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.
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.
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.
Verizon is about to add another card to its deck - at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the carrier intends to announce VoLTE, which will enable voice calls to be routed over their fancy new LTE network. This opens the door for simultaneous voice and data usage, a feature AT&T customers have been bragging about for ages now. Additional benefits include superior call quality between VoLTE-enabled phones, though legacy 3G users will be left behind with no improved call clarity.
Our pals over at WireFly have done an unboxing video of a production Thunderbolt, and at 7 minutes long, it provides a good look at what customers can expect to find in the box. See for yourself:
32 GB microSD card pre-installed (8 GB of ROM, for a total of 40 GB of storage)
SIM card required for LTE
4.3" 480x800px LCD
8 MP camera around back, 1.3 MP in front
Although they just barely play with the phone while it's powered on, they mentioned in an email that "This phone cranks." They also mention that WireFly will be selling the device "soon." How soon that is is up for debate though, especially in light of today's delay.
A leaked ad from Best Buy shows that the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $799.99. It also confirms rumours that the tablet will be available in-store from February 24th.
The ad seems to be the real deal (complete with the trademarked Best Buy yellow price labels), however we couldn't help but notice a few glaring spelling mistakes. Either the ad is a fake, which is unlikely at this point, or Best Buy needs to fire its current spell-checker.
We have some somewhat good news for Fascinate owners: a new, official, very final-looking Froyo build DL30 for the Samsung Fascinate has been leaked, and it's been released completely unmolested (short of pre-rooting it). Even the bloatware has been left intact.
Obviously, the silver lining here is that we can see that Samsung and Verizon are making progress, and this could be a sign that the update is closer to being ready to roll out.
A couple of leaked Verizon charts popped up on Droid Life this morning, their contents? HTC Thunderbolt propaganda - well, at least in one of them.
If Verizon's estimated LTE speeds aren't just hot air, then Sprint and T-Mobile (and AT&T) should probably be worried right now. Sprint's smartphone plan price hike probably isn't winning them any points, and T-Mobile's 4G handsets aren't exactly new and exciting (G2, myTouch, or a rehashed Vibrant - take your pick).
HTC Thunderbolt, announced at CES earlier this year, may only seem like it's underpowered compared to the dual-core offerings, but according to a very early unboxing by someone named Michael, it's quite a beast with some very admirable features. I don't know how Michael got his hands on this device so early - perhaps he's a tester, a ninja reviewer, or a VZW employee receiving Thunderbolt training (I'm most likely inclined to side with the latter), but he does spill some interesting details that I've summarized below, conveniently mixed in with some specs.