HTC ThunderBolt Pre-orders Could Start on Sunday

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In the wake of a broad hint from Verizon that the HTC ThunderBolt is going to hit store shelves soon comes a report that the retailer Best Buy is going to start taking pre-orders for this smartphone in just a few days.

The ThunderBolt is going to sport a high-end feature set: Android OS 2.2, a large display, and support for Verizon’s 4G network.

HTC ThunderBoltAt one point, Verizon said this model wouldn’t be be on the market until March at the earliest, but yesterday the company said the release “May be sooner than we expected”.

Unconfirmed reports based on information that has leaked out of this carrier have said the launch is going to be Feb. 14.

Those who are interested in the ThunderBolt will be able to put in a pre-order with Best Buy on Feb. 6, according to an early copy of this store’s weekly sales circular has appeared on the Web.  Doing so will require putting down a $50 deposit.

The price for this model has yet to be officially announced or leak out.

HTC ThunderBolt Overview
At this point, the ThunderBolt is shaping up to be Verizon’s very first smartphone with support for the 4G standard LTE. This will give it data transfer speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps for downloads and 2 to 5 Mbps upload speeds under real world conditions. For comparison, tests on this carrier’s current 3G network gave download speeds of 0.6 to 1.6 Mbps and upload speeds of 0.5 to 0.8 Mbps. 

Aside from this, though, the device isn’t going to be a huge jump above high-end smartphones that were released last year. It is still going to be fully-packed with features.

It will offer a 4.3-inch WVGA screen in a tablet shape with a kickstand on the back.

This model from HTC is going to run Google’s Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC’s Sense overlay on a 1 GHz processor. It won’t have a significant amount of internal storage capacity, but will have a microSD card slot with a bundled 32 GB card.

HTC ThunderBolt Hands-on PreviewOther features are going to include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a digital compass, GPS, a proximity sensor, and a G-sensor.

It will have a front-facing camera and support for video conferencing. This will eventually be supplied by Skype, but this app might not be included when the HTC ThunderBolt first ships.

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