The world’s first LTE phone, HTC Thunderbolt, is now available from Verizon for $249.99 with a two-year contract or $599.99 if you want the contract-free, unlocked version.
The device itself is a very capable Android 2.2-based phone, with a a single core 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, 768 MB of RAM (for some reason, Verizon’s site currently lists only 68 MB of RAM, but we believe it’s a mistake), 8 GB of built-in memory and 32 GB of additional memory on a microSD card. The touchscreen is a full 4.3-incher with a 480×800 resolution, and the 8-megapixel camera with LED flash (there’s another 1.3-megapixel camera on the front side) will make sure you can take some pretty photos to show off on that big screen.
You will not be buying the Thunderbolt for its hardware capabilities alone, however: its killer feature is support for LTE, the widely adopted 4G-ready mobile network standard that enables very fast wireless data transfer. Theoretically, it enables peak download rates of 326.4 Mbit/s, but users probably won’t be experiencing those speeds just yet.
Verizon is a little shy on the details, merely saying the technology will enable you to “download movies in minutes, photos in seconds”. We can’t wait to see the data transfer speeds in real life usage.