Skip to main content

HTC Thunderbolt to arrive on March 17

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The HTC Thunderbolt, the first smartphone equipped with 4G LTE available through Verizon Wireless, will go on sale on Thursday, March 17 for the price of $199 with the signing of a two-year contract. Off-contract Thunderbolts will cost $669.99, according to online mobile phone retailer Wirefly.

Based on Google’s Android 2.2 operating system, the Thunderbolt sports a large 4.3-inch touchscreen, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for Skype-enabled video chats. It also features Dolby surround sound and HD video recording capabilities.

Inside, it has 8GB of built-in storage and 32 GB of additional storage on a microSD card. It’s powered by a custom single-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

While the Thunderbolt is a solid offering, the thing that makes it unique is its 4G LTE-compatibility. Verizon’s LTE network, the first of its kind in the US, can support speeds of between 6Mbps and 12Mbps — thought LTE is theoretically capable of speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Wirefly began to take pre-orders of the Thunderbolt at 3am EST Tuesday morning. Verizon has not yet confirmed the launch date of the device, which debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January. But a Wirefly spokesman told Computerworld that Verizon has sent out paperwork to certified dealers to inform them of the March 17 launch date.

One thing Verizon customers looking to purchase a new phone may want to take into consideration: The Thunderbolt will be the first smartphone on Verizon to be able to support the use of both voice and data at the same time. (Think talking to someone while simultaneously looking up the location of a restaurant on Google maps .) Not even the iPhone 4 — which operates on Verizon’s 3G, rather than 4G, network — can do this.

Edit: Clarification made in the last sentence to say that simultaneous voice and data will not work on Verizon’s 3G network. The iPhone 4 can do both voice and data — when used on AT&T.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
Half of Americans will have 5G by 2020, Verizon CEO claims

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC that half of Americans will have access to 5G technology by 2020. 

Vestberg told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that he expects 5G to reach 50% of the country next year. He also said that half of Americans would own a 5G phone by 2024. 

Read more
Mobvoi’s new TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE smartwatch lasts 2 to 30 days with a catch
The improved TicWatch Pro has 4G LTE connectivity and activity detection capabilities
mobvoi ticwatch pro 4glte review 4g lte 20

Mobvoi's Ticwatch series are among your best choices for an affordable smartwatch with basic fitness tracking features running Google's Wear OS platform. But it doesn't just offer budget models -- the TicWatch Pro is notable for its sleek look, great price, and extremely long battery life. Now there's a new TicWatch Pro in town, and it's rocking a 4G/LTE connection -- though the network access won't be enabled until a month after launch.

Despite that hiccup, there's a lot to explore here. Here's everything you need to know about the TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE, and check out our hands-on review for more in-depth impressions.
4G/LTE connection
The TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE's biggest new feature is right there in the name -- thanks to the ability to connect to 4G mobile networks, the new TicWatch is capable of functioning independently of a smartphone. Or rather, it'll eventually have that ability. Unfortunately, the feature won't be enabled on launch due to compliance issues with Verizon's 4G network. Instead, it will be turned on a month after the phone launches, on August 10. Until then, you'll still be able to use the watch on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Read more
Will 5G fix America’s rural broadband woes? We asked the experts
best tiny houses

Rural Americans are by far the most under-served population when it comes to broadband access. A 2018 FCC report found that 98 percent of Americans in urban areas had access to a broadband connection, yet only 69 percent of rural Americans do. And the reason why is just what you'd expect: profitability.

Fixed broadband providers see rural America as a losing proposition, a drag on the bottom line. The infrastructure investment required is substantial, so today's modern broadband often ends outside of the far suburbs, leaving rural Americans with their smartphones as their only alternative.

Read more