Dec 23 AT 12:36 AM Taylor Wimberly 28 Comments

Move over Moto, HTC teases they will have the first 4G [LTE] phone, again

HTC was the first handset maker to deliver a 4G phone, the EVO 4G. Then they were the first to offer a 4G phone for T-Mobile, the G2. Now it looks like HTC will be the first with a 4G LTE phone on Verizon, the Thunderbolt.

A new teaser has appeared on HTC’s mobile site that says “The first to 4G, again. Find out January 6th”. That just happens to be the same day that Verizon unveils a half-dozen LTE devices, so it’s pretty obvious what HTC is hinting at.

Verizon recently said that Motorola had an LTE phone coming (the dual-core Etna) and we also saw a mysterious Samsung phone with LTE, but it makes sense that HTC could be first since they have been working on their handset the longest.

We first heard about HTC’s phone in August when the Mecha codename leaked and then BGR posted the first pictures of the device in the wild. The original version of the phone was Verizon’s take on the Desire HD and it was rumored to launch on November 23rd as the Incredible HD. Then we learned that Verizon pushed the phone back to next year so that HTC could add support for 4G LTE.

Most recently, HTC began leaking pictures of the device to build some hype and today we learned the final product name could be Thunderbolt. Verizon has been testing this phone since early November, so all signs point to an early 2011 release.

There might be some crazy surprises packed inside the Thunderbolt, but most likely it will share the same components as the Desire HD and myTouch 4G. That means you should expect a second-gen 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and 768 MB of RAM. Based on other leaked pictures, we also know the device has Sense UI, a front-facing camera, kick-stand, and a micro SD slot.

If I was a betting man, I’d say that Verizon reveals the Thunderbolt on January 6th and then puts it on sale the following day. HTC is pretty confident that they will be first with a 4G LTE handset, so we expect their phone to land before Motorola’s Etna which is rumored for February-March.

Look for Verizon to announce this phone on January 6th.

Via: Android Central

Source: HTC

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Nithin Jino

    I bet it is a rebranded Desire HD

    • http://Website monkeydroid

      That’s exactly what this is. Just with a front facing camera. Too bad it’s not a dual core device or even just stock Gingerbread would be nice. It’s still badass device though. If VZW’s 4G isn’t too expensive then I would swap my Incredible for this.

  • http://Website Drew

    I hope your wrong about the 1ghz Snapdragon. I really want a dual core phone, but don’t really want to go with Motorola again. I love HTC’s designs and build quality. I was really hoping this one would be dual core.

    Also, how would data plan pricing on Verizon’s 4G network work? Would I have to pay an extra $10 a month even if I don’t have 4G where I live?

    • http://Website AceoStar

      This is my exact same sentiment.

  • SliestDragon

    4G is only good if you have a phone that can use that speed increase. Come one HTC, where’s our Dual-core’s?

    • http://Website Richard

      You should be happy getting your first 4g device on your Verizon network. You don’t even know how much Verizon will charge or even how the device will work but your asking for dualcore devices…. SLOW YOUR ROLL VERIZON IS NOT SPRINT they have a new network that needs to grow htc is great whatever comes out for Verizon it will be fine. Sprint and the htc evo 4g rules Sprint trumps Verizon all day long and htc will produce the King of 4g devices the Htc Evo 2 on SPRINT which will slap around your Verizon version… NEXUS S WAS A WASTE

      • http://Website AceoStar

        Nexus S was a waste, but with the current rumored prices of LTE, and the batch of dual core phones on the cusp of this release, why bother dropping an LTE phone with no dual core.

        • SliestDragon

          Sorry if that came across as serious guys. I was only joking, but I didn’t make myself clear on that. I didn’t mean to make you guys angry. I can’t wait to try Verizon 4G to see how it compares to Sprint and T-Mobile in my area.

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      Strange, my Epic 4G disagrees.

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      That’s a GREAT point actually. Even if you have 20 Mbps Internet speed, sites will NOT load instantly…even on a dual core phone. But of course they will be about twice as slow on single core phones.

      The bottom line is that LTE speeds are useless for web browsing if your CPU can’t handle rendering pages just as fast.

      • http://Website Lucian Armasu

        And here’s some proof of what I’m saying, showing the Playbook which has a dual core CPU vs iPad which has a single core CPU. Yeah, the tests are done by RIM, so who knows how credible they are, but I think the dual core CPU still makes a strong case for faster page rendering:

        • http://Website Raptor007

          I will agree that a dual core processor will complete the task quicker, BUT, lets play devil’s advocate for a second. The Playbook is not available yet so we have to take anything RIM shows with a degree of skepticism until it hits the street.

          Screen size also plays a roll in how quickly the content displays (not enough in this case) and while they are both on the same Wi-Fi network the current iPad has issues with Wi-Fi so that could be a factor in this particular test.

          Now with that said, you bet I would prefer a Tegra 2 processor in my next phone running 4G (my market doesn’t have it yet), 4G pricing lines up with 3G on the modems so I don’t see why the SMARTphone pricing would differ, if much at all.

          While I prefer HTC’s freedom (do more with root) over Moto’s (do less with root, no nand access) I would be willing to wait for Moto Etna 4G phone but not if it’s going to be 3-5 months out. We know Moto won’t be ready in time.

          HTC is cutting corners here by rehashing a Desire HD with 4G and a camera, so when it hits it may not be the winner some think it is.

  • Prepaidc

    Finally, have extra waited for me to then buy an LTE mobile phone. Super with the HTC Verizon makes the beginning of January.

  • http://Website Cod3rror

    Would’ve preferred them be the first dual core device.

  • http://Website AceoStar

    Has it been confirmed that this is -not- a dual core device? I’ll be dramatically disappointed if I have to pass on this phone due to cpu. HTC, most of us don’t care much about LTE yet, but we all care about dual core :(

  • http://Website sansenoy

    Why is everyone ranting about dual-core, it’s not that big a deal (in a phone anyway)… Most of the things people fantasize about are only viable in quad-core devices. Also, it is way beyond obvious this phone uses the 2nd gen snapdragon…

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      Dual-core phones, in addtion to some exclusive software (such as some of the Quake-engined software that will be exclusive to Tegra 2 devices) will also be more power efficient than single-core phones by virtue of processing multiple threads simultaneously as well as supporting out-of-order instruction handling.

      That is why we await dual-core phones.

      -Posted from my Epic 4G

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      That’s like saying it wasn’t a big deal when moving from 600 Mhz ARM11 phone to 1 Ghz Cortex A8 phones. Either way, by buying a dual core now, you’ll at least future proof yourself. Why would you buy a single core phone when the chip is at the end of its life cycle (at least for high-end phones, I’m sure it will live on in mid-end ones).

  • ViktorPrime

    So I still think “mecha” fits more with the droid name then “thunderbolt” but never the less HTC for the win

    I would rule out this being a dual core because this could be the scorpion that seems to be around for a few weeks but has yet to show it self

  • http://Website Ronweez

    is this a surprise to anyone that HTC will have the first 4g phone !? “again” ? Doesnt surprise me at all

  • http://Website Yo

    LTE is going to benefit online gaming, streaming, and loading videos no matter if you have dual core or not.

    I personally don’t have a need for 4g. All my web pages and videos load or start playback within 3 seconds already.

  • http://Website AM

    If it has a 1500mah battery (unlike the Desire HD’s 1200) and Verizon doesn’t jack up the plan prices, I will pick this up on day one. Can’t freaking wait!!!

  • http://Website Hans

    Hm, I asked a Verizon rep today and they said they won’t be getting any new models in stock until maybe mid-2011.

  • http://Website lovo

    Id hate to say it I mean I grew with tthe g1 I loved it but honestly after playing with the evolution my bosses I was disappointed we don’t have 4gwhere I live so my dx would trump his evo at j internet all day long at well everything I was disappointed with it alttho the g2 is nice I dont expect much its still single core? No way the Etna will own I’m actually a fan of Motorola now since I got my dx I use adw neways so it doesn’t make a difference to me in in it for the guts of the phone I always use adw for the launcher

  • http://Website CTown

    Let’s not forget this phone has been available as a 4G phone on T-Mobile as the MyTouch 4G. Only difference is the size of the screen and it runs Espresso.

    • http://Website CTown

      I’m sorry for that comment… really wish I can delete it.

  • thechad

    I love HTC