Tech Mashup (tech blog)

Verizon HTC Thunderbolt - All I can say is - FAST!

By: Tim Coles
By: Tim Coles

Something funny happen after my BLOG post “AT&T Failed me in the Big City!” went live. I received an email from Verizon saying they would loan me a phone the next time I traveled. First I was glad to find out that someone had read my BLOG, secondly I was impressed that Verizon was listening not only about what was being said about them but also their competitors.

Something funny happen after my BLOG post “AT&T Failed me in the Big City!” went live. I received an email from Verizon saying they would loan me a phone the next time I traveled. First I was glad to find out that someone had read my BLOG, secondly I was impressed that Verizon was listening not only about what was being said about them but also their competitors. Via a few correspondences Verizon was gracious enough to loan me a HTC Thunderbolt to trial.

The Phone

I am a geek who loves technology and being able to play with the HTC was a lot of fun. As the title says this phone is fast. I have an iPhone 4 and this phone makes it seem slow. Not because the programs load slower on the iPhone but because the internet experience on the phone was outstanding. I loaded web pages on both phones using 3G and WiFi and the results were the same, the Thunderbolt was faster. Don’t get me wrong I still love my iPhone but could easily switch to this phone and develop a new love. The key for me to switch to another device would be that the Android platform had to get a lot easier to use, and it has. Some of the first Android phones were not intuitive as far as ease of use. Ease of use is why I loved my Blackberry, loved my iPhone and iPhone 4 and the Thunderbolt falls into that category. The Thunderbolt has all the bells and whistles you would want on a phone as well as all the apps you would need. The camera and video camera were impressive and on par with the iPhone 4 but the thing that got me the most excited was the WiFi Hit Spot. We used the Hot Spot with several iPhones attached to it and it worked great, we were able to get over 2Mbps rates via the Hot Spot.

The Thunderbolt I tested was a 4GLTE ready phone but the Lexington market is only 3G for now. Rumor has it that 4G will be in the Lexington market sometime in !@#$%^&*( I was sworn to secrecy to not divulge the proposed date). All I know is once 4G gets to this market it will be a game changer. We will see more live streaming video from handheld devices(Yeah for TV stations); we will see more people cancel their land line DSL and cable internet connections. Because we can use the WiFi Hot Spot where Verizon's LTE were independently tested and averaged 9Mbps download speeds and 5Mbps upload speeds(1) and I can’t wait.

If I had to point out a few things I wasn’t crazy about the first is the adaptive keyboard. I know I could go in to settings and kill the feature but after using it for a while it started to grow on me. Some of the keys on the Android keyboard were different from what I was used to, once again it took no time to work through that as well. The other issue was hooking the phone to my laptop the first time. Since I am a tinkerer I had it working in no time, for the novice it could be an issue.

While we had the phone we sent it to Houston with Amber Philpott to use while we were covering the UK Wildcats at the Final four, here is Amber Philpott’s take on the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt:

“Okay, so I am certainly no technology guru, but what I do know is that when I try something new I want it to be easy and user friendly. On my recent trip to Houston to cover the Cats in the Final Four I was given the new HTC Verizon Thunderbolt to try out. Now I am an iPhone Gal, I really feel I just learned how to use it, so switching to something brand new could have been a big challenge. Turns out I was super impressed with the Thunderbolt and what it had to offer. First of all it was super fast, I was amazed by the speed of loading and its internet usage. My most favorite feature though, the camera! When I left I was told use it, take pictures even video. I figured I would snap one or two photos and that would be it. I couldn't stop using the camera, it was so good and the pictures were so clear that I never once used my phone or my own camera for that matter. The clarity is awesome and the flash, don't even get me started on that! I'm pretty sure the camera takes better pictures than the $200 camera I have, and that's saying something. I also took some video of the UK Pep Band, Cheerleaders and Mascot competing in a Battle of the Bands competition-it was so crystal clear, the sound was amazing and if we could we probably should have used it on the air!

Over all I was super impressed with using the Thunderbolt. I know I said I'm not a techie, but I felt like it was quite easy to use and understand. I even figured out how to use the hotspot feature to pick up wifi when we needed it. Being out in the field and being able to utilize the internet is key, sometimes your signal is not always that good as well know. The Thunderbolt allows you to use it as a hotspot for other devices around you so, I used it for our iPads. Incredible and even more incredible that I could figure it out and say to you that it was super simple!”

When I gave Amber the phone I could see she wasn’t excited about having to use something that she wasn’t familiar with, but as you just read her fears were soon over. Our overall experience with the Thunderbolt was good and I would say once 4GLTE hits this phone will be great. If you’re in the market for a phone and phone service you need to take a serious look at the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt.

P.S. Thanks to Michelle Gilbert, Rob Boren with Verizon and Ashley Schaffner with their public relations firm who made this happen.

This is Tim Coles and you have had your Technology sermon. Comment below or email me at tcoles@wkyt.com.

(1) “Verizon's LTE bests Sprint's WiMAX in 4G speed test” http://www.mobileburn.com/news.jsp?Id=13896
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