thunderbolt lightning

Today is finally the day. The Thunderbolt has arrived and you have your shiny new toys in your hands. You just might be enjoying data speeds that some Wi-Fi connections would envy. We went poking around a little and found some impressive results floating around the web already (and we also want to know what kinds of speeds you are getting).

First, one big thing to keep in mind with all that you have heard about Thunderbolt LTE speeds is that the Speedtest.net app, commonly the first way to easily test data speeds, isn't working properly with the Thunderbolt. Download speeds seem to record accurately, but upload speeds are way off (leading some to believe that they are actually getting 40 Mbps uploads - this is incorrect).

One of the most thorough tests we have seen on the web was by Noah Kravitz of Techno Buffalo. He compared the upload and download speeds of his HTC Inspire on AT&T's HSPA network and his new Thunderbolt on Verizon's LTE. Catching on early that the speedtest app had issues, he cleverly tethered the phones to his laptop. Oh boy, did we see a spanking there.  His findings in his own words:

"My median speed on AT&T’s HSPA+ network was 2.16 Mbps down / 0.16 up / 171ms Latency (WiFi Hotspot mode)."

"My median speed on Verizon’s LTE network was 8.85 Mbps down / 3.68 up / 54ms Latency (WiFi Hotspot mode)."

noah speed test

The folks over at PhoneArena did some testing with the Thunderbolt and found they were getting around 5-7 Mbps downloads. Abelavista reported a range of download speeds between 4 Mbps and 13 Mbps. The folks over at Phandroid grabbed downloads ranging from 11.71 Mbps all the way up to 24.46 Mbps.

Some of these speeds appear to be in the same ballpark as WiMax, while some are clocking in much higher - but one thing that has been consistent is that the latency of LTE appears to be the lowest of any "4G" network in the nation. Also LTE reportedly handles a smooth hand-off between 4G and 3G when LTE drops out (as opposed to the hand-off on Sprint's WiMax, which I can attest can leave you without any service at all for an annoying length of time when switching back to 3G).

If you are one of the lucky early adopters, do a little speed testing for us, will you? You can let us know in the comments or (if you really want to eliminate any doubts) link to a Speed Test image in the comments. The best way to record said test would probably be to tether your T-bolt to a laptop or desktop. Then go to speedtest.net in a browser, put it through the paces and grab a screenshot. Then you can upload it to imgur.com (or any image hosting for that matter) and link to it in the comments. If you use the Android speedtest.net app, please only share your download speeds. Also please note what method you used to record the speeds, as well as your location (LTE users only please).

Source: Technobuffalo, Phonearena, Phandroid, and Abelavista

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    Great to see that a network that has minimal users on it can provide fast speeds. Let's see what happens when the network actually has a fair number of users on it.

  • yen

    Does this phone use a SIM card? if no LTE available does it drop down to use CDMA 3G or 2G? Thanks.

    • Ryan

      Yes, it uses a SIM card. And yes, it will drop down to 3G when no 4G is available. I can make voice calls and surf (or speed test) at the same time on ether 3G or 4G.

  • Rami

    hey i want to get this phone but i dont know if the battery life is good. (changed my mind off of iphone after i played with the thunderbolt in store). I really want to get rid of my POS droid x locked down crap but i want good battery life like im used to (not 5-8 hours i mean easily 24 hours). can anybody who currently has the phone how is the battery life?

  • JoshL

    Not in a 4G area, or I would be posting my results right now. :( Anyway, the phone is a solid device. Definitely the best Android phone out right now. The battery life is going to be tricky to deal with.. My device was fully charged and it dropped to 50% in 3 hours. I was using it quite a bit, but compared to my G2, this thing is a battery hog. With great power comes great responsibility.

    • Rami

      ok thank you. looks like im going to be getting the extended battery

  • Eddie Y

    In the Boston area I'm getting anywhere between 8 and 13 Mbps, and latency between 45 and 130ms. It hands off between LTE and 3G very smoothly and quickly, and I've also verified simultaneous voice/data works over LTE as well as 3G. Battery drain is rapid, but seems like it'll be about the same as my Incredible.

    Overall I'm very happy with it so far.

    • rony

      it's brand new phone so wait till battery get charged and discharged a couple of times.

      • Eddie Y

        I'm hoping, that's what happened with my Incredible so I assume I'll see some improvement with the tbolt too after a few charge cycles.

  • MeatRocket

    This thing is essentially a Desire HD / Inspire 4G with a different radio. I have an Inspire 4G and am running Android Revolution 3.2 right now. That ROM greatly improved my battery life. This phone is fairly easy to root so I'd think battery life for advanced users won't be much of an issue for long.

  • ESP

    On "1X" (I assume it's 1xEV-DO not 1xRTT?): 1.41Mbps down, 3.70Mbps up, 131ms latency from the Loop in Chicago to a Chicago server via Speedtest.net Android App.

    From about the same location with the same configuration on LTE: 8.24Mbps down, 40.35Mbps up, 133ms latency.

  • Evan

    Did a speed test at my local Verizon wireless store and the Thunderbolt was getting 18.18 Mbps down and... wait for it... 48.59 Mbps up! I tested the speed on two different phones, multiple times at the same location and came up with results that varied from about 14-18.5 Mbps up and 22-49 Mbps down.

  • Rudisimo

    All I can say is..."it hauls ass".

  • vmod32

    I'm getting crazy fast speeds on my Thunderbolt....

    21.04 Mb/s Down - 42.93 Mb/s Up - Ping 87ms... Those speeds are on par with my FiOS Fiber optic connection at home, although with a slightly higher latency...


  • xashaffer

    The incredibly high upload speeds are incorrect. Ookla, the company for speedtest.net has already stated that the high upload speed results are a bug between their servers and the 4G LTE, but they will be releasing a bug fix for it soon.

  • Birdman5666

    My last test i got 8.31 Mbps download n 17.62 Mbps upload in the crescent city.

  • Kbanashek

    Got 20Mbps yesterday in San Clemente, CA...impressive!!!