch box. As shown in Figure 1, it has the Verizon name embossed on the top. The sides are embossed with the HTC name.

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Figure 1: The HTC Thunderbolt box

The box splits in half to reveal the phone in a cradle of bright red cardboard, as shown in Figure 2. The contents of the box are shown in Figure 3. These include the phone itself, a USB cable, a power adapter, a “Master Your Device” instruction booklet, several product safety and warranty brochures, and a small cardboard casing with the 4G SIM card.

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Figure 2: The box interior

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Figure 3: The contents of the box

While previous Verizon phones didn’t require a SIM card, their 4G LTE service has a SIM card that must be installed for the phone to work properly. A standard lithium ion battery and a 32 GB microSD card came pre-installed on our review unit.

As you can see in Figure 3, the HTC Thunderbolt is a typical black candy bar, touchscreen phone. Like the Motorola Droid X, the HTC Thunderbolt sports a 4.3-inch display. At 4.75 x 2.44 x 0.56 inches (121 x 62 x 14 mm), it is similar in size, but slightly thicker than the Motorola Droid X, as shown in Figure 4.

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Figure 4: The HTC Thunderbolt (left) and the Motorola Droid X (right)

The HTC Thunderbolt, however, is quite a bit heftier. Weighing in at 6.23 ounces (177 grams), it is almost a full ounce heavier than the Droid X, which weighs 5.47 ounces (155 grams). Although this may not seem like much, there is a noticeable difference. The HTC Thunderbolt has a nice sturdy feel and is comfortable to hold in the hand, but it is no featherweight. If you compare it to a phone with a smaller screen, it will be considerably heavier. For instance, the iPhone 4 weighs in at 4.8 ounces (137 grams).

When using the HTC Thunderbolt, you will notice its weight in both your hand and your pocket. This is not necessarily a bad thing. We thoroughly enjoyed using the HTC Thunderbolt, and didn’t find its heft to be a detriment, but it is something of which every purchaser should be aware.

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