HTC Thunderbolt $250 with Verizon Contract on March 17
St. Patrick's Day will have more going on than leprechauns and green shirts people wear only once a year. Verizon has announced that the long-delayed HTC Thunderbolt smartphone will officially go on sale March 17 for $250 with a Verizon contract.
It was supposed to launch shortly after CES, then on Valentine's Day, then several dates after that . This time, it's the real thing. The HTC Thunderbolt will be Verizon's first 4G phone , and the announcement confirms another bit of speculation that has been running through the industry: How much will 4G data cost. Verizon says that an unlimited 4G LTE data plan for the Thunderbolt will cost $30 per month (on top of the voice plan), which is the same rate as 3G data on the Verizon network.
Verizon says the Thunderbolt's 4G LTE connection will give users download speeds between 5 and 12 megabits per second and upload speeds of 2 to 5 megabits per second, but only in areas where 4G networks are available. Outside those areas, the Thunderbolt will revert back to Verizon's 3G network.
Verizon also plans to offer the mobile hot spot feature for free to Thunderbolt buyers through May 15. The mobile hotspot allows up to eight Wi-Fi devices to connect to the Internet through the Thunderbolt's 4G connection. After May 15, it will cost an additional $20 per month to use the mobile hotspot (with a 2GB data cap separate from the unlimited data for the phone itself).
The Thunderbolt has an impressive 4.3-inch touch screen display, and underneath is a 1GHz Snapdragon processor . There is a 1.3 megapixel camera in front for video calls (though Skype mobile won't be ready at launch) and an 8 megapixel camera in back capable of 720p video recording. The phone has 8GB of internal storage and Verizon will include a 32GB microSD card, bringing the total storage capacity up to 40GB.
The HTC Thunderbolt will not be available for preorders, but it will be available in Verizon stores and through Verizon's website on March 17. It will cost $250 with a new two-year voice and data service contract.