Its been a long wait for Verizon Wireless first LTE smartphone, but the HTC ThunderBolt is ready to make its debut.
The carrier announced the device today after months of speculation and criticism in the blogosphere for perceived delays. The ThunderBolt will go on sale online and in Verizon Wireless retail outlets on Thursday, March 17. Expect to pay a little more for 4G if you buy it from the carrier the Bolt will run you $249.99 with a two-year service agreement.
The ThunderBolt comes packed with power. It runs on Android 2.2 and sports a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Verizons network promises download speeds of between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps if youre in a 4G coverage area. The display is 4.3 inches and the device features two cameras the rear-facing one is 8MP and shoots 720p video; the front-facing camera enables video chat. The phone comes with mobile hotspot capability, 8GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 32GB microSD card.
Customers are required to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 per month and an unlimited 4G LTE data plan costs $29.99 per month.
The Mobile Hotspot allows you to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, but comes with an additional charge after May 15.
This first 4G smartphone on Verizons network is likely to begin another chapter in the carrier wars. Verizon broke AT&Ts exclusive stranglehold on the iPhone last month, and while it could be months before we know the full impact of that shift, Verizon has a clear advantage over its competitors in Android phones. AT&T has promised one dozen Android devices in 2011 to keep pace. A report from ComScore last week showed Googles Android had surpassed RIMs BlackBerry and Apples iOS as No. 1 in U.S. market share.
Read more about the HTC Thunderbolt on the Verizon Wireless website.