After the Sprint press conference officially ended, they quite literally pulled back the curtains to reveal a large viewing area, with a team of Sprint and HTC employees available to demo the HTC EVO 3D and View 4G. While we weren't allowed to get our mitts on the EVO 3D, we were allowed to play with the View 4G a bit. In both cases, the employees on the floor provided a quick hands-on of the devices.
Well, it's finally here - after almost as many rumored (and subsequently unmet) release dates as the Notion Ink Adam, the HTC ThunderBolt has finally gone on sale. But with a sky-high $250 price tag and essentially the same hardware as the rapidly aging Desire HD, can it still impress?
That's not an easy question to answer - while the ThunderBolt is a great all-around device on an incredibly zippy network, it doesn't exactly have the most future-proof hardware in the business, and it comes armed to the teeth with bloatware.
When you think of Android's openness, what comes to mind first? Is it the open source code of AOSP? Or maybe nearly 200 devices that run the Android now? Perhaps tethering, built right into the OS? How about the GPLv2 license requirement for manufacturers to publish all changes to the Linux kernel simultaneously with each phone's release?
If you are a custom ROM developer or even user, that last bit there probably occupies one of the top positions, and rightfully so - without it, proprietary changes to the kernel would remain hidden and would need to be reverse engineered.
Earlier today, Engadget managed to get their hands on the Spring release schedule for UK carrier, Three. Along with some exciting, though previously known, products, such as the HTC Flyer, Desire S, ChaCha, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, and the Blackberry Playbook, we got our first peek at the Samsung Galaxy S II Mini.
While this device is the little brother of the Galaxy S II, the specs on this phone are anything but mini.
We fixed it for you. Unlike the root method we described yesterday, following the instructions below will provide S-OFF, remove signature checks, and unlock eMMC. Enjoy!
Rooting The ThunderBolt - Version 2.5
That didn't take long. A collaborative effort between numerous Android hackers just managed to crack the Thunderbolt's bootloader wide open, successfully booting a custom recovery image. They also incidentally discovered a new root method in the process. Credit goes to jcase, jamezelle, and scotty2 (and all of andirc) for working out the details, and ProTekk and Trident for putting their shiny new Thunderbolts on the line. Here's the visual proof:
Image credit: Trident, ProTekk
We'll keep you apprised on the situation with instructions on how to go about unlocking your own Thunderbolt as we get more information.
Update: Bootloader and recovery are both locked and signed. See new screenshot.
Update #2: The device has been rooted, and its bootloader has been unlocked!
Some of our good friends over at AndIRC (most thanks going to scotty2 for discovering it, and Trident for being the guinea pig) have discovered a bit of troubling information regarding the HTC Thunderbolt: its bootloader and recovery are locked. What does that mean, exactly?
The rumor mill has been abuzz with gossip about Sprint's CTIA event lately, and if BGR's sources are to be believed, the speculation was spot-on: the conference will indeed be centered around the HTC EVO 3D and EVO View 4G, with a WiMAX version of the Motorola XOOM making an appearance as well.
First up, we have the EVO 3D - HTC's first foray into three-dimensional territory - which will reportedly feature:
- A 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) autostereoscopic 3D display
- 4GB of RAM (I'm thinking this is a typo - even powerhouses like the XOOM and the Atrix only have 1GB of RAM)
- 1GB of ROM
- A 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8660 Snapdragon CPU
- Dual 5MP rear cameras; dedicated camera button included
- A 1.3MP front-facing camera
- A 1730mAh battery
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with HTC's Sense UI
- Blockbuster on-demand
- YouTube 3D
EVO View 4G
Just as expected, the EVO View 4G is almost exactly the same tablet as the (admittedly underwhelming) Flyer that HTC demoed at MWC.
From what we've seen around the AP offices, the Thunderbolt is the most highly-anticipated Android phone in some time. It's no surprise, either: between HTC's respectable name, tested-and-true hardware, and LTE, all accounts describe it as a fantastic piece of kit. HTC has released a short promo video featuring some of the key employees behind development of the device, and it's actually a surprisingly well-shot, well-cut, interesting view - definitely worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.
However, thanks to Amazon Wireless, haters now have one less reason to pick on the ThunderBolt: the online retailer is selling Verizon's first LTE phone for just $179.99 - $70 less than the official $249.99 price.