On March 18, 2011, Verizon will release HTC Thunderbolt, the first 4G LTE phone of the carrier. From March 17, 2011, the phone will become available in Verizon stores and online.
HTC Thunderbolt runs on Android 2.2. It has 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch screen, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with HD (720p) video recording capability and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video chatting. It has 8GB built-in memory that can be further expanded up to 32 GB via microSD card. The phone also has a built-in kickstand.
Unveiled at CES 2011, the phone comes with the latest version of HTC Sense UI. It has new personalization options and consolidated email inbox. It also supports Gmail, YouTube and built-in access to Android Market place. Computer World says:
Verizon said in its announcement that the ThunderBolt comes with a voice plan that starts at $39.99 a month in addition to the $29.99 unlimited data plan. However, there are other options for data on the ThunderBolt that are not easy to find on Verizon's Web site, including an unlimited data plan for corporate customers that costs $44.99 a month and provides service for several e-mail accounts behind a firewall.
The unlocked HTC Thunderbolt is priced at $669.99. You can get the phone for $249.99 with a two-year service contract from Verizon. Wirefly is selling the phone for $199.99 with a two-year agreement.
If a customer wants HTC Thunderbolt for data use only then he would have to purchase the unlocked version with a 5GB monthly data service plan of $49.99 per month. Verizon’s existing customers that are paying $15 per month for 150MB data usage can switch to that data plan but this is for existing customers only not for new customers.
The HTC Thunderbolt can also be used as a mobile hotspot supporting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices. This feature will be offered for free up to May 15, 2011 and after that customers are required to pay $20 for 2GB data per month to activate the mobile hotspot.