An honest tbolt review.

Discussion in 'HTC ThunderBolt' started by pc747, May 8, 2011.

  1. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    This is an honest review of the tbolt and hopefully this helps those on the verge of making a decision. To start I must say I like some of the things that HTC is doing.

    Music/sound quality: I found this area to be lacking. My droid and droid 2 has a louder volume out put. I thought this was a tbolt thing but a buddy with an inspire proved it to be at least an issue with those two phones. The ringer volume is not loud at all in fact if you work in a noisy environment I recommend putting the phone on vibrate. The music dont quit blow me away, but its acceptable. Now when you open the kick stand it does get louder but not quite the power of a droid 2.

    Battery life: Its is bad but there are ways to fix it, unfortunately you will have to root. If you not wanting to root then you may want to get an extended battery.

    Build quality: It feels solid in the hands and bulky. Personally I like the bulky feel so its right down my alley but as far as talking on the phone I suggest getting a pair of good blue tooth head set.

    video quality: Now this is what I like. What was lacking with my droid and d2 was video quality, the droids were bad about playing videos. The videos would b choppy. Videos on the htc is smooth.

    Camera: the pictures are not as bright as my d2 but you do get the true color of what you are shooting. I know when I send a picture of what I am looking at to a person that they are seeing the exact same colors that I saw.

    Screen quality: The colors are nice and stand out pretty good. The brightness on my d2 was better but the tbolt displays a much richer color.

    Should I buy: well it depends what you want. If you are wanting an evo like device and you want an open device then the tbolt is the way to go, I would not suggest getting a incredible on a 2 year contract because you wall not be able to use lte at all. With the tbolt you can make it a 3g device (ala incredible) but also have the option to go lte if you choose. Also I enjoy roms and what it offers. Its also a friendly ui in sense for those new to android. The battery life is an issue but as I said above it can be worked out. Personally I would not have bought the tbolt if I could not sing a 1 year contract. This year I am not sold on the phones that are being offered as far as a long term deal. So if you have a dx, d2 then its not that big of a jumo except in the rom department. Next year I expect much better devices so if you can hold out then I would do so. If not you are still getting a silid device and with lte capabilty it will last 2 years. Hope this helps.
  2. 1android
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    1android New Member

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    Good review! I concur with everything you said.
  3. dark juggalo
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    dark juggalo New Member

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    +1
    heres a few other "glitches" you might consider when buying this phone..

    It dont interact with a pc for snot..running win 7 and have all the latest drivers and still have to fight to get them to sync.

    If your thinking about a car dock or headphones..bad news...the 3.5 aux jack diables the mic ,put on TTY VOC to compensate..call quality still not best, but works.
  4. Droid DOES!!
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    Droid DOES!! What iDoesn't Theme Developer Premium Member

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    +2 though I have no trouble syncing with Windows 7 myself. Battery life is my biggest complaint.

    This thread has been Thunder struck!!
  5. azpilot
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    azpilot New Member

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    I agree with most of the Op's post however I find coming from a D1 that the TB shines in a few area's that the D1 was just ok in. My D1 was rooted, the TB not yet.

    The battery is horrible on LTE, I locked in 3G and the battery has no problem staying for 10+ hours with mild to moderate use.

    The screen is awesome and much better than the D1 IMO

    Screen size is perfect for me

    Volume on ringing calls and notifications appears to be lower than the D1 was

    Same quirk as my D1, sometimes the custom ring tones work for the contact they are assigned, sometimes they do not.

    I find the camera way better than the D1

    Overall after 4 days I'm pretty happy with it, the only thing not impressed with is the battery drain on the LTE network and the fact that it works sometimes depending on where I'm at. its spotty at best in PHX and LAS. Locked in 3G is perfect but slow..
  6. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I am running windows 7 and I am able to do what I need to do which is move files or use adb.
  7. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Good to have a d1 guys perspective, you also reminded me of something else htc seems to be doing better in and that is locking on to 3g. The droid 2 vs the droid 1 there were some minor improvements mainly cosmetic. But it did offer a better head phone jack, the keyboard was awesome on the d2 compared to the d1, and the processor was a little better. But because the d2 was blurred up users was not able to see the difference until they went de-blurred.
  8. mdiamondstone
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    mdiamondstone New Member

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    I'll agree with just about everything everyone has said -- but as long as you've got a car charger, and you use the phone reasonably, you can stay on the LTE network all day without TOO much of a drain. I've gotten 12 hrs out of it on days when I'm only using it for a phone, and I'm pretty much always covered by LTE. Plus -- 4G is SO fast. It's nice to watch YouTube in 1080p without waiting for a buffer :icon_ banana:
  9. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I've had a D1, DX, Dinc, and the battery thing baffles me on the TB. If you're running 4G/LTE 24/7, then yes, the battery life is bad. But I've had two separate Thunderbolts, not rooted, and both gave me 24-36 hours, easy, on 3G or Wifi only - with moderate use. None of these devices give more than 12-24 hours to the heavy users. The problem with talking about battery life is that there are so many factors that can't be measured b/c it's so subjective to the individual's use.

    I know the Charge is supposed to have better battery life than the TB, heck it's got a bigger battery in it, but I'd be willing to be that once it comes out, if you put it side by side with the TB and run 4G 100% of the time (especially with that Super Amoled screen), it won't be that much better than the TB.

    Bottom line, I think the TB's battery problems have been blown out of proportion b/c it's the first true 4G phone in the country, and nobody had expectations of 4G sucking down the battery like it does.

    Reviews of battery life are going to have to start categorizing themselves by what network they're running on - 4G, 3G, Wifi, etc. - b/c that makes all the difference.
  10. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I think many realize its a LTE thing, but like I said above you can get around the battery issue. There are tips all over the place to make it manage easily. There are reviews back in the day that complained about the d1 being bad with battery. I recommend getting rid of the preinstalled task killer and just go into settings and turn off background data. Make sure not to have on gps when not in use. I am running a rom, but even before the Rom, with my tips and a bigger battery my phone is just as good as ny d2 was. The tbolt stock battery is even smaller than the EVO battery. The tbolt should have came with 1700 as a stock battery.

    sent from droidforums app
  11. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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  12. npro1464
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    npro1464 Member

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    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.
  13. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Roms can streamline the system and help a little bit, but I believe a kernel will have a greater effect on battery life b/c it actually deals with the voltage the cpu is running at, and how efficiently the cpu runs.
  14. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Personally I would rather have a phone come with a smaller battery than a phone that lags. YOu can easily deal with the battery issue. I knew battery life was questionable so I bought an extended battery and if bulk is an issue get a seidio slim 1700 extended battery.

    But here is the lag I am talking about:
  15. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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  16. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    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.
  17. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    here it is:

  18. Beardface
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    Beardface Member

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    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.
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