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HTC ThunderBolt Owners Mixed on ICS Performance



Earlier this week, the HTC ThunderBolt Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update finally rolled out after a lengthy delay. And now that the update has been out for a few days, more and more owners are starting to see the software become available. And so far, the owners who have  installed the software seem to have mixed feelings about the update.

Read: HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update Finally Rolls Out.

In August of last year, HTC delayed both the HTC ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 Ice Cream Sandwich update. At the time, while many expected the delay to maybe last a couple of weeks, it lasted for just about five months, at least for HTC ThunderBolt owners.


The HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich has been both good and bad for owners it seems.

Earlier this week, ThunderBolt owners finally were treated to their long-awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, an update that is currently rolling out in phases just ahead of the device’s two year anniversary. Droid Incredible 2 owners were not so lucky and their update to Android 4.0 ICS is still missing in action.

Needless to say, many HTC ThunderBolt owners have taken the Ice Cream Sandwich plunge now that the update is available. Thing is, the experience has been a bit mixed for those that have installed the update.

While there are HTC ThunderBolt owners who have praised the update for its fantastic battery life and its numerous features, there are also HTC ThunderBolt owners out there who are dealing with some issues.

Several owners who we have been in contact with since the update was delayed say that the update is working flawlessly and that they are thoroughly enjoying the update that HTC and Verizon bestowed upon them. That’s not surprising given that Android 4.0 is a huge upgrade from Android 2.3 Gingerbread, an aging version of Google’s software.

We’re also hearing that network connectivity issues for many have been squashed. However, as is the case with most Android updates, there are also users that are reporting issues with the HTC ThunderBolt ICS update.

Maybe the biggest concern that we’ve heard, and seen, is about sluggishness with the user interface. Some users are even reporting that the UI has slowed down to a crawl. Applications are also said to be opening slower than normal. Obviously, that’s not an optimal experience, especially after waiting for five months for the update.

Those with sluggishness may want to try a couple things. One, try updating applications. Often there is a rogue app that could be causing issues due to compatibility. Owners should also try waiting a few days for things to settle down. This is an old phone that just received a massive update. And if all else fails, a factory reset might be in order.

The good news though is that users with issues do seem to be in the minority, which is good for an phone that just received a major Android update close to its second birthday.



  1. Glenn

    02/07/2013 at 10:30 am

    I had originally bought the Droid M after the Thunderbolt but after having that for a few months, I gave it to a family member and converted to the Iphone 5 which is by far the best phone I have ever had. The droid M was and is a good phone, but, to be honest with you, I think HTC ruined my experience of being an Android user since its birth date.

  2. brian

    02/07/2013 at 10:42 am

    i’ve had the update for a couple of days now and even though the interface is a little slower, i love the functionality. overall, i’m happy with it.

    i was very hesitant about upgrading to ICS, because of my bad experiences with upgrading my iphone in the past. but, i figured that since android is superior to iOS, that maybe the experience would be better. so far, so good. can’t wait to see what jelly bean or KLP will be like when i upgrade to a new phone!

  3. jimbo913

    02/07/2013 at 12:47 pm

    It made my phone come to a stop. Couldn’t answer a phone call and took 4 minutes to place the return call while it just froze up. However, I suspected that I was going to need a reset, just as I did when GB was released. After the reset, I seem to be back in business. I also didn’t reinstall any app I hadn’t been using. Hoping to keep this thing streamlined for things I actually use.

  4. novajoe

    02/07/2013 at 4:31 pm

    At first, while I was re-downloading and re-installing my apps, I agree with other users that the phone was absolutely crawling. But even my Nexus 7 with JellyBean does that while updating apps. However, after the app installs completed, my Thunderbolt runs very smoothly and reliably. I’m extremely happy that my phone finally has a modern OS. Looking forward to some custom ROMs based on this. I WAS going to upgrade my phone in June, but now I can honestly say that I’m FINALLY satisfied with my Thunderbolt. It’s hard to believe that I’m even saying that, but I really mean it. It’s a fantastic update.

    • novajoe

      02/07/2013 at 4:53 pm

      I should mention…I did a factory reset on mine before updating. In fact, mine was telling me “Download Failed” on the update dialog until I did a reset. After that, it was all smooth sailing. I recommend other folks do the same before the update. And of course, make sure you’re NOT rooted before trying to update.

    • Riley

      03/05/2013 at 8:25 pm

      Good :) I have the incredible 2 and we have yet to see ics! Last HTC phone I’m going to have!!

  5. jrf1009

    02/07/2013 at 4:46 pm

    Never had a problem with my Thunderbolt until I downloaded the update. I can deal with the sluggishness because I “AM” enjoying ICS but it’s taking 25-30 seconds to place a phone call once I select a contact. Still have 2 months to go before I can get a new phone so I’m hoping a factory reset this weekend does the trick.

    • novajoe

      02/07/2013 at 4:50 pm

      I’m 99% positive that a factory reset will fix your issues. I also highly recommend not restoring apps from a backup, but instead installing them all fresh. It’s a bummer to hear so many other folks having problems. Mine is ROCKIN! Best experience I’ve had in 2 years on my Thunderbolt. It sounds ridiculous when I say it because of how many times I’ve literally screamed “I HATE YOU, PHONE” to the TBolt, but it really is effin awesome now with ICS.

  6. Chris

    02/07/2013 at 5:07 pm

    When I first downloaded the update it sent my phone into a frenzy of syncing that never seemed to shut off. It was laggy and buggy and the phone became SUPER hot to the touch. I decided to do a factory data reset and fully re-install everything. Now it works like a charm and is SUPER fast. I just wish it had integrated more smoothly without having to do the factory data reset but I think it was worth the trade off. I’ve noticed too that using my wireless hot spot is MUCH faster now than it ever was before.

  7. Jason L

    02/07/2013 at 11:00 pm

    Overall rating: worth the effort. Some things faster. Some hesitate before becoming responsive. ICS has better integration between apps (phone, contacts, lock screen, dock screen). Still supports Elixir.

    Now the horror story: OTA update went smoothly as it has in the past. When complete, my test call to my wife revealed the microphone stopped working. Fortunately texting worked so she wouldn’t wonder why I could hear her but she couldn’t hear me. Verizon Tech support walked me through the process to clear my phone of data. Restoration was the usual slog and like most folks, I reinstalled only some of the apps. Likely helped the phone’s performance.

  8. Daniel Brewer

    02/08/2013 at 5:44 am

    Installed when it first came out. Was sluggish until the syncs quit. Happy with performance for now. Gives me option to wait past my 3/17/2013 expiration date. Hopefully won’t have to wait too long for Galaxy S4.

  9. tonyZ

    02/08/2013 at 8:48 am

    Oh darn I missed the update due to getting rid of that crap phone last week. Im liking my glxy s3 though

  10. jdizz

    02/08/2013 at 3:33 pm

    it isn’t just a little slower. its crazy slow. like dial up compared to a cable connection.

  11. John

    02/09/2013 at 2:50 am

    nothing wrong with htc thunderbolt…mine still fast and runs anything i throw at it…battery life still at a great 2-3 day lasting period…havent had problem since day i traded brother my ipod 4 for it…i dont hate ios but i hate its flaws like lack of options to add sd cards and such (ya i know theres cloud apps and such but what if dont have wifi or phone service)..yes i know android has flaws too but im an android/linux lover so :P:P:P….lol anyways, im glad ics update is finally out and all im wanting now is for htc to release the kernel source to my favorite rom developer, but in the meantime im enjoying the deoxed and debloated update on my thunderbolt :)

  12. pento5

    02/09/2013 at 7:50 am

    will my gameboid still work if I update it?

  13. shortnsweet

    02/09/2013 at 4:46 pm

    I woke up to mine doing an update and even though I like some of the updated formats it has slowed down the most used part of my phone-the text messages. The person I text the most I can’t open the thread at all and if I try it will prevent the others from opening. I’ve shut down several times.

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/09/2013 at 8:54 pm

      Do a factory reset. You’ll be glad you did. It’ll run crazy fast after that.

    • martin

      02/10/2013 at 9:16 pm

      At least you can text… I can’t text at all. mine is stuck in “please wait” limbo.

  14. Dickpierced

    02/10/2013 at 12:18 am

    I was gonna ditch this piece of crap phone the second I was eligible for an upgrade. When I bought it, it was supposed to get the ICS update “in a few days.” That was 14 months ago.
    Now, I’m having second thoughts. I practically got a brand new phone. I love the crap out of it now.

  15. Justin

    02/10/2013 at 7:39 am

    I haven’t been able to view videos through the browser since the update. All I get is a small blue cube with question marks on it.

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/10/2013 at 7:45 am

      A factory reset will probably fix. I haven’t had any problem with videos. At least, not any trouble with YouTube videos. It’s possible that the Flash version on this ICS update is not on par with the latest versions that some sites are using. Once a rooting method becomes available, you could swap out your Flash player version.

      • Justin

        02/10/2013 at 8:04 am

        Ok, how do I go about preventing all my pictures and such from being lost?

        • Joseph Sauve

          02/10/2013 at 8:13 am

          Your phone has two places where it stores data: 1) Internal Storage and 2) the SD Card. Your photos are stored on the SD Card. The Factory Reset only erases the Internal Storage…unless you check the checkbox that asks whether you want to also erase the SD Card. So, in other words, DON’T CHECK THAT CHECKBOX. Here’s a Verizon link on how to do a Factory Reset or “Hard Reset”. The checkbox I speak of does not appear in the images in those instructions, but it IS there. Bear in mind that this does not backup your apps…you’ll need to re-install them…which is another thing that’ll make your phone fast.

          • Joseph Sauve

            02/10/2013 at 8:15 am

            If you want to be safe, you could always remove the SD Card before you perform the Factory Reset.

  16. Les

    02/10/2013 at 8:15 am

    Joseph if I do a factory reset will I loose my contacts, text convrsation, pics and videos?

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/10/2013 at 10:59 am

      Les, your contacts are synced with your Google account. So, after factory reset when you’re going through the setup wizard, just make sure you login with the same Google account; all contacts will be restored. Your pics and videos are stored on the SD Card, which is untouched by the Factory Reset…just make sure you DO NOT check the check box during Factory Reset that says something like “Also erase SD card”. As for text convos, I’m not really sure. I use Google Voice for all of my texting because it’s free and I don’t like paying for texting. You may want to look into one of the backup app available in the Play Store.

  17. michelle

    02/10/2013 at 10:47 am

    Well it tried to download on my thunderbolt now it is fried wont turn on or anything I am not happy at all. took it to the store where i bought it and they would not help me either.

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/10/2013 at 11:13 am

      Michelle, did you ever have anyone “root” your phone for you? If it has been rooted, it can be un-rooted. Then the update can be applied.

  18. Jacqueline Goehner

    02/10/2013 at 11:47 am

    I’m actually not having severe problems with it’s sluggishness. In fact, it actually boots itself up quicker now, but my big issue is the text message icon. Whenever I try to look at my text messages, it opens up, but it remains loading. It just says “Please wait…” and I did for about 12 minutes until I finally gave up. It’s been like this since the update! I was able to pull up conversations, but only if I go directly through my contacts, find who I want to text, and pull up their conversation by composing a text. I can sort of deal with all of this, even though it’s VERY frustrating and extremely inconvenient, but what defeats all of this, is that when someone texts me, it won’t tell me who did, so I have to GUESS who texted me and go through all of my contacts (200+ contacts isn’t easy) and if it’s someone who’s not in my contact list, I can’t even view it.

    Has anyone else dealt with this problem? Or am I just special? lol

    • martin

      02/11/2013 at 3:40 am

      Same problem.

  19. john

    02/10/2013 at 6:02 pm

    They run a system backup right after the update is complete. Just let the backup complete and all will work great. The phone runs slow while the backup is running. In addition to ICS you also get an updated version of HTC sense. Overall it is good. Almost like a brand new phone. My only beef is that we should of got the update a year ago.

  20. Longshanks

    02/11/2013 at 1:19 am

    I just did the update literally 30 minutes ago,and so far,it is pretty sluggish. Emails and my internet seems much slower than previous versions.

    I’ll give it a couple of days and post an update.

  21. trent

    02/11/2013 at 10:45 am

    After updating nobody can hear me during phone calls.

  22. Joseph Sauve

    02/11/2013 at 10:54 am

    I cannot stress this enough. You folks that are having problems need to do a factory reset. Google it. This update is not just some minor improvements, it’s a completely new version operating system. You;re going from version 2.x to 4.x. It’s a major upgrade. Don’t expect things to work nicely until you do a factory reset.

    • DABF

      02/22/2013 at 7:05 pm

      Completely understandable. However, after three (3) total resets since the update, the slow responses have gotten worse. Verizon phone update? Mid-July. Dixie cups are beginning to sound better every day.

  23. diverdriver

    02/11/2013 at 4:33 pm

    Surprised the update came. Was going to drop the phone soon and possibly Verizon for lack of data support. This Tbolt was dropping data connection all the frigging time. But now it seems great! No sluggish problems for me it seems. I guess I got lucky.

  24. Smitty

    02/12/2013 at 2:50 pm

    Very happy with ICS update. Phone is STILL fast as before update. Last night I forgot to put Thunder on the charger, this morning it still had 63% on Resound battery. Would never have that power before update. Could people who have had problems are the one’s who played around with Root ++ in the past?

  25. Anonyj

    02/13/2013 at 10:32 pm

    I’ve had the update for about a week now, and liked it from the start. I’ve always avoided apps like the plague. And neither is my Tbolt bloated with thousands of text messages like I’ve read some people with problems with the update have. So I’ve had none of the problems reported above. Well tonight I thought I would do a hard reset anyways, like what Joseph recommends… That has perfected it. The update REALLY is fantastic, period.

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/14/2013 at 6:28 am

      No doubt! Glad you’re experiencing the same satisfaction with it as I am.

  26. diverdriver

    02/14/2013 at 9:29 am

    Ok now getting disappointed. My google play movies won’t play. Customer service says not their problem. No idea when it will be fixed. They blame HTC. Says they forced ICS on us…. Let’s see. Google ICS screws up GOOGLE movies. And it’s HTC fault. Whatever. Now paid for videos won’t play.

    And they took away my flash! WTF. Sideloading has not gone well and doesn’t play all videos. Hating GOOGLE AND ICS NOW.

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/14/2013 at 9:52 am

      I also noticed that the Flash player version must be on the older side. Haven’t tried Google Play movies yet.

      I’d say once a custom ROM comes out based on this ICS release, it’ll be a lot better, i.e. Flash working, etc.

      • diverdriver

        02/18/2013 at 5:34 am

        Thanks for all the suggestions and help. I imported my bookmarks into chrome. I did the full reset. Thought I had lost my episodes in google movies. But going to google play store I see they are still there on my ad card and play. Even the ones that would error out after the update.

  27. Dee

    02/15/2013 at 5:03 pm

    My mother tried to update her phone and it stopped during the update…now Verizon states that the phone is done. Is there any way to fix the phone?

    • Joseph Sauve

      02/16/2013 at 9:27 am

      Do a manual factory reset on the phone, then try the update again. It should be just fine.

      • DABF

        02/22/2013 at 7:11 pm

        One would hope. Three resets and greatly diminished apps re-re-re-installed, still dreadfully slow. Why, it is so good to slow down from quick responses and information.

  28. Steve

    02/18/2013 at 10:04 am

    My phone was running incredibly slow and eating battery power. I went to settings-storage and cleared all temps and caches and restarted and its running great now.

  29. Scott

    02/24/2013 at 7:18 pm

    My thunderbolt is having problems with the screen ever since the update to ICS. The screen starts jumping around all on its own and I can’t stop it by touching the screen with my finger. I have to turn off the screen and then turn it on again but then after a minute or so the screen keeps doing it again. I’m going to try the factory reset to see if that clears up the issue. If not then I guess it’s time to get a new phone because I can’t use the internet or my stock apps anymore because of it. I’m really afraid to use the stock apps because the jumping around almost made me buy something on its own but I shut off the screen quick enough before any more damage was done.

  30. tami johnson

    02/26/2013 at 10:35 am


  31. roro

    03/04/2013 at 11:23 am

    Hello everyone,
    My problem is I am not able to get the update sent to my phone. When I go to Software update, it checks and says not available. I have been tracking this update for a while just like everyone else and now its out I can’t even get it. I was wondering if anyone else is having this issue…… Thanks

  32. POd at HTC and Vz

    03/14/2013 at 5:11 am

    Not a Happy Camper!!!

    After my update this ran about a well as 62 VW Bus on a back road during mud season.

    I don’t ask much from my smart phone, let me make calls, check email, keep my calendar updated and when I’m bored read the news.

    Did the factory reset – improved things somewhat but this phone is now nowhere near what it was before the update.

    It is not the same phone. Verizon you broke my phone.

  33. Mark

    03/15/2013 at 8:29 am

    Joe is 100% right you must do a factory reset. Like those of you complaining, the update slowed my phone to a crawl. I did a factory reset and phone works perfect. I might just keep this and see how the SG IV does in the hands of owners before I rush and buy one. Thanks again Joe!

  34. matthew

    04/11/2013 at 2:34 pm

    I noticed after the ics update the phones RAM/storage is way less then before. I have found anything on the net about this. Did others lose this or is it just my phone.

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