Thanks for the review. I'm currently on the fence with the TB and the Charge, and battery life is a big factor for me. I have no problem rooting and flashing roms, in fact that is one of the reasons I want this phone. But, does flashing a ROM and/or kernel really make the battery life bareable? I could be reasonable with turning off 4G, but I don't think I could stand having to charge the phone every 2-6 hours, if some of the reports are true.
But here is the lag I am talking about:
There's another little 3 minute video comparing the browsers of each which is a great example of the lag you speak of... I'll see if I can find it. And I'm with you - the lag, plus touchwiz, plus Samsung's rep of never updating... I'll take the Tbolt with less battery any day.
Well, since you all are doing reviews, I'll do one as well... I'll start right away by disclosing I am coming from a rooted D1 running Bugless Beast and have been using the TBolt for about a month.
Music/Sound quality - Top notch. The headset is much stronger than what I experienced with the Droid, and the sound coming from the speaker is pretty loud as well. Only problem I have is that the kickstand covers up the back speaker, and can muffle it a bit. If you're going to be listening to music without headphones, you almost need to prop it up to open the kickstand.
Battery life - On Wifi, the thing can literally run for days with a single charge. On 3G, the battery starts draining fast. Using Battery Monitor Widget, I have been able to estimate that on average, the battery will have about a 10 hour charge on 3G alone. However, this past weekend I noticed the battery was draining about half as fast. I do not have the update, and there was no reason for it to behave this way. For now, I'm assuming its an outlier. As long as you have your phone in a Wifi area for most of the day, you won't notice battery problems at all. LTE hasn't been activated here, so thats not something I can comment on at this point. I can say the battery seems to have about double the charge of the EVO compared to the ones my friends are using.
Build Quality - Call me crazy, but I find this to be a sturdier phone than the D1. Its thin, but not so thin you think you'll break it if you sit on it wrong. Its got that metal feel to it, and its heavy enough to make you think its built like a tank. I like it.
Video quality - During the day, its fine. At night, its plagued by not being able to pick up faint light. Tried to record a drunk friend dancing at the bar a couple weeks ago, and you couldn't see a thing.
Camera - Very high regard for this. Have only taken a few pictures, but the pictures it takes are of the highest quality I've seen through a cell. And with the extremely bright flash, it has all but made my Casio from 2007 obsolete (which is good considering a battery blew up in it last winter).
Display - Very, very bright screen. I, personally only have it set on 30% when I'm indoors and even then it seems about as bright as my old D1. Bring it outside, crank it up to 100% and its still readable. Not the easiest to see in sunlight, but its do-able. Compared it to the Evo at the pool over the weekend and there was no comparison. The TBolt won hands down. Only drawback is that it has the same resolution as the D1, so the picture quality, while very good, is not as refined and smooth as the Droid. You can't make text too small on here or it becomes noticeably pixilated, which at the same size you would not see on the Droid. For a screen as big as the TBolt has, you would hope you'd be able to have small text to take advantage of the additional space.
Interface - I was surprised with how easy HTC made it to use Sense. It really does spell everything out for you. If you were going to get a phone for someone who is completely non-savvy when it comes to smartphones, I'd recommend one with sense. Unfortunately, for everything it does right, there were still a few bothersome things, like the 3 button static dock and a 4x4 grid on each screen, that caused me to go to LauncherPro. However, with that and WidgetLocker going, its looking extremely nice.
Overall, I like the phone. Battery can suck, and I'm hoping the update takes care of it, or at least alleviates many of the concerns. I'll wait til LTE is activated out here before I decide on an extended battery. Overall, its a great phone and a definite upgrade over the D1. I will recommend it to anyone as their next phone.
Carolina Hurricanes - 2006 Stanley Cup Champions