Some of you readers will see this list and think we must be out of our minds and some of you will see this list and think "it's about time." After much testing and thought, we've come to the conclusion that the HTC ThunderBolt is the new number one smartphone from Verizon, thereby dethroning the Apple iPhone 4. There's not many lists I've seen where the iPhone is number two, so relish this moment, Apple haters.

In reality, no matter who you root for, you can't deny the sheer power and high-quality performance that the ThunderBolt brings to the table. Not only does the device have a next-generation 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch display, and HTC's new Sense 2.0 UI, it also delivers super-fast 4G LTE speeds for data, an awesome 8MP rear-facing camera as well as a front-facing camera, and a 32 GB microSD card to back up the 8 GB of internal storage.

True, the battery life is borderline terrible and there's some kinks that need to be worked out with the software. Even with those faults, the iPhone has some new competition, and as of right now, it can't hold onto the number one spot.  Check out the list below and let us know what you think!

Best Verizon SmartphoneView full product info

1. HTC ThunderBolt


  • Offers blazing fast 4G LTE speeds, for the price of a normal data plan (until Verizon goes to a tiered data model)
  • The 1 GHz next-generation Snapdragon processor, while not dual-core, is an improvement over first-gen devices like the HTC EVO 4G
  • It's a feature-packed device, with a 4.3-inch display, 8-megapixel camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 2.2 with HTC Sense 2.0
  • Comes with a 32 GB microSD card and 8 GB of internal storage to total almost 40 GB of available storage space.


  • Battery life is poor to terrible, depending on usage habits
  • Occasional issues with text messaging application
  • The number of "force close" (similar to "this program is not responding" on a PC) messages are a potential concern
  • While it comes with HTC Sense 2.0, Verizon has stripped most of the fun from it, including access to HTCSense.com and the corresponding customization options


Despite issues with the battery life and some of the applications, the HTC ThunderBolt surpasses the iPhone 4 to take over the number one spot on our list.  The 4G LTE speeds are absolutely phenomenal, and the device is feature-packed with an 8-megapixel camera, 4.3-inch display, and almost 40 GB of memory.  Unfortunately, the battery life is very poor, and there are some software issues.  Despite the cons, the phone is the new top smartphone on Verizon and should please Android die-hards and intermediate users alike.

Second best Verizon SmartphoneView full product info

2. Apple iPhone 4


  • The iPhone is finally on Verizon!
  • The new iPhone builds on a successful formula with a thinner, more luxurious design, higher resolution display, and improved camera paired with a front-facing camera and video-calling software
  • Best HD video capture from any mobile phone we've ever tested
  • 5-megapixel camera is fantastic and offers HDR (high dynamic range) for vibrant, colorful pictures


  • "Death Grip" issue is still present, though it impacts the top part of the device, making it less of an issue.
  • Proximity Sensor bug causing some users to experience unwanted muting, hang-ups and speakerphone activation during calls
  • White model has been delayed multiple times, still not available
  • No overseas roaming, and data is slower than GSM version


Like AT&T, the iPhone 4 is a great smartphone on Verizon. Whatever you think of Apple's approach to smartphones, iPhone 4 is incredibly thin, has the best display ever to grace a mobile phone, and serves up state-of-the-art media capabilities. Some will prefer something else because they prefer Android, webOS, or Windows Phone 7. For everyone else, iPhone offers the perfect balance of design and features, and overall, is the second best smartphone on Verizon.

Third best Verizon SmartphoneView full product info

3. HTC DROID Incredible

  • Near-perfect combination of power, large display, and light/pocketable form factor
  • Brilliant 3.7" display is multitouch aware for easy Web and photo browsing
  • Android 2.2 plus HTC Sense offers social networking integration and access to thousands of apps
  • Lack of availability through the summer may have pushed potential buyers to a different Android device
  • AMOLED display has been replaced by SLCD, due to supply issues
  • Early adopters have complained of battery life problems
  • 8MP camera isn't quite on par with the best cameraphones on the market

On par, HTC's Droid Incredible is the ideal all-touch smartphone in Verizon's lineup and is priced well, though it faces stiff competition from the Apple iPhone 4. Some power users will opt for Motorola's Droid X or DROID 2 instead, but we think Incredible offers the best blend of power, usability and size. Unless you want a hard keyboard, that is.


Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC ThunderBolt

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

100 Reactions to this post

"The HTC ThunderBolt has surpassed the iPhone 4 for the number one spot on our Verizon Wireless "Best Smartphones" list. Do you agree, or do you think we're crazy?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Tony Ward @zach cline , in all the years I have been reviewing mobile phones I have never come across such a iPhone fanboy like you. I bet you have never owned any other device than iPhones. This is normally the case for fanboys as they are scared that there are better phones than there iPhones and are still living the " revolutionary iPhone" stage. A big reality check for you is that android is now no1 so get your head out of your geeky bottom and look upon the pure excellent that android had to offer.
Jadore Hatcher Thunderbolt all the way!!!!
Victor Vargas Apple vs thunderbolt? That's like comparing a Corvette to a civic! But then again what good is it to go hella FAST, but battery is dead in 5hrs? Yes I own both and like both, both have its good and bad.
Mike McPheeters Totally agree until apple quits being stubborn and updates iOS. 4 years without a change is pretty pathetic and I've been an iPhone user since day 1. If iOS 5 isn't a huge upgrade I'm going for something android and htc.
Jesus Salomon HTC thunderbolt is # 1 at this moment, android platform is the best, and HTC the best lineup of android phones,I use a HTC hd2,a HTC inspire, and an iPhone,sorry apple fans,android is superior (waiting for evo 3d)
Javier Segura All these Android fanboys keep talking about this customizing gimmick Google fooled them with. Fact is that if you want to customize an iPhone just JAILBREAK IT, it's not hard, in fact just on sheer hacking iOS maybe the most customizable and frequently customized OS in history. The widget argument is also stupid, widgets are cute, but you Android fanboys keep having fun with your weather clocks and brightness switches. iOS and WP7 just have superior APPS; most people rather have a real app that does 10x more than it's half wit cousin the widget It's good that Android runs web pages a micro second faster…you'll need all the time you can get for the 2 1/2hrs of battery life Android phones have…but to each his own as they say.
Flako Ramirez I agree...Thunderbolt FTW!!! Wooo i love my thunderbolt
Gerard Talamo i think your crazy because the IPhone is way better
Jamel Pegues It's only the best tile the evo 3d comes out ha
Leo Sjöberg Lol @gary: 3G is able to reach 9mbps with HSPDA, so yes: pretending.
Daniel James Bowler iPhone 4 - Best selling phone ever!
Zach Cline Lol @Jorge. True. They'll have two or three new android devices out before people see updates. Droid x is getting gingerbread before my droid incredible and mine has been out longer. Wth.
George Espinosa @ Jorge- haha so true!!
Zach Cline Good call Greg lol
Greg Slusher Jailbroken and happy as hell!!! I have the Droid x and iPhone 4 .... I prefer my iPhone over android all day! And when the iPhone 5 comes out I will buy it as well! Just my opinion..
Gary Barnett Mark, pretend 4G? My speeds exceed 5mb and upwards of 7mb/s constantly on T-Mobile. How is that pretend?
Luz Scott <3 Android! Im sorry but i never liked the iPhone after the HTC Incredible came out!
Nirav Insomniac Finally your eyes opened
Frankie Paz So Much Anti-iPhone, Ant-Android going on! lol I really Like the Iphone 4. Just not crazy about the notifications and lack of customization. I like that it's simple. I like them about equal...leaning a little more towards Android.
Anonymous I am doing both
Mark Impossible Prince Clarke Agreed !! 4g and not the pretend AT&T and t-mobile stuff !!
Zach Cline Ricky steve jobs just had a liver transplant. The guy is sick.. And i'm not an "ifanboy" seeing as how i AM a droid owner and still prefer iOS .
Darryl Mouzone All the fanboyism aside from most of these comments it all depends on what you're looking for in a phone. For some, the Thunderbolt is better. For others, the iPhone is better. It's all up to someone's personal taste.
Jorge Brooks Good luck with that 2.3 and 2.4 update.. If you ever see it!
Zach Cline @Ashton. Agreed , Same here.
Frankie Paz Big fan of Android here. I wanted to LOVE the Thunderbolt...but the LTE map said I was in an LTE area. I wasn't. The phone did all kinds of strange things. The battery is HORRIBLE! And there is light coming from in between where the screen ends and the plastic begins. I had an Incredible and it was the best phone I've ever had. Back to iPhone for me for now.
Seaedge Val *munching popcorn*
Mackenzie Davis Schemel Agree!!! It is amazing!!! Love mine!!!
James Myers Allen drewe ur a idiot...HTC evo clone? Haha so u go by looks huh? Listen this is what up Android period tops Apple and iPhone. Even g1,mytouch 4g beat the iPhone. Heck my inspire 4g beats Apple in every way possible. That's y all them apple fruit loops be always asking "will u trade for brand new iPhone 4 32gb?" And yet iPhone rules? No way no how android expands and grows everyday....iPhone expands...well wait it doesn't ha. Every other year a new phone emerges from apple ,yet it lacks so much as always. Don't yall think.Apple would had listened and tried to beat competition? Instead they keep u iPhone fans around hoping for improvement SMH
Samuel Lytle I love how the iPhone is a year old and droid still can't beat it. Just wait a few months and the thunderbolt will be outdated cause there will be 20 new droid os phones out that still try saying it's better than the iPhone.
Rickyo ODaniell Zach is only an ifanboy and Malik is straight on. Apple is so yesterday's tech... They (Apple) make one phone a year and can't even get it right. If you like simple? Use an iPhone. Sophisticated, latest tech? Android, hands down. As far as 4g or wifi on and off? Everyone turns that stuff off to save battery life. When people learn how to "use " the Widgets, live wallpapers, syncing, etc., the battery will go so much further. It's fun to have all the extras but when we're done playing with our Androids, they do become a workhorse that a toyphone couldn't come close to. Did you ever wonder why the Almighty Steve stepped down? I don't think it's for medical reasons... It's probably because he knows iPhone will find it's second place, or third standing in the smartphone fight, and can easily blame it on someone else....
Brady Hunsberger CRAZY! I have an iPhone 4 and love it. I don't know any other phone that is better, besides the Driod X maybe? But that's not better, it would be equal.
Ashton Palileo Android can't compare to iPhone. Apps suck. I would trade in my incredible for an iPhone in a heartbeat.
Sam Platz You can keep the iPhone and its handcuffed software.Thunderbolt kicks ass!
John Mooring I sold my iPhone and got the Thunderbolt. The thunderbolt is MUCH BETTER as a phone and for browsing, the iPhone is just a little more polished, but I'm glad I made the switch 4G LTE is worth it alone!
Benjamin Padilla @Simon Yu. Yes!
Benjamin Padilla Phonedog you tool!!
Simon Yu iPhone is the easy girl you meet at the bar; Android is the girl you meet that makes you work for everything, the one open to new ideas and changes it up everytime.
Anthony Alecseenko iPhone is shit. So yea I'm finally glad you fixed that mistake.
Dustin Taylor Android all the way but I kinda wish they didn't come out with phones every other day. One buys a phone and it becomes obsolete in 3 weeks. I just wish google would update phones at the same rate phone companies and carriers produce them. I mean I own a Evo and other phones have doubled quadrant standard scores and other tests in less then a year. How does one keep up with the technology without being a millionaire or rooting your phone. But in conclusion all in all I would have to say Thunderbolt out weighs ios at the moment.
Shaun David If u rate the Thunderbolt higher...obviously HTC paid Phonedog off
Jordan Mosley Yesssss, thunderbolt all the way!!! the only phones that even have a chance at beating the Bolt is the Bionic or the next iPhone, but they may not even be able to do it.
Peter M McDaniel small screen is honestly to me the biggest complaint with iphones for me i'm sure iPhone 5 will have a flash and 4G but its still iOS uniformity FTL
Jose Jacobo I agree . This phone is STUPID FAST . Battery is bad... but considering the speed its worth it . Paying for 4g LTE . Dope !
George Espinosa @ Zach - agreed...#Imjustsayin
Jeremy Guido Metzger Verizon sucks anyway!
Byktor Urvaes The iPhone 4 is more popular, but in my opinion has never been in the first place. How stupid can a person be to buy the iPhone 4 when the 5 is coming in couple months. No 4g, no flash 10.1, old processor, small screen, NO GOOD!!
Anthony Douglas I have the Evo and the Thunderbolt...when I first got the Thunderbolt before personalizing it I got 6-8 hours of standby time (no voice or data usage) & the Evo is the exact same way...both great devices but I have to make sure I have a car charger and a charger at my desk.
Zach Cline Thunderbolt FTL. Horrible battery life , Dropping the hotspot connection etc .I love how people think android is so great, It's glitchy and i like how people say, Oh just turn off your wifi and 4G . That defeats the whole purpose of even having a smartphone like that. Oh and lets not forget you're constantly killing apps. Android fails. And open source is not that great on your phone seeing as how you can pick up malware or even a virus . And the android market sucks. Too many junk apps and the apps that are there suck. Android fails.
Marcus NinersEmpire 1. iPhone sucks ass 2. If u got and HTC thunderbolt and u say its sucks naw u suck cuz u Dnt know how to use da dam battery rite Dats y. I get 12 - 14hr of use out of my evo and I'm not even using an extended battery so b4 u say it suck try using it rite dam. 3. Dnt care for Verizon but its Gud to c HTC is #1 HTC 4 life. 4. IPhone folks just return ur sorry ass cheap made fiberglass iphone bck. 5. For Steve to put so much n da iphone u wonder y u have drop calls well cuz ur left hand blocks da antenna wow Steve come on now. 6. HAVE A NICE DAY OR HAVE A GUD NITE
Jorge Brooks Customization is one of the few things iOS is lacking. Once Apple allows users more customization it will be back on top. It's already got hardware that can last a few years.
Brandon Quade iOS is so much smoother than android and everything just looks and runs a little better on an iPhone
Peter M McDaniel iOS is still playing catch up IMO to what android was. is it fast? yeah but just like an 80s mustang theres only so much you can do with the engine before people go "yeahhh but its still an 80s mustang" if iOS 5 (So unimaginative) doesn't improve the UI to be more customisable i think they are going to be grasping at staws at what to do next. I mean just look at honeycomb vs iOSw/etabletedition.
Christopher E. Truty I prefer my EVO :-D
Shawn Karg Follow the link for shutting of the 4g. On phone dog
Julie New Newski Pearson Of course if u are on your phone every minute of the hour your phone is goin to die fast. Duh! Lol. My battery lasts past 8 hours and I'm on textin N textin. Im on it constantly but stay on it for maybe 15 min every hour.
Devlin Robear Droid X. Might be an older phone, but it is better than the current crap...
Tony Ward Hahaha, I knew Apple would fall and its about time they have. Sorry Apple fan boys but you lose to a better phone and os, Android wins!
Justin Carey Android>Iphone
Jorge Brooks I do not agree, as former Evo user and now Verizon iPhone 4 user, the iPhone is better. Everyone claims Android is "open" but you'll notice even though the OS is, companies like Motorola and HTC have begun locking their hardware so you can't add custom roms. The Thunderbolt is an alright phone but hardly better than the iPhone. The iPhone isn't hyped without reason, it's a good phone with reliable and useful features. Seriously, the fact that you have to "set-up" your phone with task killers (which you shouldn't need because Android is supposed to manage tasks itself) should tell you enough about you phone choice. IDC about customization if I have to change settings on my phone just to allow my battery to last.
Kyle Anthony Berger Hey, yall should check out this artist. He's a starting local Christ-based singer/songwriter. You can check him out at www.facebook.com/AVerySpecialPerson go under "info" to listen to his tracks. I know you'll enjoy! Jesus loves you.
JB McDaniel Both, I agree, AND I think you're crazy!
Nicholas Heise Totally agree, iPhone is a great and revolutionary phone but the Thunderbolt is just too cool. Crappy battery though.
Gary Barnett People who are still using task killers with Android need to do some research. They are not needed and can hinder your phones performance and battery life.
Michael Rich Lol at all the people hating apple.. You have no idea what you're talking about.
Anh-Tuan Le How dare you?!? No Apple for you!!!
Mick Bgm Melody Wow I'm just waiting on iphone 5 then ill make a discussion
Malik Untracable Brock Thunderbolt is sick, its beautiful and a great phone, only downside is the battery, but hey u can customize ur phone to fit ur needs, am I right? Right! It only makes sense... Htc Sense that is... Ha! And secondly the memory capacity is expandable so lets not forget that. Another great thing is the ability to actually Bluetooth apps and email apps from one android to another, watch Flash Content! And download any file type unlike iphones. So thunderbolt, Htc Evo, Htc inspire, Htc mytouch 4g or even a Droid X, either way its always gonna be better than an iphone. Besides it gets boring looking at a screen full of icons after icons. Maybe I want a big clock, fb status, youtube instant search, voice notes, and more on my screen. Thats what I really like. And another thing like it or not but Android has Taken over, even the news said it, google has idk how many phones and yet apple has ipods and a few iphones wt macs. If it were a OS war, as many androids as there are they would win which I love!
Ujjwal Chande The iPhone should be happy it made it on the list with all the amazing phones that are so much better than it on the verizon network.
Anthony Douglas @Beatriz agreed if your battery last more than 4-6 hours then your not using it at all.
Jacob Gray hell no iphone all the way
Javier Segura Good news for all the Crapdroid lemmings. iPhone is almost a year old and it takes an LTE network to do it, the Thunderbolt in of itself without the network couldn't do it on it's own merits. Good for LTE…HTC gets 1/4 credit..the LTE chip had be put in something.
Anthony Douglas Thunderbolt is awesome except for the battery life even after killing apps, adjusting the brightness, turning off wifi & mobile network with no apps from the market installed, no email accounts added. Its still a nice phone, left the EVO for this b/c there was no wimax in my area nor will there ever be but LTE is waaaaay faster!!!!!!
Kade Freeman The iPhone sure is pretty, but Android sure is open... draw
Phillip McGriff Look I have the EVO & I'm jealous of big red right now! Thunderbolt is the best device out right now hands down... makes me wanna switch ova to Verizon LOL....
Matt Polkiewicz Android still has extremely poor applications, media player, and overall polish when compared to iOS.
Greg Urbanowski Seidio is making a 3500 mah battery for it as we speak. I got one for my Evo and it made a big difference. Kills me how people talk crap about a phone and never have used it...
French Twist Android, baby!
Beatriz Garcia Anyone who gets 10 hrs on it obviously doesn't even use their phone.
Beatriz Garcia Crazy it's super fat and last like 4 hrs
Mike Hooper I have the thunderbolt and love it. The iPhone is shit. All these people complaining on battery obviously don't now how to set up the phone. I get 10 hours easy on mine
Tejvir Padda its good decision by Phonedog
Brandon Worley It is border line amazing super smooth...learn how to manage ur battery u idiots...reduce the size of ur clock & weather widgets if u have to have them. Automatic task killer. Brightness control etc...
Aj Green I like both of the phones.
Michael Singer Its nicer than the iPhone but it will be outdated very soon
Alex Arana About time u got the apple out of ur ass
Taylor Allen absolutly CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Andrea D'Arcy I'm so over Androids glitchy OS's and how they freeze up on you at frequently random moments.. Iphone still holds the thrown in my eyes.
Oscar Dominguez With all the 'Droids' and 'Galaxy S' phones in VZ lineup I was shocked the iSuck...I mean iPhone was even on your list. =)
Gaule Francois im an iphone 4 user but i think android gives you more freedom
Julie New Newski Pearson Plus you can store apps to the 32 gig card you get with the phone. It's more customizable than the iPhone. Android is the best period.
Owen Ritter Iphone of any number should be in dead last, Apple is for nubs.

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices