At a quick glance, without any background information, your eyes might tell you that the HTC Thunderbolt is little more than a Verizon remake of Sprint’s EVO 4G and AT&T’s Inspire 4G. After all — like its contemporaries — the Thunderbolt features a spacious 4.3-inch WVGA display, 8 megapixel camera, and dual-LED flash. In reality, though, the Thunderbolt is something more: from the Inspire, it borrows a better, crisper display with a wider viewing angle and a newer-generation (though still single-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. From the EVO 4G, meanwhile, it borrows a cool integrated kickstand and the addition of a second “4G” radio, making this a spec Frankenstein of sorts — the best of both worlds. Of course, instead of Sprint’s WiMAX for that 4G radio, the Thunderbolt grants you access to Verizon’s LTE network — a network so fresh, it still has that new-network smell. There’s a lot of horsepower here.
In other words, the Thunderbolt has a very real opportunity to be the finest 4.3-inch device HTC has ever made — for the moment, anyway. Let’s see how it fares.