The Woz Says The HTC Thunderbolt Was One Of The Worst Phones He’s Ever Owned – What’s Yours?

The ever Segway-ing Steve Wozniak is causing a stir around the internets this evening after he posted a comment in a Gizmodo discussion saying the HTC Thunderbolt was one of the worst gadgets he’s ever owned. Ouch. To be fair, he did go onto say that the “early Iridium” phone tied the Thunderbolt after being the only phone he’s ever returned. That’s gotta soften the blow for HTC a little bit, right?

Looking back at the HTC Thunderbolt I still have fond memories of that device. I owned the ‘ol T-Bolt for a good several months and although it did have a fair share of owners complaining of various issues with the phone, really, what device is perfect? As one of the last high-end, single-core devices to launch in the US before the dual-cores came riding into town, you can almost look at the Thunderbolt as the last of the Mohicans. It ushered in Verizon’s 4G LTE network and featured some top-notch hardware with a display that was second to none.

HTC, who has been coming onto hard times these past few months, has even promised to update the Thunderbolt to Ice Cream Sandwich which shows not everyone has given up on the Mecha. I haven’t been keeping up with ROM development for the TBolt, but any of our readers manage to squeeze more than 5 hours out of that thing?

Also, we have to ask — what’s been the worst Android device you’ve ever owned? I’ll start: Samsung Intercept on Sprint. Hands down.

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  • marefin386

    Samsung Droid Charge was the worst one I had. Returned it to get the HTC Thunderbolt in fact. Thunderbolt had it’s issues, but overall I still liked it. So far I’ve had the Captivate, Droid Charge, Thunderbolt and currently the GNex LTE. GNex is obviously the best one, but I loved my Captivate. That phone went through hell and back and still held up.

    • Chris Chavez

      I’ve heard out of all the Galaxy S’s, the Captivate was the better of the 3.

      • JosephLagalla

        Captivate, Epic, Vibrant, Fascinate, International…

    • mkl99

      Yep I’m stuck with the Charge for another year. No more Samsung for me…ever

  • Vanakatherock

    On Woz’ comment, wasn’t the Thunderbolt essentially Verizon’s version of the Evo 4G, but with suckier battery life thanks to LTE?

    My worst phone was the Samsung Moment on Sprint. After that, all up hill. Epic 4G > Evo 3D, Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S3

    • Chris Chavez

      It was basically a souped up version of the EVO. Better kickstand, better speaker, better screen, better processor. EVO on mild steroids. Lol

    • munee

      I still have my moment. My first android phone and coming from the BB curve on iden network it was heaven. Now I wonder how I was able to look at that small screen and deal with the slowness. But at the time I loved my moment.

  • DinoRick

    Definitely the Droid 3
    I have idea why I ever purchased that. (the keyboard was nice, all 4G phones at the time had bad hardware including horrendous battery life, I didn’t mind pentile and actually kind of liked it, and I thought its being a Droid line phone it’d have somewhat timely updates)
    The default software was bad, Motorola had horrible support for it, six months laters it was obsolete with the Droid 4, the camera was a joke, etc. I could go on and on about how I despised this phone in the year I had it. (Eventually gave it to my mom and got myself a GSM Galaxy Nexus best. decision. ever.)

  • Stephen Gaskins Jr.

    Worst one for me is easily the Droid 2. It replaced my Droid 1, so it never really stood a chance. I hated the MotoBlur and locked bootloader.

  • NB

    Droid Incredible. Plenty wrong with it, but the worst in class battery life (even for the time) makes it an easy choice. What a piece of *PLEASE PLUG IN DEVICE*

  • CryptoNoel

    yeah i have to agree with Woz, incredibly disappointing…
    but for me the worse is the Galaxy Prevail, it’s a wonder to me how phones so bad are legal…lol

    • munee

      Galaxy Prevail is a horrible phone. My cousin has it and u can probably fit about 4 apps on there lol. And if u like Facebook that app alone takes up almost all the space. Why make a phone for apps with no space for apps?

      • CryptoNoel

        yes i completely understand! i am using a replacement phone, AT&T Fusion by Huawei, and i have only about 4 apps, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare…but i can’t complain that much, it’s performance exceeded my expectations, almost lag free, pretty great for a $120 phone!

  • JosephLagalla

    MyTouch 3G(shivers while typing)

  • Charlie Collins

    Samsung Behold 2! Yuck!!!!!!!!!

    • bbaker505

      I second that, what a joke that was!

      • John Schuman

        I had that POS too…Dropped that for a Nexus One

  • bbaker505

    I was recently given a broken tbolt. once fixed, rooted and Rom’d it runs really well. I’m getting relatively great battery life on a CM 7.2 variant.

  • Angel De La Riva

    Well the only Android devices I’ve owned were the G1, G2, and currently the GS3 so I haven’t exactly had a terrible experience. I think it has something to do with the ” G ” in the name O_o

  • samuelmaskell

    The worst phone I’ve ever owned is the palm pre. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love webOS but the hardware was just crap. It broke after a week. The worst android device I’ve ever owned though, would probably have to be the nook color. However, I really wasn’t expecting much, considering the price so I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not horrible but it’s not that great either. Other than that, I guess it would be the HTC Magic(a.k.a original MyTouch). It was actually an awesome phone but it doesn’t quite stack up against all my others(nexus one, SGSII, galaxy nexus).

    • Jaime Lefebvre

      I loved my Pre and was a huge fan of WebOS. The app ecosystem is really what convinced me to move to Android. Ah, the good ole days.

      Edit* my Pre still works.

  • http://phandroid deh2002

    I’d say without a doubt, the LG nitro. Had 2 in one week that just died. They would boot up but only to a status bar and nothing else. And no I hadn’t rooted them or anything. At the time there was no development for it.
    Never again LG, never again.

  • BigPhoneGuy

    BB Bold 9700 – What a POS! Impossibly small screen, endless menus,.. touchy track ball thing… difficult keyboard layout…. I was so glad that phone left our family, although we couldn’t even give it away to a friend who was in need!

    • Mark Ewing

      I never had a problem with that model and it never had a trackball it had a trackpad, and it was much smoother than the Curve 8330 that it replaced. Besides the question isn’t the worst phone you’ve ever owned it’s the worst Android, and for me so far… I can’t tell because all three of them have been very good.

  • Sodiq Awokoya

    droid charge, thank goodness it was free from my job, feel sorry for anyone who bought that crap for $300 when it came out. I still got it for a back up

  • s3 on deck

    Worst ive had probably would be htc eris then again i deserve an award i went thru alot of androids ive had most of em eris, mytouch 3g, htc evo, htc evo lte, g1, g2, mytouch 4g, nexus one, nexus s, vibrant, s2 at&t and tmobile, infuse oh man list goes on but proud owner of a white tmobile s3 for now hehe

  • Greg

    This guy has never used a Droid Eris but anyway Im a bit offended that the woz would say the tbolt was thee worst phone ever, it has the worst battery life probably for a novice android user but the phone itself after the updates is much better than when it launched almost 2 autumns ago, camera still probably the best quality shots I’ve seen taken w/ a phone and I’ve used em all, speaker is awesome and the screen size and brightness is adequate. Battery and weight would be the only cons to this package imho.

  • Loud

    Thunderbolt would last 8 hours or so, then decide 2-3. Got a d-maxx now. Ye old bolt is an back up. Worst phone was a Samsung windows mobile that was “the it” when it came out before the og droid. Threatened to run it over with a forklift a few times. Major lag, hang, freeze. At least it didn’t random reboot like the bolt and sometimes the maxx does.

  • BoomerJMoore

    Lol I was going to say Samsung Intercept Virgin Mobile

  • Jayshmay

    Worst Android smartphone I’ve ever owned was the original Motorola Droid!!! Keys came loose, touchscreen would act wacky while charging!!! No more Motorola smartphones for me!!!

  • reiththestud

    First gen iPhone. No GPS, no MMS messaging, no apps (for the first year or so), HORRIBLE cellular signal, 2g speeds, no flash, slippery design that I almost immediately dropped and cracked, shitty camera, no video recording, etc. It was a phone with a slick interface….. and iTunes…… and that was about it. I still can’t figure out why everyone went nuts over it. It stands as the first, last, and only Apple product I’ve ever owned.

    For those curious, I replaced it with a launch day EVO 4G that now runs CyanogenMod 7.2 and is the phone I am still using today.

    • reiththestud

      Sorry, didn’t see that the question specified “Android” devices. But seriously though, my first gen iPhone is still the worst tech product I’ve ever owned.

    • InyRules

      For all these reasons, I didn’t buy the first iPhone. I felt my little slider Nokia had more features than the iPhone. My first smartphone ended being the myTouch 3g.

    • Kaostheory

      I nearly bought one because it looked cool, but after reasearching what it was missing decided against it. Don’t forget no bluetooth and no fm radio .

  • gmaninvan

    I’m going with the t mobile g slate. Sold that piece of crap as soon as I could. The hardware was top notch but lg never cared about it and it showed. It received a grand total of one update to 3.1. This update did not help the horrible choppiness and actually made the device worse in the sense that it locked the boot loader and took the development community out of the equation. I will never buy anything LG ever again

  • knirirr

    It’s definitely the Galaxy Nexus for the worst Android device I’ve had: After a couple of months 5GHz wifi broke and Samsung were useless at fixing it. It often lost mobile network connection and required a reboot (slow) or turning aeroplane mode on and off (not much faster) – a pain when navigating with Google maps. The program used to connect to my Mac and transfer data was rather flaky and didn’t allow rsync as one could do when mounting an sdcard. Finally, although the screen was excellent, the back was cheap-looking, slippery plastic.

    • IronHorse01

      thats samsung for ya


      It’s true, Samsung radio’s suck compared to Motorola.

  • Robabobbob

    In the years before Android I had a succession on HTC Windows Mobiles phone which for the time were great, the I bought a Samsung Omnia also running Windows Mobile. After a few days with this phone I was amazed at how crap it was. I changed back to an HTC and vowed to buy another Samsung phone. Things have changed these days as I had a Samsung GS2 and really like it and the Galaxy Nexus is just fantastic!!

  • Michael Thompson

    Why would he hurt his rep by hanging at Gizmodo?
    That place has been in the toilet for like three years.

  • Brandon Watkins

    Motorola cliq on T-mobile. I should’ve just stuck with the g1. Moto blur was the worst thing Motorola could have done.

  • Josie App

    Sony Ericsson SK17i / Xperia mini pro. Bought new, after 2 weeks the battery took 4 hours to charge and discharged completely in 4 hours of inactivity – no WiFi, no calls, no games, no app use. The battery was a concern from day one, not lasting more than 8 hours for the first two weeks. For a mobile device, Sony Ericsson could not get the most fundamental element right here. Don’t even consider it as a self defense weapon; the soft plastic back cover will make little impact.

  • Jason Blasiman

    HTC Droid Eris

  • camelsnot

    I seriously doubt he actually owned a Tbolt. He lies almost as much as Jobs did, and look where that landed jobs… hell.

    • lolwut

      Far and away the worst comment I’ve ever seen on Phandroid. You have no basis for that claim at all. Woz was and has continued to be an outspoken opponent of Apple’s closed nature and an open source proponent. Meanwhile, you’re a prick for saying something that grossly insensitive and misinformed.

      • Jaime Lefebvre

        I don’t know that you could call him misinformed for saying the Jobs went to hell. No more than you could say he was misinformed for Jobs being in heaven. Uninformed though. That could be a winner.

  • naduh

    i had the samsung moment for a month and a half and I can say that samsung moment was the worst phone ever from sprint! which also gave me the worst customer service experience from sprint

  • Paul Novak

    BlackBerry Storm. Hands-down the worst phone ever.

    • nova

      You’ve never known pain till you’ve click-screened your way around a Storm

      • burgosma

        I had a storm and thought it was awesome.

        • Adam j

          Hated that phone it was true pain i jumped for joy when i got my unlocked Droid and then picked up a Droid x its was good besides the locked bootloader. Picked up the droid 2 it was nice again locked so i ran way to the thunderbolt and after being on two devices with locked bootloaders. THe thunderbolt was amazing it was also 4G.. i have now followed the path of most devs now and have the sammy nexus and GS3.. But really true hell was with the blackberry storm i think i had like 9 of those.


        And to think, that was the selling point of the phone…. I HATED it…..

  • Daniel Keane

    Sad to say… it’s probably my Galaxy Nexus. Never had any problems with my Motorola Milestone(apart from losing it) or my Galaxy S. The microUSB port problems I’m currently going through with the Nexus are pretty annoying though.

  • Aaron Lockard

    Well I’ve never really had any bad android devices but the one that was the worst of the bunch was the G1, sure it ushered in an era of Android phones but the thing had it’s issues. It was terribly slow, awful battery life, and the sliding mechanism for the keyboard was prone to breakage.

  • Craig

    I still have my tbolt sure the battery life sucks. But besides that I love the phone and have had no real problems with the phone.

  • Charity Y Williams

    I owned an HTC Thunderbolt for almost a year and didn’t really experience any issues with it. I mean there were the glitches every smartphone eventually has like small stutters and freezing here and there, but that’s it.

  • InyRules

    The My-Touch 3G was too early for me to say it was my worst phone. I have fond memories of swiping through each of my desktops to watch my background picture move with it :) It did it’s job for 9 months, but as I became more comfortable with typing on a touch screen, I needed something with multi-touch. Enter my EVO 4G, which was damn near perfect.

    I’d have to say my WORST phone would have to be the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I had around 5 replacements, and all of them had that audio issue. My GSM GNex, nothing wrong with it.

  • OtisFeelgood

    My worst Android phone(which was also my first) would have to be the HTC Hero. After that I had the Evo 4G, Evo 3D, Amaze 4G, now I have the Galaxy Nexus. I think I loved my Evo 4G the most.

  • Micha Ols

    Acer Liquid A1 – very similar to the Nexus One – with all the flaws of the tiny internal space for Apps and with much worse Acer-Android-Distribution.

  • tim bennett

    At the office, it’s a tie between the Motorolas: Droid 3 and the Bionic. The Droid 3 probably wins because of all the bugs and dead batteries, phones that wouldn’t charge, dead spots on the screen, random reboots, not connecting to the 4G network. The Bionics have at least been solid since the latest upgrade.

  • Paul Henley

    My Star Tac was my worst phone…errr a longtime ago…lol

  • Spencer Cole

    I had the Eris, which wasn’t a horrible phone, but then the Thunderbolt, and I have to agree with the Woz. Worst phone I’ve ever had.

  • ntegrit

    The worst would be my first smartphone, the Droid Eris. My second, the Thunderbolt (in spite of two AWESOME features – the kickstand and simultaneous voice and data on 3G), drove me to the VZW Galaxy Nexus.

  • keanan aho

    Motorola flip side I believe it was called was my worse

  • saabsnaab

    I also would have to say the intercept on sprint…. especially because of the area i live in… sprints coverage here might be spread out everywhere, but they have more traffic on the towers than the towers can handle!

  • iwave

    Can’t complain about any of the Android devices I’ve owned, so I’ll complain about all of the Windows Mobile phones I owned instead, the worst of which was an iPaq. At least the HTC Orbit hardware was good, but the software was still god-awful. I haven’t bought any other Microsoft product since.

  • TBN27

    Worst: (Tie) G1 and G2X. Both were great but feeezing amd restarts plagued them both. Best: GSII

  • tomn1ce

    I have only owned the OG Droid and now the VZW G-Nexus. I have no complaints there but my wife had the worst experience with the Samsung Indulge on MetroPCS. It would get really hot, 4G speed was sluggish it would freeze up. Even after I rooted the damn thing it would have too many hic-ups. I would say that has been the worst android phone that I have come in contact with.

    • Brian

      I’ve had the same two ownerships.

      I would say that the final 6 months of the OG Droid were quite painful.

  • Danta Moore

    ok worst android phone, htc hero. that huge glowing orb of a trackball. worst phone ever would have to be between the motorola Q and the htc hd2.

  • http://phandroid Jody

    The HTC Thunderbolt taught me a lot. I got this phone right at launch. The first several months were painful to put it nicely. Random reboots, calls dropping the mic, freezing, slow updates, ect. So I learned how to root and ROM and through trial and error and through the work of some wonderful developers out there I eventually became quite happy with it. I still have it and now that it runs great my only complaint is the battery life is awful….. I have the extended life battery and still behind on longevity of others. Through all of the ups and downs I kinda formed a bond with this thing Hahaha.

    • ctyd27

      I have to agree. Still using the T-Bolt with CM7.1 and the extended battery. It’s bulky, but runs great.

  • CharlieTX

    Worst phone of all time: The old HP Compaq iPaq running Windows Mobile. Next, almost any Motorola phone on AT&T (Verizon gets all Motorola’s attention). Best phone ever: The GS3.

  • Karam Grewal

    HTC Dream/G1 loved the phone but it really was terrible…

    • redhaven

      Haha…I think the same way about my original Mytouch 3G. I guess we are as bad as iPhone users that love their phones “just cuz.” The MT3G was almost unusable with the original version of Android on it. It crashed constantly, battery life was a joke, and many apps didn’t work with it. Multitasking meant starting one app, then starting another and praying for several minutes that one of the apps didn’t force close.

      Still, I think that it was a glimpse of the potential that we see playing out with modern Android phones. The overreaching (not to mention putting us through hell) has led to an awesome user experience with full multitasking that actually works and is stable.

      • B2L

        I feel the exact same way, the Mytouch 3G was definitely the worst phone I’ve ever owned. It was extremely slow, buggy, and crashed frequently. To me it was definitely a glimpse of Androids potential, I couldn’t be happier now.

  • Robert Manser

    I’m a fan of HTC but have to agree.

  • Micklethwaite

    I’m sure I’m biased, but the Thunderbolt rescued me from two and a half years with the original Storm. There’s no comparison. The storm was the worst phone I’ve had, Thunderbolt the best. Considering all of the negative comments it’s gotten, I’m looking forward to trying out a phone people actually like.

  • rushmore

    The Nokia N900 for me was the worst.

    Very weak phone radios. VERY weak.

    Ditto for wifi. Very weak.

    Awful smart phone function

    Terrible app support

    Terrible memory allocation

    It sucked

  • Chris Brown

    Not Android…I’ve had pretty good experiences with my EVO 4G and EVO Design 4G. But my worst phone (smart or not) by far was the Palm Treo running WinMo. Horrible, horrible device. I paid like $400 for a complete POS. It would butt-dial constantly that I had to lock it down so it made doing anything on it an endeavor. The keyboard was designed for baby fingers. The interface was terrible. Camera was worse than a front-facing 1Mb camera today. And of course, no apps that came without a big price tag…like I’m going to pay $40 to be able to work in a feature-limited MS Excel spreadsheet on my phone. huh?

    • Chris Brown

      Oh, and it was huge and heavy!

  • KISSfan8562

    HTC Hero on Sprint. I still have nightmares about HTC Sense…

    • ludist210

      Same…sort of. Mine’s the HTC Droid Eris on Verizon. Basically the same phone, and it was pretty miserable for a myriad of reasons.

  • He’s Alright

    I would say that my house phone is the worst. There are no options, and the person who had the phone number before me must have never paid a bill in their life. After non-stop bill collectors calling, I finally had to unplug the phone. Also, the Motorola Cliq was pretty bad. When the Cliq finally did get upgraded to 1.6, it was worse than when it had 1.5.
    Oh, and what is wrong with that guy’s hand?


    HTC build quality is sub-par.

  • vinny stoppiello

    Like anything you buy, you’re either gonna get a good one or a pos. I happen to have gotten a good Tbolt. Never had the problems everyone was complaining about. I never had any problems with the phones I’ve owned but to complain about one, I’ve have to say the Samsung Omnia. Slowest phone ever made but at the time it was state of the art and I didn’t have a problem with that one either. All being said, no phone is glitch free but getting a totally piece of crap is a whole different story.

  • itched

    LG G2x. I had nothing but problems from that phone. It was my first non-HTC phone & that made me not want to switch ever again. (Except for maybe Samsung)

  • Fahad Rahman

    Hands down the vibrant… and I’ve had the G1! I use my gps quite alot so being inconvenienced with a phone that had a useless gps was god awful. The roms weren’t half bad but alot of stuff was usually broken… glad I made the switch to a Gnex =P

  • Caffiend

    Only because I kept replacing one with the other as the replacement was worse than the one that preceded it….

    HTC Shadow —Couldn’t tell you too much about that phone, the 3 days I had it, it was frozen for 2 of them.

    SAMSUNG Behold —Swore that would be the last Samsung phone I ever bought after the 7th time it erased my SD card.

    SAMSUNG Vibrant —It was a peace offering (Free) from T-mobile convincing me to stay as I was about to head to AT&T for the iPhone. Yes, the Samsung Behold was So bad, I was going to abandon the Android platform. However, the only redeeming quality about the Vibrant was the way it handled my contacts list. Then, after Samsung pulled their whole, we’re not supporting this phone crap, I sold it and went to the MyTouch line. Faith in Android restored!

  • ReverseRoxas

    Samsung Transform. The phone is just terrible and laggy no matter what tweaks you do, no matter the custom kernel, no matter the ROM. The only thing that made it slightly better was the unofficial CM7 build which let you actually multi-task for the first time since Eclair.

  • fauxfire27

    The absolute worst phone I’ve ever had, an absolute terror of a phone, the keyocera/Sanyo Zio on sprint, and cricket.

  • Kaostheory

    Motorola Q, the phone wasn’t too bad but windows made me want to throw the phone against a wall. The phone was actually borowed.

  • Siddharth Motwani

    Samsung Juke

    • munee

      Lol you bought that…….. lol

      • Siddharth Motwani


  • YamiYaiba

    It’s a tie between my wife’s old Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile and my mother’s Droid 2 Global on Verizon. The Triumph had messed up screen color (blue tint) and never got officially upgraded past Froyo. Even after rooting it, the dev community sucked and there were only tolerable roms at best.

  • Carmen

    30-40 phones in 3 years? I will say out of the 30 I owned….

    Tossup between og droid or the droid x.

  • unintelligible

    I hated that phone so much. I won’t even give it away since it’s basically cursed.

  • Blatino

    My first Android device was the Motorola Cliq, such a horrible experience, from the slow and ugly UI to the slow updates. My second phone was the Samsung Vibrant. The phone I use now is the HTC One X, soon to be accompanied by the Galaxy S III if I can ever sell this iPhone 4 lol ..

  • InspectorGadget80

    Well then Mr. WOZ you should of watch CES earlier this year or ask bout the battery life on this phone before buying it. Glad I never bought any HTC phone battery really sucks

  • thinkopenly

    My first smartphone was a Thunderbolt, and I loved it. I used it for about a year before passing it on to my wife, when I got a Droid 4. Until the recent upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, I hated the Droid 4. It’s much bettter now, but it was pretty horrible.

  • KolBeast

    LG Voyager lol, All my Droids have ruled so far though
    (Droid 1, X, Bionic)

  • mkl99

    Samsung Droid Charge.

  • Kidfox

    Hear! Hear! I thought my BB Storm was going to be the coolest phone when I got it! It was my first touch screen! I took great pleasure in smashing it when I got my Dorid X and now I am a very happy Razr Maxx owner!!! BB STORM was by far the worst!!