Verizon Wireless has been steadily building its 4G network. At the time of this writing, the service is available in 39 markets and over 60 major airports. Verizon Wireless plans to offer the service in more than 145 markets by the end of this year. Prior to the launch of the HTC Thunderbolt, the only way users could take advantage of 4G speeds through Verizon Wireless was with one of the carrier's wireless modems or a Mi-Fi device. Now, thanks to the Thunderbolt, you can enjoy these speeds on a smartphone.
According to Verizon Wireless, users should enjoy download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps when connected to the company's 4G network. In our tests, the Thunderbolt delivered very good 4G speeds, though coverage in our test area was a bit spotty.
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Price and battery life are probably the biggest downsides we see to this phone. The Thunderbolt costs $50 more than many of today's popular phones. Also, although battery life will vary depending on your usage habits, the Thunderbolt didn't have the same longevity we've seen on other handsets. All things considered, the price of the Thunderbolt isn't unreasonably high and you may be able to get additional time out of the phone's battery by adjusting a few settings.
Our overall impression of the Thunderbolt was a positive one. We felt the phone was speedy and responsive. We also like the large screen and sturdy kickstand. In many ways, the Thunderbolt is very similar to the HTC EVO 4G from Sprint. We loved this phone when it first came out, and still feel it's a great product. Given the similarities between these two handsets, it's not surprising we also liked the Thunderbolt.