New HTC Inspire user: Thinking of HTC Thunderbolt

Casey Cheung

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Hello All,

My name is Casey, a proud new owner of an HTC Inspire from AT&T for past 2 weeks. This is my first Android phone. Wow, I'm very, no make that extremely impressed with this phone! My most recent previous phone was the Sprint Palm Pre for past 2 years, and before that, 3 different versions of the Palm Treo phone. The HTC Inspire blows away all my past smart phones hands down!

Here's my dilemma. Shortly after getting the Inspire, I soon discovered Verizon is coming out with the Thunderbolt. Now I have my eyes on the Thunderbolt! I have no love for AT&T, so I can easily switch carriers, especially since I'm still within my 30 day return policy.

The reason I'm considering switching to the Thunderbolt is because of its front facing camera, more memory storage, hopefully longer battery life, and more importantly for Verizon's hopefully faster LTE 4g network. Even just as important, I'm hoping Verizon will offer an unlimited data plan for a fixed price, whereas I'm now paying $25 for only 2GB of monthly data with AT&T. What do others think about this? Feel free to chime in. I've been checking the internet for all the rumors of release dates for the Thunderbolt, and it's been driving me nutty.

I'm already totally sold on the HTC Inspire, so therefore, I'm sticking with the HTC Android line of phones, and I'm hoping the Thunderbolt will be that much better, especially on the Verizon network. I had already played around with the Motorola Atrix, but was underwhelmed, and didn't like the smaller screen, nor cramped keyboard, so I'm sticking with HTC instead of going with Motorola.

My HTC Inspire with its 4.3" screen is a joy to use for web browsing. I really like the fact it can play videos that require flash. Not even an iPhone can do that! I know because I've tested the iPhone 4 and HTC Inspire side by side, and only the HTC Inspire phone (along with other similar Android phones) could play flash videos, but the iPhone simply could not. Lame!

The Inspire phone is so fast and responsive too. There is such minimal lag if any, the Inspire simply jumps whenever I press buttons, such a joy! I really don't understand why people think a dual-core processor phone can be significantly faster than the HTC Inspire, because I've tested the Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire side by side, and truly I don't see any noticeable speed difference with the Atrix.

The only minor problem I had on a couple occasions was when my Inspire wouldn't do something it should normally do, such as showing all apps when pressing that particular button. I simply took out the battery and reinserted, and the problem was instantly fixed. I wish I knew a way to do a soft reset withOUT having to take out the battery, because the battery door is such a pain to take out. Anyone know a better way to do a soft reset of the Inspire?

I was also blown away by the Voice activation function of the Inspire. I've successfully used this for doing text messaging and emailing friends. I've shown this feature to my coworkers and they were blown away by how accurate voice activation is! Even fellow iPhone users were jealous! Especially when I also pointed out their iPhones couldn't play flash videos! Haha!

I was also very impressed with the AT&T Navigation GPS function, wow, it's very advanced! It even gives lane assistance too when making turns! At first I was taken back by the extra $10 monthly charge by AT&T for this GPS navigation app, but after using this a few times, it's darn worth it! By the way, does anyone know if using the navigation app counts towards my 2GB data monthly usage plan? Or not?

I could go on and on about how much I like my HTC Inspire phone, but I think you fellow users already know. I'm the Android noobie myself here! I think I will be an Android user for many years to come! I'm just hoping the Thunderbolt will be even that much better, so we shall see.
 
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As far as data usage for AT&T Navigator -from AT&T's Site: " Data charges apply for route information (average route uses 35 KB, or about 30 routes = 1MB)" so you have to keep that in mind. Also wanted to ask if you were aware that Google Maps with Navigation has turn-by-turn navigation and doesn't cost anything.
Also just want to say that is nice to hear that you enjoy the Inspire so much as I just ordered one and expect to see it sometime today! It will also be my first Android phone. (first smart phone for that matter!) I think that if you like the Inspire that you will similarly like the Thunderbolt whenever the darn thing comes out if you opt to switch networks. I kind of have to stick with AT&T myself, but I have had very few issues ever with their service so that is fine with me.
 

Casey Cheung

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Hi Reluctanthippie,

Thanks for your reply. I should check out Google map as you mentioned. Too bad GPS Navigation uses up my data plan...oh well, it is what it is. That's just another reason why I'm hoping Verizon will have an unlimited all-you-can-eat data plan. Since you are probably a long time AT&T user, this means you are (or will be) grandfathered in for their unlimited data plan, assuming if you had a data plan with them previously. You will really like the HTC Inspire phone. I instantly got spoiled by its 4.3" screen! Plus the device is relatively thin, and the entire phone along with a "Body Glove" case fits easily in my right front trouser pocket. I also forgot to mention that the Inspire camera with its 8mp camera lens is truly darn good for picture quality. Plus the 720 high definition video and Dolby surround sound playback is amazing! You can even zoom in and out while doing video recording! Even in low light, the camera can take great stills handheld. I don't know how much photography you do, but the Inspire has amazing camera abilities, especially for a cell phone.
 

blazablaz

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Either or are great imo. I would have liked to get the verizon version for the ffc but when i had my ip4, i hardly ever used it so it's not important to me. only real concern is the price difference. if you don't mind paying for it, go for it. being thunderbolt is retail exclusive to bestbuy, i see no discount coming from them or verizon. i believe it is $249 or $329 on contract? cant remember at the moment compared to $99 for the Inspire. If they offer unlimited, than i would consider the move since you have a 2gb plan instead of unlimited. Do you use alot of data? Do you have wifi readily available? is ffc that important to you? also for the price of the inspire on contract compared to the thunderbolt on contract, you can easily purchase a 32gb card for the inspire for $70 and still be well under the price difference. Either or is a good choice, just decide the carrier you want to be on first before the phone.You can also reset the phone by holding the power button and restarting it instead of taking out the battery.
 
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Shempster

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I was kind of waiting on the TB after I returned my second Inspire. It was only because of the network that I was considering the TB. From a spec & benchmark view point, the Inspire is about 85% of a TB. The TB has a slightly larger battery, FFC, kick stand & 32Gb memory card.

I live in a 4G city but ATT has good, not great coverage & speeds where I live & hang out. Its my understanding that Verizon may initially offer unlimited data – though I think their still thinking on all this. I think the battery issue & data plans are the hold up with the TB.

At any rate, even if you were to get unlimited data you'd only be grandfathered until you changed something – phones and/or a new contract. And there’s no law that says the have to grandfather anybody for anything.

I thought about it like this:

The Inspire is $50 at Costco & about 85% of the performance of the TB which is going to be $250 to $300. In real world day to day use, I seriously doubt you'll notice a difference between them in the user interface. That’s 5 to 6 times the price for about 15% better performance. If ATT's coverage/speed is adequate for you, where you are, then think about the above. If ATT's situation isn't up to snuff where you're at, then I don't think anybody would think twice about the TB & it's price.

The TB is going to be a nice device. The Inspire is a nice device. The TB isn't going to be some magic phone that's going to change the world or your life.

Bottom line: If money is an issue at all, and if ATT is working for you, go for it & save the cash. If it's not working for you, then pony up the cash for the TB & try Verizon. There are no guarentees in life, its up to you, your wants, needs & where you live & frequent as to network coverage & your satifaction with a phone/network.
 
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clintrojan

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It has been confirmed that Verizon is switching to a Tiered Data Plan system before the end of Q2 of 2011. Details are not yet available but it will be like either AT&T or T-Mobile.

Sprint is the only ones who have a truly unlimited data plan left.

Honestly Verizon's data speeds are slower than AT&T currently, and since it is CDMA when you are using phone then you cannot use texting or data at the same time as talking.

When LTE is up and running Verizon will probably be fast than AT&T, but AT&T is suppose to be getting LTE by the end of the year.
 

Casey Cheung

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Either or are great imo. I would have liked to get the verizon version for the ffc but when i had my ip4, i hardly ever used it so it's not important to me. only real concern is the price difference. if you don't mind paying for it, go for it. being thunderbolt is retail exclusive to bestbuy, i see no discount coming from them or verizon. i believe it is $249 or $329 on contract? cant remember at the moment compared to $99 for the Inspire. If they offer unlimited, than i would consider the move since you have a 2gb plan instead of unlimited. Do you use alot of data? Do you have wifi readily available? is ffc that important to you? also for the price of the inspire on contract compared to the thunderbolt on contract, you can easily purchase a 32gb card for the inspire for $70 and still be well under the price difference. Either or is a good choice, just decide the carrier you want to be on first before the phone.You can also reset the phone by holding the power button and restarting it instead of taking out the battery.


Thanks for your reply. Actually, I'm less concerned about the upfront $300 cost, but more concerned about the monthly bill, which is why I'm hoping that Verizon will have an unlimited data plan. I hardly talk on my cell phone, probably only a few hundred minutes a month or less. But I use lots of data, as many of my apps require data usage. I see my phone more as a miniature iPad for web browsing, and talking to people as incidental. I agree that video conferencing won't be very often, at least nowadays. But in the future, I think video conferencing will be much more useful as more people have this feature. Therefore, I really want this, more for preparing for the future.

By the way, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for showing me how to do a soft reset!! So much easier than taking out the battery!
 

Casey Cheung

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I was kind of waiting on the TB after I returned my second Inspire. It was only because of the network that I was considering the TB. From a spec & benchmark view point, the Inspire is about 85% of a TB. The TB has a slightly larger battery, FFC, kick stand & 32Gb memory card.

I live in a 4G city but ATT has good, not great coverage & speeds where I live & hang out. Its my understanding that Verizon may initially offer unlimited data ? though I think their still thinking on all this. I think the battery issue & data plans are the hold up with the TB.

At any rate, even if you were to get unlimited data you'd only be grandfathered until you changed something ? phones and/or a new contract. And there?s no law that says the have to grandfather anybody for anything.

I thought about it like this:

The Inspire is $50 at Costco & about 85% of the performance of the TB which is going to be $250 to $300. In real world day to day use, I seriously doubt you'll notice a difference between them in the user interface. That?s 5 to 6 times the price for about 15% better performance. If ATT's coverage/speed is adequate for you, where you are, then think about the above. If ATT's situation isn't up to snuff where you're at, then I don't think anybody would think twice about the TB & it's price.

The TB is going to be a nice device. The Inspire is a nice device. The TB isn't going to be some magic phone that's going to change the world or your life.

Bottom line: If money is an issue at all, and if ATT is working for you, go for it & save the cash. If it's not working for you, then pony up the cash for the TB & try Verizon. There are no guarentees in life, its up to you, your wants, needs & where you live & frequent as to network coverage & your satifaction with a phone/network.

Thanks for your reply. Very logical. Actually, I think both Verizon and AT&T would probably meet my needs just fine in terms of coverage for where I live and work. I also have a company issued Blackberry under Verizon, and signal strength is just fine most of the time. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean I will get great 4G coverage with Verizon, but I'm willing to take a chance, especially if I can get all you can eat data plan. I'm not so concerned about the upfront cost. I'm so used to paying over $600 for every time Sprint came out with a new Palm Treo smartphone in the past! So $300 seems like a relative bargain for the Thunderbolt.
 

blazablaz

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no problem.... :cool: My next phone i will be a bit more concerned about ffc as i think it will become a standard by than in high end phones. But that will all depend on how the carriers handle it with the data. Unless i'm unlimited I def wouldn't use my data for video calling on a regular basis.
 

Casey Cheung

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It has been confirmed that Verizon is switching to a Tiered Data Plan system before the end of Q2 of 2011. Details are not yet available but it will be like either AT&T or T-Mobile.

Sprint is the only ones who have a truly unlimited data plan left.

Honestly Verizon's data speeds are slower than AT&T currently, and since it is CDMA when you are using phone then you cannot use texting or data at the same time as talking.

When LTE is up and running Verizon will probably be fast than AT&T, but AT&T is suppose to be getting LTE by the end of the year.


Thanks for your reply. I'm sure Verizon will switch to a tiered plan, but hopefully I can get in for an unlimited plan...and stay there! I previously had Sprint with their unlimited data plan for a number of years. But seriously, the data speed I had with Sprint was rather slow, or maybe it was my phone as well. The main reason I left Sprint was because everytime I went out of town to a different state, my Sprint phone(s) never rang! Callers simply went into voicemail. Very frustrating. But I sure did like their unlimited data plan though.

By the way, based on reports I've read on the internet, isn't the Thunderbolt suppose to be able to have simultaneous talk and data feature, albeit on Verizon's 3g network? I've read about this (alleged) feature on more than one internet blog.
 
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ddot196

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I just got the inspire and it is amazing coming from the iPhone 4 so much better. If it doesn't matter what carrier you're on then go with the thunderbolt. It's just a glorified inspire/evo/desire. I personally have no problems with ATT in the Houston area and in fact am usually always on ATT "4g" network and it is nice. I also still have my old unlimited plan from the iPhone 3g so its even better. I agree the HTC sense UI is amazing.
 

bstmstrxellos

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It has been confirmed that Verizon is switching to a Tiered Data Plan system before the end of Q2 of 2011. Details are not yet available but it will be like either AT&T or T-Mobile.

Sprint is the only ones who have a truly unlimited data plan left.

Honestly Verizon's data speeds are slower than AT&T currently, and since it is CDMA when you are using phone then you cannot use texting or data at the same time as talking.

When LTE is up and running Verizon will probably be fast than AT&T, but AT&T is suppose to be getting LTE by the end of the year.

Actually, the Thunderbolt has an SV-DO chip in it which allows you to use data and talk at the same time whether your on 3g or 4g.
 

westcoastflava

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I'm in the same boat. I was a verizon customer, got sick of waiting for the thunderbolt, and moved to ATT and picked up an Inspire.

This phone is slick!

Of course a week later, the thunderbolt comes out and I am wondering whether to return the Inspire. I am undecided. Apparently the Inspire is faster (Verizon is said to have underclocked the thunderbolt to address battery issues) and the Inspire is just a slicker design. I like the metallic design over the entire phone. I also like how it is $150 bucks less that the Thunderbolt. I also like that I will be able to use it on a couple of upcoming trips to Europe. I also expected battery issues, but I haven't had much.

Things I don't like about the Inspire / AT&T:

- What is up with the delay with At&t's text messaging? Is it just me? That's annoying.
- It seems like AT&T's network might be slower? But this is hard to tell.
- I can't install apps from "unknown sources" like I could on my Droid. (i.e. Swype is a pain to install)
- Doesn't have LTE. Which I'm not sure I need. I am on wifi most of my day. But still...

So I'm on the fence. If I stick with the Inspire I will take the $150 I am saving and buy a 32gb microsd card for my music.

Also this is a pretty great review of the Thunderbolt that I recommend you watch, which briefly shows the Inspire side by side about halfway through.
YouTube - HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon Review
 
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westcoastflava

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Oh, the other reason I don't like At&t is the bandwidth caps you guys were talking about. But really, I only use 300-400mb a month MAX. Still, I don't like where that is going, and I don't like that At&t is leading the way.

... and when I said the Inspire was slightly faster, I just meant processor speed. Obviously the Thunderbolt will blow the Inspire away on network speed.
 

mthorn79

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I had the Inspire for 2 weeks & I loved it, everything about the phone I enjoyed, except AT&T's throttled service! Quickest I got was 2.5mbps/1.2mbps (Down/Up), also hated the tiered plan by AT&T, I stream Pandora at work & had hit 600mb in just 5 days of my 2Gb plan!! So the T-bolt was released & I took my phone back & picked up the T-bolt. There are things on this phone that I miss about the Inspire, like the aluminum back was awesome & the size was slightly bigger than the T-bolt which I loved. Yet the T-bolt makes up for the aluminum back with the kickstand which really comes in handy if u like to leave your screen on while you stream anything. The BIG plus is the LTE service, the highest I've gotten in my office is 31.05mbps/6.75mbps (Down/Up)...average is around 20mbps/6mbps (I did a test on my company's Roadrunner internet & score 9mbps higher!!)...HUGE difference in AT&T's supposed '4G' service (what a joke!) Plus the Inspire will NEVER be LTE capable! Oh & get into VZ's unlimited 4G while you can, rumors are that they are going to tier their plans like everyone in the next few months.

Oh & another big plus, I don't have to sideload apps anymore! Just checkmark "Accept apps from untrusted sources"...thats it.
 

Casey Cheung

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Yes, I too refunded my AT&T HTC Inspire phone and got the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt. Wow!! This thing is very fast for internet speed, plus I got the UN-limited data plan for $29.99, and the Thunderbolt also does simultaneous data and talk too! The Mobile Hotspot feature is blazing fast for tethering! Too good!
 

mthorn79

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Yes, I too refunded my AT&T HTC Inspire phone and got the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt. Wow!! This thing is very fast for internet speed, plus I got the UN-limited data plan for $29.99, and the Thunderbolt also does simultaneous data and talk too! The Mobile Hotspot feature is blazing fast for tethering! Too good!

Glad you made the switch as well. I really can't tell much difference in looks of the 2 phones really, which is good because the Inspire was just a beautiful phone.

Does the Thunderbolt seem like it has less width in your hand than the Inspire?

I noticed it right off the bat that the phone as a whole seemed smaller (still huge by most phone standards).
 

Casey Cheung

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Glad you made the switch as well. I really can't tell much difference in looks of the 2 phones really, which is good because the Inspire was just a beautiful phone.

Does the Thunderbolt seem like it has less width in your hand than the Inspire?

I noticed it right off the bat that the phone as a whole seemed smaller (still huge by most phone standards).


No, I can't really say that the Thunderbolt feels any smaller versus the Inspire. Plus after putting on the semi hard/flexible silicone case, the Thunderbolt feels pretty much like the Inspire did with the same type of carry case. Unfortunately, I don't have the Inspire anymore so I can't do a side by side comparison. The only major difference with the Thunderbolt is that it has a kickstand, which I consider to be a completely useless thing. In fact the kickstand muffles the sound of the external speaker, which makes it harder to hear unless I open the kickstand. This is very inconvenient when say, I'm using the Thunderbolt GPS app for driving and trying to listen to turn by turn instructions. When the kickstand is closed, it really lowers and muffles the sound to the point I'm having a hard time hearing the darn thing. But the Inspire phone was quite loud with its external speaker which I reaaaaaaally liked! The other major thing is the front facing camera on the Thunderbolt. But the irony is that the Thunderbolt does NOT have Skype built into it like the press said it would. In fact, downloading Skype from the Market app doesn't even work properly! What a joke! Oh well, one day hopefully soon, I can actually use the front facing camera correctly for video conferencing. The other major thing is that the Thunderbolt has a much easier snap off back cover to swap out the battery, whereas the Inspire phone you would break fingernails trying to take off the silly battery lid! I'm not kidding when I say that the Verizon 4G LTE internet speed is muuuuuuuuch faster than AT&T's network!! As a matter of fact, I no longer use mobile version websites when viewing websites on my Thunderbolt because pages load so fast that I prefer the full web page version instead! For example, forget the mobile version website for accessing Facebook. I now go straight to the full website version instead because the full page loads in seconds! I'm now so spoiled by fast internet speed on the Thunderbolt via Verizon's network, that I don't want to go back to anything slower! Plus with UNlimited all you can eat buffet data for only $29.99 monthly, I'm loving this! I don't even want to tell you how well porn videos play on the Thunderbolt! It's unreal! ;)