Cracking open the HTC ThunderBolt
In March 2011, Verizon began selling the HTC ThunderBolt--the first smartphone to run on its 4G LTE network. In his review, TechRepublic's Jason Hiner dubbed it the "Ferrari of smartphones". It's big, it's fast, and it guzzles battery life.
Follow along as I crack open the HTC ThunderBolt.
Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.
I got lucky when I bought my evo. I had an HTC Hero before that, loved it, but it got old. When I got the evo, I noticed that the battery on the evo was the save shape, size, capacity, etc as the old hero battery. I researched online and found that they were compatible. I now plug in my hero and evo every night and when I leave each morning I grab the extra battery. Around mid-afternoon I swap batteries and continue working.
I had a droid X loved it. But then sold it and got a Thunderbolt. I love it more. Battery life does sucks. Here's how I cope. There is an app called LTE OnOff. I run the thing in 3G most of the time. It's still fast in 3G but not screaming fast. When I feel the need for speed, I turn on LTE. on 3G, the phone will go a full day on the stock battery. Yes. I got it. You shouldn't need to slow the phone down to get a full day's use. But using the car analogy, you can own a Ferrari but if you hold the throttle to the floor all day, You???ll pass anything but a gas station. This phone???s no different. I would have traded a little bit of thickness for a bigger stock battery though. It???s funny though. When I spoke to Verizon tech support, they told me it couldn't be done, switching between 4G and 3G. I probably will still get the extended battery though because I'd like to get several days rather than ~10 hours.
There is enough information out there about the bad battery life to steer you away from this phone if that is all you care about. However if you appreciate its other benefits and uses the inconvenience of low battery life ( which can be managed) is minor. Used as a regular phone, to check your email intermittinly, send a few texts and do a little on line surfing, the battery will last easily 8 hours or more. If you are a power user or hooked up as hot spot or using other power hungry features carrying an extra battery is not that big of an inconvenience to the average person. The Thunderbolt is truly the fastest and best functioning phone that I have ever used and I tried many of them and am now a proud owner of a Thunderbolt.
A couple of spare batteries with two permanently plugged in chargers (5% of the cost of a smartfone) parked at home or office, and Edna is your aunty !!
It would seem that with a phone of this obvious quality and power that HTC would have been better off adding 1/8-1/4" in one dimension or another to allow a larger battery for a longer phone use life. The phone is only "portable" as long at the portable power source holds up and it does not sound like the battery is suitable for powering this smartphone with all of its capabilities for a day at work. I believe that a phone should be able to be fully charged overnight and be able to make it through the day without having to recharge the unit. Come on HTC put a little more thinking into the design / engineering instead of just making it SMALL and SMART. Give it enough power to make it through the day. How about a Thunderbolt Plus with slightly larger size and enough battery power to make it through the day!
Seriously, with a bit of fine-tuning, this phone is no joke. Love the screen size. Phone is FAST, tons of features, and everything just works. Good work, it's not perfect, but it is GOOD!
"Inside the lighting fast HTC ThunderBolt" was the link that I received in my inbox. I thought, "Wow, 'lighting'? Is this some new technology?" Did you mean lightning as in a bolt of.....?
I use Juice Defender set at "agressive" on my Droid incredible. By installing this app, my battery life doubled.
Having my Thunderbolt for about a couple of months, I found the background data use is what really kills the battery. I shut off almost all background services and can usually last all day. They should alter the program to stay idle until in use, there is no need to constantly update my location, weather, e-mail, facebook, GPS, etc if I am not using the info. The 4G at this time is quite fast, when it connects. unfortunately, my home office and a friends house are pretty much dead spots, as are other well known locations on Alameda. Car chargers are mandatory for all vehicles to power up when enroute.
Keep you stinking smart phones - my C510 can go over a week between charges. Probably having no friends helps that.
2 apps that are free - Advanced App Killer and Juice Defender. The combination of these 2 apps have more than doubled my battery life - just make sure that App killer never kills Juice Defender.
It is killing me beautiful screen, fast downloads, great pictures and videos, but I have to keep the phone plugged into power to get through the day. Verizon will tell you to shut features off to extend the battery life, such as....under mobile network settings turn off "always-on mobile data". Doing that will keep mail from being received, and keep apps that require a network connection from working. Now it is a phone and no longer a smartphone, what's wrong with this picture.
I purchased a Thunderbolt 2 weeks ago. I bought the extended battery based on reviews I read. I am glad that I did. I can now safely get through at least a day using Advanced Task Manager to limit apps and connectivity usage. If I use too much video/audio I only get a day. But otherwise can get about 2 days of usage with the extended battery.
My battery lasts about 8 hours without charge up. Make sure you optimize your sync settings (move to a manual sync), default radios that are enabled and screen brightness. It takes some manual balancing, however, the trade off is worth it if you need to be online.
The battery on most smartphones I've tested last about a day--under normal use. A full charge will usually get me through eight hours of making calls, checking email, browsing the Web, sending a few texts, taking a pic or two, and even streaming a little video or music. An "average work day" seems to be the de facto standard for smartphone battery life. But as Jason Hiner pointed out in his review, the HTC ThunderBolt can burn through a fully charged battery in about four hours--when using the phone's 4G capability. Is using Verizon's 4G LTE network an equitable trade for significantly less battery life?
IF IF IF....good god..you spend that much money on a "Ferrari", then take off the tires, remove the trunk, tear out all the seats and yank out the carpet just so you have enough gas to make it to the next service station? A phone should last a day with all the "features" that make it so great. The manufacturers must be laughing their butts off at us fools who buy their products and then turn every feature off just to use it. We have to STOP BUYING PRODUCTS THAT DON'T DELIVER and quit thinking it's perfectly ok to compromise when the product doesn't meet expectations.
You can turn the gps off so its not running. Turn wifi off if on network or network off when on wifi. Android handles the running apps just because you see the process doesnt mean its running. the advance killers tend to defeat the android system and cripple the phones software which is why they are not reccomended for the evo or thunderbolts. most apps if you back out correctly do not continue to run but you have to exit correctly or they will run silently
How isn't your email delivered? you turn off network when using wi fi or turn of wifi when on network dont turn off both unless you want no data.
I am a TMobile user looking forward to jumping to Verizon for this phone. I get 3 days of battery life - with reasonable use - out of my Android Cliq XT by dialing down to 2G when I am not using the data and setting my Gmail to update on command, not automatically. I have found myself far more productive to NOT get a ding telling me I have an email every 45 seconds and my battery last forever. Step away from the email, and use 4G only when you need it. Bet your battery will do just fine.
But I would just turn off the 4G radio and use Wifi only... It's been working for me so far. And for the people who can't get thru the day w/out letting their apps update at random- /sigh. I'm sure that you can set the updates to "manual" for the non important apps and save a lot of power that way
We are using the Thunderbolt in an area that does not provide the 4G network as of this moment and the battery still only lasts about 4 hours. I like the phone, but I don't think the phone has any special capability that makes it worth losing battery life so fast.
I use a Nexus 1 and the ONLY complaint I have is battery life. Most days I can baby it through the whole day but I've had it die as early as 2 in the afternoon. I purchased it with the car kit, the desk kit, and have the usb cable and two travel chargers and even with all this I can't always recharge when I need too. I have a second battery but you can only charge them in the phone so that is kind of pointless. I've looked at higher capacity batteries but then the phone won't fit the aforementioned car and desk chargers. HTC needs to give up some of the sexy form factor and give us better battery life. It doesn't matter how awesome the network or the device is, once the battery dies it's a paperweight.
Your expectations might be different than a lot of people. I say, you have a job at a desk, you can plug in your phone at your desk. If you are a high school/college student, then don't use it as much in class. Its easy to point fingers saying not to buy a product just because of one flaw. Most phones have flaws, or have features that other ones don't have. If the battery is an extreme downside for a person, they can opt for a different phone or they can buy an extended battery and a car charger. I use Juice Defender to save battery, and I dont put the brightness all the way up. Juice Defender will turn off your Data connection when the phone is locked. It will turn it on again once you unlock it. And by the way, in my opinion, your Ferrari comparison isn't the best to use for this situation.
I got the Droid X folks. I was going to hold out for the Thunder Bolt but couldn't wait the 6 weeks. Glad I did from what I am hearing. My phone lasts a day and a half with moderate to no use. When I do make calls and check email and text every two hours, I can get 16 hours out of it. Get the JuiceDefender app, Droid Wall and Lookout. My phone sips juice not gulps it.
The idiotic sales associate decided to install it on the phone. They screw with background tasks that help save my battery. He thought it would be great because I have a Thunderbolt. I deleted it as soon as I left the store. I then downloaded Juice Defender, and I get a couple extra hours. Even though it doesnt affect me really. If I plan to stay after school, I carry the charger in my bag in case.
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You can buy a battery dock for your second battery. They make them to hold 2 extra batteries and you can have it charge off a car charger or house charger or usb port. They cost about 18 bucks on ebay delivered so 3 batteries and 3 places to charge you should never run out of power. the extended batteries shouldnt interfer with a car kit in anyway unless you got some cheap one thats a universal as it only ads about 1/2 if even to thickness.
Your comments echo mine. If the inadequate battery life is what we pay for the "smart" phone when it's smart functionality has only a few hours functionality then we end up with a regular phone. Verizon lists this phone for $569 but they need to stop showing that ad, with all that power and lightning, and replace it with a "Full Disclosure" policy. It is no where woth $569 in its present form!
Technically Lookout is its own firewall I believe. I looked up Droid Wall, and it was root only. It looks pretty nice too.
I just say awesome than $50 for bigger battery. online diploma | graduates diplomas | undergraduate diploma