The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea? A release date for the very thing Verizon is advertising as well as Skype at launch. That would be just super.
About this time last week, I first started playing with our Inspire 4G review unit. And at first blush, I admittedly found myself enamored with this phone. Unfortunately, it was a love that started to splinter as the days went on, and the more I used it, the more I noticed just how unfinished some parts of this phone can feel. Overall, the Inspire is a good phone with the potential to be great, and I'll talk about what's holding it back (software, connectivity) further on in the review.
Don't let that statement deter you from considering purchasing it, though, because at $99 (or $60 on Amazon), the Inspire 4G is a steal of a deal if you're looking for a reasonably priced 4G smartphone.
How terribly boring were the last 2 months with regards to picking yourself up a new Android handset? We've seen hundreds of exciting announcements but practically no products to actually buy - end of December and January always seem to be those kinds of months. However, things are picking up, and one of the first new devices on the market fresh out of the oven is the HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T.
Yesterday at Mobile World Congress, HTC lifted the veil on their first entry into the tablet market: The HTC Flyer. It's a 7 inch tablet, reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Tab released last fall. The Flyer runs Android 2.4 on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and comes with HSPA+ (4G/3G+) capabilities for high-speed data usage.
HTC reported that we should expect it to be available in Q2 2011 but had nothing to say about pricing. Thanks to Amazon.de we now have an idea of what the cost will be for HTC's first tablet, with the product page showing a price of €669 (roughly $906 US!).
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
The review video is just over 8 minutes long. The first few minutes are spent running through the system, and from the 4:10 mark onwards, they run some benchmarks and compare the scores to other devices.
To say the expectations were high for HTC's MWC press conference would be a drastic understatement, especially since the company didn't really announce anything new at CES. So were those expectations met? Personally, I'd have to say "no," but read on to discover the complete specifications of each of their six new devices and decide for yourself.
Update: Now with official HTC videos.
Update #2: Here is the spec sheet from HTC with all the official specs.
Incredible S, Desire S, and Wildfire S
Frankly, HTC's first three announcements - the Incredible S, Desire S, and Wildfire S - are utterly boring devices.
Yesterday afternoon I unboxed an HTC Inspire 4G, the first Sense UI-equipped smartphone I've used. And let me say right now: I'm impressed. The interface has very little lag, is quite nice to look at, and very informative on the Inspire's large 4.3" LCD display. Anyway, I'll just direct you to my video hands-on:
Our full review of the Inspire 4G will be making its way to you next week, so be on the lookout.
The gang at AndIRC - lead by Jamzelle and TheEndGame7 - has already managed to completely root the HTC Thunderbolt, and with Koush's help, has ClockworkMod Recovery up and running on the device. Apparently, it was a surprisingly easy task in just about every way.
The team started with a pre-production, unbranded Thunderbolt running a January 3rd ROM. What they found was that the phone had a bootloader with S-OFF, although they note that it's not an engineering bootloader, and that it's likely a different one than production models will ship with. Even more surprisingly, the phone had no write protection.
This lines up perfectly with Droid Life's earlier speculations, though of course, it's always possible that Verizon will push the date back yet again. Because, you know, it's not like anyone is eagerly awaiting the carrier's first 4G phone or anything.
Update: Things are looking even more certain now: BGR has also been told that the Thunderbolt will be released on the 24th.
The Thunderbolt just can't come soon enough, can it? It seems we've been talking about this beast forever, and Best Buy even officially announced pre-orders, but the uncertainty regarding the actual release date has been killing us. Is it the 14th, the 24th, or something else?
And now it's not the only thing killing us - a tip confirmed by 2 sources points to a whopping $749 full retail price of the Thunderbolt, at least judging by the information currently in Best Buy's systems.
Earlier today, Droid Attic posted a snap of what looked like an internal Best Buy Thunderbolt page, listing $749.99 as its full price.