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.
According to one of our trusted tippers and backed up by a leak that surfaced earlier today at Android Central, Samsung Epic 4G and Transform owners will be finally getting a taste of Android 2.2 "Froyo" in 4 days - on Monday, March 21st.
It wouldn't be the first time Sprint tried to throw the delicious treat at Epic users - the long-awaited Froyo update began rolling out on February 21st but only lasted 3 days before getting shut down by Sprint due to multiple complications with SD cards and data connectivity.
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.
Remember that onslaught of dual-core smartphones and Honeycomb-running tablets we have been anticipating for a while now? It has already begun - and it is only going to keep on growing. The latest rumored release is for the LG G-Slate and G2X, which, according to TmoNews, are both set to launch at T-Mobile stores on April 20.
The dual-core G-Slate (also known as Optimus Pad) will be, along with the upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1, the first Honeycomb-running rivals to give the Motorola XOOM a run for its money.
A research firm is claiming that Sprint is not only transitioning to LTE, but that the process is already well under way. Supposedly codenamed by Sprint "Project Leapfrog," Gerson Lehrman Group says they have knowledge of Sprint's switch and that it will apparently take place over the course of the next three years.
"Sprint has initiated project leapfrog with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung to upgrade its network to LTE," cited the report.
After months of anticipation and weeks of delays, we kind of lost faith and thought this day would never come. However, the HTC Thunderbolt just went live on VZW's own site, including free overnight shipping, which means you can get your hands on the first LTE phone by the 18th (unless you go to a local store, of course).
Just as @VerizonWireless tweeted yesterday, the 2-year contract price is $249.99 (which is not nearly as good as the $179.99 Amazon or the $199 Wirefly deals, but much better than the post-20th $299.99 Best Buy rip-off), 1-year is $319.99, but when I saw the month-to-month off-contract price, my eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
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.
Site GLBenchmark showed a very interesting log of a phone, dubbed the HTC Shooter, checking in recently. As this is the device's development codename, the speculation is that this could be Sprint's sequel to the EVO - the EVO 3D - that we will likely hear about at CTIA next week.
As you can see in the screenshot taken below, the Shooter sports 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution (the same as the Atrix) and is running Android 2.3.2 'Gingerbread.' The model is listed as PG86100 and it is clearly setup for Sprint's network.
A couple of super-sneaky members over at Howard Forums have leaked some photos of the upcoming Droid 3, and it's looking much thinner than its most recent predecessor. The Verizon phone, which has not yet been officially announced, popped up in three different pictures today.
As you can see below, the second sequel to Motorola's popular Droid has a thinner top piece to conceal the customary full QWERTY keyboard. Not much else is known about the phone at this point, but this could be shaping up to be a much more attractive offering than its ancestor in the Droid line.
Just when we thought that news about the HTC Thunderbolt was going to die down now that the mystery of its long-anticipated launch has been solved, word comes that Best Buy will only be offering the LTE phone at the $249.99 price until March 20 -after which it will be $299.99. While the phone has generated a lot of buzz, it's hard not to view this price hike as Best Buy shooting themselves in the foot.