The HTC Thunderbolt is one of four 4G-enabled smartphones Verizon introduced at CES. It runs Android 2.2 and HTC's Sense, and has Skype video calling built in.
Leaked images of the HTC Thunderbolt, spilling out just before the new year,
did little to rain on the parades of Verizon Wireless or HTC. At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6,
the pair enthusiastically unveiled their newest Android-running smartphone,
which will be exclusive to Verizon's 4G LTE network.
The Thunderbolt features a 4.3-inch WVGA display and pairs Android 2.2 with
HTC's Sense 2.0 Interface - newly equipped with a feature called Fast
Boot. It's also one the first phones to come with Skype mobile video calling
not just supported but integrated into the device, making it as simple to use
as placing a standard call. There's a front-facing camera for video calling
- in addition to an 8-megapixel camera on the back - and Presence
icons that let users know whether friends are available for chatting are built
into the Contacts list.
The Thunderbolt's larger camera can record video in high definition, and
because it's a wireless DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device, the
Thunderbolt can stream video and send other content to other DLNA devices, such
as HDTVs and stereos.
Additional features include a 32GB microSD card, a kickstand for more easily
enjoying movies, Dolby and SRS surround sound, the ability to act as a hotspot
for up to eight devices, and of course that 4G connectivity - which according
to Verizon is 10 times faster than its 3G network.
"We are proud to not only be bringing one of the first 4G LTE Android
smartphones to the Verizon Wireless network, but to offer people the
unprecedented speed and ease of use that the HTC ThunderBolt provides to them,"
Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas, said in a statement. "What makes 4G
so compelling is not just technology, but what the technology allows people to
Verizon turned on its 4G LTE network Dec. 5, covering 38 cities and 60 airports
- or reportedly one-third of all Americans. It plans to continue expanding
its 4G footprint and to have it cover its entire 3G network area over the next
On the network, the Thunderbolt will have plenty of company, as Verizon
introduced a total of 10 4G LTE devices during
CES. Among them were the LG Revolution, the Droid Bionic 4G and the Samsung 4G
LTE Smartphone - all running Android 2.2 - and the Motorola Zoom
and 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets. Two notebooks and two MiFi
hotspots filled out the introductions.
Tony Melone, Verizon's executive vice president and chief technology officer,
said in a statement that he's expecting 2011 to be a "gang buster year," for
the carrier, "especially as we combine our growing 4G LTE network with our
amazing lineup of 4G devices and applications that take advantage of high speed
and low latency."
Among the cities scheduled to receive Verizon 4G LTE coverage in 2011 are
Little Rock, Ark.; Pensacola, Fla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Baton Rouge, La.; Detroit;
State College, Penn.; and Hilton Head, S.C. A full list can be viewed on the
Verizon Web site.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.