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HTC Thunderbolt

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

Prepare for another exciting communication tool as the HTC Thunderbolt combines the intuitive HTC Sense user experience with Verizon’s 4G LTE wireless network to be one of the first smartphones to integrate Skype mobile with video, making a call with the Web service as easy as a normal one. The Thunderbolt also features high speed and power with the latest generation 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. Stream and upload video content with ease as you use the high resolution camera.

Features List:

-4G LTE

-4.3 inch WVGA display

-Android 2.2 platform

-HTC Sense 2.0 with new features including Fast Boot

-Built-in kickstand for easy media viewing

Press Release:

THUNDERBOLT Delivers style and speed on verizon wireless’ 4g LTE network

LTE Capable HTC ThunderBolt Enables Sharing at 4G Speeds with Features Including Integrated Skype mobile™ and DLNA Wireless Media Connectivity

LAS VEGAS and BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – At the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Verizon Wireless and HTC today unveiled its newest 4G smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, one of the world’s first 4G LTE Android smartphones, coming soon exclusively to the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.

Taking advantage of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and the intuitiveness of the HTC Sense user experience, HTC ThunderBolt is one of the first smartphones to integrate Skype mobile with video calling. Rather than relying on a standalone application, a Skype mobile with video call can be made as easily as a standard voice call – with features like presence icons that indicate the availability status of friends built into the standard contacts list. A front-facing camera enables simple video calling, and the 4.3 inch display brings friends and family into clear focus.

HTC ThunderBolt features exceptional speed and power with the newest generation of the blazing-fast 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Verizon Wireless customers will also enjoy the premium HTC Sense user experience, running on the Android 2.2 platform. Creating and consuming mobile multimedia content is made possible with a stunning 4.3” WVGA display, Dolby surround sound, 8 megapixel camera and HD video recording. With wireless DLNA capability, the HTC ThunderBolt can be easily stream and share content directly with compatible home theater components, including HDTV’s and stereo receivers that feature built-in DLNA support.

“We are proud to not only be bringing one of the first 4G LTE Android smartphones to the Verizon Wireless network, but to offer people the unprecedented speed and ease of use that the HTC ThunderBolt provides to them,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “What makes 4G so compelling is not just technology, but what the technology allows people to do. With HTC ThunderBolt and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, 4G is brought to life as people stay connected with friends, family and content faster than ever before possible.”

“Our 4G LTE network and the HTC Sense user experience combine to enable our customers to connect with friends, family and information on a whole new level,” said Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “Customers will see the difference of 4G speeds when accessing content via the Web, Android applications or other Verizon Wireless applications.”

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network, launched in December 2010, is the fastest, most advanced 4G network in the United States, providing speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network currently reaches one-third of all Americans, with plans to expand the network to the company’s entire 3G coverage area over the next three years.

The HTC ThunderBolt will be on display at CES in Verizon Wireless’ booth (#35216 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center). For more information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte and for more information about Verizon Wireless at CES please visit www.verizonwireless.com/ces or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/verizonwireless. For more information about the HTC ThunderBolt please visit www.verizonwireless.com/thunderbolt.

For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

Digital Trends’ Cell Phone Buying Tips:

Apps

If a building is only as good as its foundation, then a smartphone is only as good as its app store. Even as manufacturers continue to stack their handsets with YouTube support, instant messaging, and other essentials right out of the box, the features just don’t add up to the amount of capability a phone can take on in the hands of the right developers: You name it, a good smartphone can do it.

The app store you buy into will have a longstanding effect on the way you use your phone – perhaps more than any other feature. But it’s tough to get a feel for every smartphone app store when you don’t get to push a cart down the aisles until you have a carrier contract in your filing cabinet and there’s no turning back.

Apple’s App Store has been leading the market in sheer numbers of apps since the original iPhone was release. Android is catching up in total numbers and offers a higher ratio of free apps in the Android Market than Apple does. Nokia’s Ovi Store, RIM’s BlackBerry App World and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace all offer quality apps but currently lag far behind Apple and Android.

Mobile operating systems

If you decide to go for a smartphone, choosing the right operating system can be an important factor. The big ones are Apple’s iOS, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, HP/Palm WebOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone (formerly Windows Mobile). Individual preferences reign supreme here, but Apple’s iPhone iOS offers the widest selection of apps and the simplest user interface, RIM’s BlackBerry OS is less intuitive but powerful and reliable, HP/Palm’s WebOS strikes a nice balance between the two, Google Android is among the most flexible, and Microsoft Window Phone 7 offers a refreshing design but it’s still finding its groove.

Best time to buy cell phones

With all major U.S. carriers announcing new phones around the clock and a dozen manufacturers all working overtime to produce the next killer device, keeping track of all the different models in circulation at any given time can seem like a Herculian task. But this frantic pace works to your advantage: Any time is a good time to buy a cell phone, as long as you keep your eyes open.

Jamie Lendino, a contributing editor at PC Magazine, recommends spotting three or four phones that suit your needs, then jumping on whichever one dives in price first. With the rapid pace of cell phones, you shouldn’t have to rest on your laurels for long. “Remember that ‘old’ in the tech world could mean just a few months from now,” says Lendino. Even the original iPhone, a high-demand handset which originally sold for $600, dropped a whopping $200 a little over two months after launch.

Of course, to take advantage of the most attractive phone deals, you’ll need to agree to a two-year service contract with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon. For potential buyers locked into existing contracts, this could mean riding it out with an older phone for a few more months in order to grab the massive rebates available upon renewal. Always call your provider to see if you might be eligible for an upgrade prior to an existing contract expiring. AT&T, for instance, allows customers with monthly bills over $99 to upgrade after just one year – as long as they’re willing to lock into another two years of service.

The difference between a smartphone and a feature phone

You could divvy up cellphones into dozens of different categories, but these are the two umbrella groups that matter. Smartphones like the iPhone can serve as personal calendars, e-mail machines, Web browsers, gaming platforms, and a literally unlimited number of other purposes. They’re essentially mini computers. Feature phones are more basic, but they still offer features like cameras, text messaging, and even some limited data connectivity, like checking weather or sports scores. Although smartphones obviously have a lot to offer, they also weigh more, offer less battery life, cost more to buy and run, and can make basic tasks like calling seem more complex. If you plan to buy one, make sure you’ll really take advantage of all the extras.

Different form factors

Even after choosing between a smartphone or feature phone, you have a lot of choices to make to decide what your phone will actually look like.

A full touch layout like the iPhone has become popular for smartphones, but you’ll usually forgo a hard keyboard as a result. Some smartphones like the Droid 2 or the BlackBerry Torch offer a slide-out keyboard as a compromise, but get thicker as a result, too. Many smartphones also dupe the popular BlackBerry design: small screen on top, small keyboard below.

In feature phones, the flip or “clamshell” form factor has proven especially popular because of its small size and the fact that it protects the screen and keys when closed. Phones with both the screen and keypad on a fixed rectangular slab are typically called “candybar” phones. As with smartphones, you’ll many feature phones with dedicated QWERTY keyboards, which can be handy for frequent text messagers.

Whichever you decide to go with, make sure to physically handle the phone at a kiosk or store prior to buying. Pictures can often drastically misrepresent the size of phones.

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