HTC Thunderbolt 4G: Can the EVO's powerhouse design strike twice?

HTC Thunderbolt 4G will utilize Verizon's new 4G data network. But can the HTC Thunderbolt stand up to the likes of the iPhone 4?

HTC Verizon Thunderbolt. Verizon has not yet announced a release date for the Thunderbolt, which will utilize Verizon's new 4G network.

The HTC Thunderbolt, a chunky smartphone powered by Verizon's new 4G network, doesn't have a price or a concrete release date, but it is already soaking up a good deal of the buzz at the CES show in Vegas.

And for good reason: the thing is packed with features, from a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, pre-loaded Skype video chat, a 32GB MicroSD card for storage, HTC Sense interface, and a big old speaker on the back for playing video and music.

But can the HTC Thunderbolt stand up to its competitors, or the near identical Sprint EVO 4G?

Related: Verizon iPhone is reportedly signed, sealed, and ready for 2011 delivery

Over at PC World, Ginny Mies, who got a hands-on with the Thunderbolt, says the phone is a true "multimedia powerhouse" – a phone geared toward content creators and content consumers.

"Similar in design to the HTC EVO 4G, the monsterous Thunderbolt sports a 4.3-inch Super LCD display, a front-facing video camera and yes, even a kickstand," Mies writes. "It feels really well-constructed and solid in hand while maintaining the slick aesthetic we've come to expect of HTC phones. It also has an 8-megapixel camera, which took pretty clean pictures in the bright lights of the Las Vegas In-and-Out."

As Mies hints, when the HTC EVO 4G first hit shelves in early June of 2010, reviewers were well-nigh delirious with happiness. "Let us be crystal clear: we love this phone. Nay, we adore it," gushed the folks at Engadget.

Of course, the Thunderbolt won't have the next-gen 4G handset market all to itself. On January 9, Sprint will release the EVO Shift 4G, an HTC Sense-equipped handset with a 3.6-inch LCD display.

4G fever! Read more here.

Related: Verizon iPhone is reportedly signed, sealed, and ready for 2011 delivery

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