Today’s Forecast: Thunderstorm Followed By Scattered Showers

Let’s face it, many of us don’t use our phones as phones anymore. They’re small, portable computers; hubs to stay connected with friends and occasionally call mom. Yeah, phones still make calls. I know, it’s astounding.

In November 2009, Android made a huge splash with the introduction of the Motorola Droid on Verizon. Fast forward to March 2011…you don’t need a history lesson. The next evolution of Android phones is beginning: 4G connectivity, dual-core processors, front-facing cameras, etc. If you are the average phone user or just barely getting into smartphones, you could honestly care less about these. Luckily, Verizon is keeping their 4G plans the same price as 3G (for now). Right now, you have one solid option on Verizon: the HTC Thunderbolt.

At first glance, the Thunderbolt looks like Sprint’s Evo in a different color pattern. You know what? Realistically, it is. With a 4.3” screen, which looks absolutely gorgeous, and a 1GHz single-core processor, it’s virtually the same phone. It’s similar in almost every way. HTC’s Sense doesn’t differ much between devices. This phone is fast enough for 90% of everything you throw at it. It goes on the internet, it makes calls, and it has a hell of a camera (8 MP with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera) which will someday be used with Skype and several programs now.

Coming to a creep near you.

I’m not going to lie, that huge kickstand is as sturdy as a rhino and turns the phone into an awesome little alarm clock, which my Droid has become. And that speaker sounds great! Speaker quality is important because I use my Droid at work (I work on semis) as a radio sometimes. The Thunderbolt is louder and clearer somehow. Hardcore gaming? The Thunderbolt won’t blow you away, but if you’re really looking for a good portable gaming device, get a PSP (wait for the new one, which is AWESOME) or wait for the Xperia Play.

We’re not a tech blog. We’re a bunch of dudes in our mid-twenties talking about things we enjoy. I happen to enjoy tech stuff a lot. I’m here to tell you that if you need a new phone and want the latest and greatest, then go for it. It’ll set you back about $250 plus tax on the full price for a 2 year contract. Most of us don’t have that kind of cash to throw around and, luckily, there are several ways to get it for cheaper.

I don’t care for rooting my phone. My original Droid works just fine how it is, especially with the new Windows Mobile 7 skin I put on it (Launcher 7). I don’t care for 4G. I’m patient and I can wait for my page to load. Besides, there are three cities in the Bay Area with 4G capabilities: San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The rest of us won’t get it until some obscure date in the future. Down the road, when Verizon raises their prices without adding the actual service towers, you’re going to be paying for a service you don’t have if you live outside these cities. FAIL.

Wrecked Reviews on the HTC Thunderbolt.

So, if you’re in the market for a new phone and really don’t mind Verizon, who is slowly raising prices and really sticking it to their customers, then get this phone. It’s a great phone/small computer. I get a lot work done with my Droid, but would definitely appreciate a slightly faster, slightly larger device. Or if you really want the fastest, newest, shiniest piece of technology then just wait a few months because there are all kinds of great Android devices coming out, including HTC’s own EVO 3D on Sprint and Pyramid on T-Mobile, not to mention the very probable next Nexus device in the winter and several mid-level devices offered every month. If you’re really cheap, go on Craigslist. Here in the Bay Area, there are dozens of good Android devices listed for relatively cheap.

I like shiny things, and this phone is great. However, it’s expensive and it’s pretty much last year’s technology. I was stoked about this phone when it leaked sometime last summer. It looked phenomenal and was supposed to be released in November. They took too long to release it and now there’s better devices waiting in the wings. Save yourself some money and either wait or get something else.

You can check out more details here.

-Fernando Landaverde

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About Fernando Landaverde
I like technology, rally, metal, food, beer, whiskey, and tequila. That just about covers it.

11 Responses to Today’s Forecast: Thunderstorm Followed By Scattered Showers

  1. Mrs. Mint says:

    Im on Verizon and I was recently faced with a decision between the thunderbolt or the new Motorola droid x…. almost got the thunderbolt , but knew someone that got it (who was very partial to HTC prior to the thunderbolt) and had many problems with it..maybe they just didn’t know how to work it right….. I don’t know… so that swayed me towards the droid x….. which I always hated motorola but gave it a chance and its awesome. Exceeded my expectations.It has a huge screen, which is great but, my hands are too small to hold onto it sometimes…… so it will be getting dropped multiple times in the future…. yes I am fully aware that verizon carries the iphone now. But I absolutely hate Apple products and I will not even go into the many reasons why …..Yes I’m a pc.

    • Fernando Landaverde says:

      I would actually pick the Thunderbolt over the Droid X if it wasn’t for the price. HTC’s Sense is infinitely better than MotoBlur. Their next generation MotoBlur should be way better. At least it LOOKS better. There’s a rumor your Droid X might get the update next week, but it’s only a rumor.

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      Apple can suck it. I’ve been rocking Android since the G1 came out.

  2. Lynda Ashlock says:

    I had a droid through verizon as of last nov and loved it.. my cat knocked it into the toilet.. and after drowning my poor lil droid just didn’t come back… so I went to verizon and picked up the thunderbolt.. it’s fast, it takes AWESOME photos, not had ANY trouble with it at all, and I have even tried the mobile hot spot which made my laptop surf with no lag or problem what so ever. It is a very nice device and other than getting used to the onscreen keyboard I’m loving it!

  3. Lara says:

    Before you bash Verizon’s pricing, double check your facts. They have, dollar for dollar, the same price plans at AT&T and put more than 10 times the money or work into improving and expanding their network than any other carrier. If you need cheap service, you are welcome to go to TMobile who changes your plans overnight without your consent or Sprint who drops calls every time you move between towers.At least with Verizon, you know you’re paying for the best network and if you sign a contract, you’re locked into the price until YOU make a change, not Verizon. Plus, 4G (which is, by the way, the closest to a TRUE 4G network that anyone has come out with, leaving HSPA+ and WIMAX in their own 3.5G dust) doesn’t cost any more than 3G right now and as long as you keep the same phone, you keep the same price. If you decide to criticize the future potential price hikes until they happen, it’s your own fault for not opting in earlier.

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      Lara works for Verizon, apparently. Or owns stock in VZ or HTCXF.

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      Oh, and T-Mobile has never changed my plan on me. They actually treat you quite well. Enjoy getting screwed by Verizon, who has awful customer service.

      • Mrs.Mint says:

        I HATE VERIZON.I have been with them for MANY hellish YEARS I have been screwed over soooooo many times. their customer service is CRAP. I hate dealing with them. My husband is being bent over and raped by them for some 700 dollars in BS charges they just dreamed up. Its horrible. ugh …. I cant even begin…. I would no longer be with Verizon but they kind of dominate the area. Im in rural midwest, and they have pretty much monopolized it,Tmobile and Sprint dont get good service around here, so my choices are slim.

        I have had so many phone incidents before contracts were up, forcing me to pay tons of money, and renew contracts. and their insurance sends you crappy refurbished versions of the phone that got broke(or you ‘accidentally’ got really pissed at and beat it into the concrete repeatedly)….

        ANNNND after having my DroidX for a few months…. I now realize ITS CRAP. I HAAAAAte it. it freezes daily. And Im not stupid (as Verizon tech support may think) I know all the reasons it could be freezing up and have checked them. I just am so sick of dealing with them, I dont want to have them do a hard reset, or send me a new one, They are more of a pain to deal with than my phone freezing up daily…. and thats bad.
        What I said before was based on having it for a few days, and I was stupid. Now Im STUCK with this piece of rotten dung for 2 years! yay.

    • Fernando Landaverde says:

      As a long time Verizon customer and someone that just switched to Sprint, I can honestly say that I don’t regret it one bit. Have fun with last year’s tech, security holes, recently announced tiered data, and lack of software updates.

      • Mrs.Mint says:

        and the security thing…UGH…… i am so paranoid about this stupid phone…. Paranoid Android….

        hey verizon, I hate you ::insert middle finger:: stick that in yo pipe and smoke it. I dont enjoy getting SCREWED and OWNED by a corporation, especially this one.

        I dont know if you can tell, but Im not a satisfied customer.

  4. jim bean says:

    I have been with Verizon for 4 years and just got the thunderbolt and am really impressed. I know newer phones are on the way but honestly, by that time there will be even better phones that everyone wants to wait for so I pulled the trigger and got the TB. As for Verizon I haven’t broken a phone yet so I haven’t delt with service reps but the pricing is the same as att and Verizon has much better coverage where I go (illinois, rural Michigan, and sometimes Florida). Also the 4G coverage is fast and I’m no expert but I don’t think they will charge extra for 4G because they are planning on blanketing the country by 2012 and they want it to be their main form of data coverage. In terms of both att and Verizon I think that they are way too expensive but on the other hand I get coverage everywhere and have no idea what it costs to run a cell phone company.

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