From the time I bought my first smartphone, I have had cell phone ADD. Partly due to a short attention span and getting tired of things quickly, partly due to a new phone releasing each week, it has always been hard for me to choose one phone and stick with it for more than a couple months. If I were to take a stab at how many phones I have bought in the past year, I would have to guess somewhere around 20 ... or more.

Hello, my name is Taylor and I have a problem.

Here lately, however, my ADD has been subdued and my wallet has had a chance to take a breather. I bought the ThunderBolt on launch day and have been using it – with little thought of defecting – ever since. The other day, Aaron and I were talking and made an interesting observation. He mentioned that I have held on to the ThunderBolt longer than any other phone I have had in the past year or so.

Considering the ThunderBolt was the very first LTE phone buying this phone ensured that I would not have to pay extra for LTE services; I am now grandfathered into an unlimited, no-extra-charge plan. The phone is a 4.3-inch HTC-made device with some spectacularly average specifications. Nonetheless, I had wanted an EVO since it launched but I was not about to switch back to Sprint. When I learned that the EVO's next-of-kin was coming to Big Red, my decision was made. The reasons why I bought the ThunderBolt are pretty self-explanatory. The interesting part, however, is why I have kept it all of this time.

Being a person that normally buys more phones than shoes, keeping a phone more than a two months is rare. Typically, I will only keep a phone if it is the best of the best, my funds have run dry or if the device has a strong development community behind it (tons of custom ROMs and all sorts of hacks and tweaks) to keep me occupied.

Surprisingly though, none of these are particularly true this time around. Although I placed it as number one on my top five Android smartphones list in April, its time at the top had an expiration date when it launched (just like every other Android phone). It quickly fell to number three after some dual-core smartphones entered the scene. And even though the development community is working around the clock on hacks and mods for the ThunderBolt, most of the stable ROMs are Sense-based and yawn-inducing, to say the least. There is a fairly stable and smooth performing CyanogenMod build, but that has only become a viable daily driver during the past week – long after I normally would have moved on to a new device. The most important factor of all is money, which is more of a non-issue at the moment.

So what exactly has made me hold on to the ThunderBolt for all of this time?

It's really tough to narrow it down to one single reason. I could blame it on the foreseeable obsolescence of dual-core phones and my reluctance to buy one or that I didn't want to get rid of my LTE grandfathered plan. I could also blame the fact that after nearly 24 months of phone hopping, I'm actually getting burned out of Android phones. Don't get me wrong, I love Android, but the manufacturers are churning out phones so fast that even I, a die-hard enthusiast, am growing tired of the perpetual launching of new phones.

I think what it truly boils down to though, is the increasingly lackluster devices that seem to be coming out which feature minuscule upgrades over previous models. Instead of the major improvements that we have all anticipated at one point or another, manufacturers are producing phones at such a rate that each device is effectively a stepping stone – one for short strides at that.

I finally realized that the game of Stay Ahead of the Curve has lost its luster and has become an impossible game to play and enjoy. I have settled in with my ThunderBolt and gotten pretty comfortable, regardless of the numerous phones out there that blow it out of the water.

Am I happy with my ThunderBolt? It fulfills my needs. Nothing more, nothing less. Is it the best thing since sliced bread? Hardly. Am I looking to replace it? You bet. But I'm not sure when or which device will make the cut.

What say you, ThunderBolt users (former users, too)? Are (or were) you happy with your ThunderBolt? Are you looking to replace it in the near future? If so, what with?

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC ThunderBolt

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63 Reactions to this post

"Are we getting to a point where it's impossible to have the latest and greatest phone?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Eric Kroh just like a desktop or netbook..laptop/tablet..6-12months or less..something newer comes out..not that YOUR item is godawful in comparison..but..upgrade when its cheap enough
Wesley Tam Yes. The minute you get what seems to be the latest phone, another one is leaked/ introduced. I have an htc desire and i sort of regret getting it, in the age of dual core, qHD screens, it just doesnt compare.
Tim Fuhrmann Been past that point for a while. Its at least monthly, if not weekly sometimes, that the next big thing in the cell phone industry is launched, or at the very least announced or leaked. I'm so sick of it, I'm thinking of switching back to a simple ol flip phone, just so I can make calls and send the occasional text...lol.
Daniel Samuels Yes we are well past that point. But speaking for myself, I'm a manager at Target Mobile and once ur hooked its hard to slow down. The same is said for someone who works at a shoe store....u can't help but buy what u see everyday.
Víctor Alejándro Gaitán Yeah, definitely been past that point, as soon as I get a new phone, something bettet comes out
Seenoor Peter YES!!! So frustratimg I got an Evo and now I want the Evo 3d
Eskias McDaniels android has spoiled alot of people with its innovations while apple has dragged their feet along and when they finally do come up with something innovative its the greatest thing on earth. well played apple.
Eskias McDaniels technology evolves rapidly and with that so do phones. like justin said if you dont wanna spend the $$$ get a prepaid flip phone and be done with it.
Ross Silva iPhone fans, shut the hell up, your ignorance is painful
Nathaniel Hull Hahah...... I jus buy used ones off ebay, then switchem around every now n then... I get too bored wit same device all da time
Miguel Gosteelers Lopez I love all the new tech stuff!!
Akbar Hossain i wish theyd start doing the one year contract crap like they do europe or drop the price for no contract phones and bring more gsm based companies to the us cuz we're the only country running mostly on that outdated cdma piece of crap
Ryan DeClue Yesha. That trend ended with the Evo
J Litz Van Crystal, if you can't afford the expensive phones. Then don't buy one. Get a prepaid plan & learn to deal with it. No one NEEDS a fancy phone. To answer the question, yes. They are being too fast. But, not only are they flooding the market. They also look alike with small differences. I'm still very happy with my HTC inspire. Still to date my favorite phone of all time & I can't see myself switching anytime soon.
Jerry Perales The market is oversaturated by Android, but thats the manufacturers fault (samsung,htc,lg,etc) They all try to one-up each other on a weekly basis! It's ridiculous!!! And can we just switch to one year contracts, for all carriers!? Everyone wins!
Alexander Rojas Yes, and I want the mytouch 4g slide
Jorge Ruiz Mad it's true but I'm happy with my rooted evo :)
Debbie Shannon Yes we have hit the point or already passed it. My best-friend works at the Shack and they have a new phone in every shipment they get. I got my Inspire. The first day it came out back in March and there have been like 5 new phones since then. It's crazy. Ii love my phone though and can wait out the 2 yr. Contract who knows what will be available by then?
Anh-Tuan Le I was talking to this one guy who complained that Android feature phones come out too often. I prefer the iPhone because it only comes out once a year, thus his technology is always up to date. #logicFAIL
Tim Davis I'd just be happy with phones shipping with a current version of Android. No excuse to ship phones with Froyo at this point.
Samuel Toles U were already there
Naram Moshe If I get the Nexus 3 when I upgrade I will be happy for 2 years. Nexus phones are released like iPhones and a new 1 comes every year instead of every week. Plus Google ALWAYS will update them.
Zach Cline They aren't just phones anymore. My droid x is more like a mini laptop that can make calls. But these manufacturers. Need to calm down with churning out a different android device every couple of months.
Sirwarren Moreland Im rocking a EVO nd da only thing I think bout upgrade to is da EVO view
Pockitz D Klown My issue is the COST per phone and this bullshit 2yr contract WITH approved credit! Seriously why pay 300 bucks for a phone n turn around cuz u bought the phone u cant pay the bill... WERE IN A DEPRESSION PHONES NEED TO BE CHEAPER THE IPHONE DROPPED TO 49 BUCKS!!!!!! HINT HINT
Mia Majei It is impossible, I have the HTC EVO, NOW HTC EVO 3D ON THE WAY
Jeremiah Glasper For years now it had been hard to get the latest and greatest in cell phones when they consistently improving on good. Their is only the hottest at the moment.
Devlin Robear Yes, bought my phone 2 months ago and it is no longer in production
Tyler McConner Its harder in the US to get the new greatest phones. Since Europe and Korea are shitting on us.
Anonymous The iPhone actually fixed this problem...and finally android surpassed it with its awesome new models. Now im glad the iphone is so outdated and irrelevent that it has to copy android to stay in the smartphone business...And with the iphone 5 not even being announced yet, rest assured the iphone's death is coming...
Charlie Kuroiwa I'm rockin the droid eris. not the fastest phone but hey still does the job! droid does fosho
Tony Stark It did happen in China
Mathew Poynter I have a T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant and even though this phone is almost a year old its still a very cool phone. I would like to get a galaxy s 2 though.
Joe Hartman I have it !......oh no ! ......that was yesterday !
Stephen Lauterbach Not if you own an iPhone!
Scott Miller I've got a T-Mo G2. Less than a year and at end of life, but with updates and mods still coming, imo still one of the best 4G phones made to date.
Adam Longwill PLEASE, Chris Luna. I'm still rockin the OG G1!
Jeffrey Vivar If your poor then yea....
Nic Kolas new android phones every week... i am tempted to get an iphone and call it a day
Chris Luna Still rockin the OG Droid!
Sammy Feliciano What cazares said
Adam Fontaine Yes, especially with this 2 year contract crap the carriers force you to do.
James Gustavo Hidalgo I feel the same way.... but im happy with my rooted cm7 G2x
Stephani Espinoza I'm happy and content with my blackberry 9780. I sell phones and am completely bored with every android that comes out. Gets old like everything else. I've rooted, unlocked,overclocked and then sell them lol!
Jenna Carroll ZOMG That is me! Glad I'm not alone. *sniffle*
Christian Carlos Falu I want a phone with touchscreen, HDMI out mirroring, QWERTY, push to talk, keyboard w 5 rows of keys, 12mp camera. Dedicated camera button, 2mp front face camera, triple led flash, qHD or super amoled display and kickstand. Make it happen HTC
Santanna Dominguez III Is there any way i could work with y'all?
Turone Wyley We went past that point a long time ago.
Anthony Evans Jr sadly id take a sanyo 8200 over an i-anything
Tim Moore You can have the iPhone but a year later a newer one will be out too. While it's not as crazy as Android someone could have bought a 3GS in January of 2010 and been behind by June.
Mathew Poynter Phones become out of date faster than computers now
Justin Rodriguez Yup, but im still rockin a motorola backflip, and ive gotta say i luv the phone
Cedric Dorcely there was a point in time where htc were dropping a new phone every 2 weeks ... now every other month a new release ... this has to be bad for sales
Tim Moore Yes. I mean just looking at Android you can buy the Sensation today but in a few months the Nexus 3 will be out in a few months and probably beat that one. Plus who knows how many will be in between those two? You have to make your decision and live with it for 2 years now unless you start spending stupid amounts of money.
Jorell Rutledge We've, BEEN past that point.
Juan Cuara What he said.
Kristi Evans That's why iPhone is the best.
Joe Fedewa Im pretty sure we got to that point a long time ago.
Anthony Evans Jr its starting to feel like we are getting 100 phones that are so alike that its really not mattering which I choose now

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