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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!
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.
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.
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.