Is The HTC ThunderBolt Finally Worth Considering?

Last Friday, Verizon rolled out an update for the HTC ThunderBolt that promised to fix the random reboot issues that had been plaguing the device for weeks on end. Well, as it turns out, Big Red made good on its promise because there has been relative silence from ThunderBolt owners who have updated. And while it appears that Verizon hit a home run with this update, was it enough to make the HTC ThunderBolt a phone worth considering?

HTC ThunderBolt

In my opinion, not yet.

I am hearing a lot of good things from ThunderBolt owners who have updated. A few of them, who absolutely deplored the phone before the update and were considering switching to something else (eating an ETF in the process), have let me know that things like battery life have improved with the new software and that they will be keeping their phone for the time being.Droid Bionic

That being said, even with the improvements, I don’t believe the ThunderBolt should warrant your attention at this point. I believe that those who hold an upgrade or are thinking about going the Verizon 4G LTE route should definitely wait for the Motorola Droid Bionic. However, if for some reason the Droid Bionic is not up to snuff, this new and improved ThunderBolt will be an extremely tantalizing option for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s possible that at this point it will finally be upgraded to Android 2.3 Gingerbread bringing it on par with the other top of the line smartphones out there and second, it’s likely going to have a cheap price tag come August. I believe that we could see the ThunderBolt fall to as low as free once the Droid Bionic rolls around. A cheap, Gingerbread-powered 4G LTE smartphone from HTC? Lack of dual-core aside, that’s a pretty tempting phone and one that I could recommend to friends as a possibility.

That’s a long way from what I told them prior to this update which was “stay as far away as possible.”

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The HTC ThunderBolt’s ascension to a full-fledged flagship smartphone still isn’t complete as there is still work to be done. It needs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Skype and Netflix but this update was a good start and it shows that Verizon took its time in order to make sure that it got things right and is committed to making this decent phone great.

How has the update been treating the rest of you ThunderBolt owners out there? And is anybody out there considering this phone now that one of its major issues has been taken care of?

  

Comments

  1. johnd09 says

    So far performance and signal strength have improved a great deal. The phone is much smoother I have had much fewer lags since I installed the full ruu from Android police because my phone would not download it and I got tired of waiting. Battery life has improved also, probably because of it not rebooting, which would drop it 8-10 percent each time.

  2. Samrsmith2 says

    Skype Video is now functional on the Thunderbolt over 3G (also on 4G and WiFi). I used it today while riding in a car through a 3G region. Clear audio and acceptable video quality. 
    Sorry, man- please edit. You must have missed a memo. 

    I completely agree with you that Gingerbread and Netflix would be quite welcome. But most of all I’m hoping that this updated firmware doesn’t screw me like the last firmware push. I can’t stand any more reboots..

    • Dt4ever04 says

      It has worked great so far. No reboots, and the phone seems very smooth. Glad I was patient because I like the overall specs on this better than the phones that were offered as a replacement, in the Charge, and Revolution. I may cough up the dough for the Bionic though, that phone looks SICK!

    • Dt4ever04 says

      It has worked great so far. No reboots, and the phone seems very smooth. Glad I was patient because I like the overall specs on this better than the phones that were offered as a replacement, in the Charge, and Revolution. I may cough up the dough for the Bionic though, that phone looks SICK!

      • Robert Merrill says

        Google it… Something like “skype video htc thunderbolt”. Look in the forums for the installer package. If you install the apk for video skype, it works. Unofficial, but works great.

        • Cejay825 says

          looks like the update kills the unoffical package…..it now says “this version of Skype will not work on this phne” that blos, because it was working great

  3. Darrinthompson says

    I love my Thunderbolt! But I am anxiously awaiting GB, Netflix and Skype Video. I have no regrets buying this phone.

  4. Alex Hoffmann says

    can anyone give me some help on dloading this update?? i press check for new updates and nothing happens. i’d rather not install it on my own and the closest vzw store from me is not worth the drive…

    • Mgibner says

      You have to have 3g or 4g to.install update.click check for updates and it should pop up

  5. Kame says

    Still having issues of Phone freezing up and have to soft Boot. This phone is a joke. Sorry i got suckered in to this piece of crap… Smartphone??? More like Dumbphone.

  6. Kame says

    Still having issues of Phone freezing up and have to soft Boot. This phone is a joke. Sorry i got suckered in to this piece of crap… Smartphone??? More like Dumbphone.

  7. Ctkr3w22 says

    Ever since the update my mobile network connection fails constantly or goes out and comes back in. In areas where before the updatei had strong signal why wont they just get it right for once and still no netflix hulu or gb

  8. Signer1250 says

    fixed the reboot but killed the 3g connection.  drops in and out throughout the day now.  I have to manually turn it on and off to get it to connect now.  As always they fix one problem just to make another.  But we all knew they would go figure.  and so did they……..

  9. Anonymous says

    I find it hilariousnthat the photo they used had a red battery. I guess it reflects on the fact that the phone lives on a charger.

  10. Everin Malpica says

    My wife got the update on her phone and it looks to be working fine, but I agree with the author, gingerbread is a must have for this phone.
     
    I rooted my phone about a month ago, did a backup using the Rom Manager and I am currently using Das BAMF Rom with Sense 3.0 and I just love it, Netflix works, everything works.  If I ever need to go to the store, just have to restore the backup with the factory Rom and un-root the phone.
    Go to http://forums.xda-developers  
    Under Android -> Thunderbolt -> Thunderbolt Android Development.

  11. Matthew Kyle Brenning says

    I bought a Droid Charge and love it, battery life is just as good as my droid X,  but since I bought it from costco.com I have 90 days to exchange for whatever model I want without a restocking fee.  Droid Bionic here I come in next month

  12. Charlienthebox10 says

    My rebooting issue on my HTC thunderbolt is gone now and data connectivity is strong and stable. Hopefully gingerbread will follow soon.

    • Robert Merrill says

      I have to agree that the reboot problem seems to be doing fine now. Only one
      data connection reset issue, but that was right after the update so I don’t
      really count it.

  13. Jmuscel says

    I have not had any issues with my tbolt and have not updated yet. I Love this phone I have the extended battery so thays not an issue and skype with video has worked great since i installed it. I am coming from an htc tp2. This is the best phone I have ever tried.

  14. Bhudson says

    OK, now the TB is the phone I thought it would be. I started having reset issues about a month ago. I got the update two days ago and everything about the phone improved. No resets since the update, and the GPS and battery life are now up to speed.

  15. andrew says

    I rooted my TB and it has been the best phone I’ve ever had.  Way out performs anything I’ve ever touched. 

  16. Alex Bozinovic says

    I never really had a reboot issue with mine. I bought it on launch and I think it’s randomly rebooted twice on me. I have been experiencing some 3G/4G issues since the update though. It sometimes bumps down to 3G in areas I know I get 4G service in and just can’t find 4G again.

    I do agree though that it is lacking. I feel like this phone should have been (at the very least) on Gingerbread by now and that Skype, Netflix, etc should be compatible as well. Luckily, I did some ninja phone upgrade work and was able to get it in the middle of my contract with no penalties, which will be up soon. I think I’m going to wait to see what happens with the Nexus 4G before I make a decision on my next phone though.

  17. Derekp says

    Just got the Thunderbolt with new update.  This phone rocks!  No battery life issues and the ability to toggle 3G/4G finally came through.  Netflix works on this too.  Just waiting on skype video!

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