HTC Thunderbolt hits Verizon March 17 with free 4G hotspot

Verizon's much-anticipated HTC Thunderbolt – the first 4G LTE smartphone to hit the carrier – has finally been priced and dated. The 4G handset will arrive on March 17 for $249.99 with a new, two-year agreement; to sweeten the deal, Verizon will throw in complementary mobile hotspot use until May 15.Video demo after the cut

After that, using the Thunderbolt as a hotspot access point will cost $20 per month for 2GB of data. That's on top of the regular (and mandatory) data and voice packages, which start at $29.99 and $39.99 per month respectively (for unlimited on-device 4G). Verizon reckons the LTE support is good for 5-12Mbps downloads and 2-5Mbps uploads in 4G coverage.

As for the phone itself, there's a 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 8GB of onboard storage, together with a pre-loaded 32GB microSD. Twin cameras – 8-megapixels on the back and 1.3-megapixels on the front – along with a built-in kickstand round things out. More details in our hands-on.

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[via Android Community]

Press Release:

The Thunderbolt™ By HTC, The First 4G LTE Smartphone For Verizon Wireless Arrives March 17

ThunderBolt™ by HTC Available Beginning March 17


BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless and HTC today announced that the ThunderBolt™ by HTC, exclusively from Verizon Wireless, is available on March 17 in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at for $249.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.

Powered by Android™ 2.2, the ThunderBolt by HTC is the first smartphone to take advantage of Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network. The ThunderBolt by HTC features the latest version of the HTC Sense™ experience, which offers enhancements including new personalization options, a consolidated e-mail inbox, and unique camera effects and filters. The ThunderBolt by HTC is equipped with support for Google Mobile Services, including Gmail™, YouTube™ and Android Market™ with thousands of free apps. Additionally, the ThunderBolt by HTC will feature 4G LTE optimized apps such as EA's Rock Band, Gameloft's Let's Golf, Tunewiki and Bitbop.

Additional features:

4G LTE – customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband coverage area

4.3" WVGA display

8-megapixel rear facing camera and HD (720p) video recording

1.3-megapixel front facing camera with video chatting capabilities

Newest generation of the 1GHz Snapdragon processor

Mobile Hotspot capability – share 4G connection with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices

8 GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 32 GB microSD card (Actual formatted capacity will be less)

Built-in kickstand for easy media viewing

With the ThunderBolt by HTC, customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access and an unlimited 4G LTE data plan start is $29.99 monthly access. Mobile Hotspot allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the nation's fastest wireless network via an application available on the ThunderBolt by HTC.

Mobile Hotspot will be included through May 15 for no additional charge. After May 15, customers may choose to activate Mobile Hotspot for $20 for 2 GB of data per month. Customers can track their data usage by downloading the My Verizon app available in Android Market or by logging on to their My Verizon accounts online at