A new generation of Android phones will star launching at Verizon this week, with Thursday release of the HTC Thunderbolt. Should you buy it?
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The Thunderbolt is one of the most anticipated releases of a non-Apple phone ever released by Verizon.
That’s because it’s the first phone offered by Verizon that can go head to head with the Apple iPhone 2 and win.
The Thunderbolt debuts Thursday morning at Verizon for $250 with a two-year contract, but you can get it for $200 at other retailers.
Unlike the iPhone 2, the HTC Thunderbolt uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network, so uploading, downloading and loading website will generally be between three and 10 times faster. (Verizon is widely believed to be the premier wireless network, so I tend to pay more attention to its releases.)
While Apple’s iPhone store has 300,000 apps versus 100,000 for Android, the Thunderbolt offers a bunch of other advantages. For instance, it can use Adobe Flash, a commonly used video system on the Web, while iPhone cannot.
The Thunderbolt also comes with Skype installed, so you can video chat with anyone—not just another iPhone or iPad user. If you’re on the Thunderbolt and a friend is on his phone, tablet or computer using Skype, you can video chat. Plus, the Thunderbolt gives you an eight megapixel camera versus five MPs on the iPhone.
If you’ve been waiting for an Anrdroid phone that can match the iPhone, the HTC Thunderbolt could be for you. However, if you’re willing to wait another few weeks, another Android phone, the Motorola Bionic, will is scheduled to be launched by Verizon in the second quarter.
While the Thunderbolt is an excellent choice, it’s going to have an edge over the Thunderbolt because it will have all of the features mentioned above plus superior battery life and it is the first phones to use a new dual-core 1GHz processor that will beat the Thunderbolt for multitasking.
New Android 4G phones will be launched every month on Verizon between now and the end of the year. So whatever you buy now will be old in a year.