It’s also a heavy and big at 6.23 ounces and 4.75 by 2.44 by 0.56 inches. The 4.3-inch screen, with a 480 by 800 WVGA display, has respectable screen quality, if not as superb as Samsung’s Super AMOLEDs. The ThunderBolt also comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that does video at 720p, as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. It can also act as a hotspot for up to eight other devices.
The ThunderBolt was Verizon’s first 4G LTE phone, which it started selling ten months ago for $250 on contract. As evidence of how quickly the mobile space evolves, now the company has several 4G phones in its portfolio, including: Samsung Galaxy Nexus ($300), Motorola Droid Razr (16GB for $200, 32GB for $300), Motorola Droid Bionic ($200), HTC Rezound ($200), Samsung Droid Charge ($200), LG Revolution ($100), LG Spectrum ($200), Samsung Stratosphere ($100), and the Pantech Breakout ($50).
Until recently Verizon has been king of the 4G hill, but other wireless carriers have been hustling to catch up and used CES 2012 as a showcase for new 4G LTE phones and tablets. AT&T has been aggressively expanding its 4G network and has even edged out Verizon in a speed test, according to one study.
T-Mobile, for its part, has big plans for its “HSPA+ 42” 4G network, which has performed remarkably well in PCWorld’s 4G speed tests — in fact, it’s right about on par with Verizon’s LTE network. T-Mobile also announced its commitment to expanding its line of 4G-capable phones, tablets, and mobile hotspots, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze and the Nokia Lumia 710, which runs on Windows Phone.