Rumor: Thunderbolt Delays Due to Horrible Battery Life


As we jump from date to date trying to figure out when exactly this phone will come out, there has never really been a firm “reason” for the Thunderbolt’s launch being put off. Many figured it was due to the debut of the iPhone 4, and later that turned into the debut of the Motorola XOOM, but now Engadget’s suggesting the problem is more technical than it is strategical: the phone apparently has horrible battery life.

Another independent source mentioned to them that the bad battery life is due to a bug in the Thunderbolt’s firmware causing signal issues. Whatever it is, they said that a fix is in the works. Hopefully this is the last road bump in a sea of them as this has reportedly been the device’s sixth delay.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Verizon-branded HTC Merge Up For Sale on eBay

Previous article

HTC DROID Incredible 2, HTC Merge Show Up in Verizon Inventory

Next article

You may also like


  1. Doesn’t matter to me…can’t get a new phone until late summer early fall. And by then, at the rate things are going these days, it’ll be outdated.

  2. It’s a freakin Evo! How could they not know this would be the case. HTC has fallen way behind the competition pushing old tired hardware as new. It serves them right.

  3. Well, it does matter to me.

  4. @fletch
    Im in the same boat hopefully by that time they have everything worked out

  5. Black_Man_X said Thunderbolt is a go! in his tweet. With a hint to this week.

  6. Is the “independant source” legetimate?

  7. Thank You for the interesting daily reviews of the new products. It seems like curse on gadget. Generally I want to say I really like your site. For You, as very active content owner, on my mind, will useful next information. Do not think for advertising, it’s just friendly advice. I have my own blog too. Three month ago, on the advice of the visitor too, I began to earn money with Greatiful.com. All that is needed from you – just register as a Publisher and add your RSS-feed to the site. Read more on Greatiful.com.

  8. After the incredibles battery life should we be shocked that the thunderbolt has bad battery life?

  9. Not surprising, considering the Incredibles extended battery lasted about an hour. HTC’s phones are awesome, but the battery life is appalling!

  10. Exactly what I posted previously dating back to Thursday and Friday… I’m not sure what they are expecting the bottom line here is they will have to go with a larger battery similar to the 1650 to 1930milamp battery. Nothing else can be done on this issue i am a htc evo 4g owner that deals with these battery related issues the combination of the fact that this device is a full fledge computer and the combination of 4g radio truly makes this a glorious monster not made for many people. Let’s see who jumps on the htc thunderbolt bandwagon now cause every current htc evo 4g owner know’s exactly what I am talking about. Not many people are built to technically deal with this or understand the various 20plus battery related steps that will have to be applied to deal with this monster. Don’t worry the people on at&t will chime in soon with there related battery issues as well that device only shipped with 1230 mil amp battery boy are they in for it…

  11. Yea the Inspire is a great device but the +1200 battery that’s in it is a joke. I think they’ll have it the worst. My battery is ok on my Evo, can get me thru a day w/ moderate use.

  12. Come on, let’s get this ship moving! I can’t wait any longer to see the vzw iphone owners looks on their faces after they realized what a big mistake they made…… I already haver two friends wishing they waited to get the thunderbolt instead, the longer this phone is delayed, the less envious they get lol

  13. I have an Inspire and can tell you the battery life is great. Little piece of wisdom, if you dont know what you are talking about, don’t talk at all. Your speculation reveals your ignorance.

  14. Richard: Thats why us on AT&T are going for the Atrix instead, mH1950 battery :)

  15. If true, it seems to be an unfortunate but almost expected consequence of early adopting an LTE phone. 3G phones were the same way when they launched years ago and it took some time for the software and hardware to mature.

  16. What do you expect with HTC they always have battery issues with their phones. and @ Austin you also dont have true 4g which means it wont drain the battery like LTE or 4g

  17. Being…HTCs history of bad battery life …this would make sense…

  18. May as well push it to next year at this rate the inc 2 is gonna release before this is ever ready or hell the y may just pull the plug period on it!

  19. Richard, can you provide a link to the 20+ steps? – an Evo owner

  20. @Austin….You are a new htc owner..With a whole lot to learn. You have no knowledge of htc devices so take some time NEW JACK and get fimilar with your device and htc we current evo owners already know what is going on and how to deal with it…Your new to this game….take notes

  21. @Ryan….Not a bad choice at least motorola made sure to have a top notch battery on that device…cause LTE will drain that battery as well but cause it is 1950mil amp it can stand the LTE radio…Good luck with your Atrix 4g

  22. Well I have the Incredible right now….honestly how much worse could the battery be? I have come to accept that I have the worlds coolest land line phone. At home, always plugged in, in the car, plugged in. In class, plugged in. Extra batteries in my wallet? yup! Just give us the damn phone!

  23. They should rename the interface to.. HTC nonSense

  24. This is for all my HTC EVO 4G OWNERS AND FRIENDS..ENJOY THIS INFORMATION. Further information can be found at http://www.goodandevo.net…The best evo site on the web…

    20 tips to improve HTC EVO 4G battery life
    Posted by Jenn K. Lee
    Categories: Android, Tips, Tutorials

    Now that you know how to see what’s draining the HTC EVO’s battery, let’s work on trying to lower some of those percentages and increase the amount of time you can use the phone between charges.

    Maximizing battery life is often at the expense of user experience (a device at the lowest screen brightness setting with all wireless radios turned off may as well be a paperweight as far as I’m concerned), so assess your personal needs/wants and adjust accordingly. Some people may want to use the EVO to its fullest potential, even if it means carrying a spare battery with its own charger or using a slim higher-capacity one; others may just want the peace of mind of knowing that they’ll be able to place a call at the end of a long day.

    Wherever you fall on this continuum of user types, I hope you find something useful in the list of HTC EVO battery saving tips below. Some of the tips won’t make a measurable difference in battery life, but in situations where every little bit counts, just about anything is worth considering.

    Update: Calibrate your battery first.

    1. Lower screen brightness. Go to Settings -> Sound & display -> Brightness. Slide the brightness switch to the left to lower it or check the “Automatic brightness” box to let the EVO use its sensors to adjust the screen according to the ambient light. You can also find dedicated screen brightness widgets in Android Market.

    2. Turn off 4G, WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth when you don’t need them. The easiest way to manage these wireless radios is to use the Settings widget preinstalled on your EVO. Tap the + button on your home screen -> Widget -> Settings. Once your chosen widgets are on any of your home screens, a simple tap turns each one on/off. There are other widgets that do this in Android Market, but these are already preinstalled and they’re a nice-looking set.

    3. Disable WiFi and 4G network notifications. Go to Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Wi-Fi settings. Uncheck the Network notification box so the EVO isn’t constantly scanning and looking for open networks to tell you about. For 4G, go to Settings -> Wireless & networks -> 4G settings.

    4. Disable “always on” mobile data. This is one of the biggest battery savers. Go to Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Mobile networks. Tap “Enable always-on mobile data” to uncheck the box. I haven’t found a negative consequence of disabling this feature, as Gmail and other apps/functions still work perfectly.

    5. Turn off background data. If you’re not using Google services, go to Settings -> Accounts & sync and uncheck the Background data box so that applications cannot sync, send, and receive data whenever they want to.

    6. Lower the screen timeout interval. The EVO’s screen can be set to automatically turn off when you don’t interact with it for a predetermined amount of time: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or never. Depending on what you’re doing, a too-short interval can become annoying (especially if you didn’t disable your lock screen), so choose wisely.

    7. Manually turn off the screen when not in use. Since the screen timeout function ensures that the EVO’s screen will turn off (unless you have it set to “never turn off”), it can be tempting to put the phone down when you’re done using it and just let the screen turn off by itself. Instead, give the power button at the top of the EVO a quick push to turn it off manually.

    8. Turn off auto-sync. Go to Settings -> Accounts & sync -> Auto-sync.

    9. Change auto-sync frequency (Weather, News, Stocks, Twitter, etc). If you don’t want to turn off auto-sync, you can adjust how frequently data is retrieved/updated. The settings vary depending on the app (and some don’t offer the setting at all), but it’s generally found in the same place: Settings -> Accounts & sync. Select an account from the list and then tap “Account settings” to change the sync frequency.

    10. Disable wireless network location services when not needed. Go to Settings -> Location -> Use wireless networks. Note that this (or one of the other options) needs to be enabled if you want to see and/or use your location in apps like Maps.

    11. Turn off window animations. I know it’s nice to look at and fun to show off, but eye candy uses extra power (albeit not very much). To turn it off, go to Settings -> Sound & display -> Animation -> No animations.

    12. Don’t use a live wallpaper. Live wallpapers were one of the new features in Android 2.1, so it feels like a step backward not to use them. They don’t hit the battery very hard when used, but they do make a small dent. So if you’re trying to improve battery life, even if only incrementally, use a static wallpaper instead.

    13. Use a dark wallpaper. Some say that dark wallpapers are more energy efficient than light wallpapers. Others say it doesn’t make any difference. Either way, there’s no harm in using a dark wallpaper so you may as well do it.

    14. Change WiFi sleep policy. This may sound counter-intuitive, but leaving WiFi on when the EVO isn’t being used and the screen is off is actually better than letting it sleep. When WiFi sleeps, 3G/4G wakes up to sync, get email, and retrieve other data. 3G will eat up more battery than WiFi, so go to Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Wi-Fi Settings. Press the Menu button and tap Advanced, then Wi-Fi sleep policy. Choose “Never” from the pop-up menu.

    15. Monitor your running services (or consider using a task killer). Just because Android 2.1 is supposed to an intelligent operating system that will manage your running apps for you doesn’t mean it will always do things the way you want them to be done.

    You can take matters into your own hands by going to Settings -> Applications -> Running services, where you can view what your EVO is doing and manually stop certain activities. You can also download a third-party task killer from Android Market and kill selected apps to free up some resources and potentially save some power. Task killers are a polarizing topic in the Android community, so tread lightly when looking for recommendations or asking for help with them.

    16. Choose your home screen widgets carefully. Widgets that need access to the internet to update information (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Engadget, Slacker Radio, Weather, Stocks, News, Mail) can suck up a lot of juice if not managed well, so choose them carefully and set their sync/update frequencies to a reasonable interval.

    17. Disable notification lights. This may not be practical if you’re someone who really needs/wants to know when something happens on your phone when you’re not looking, but for everyone else, feel free to turn off those notifications. Go to Settings -> Sound & display -> Notification flash and uncheck all the boxes.

    18. Turn off phone vibration. If the ringer is on, why do you need the phone to vibrate? You’re already in a loud environment that drowns out the ring; answering the call won’t quiet your surroundings so you can hear what the person at the end of the line is saying. If anything, you’re just adding to the noise by yelling, “What? What?” into the phone.

    And if the EVO is set to silent, then an incoming call should be silent. Yes, the buzzing vibration may not be disruptive as your ringtone, but people still hear it.

    So go to Settings -> Sound & display -> Phone vibrate and turn it off.

    19. Turn off audible touch tones. In Settings -> Sound & display, uncheck Audible selection and turn off Audible touch tones.

    20. Turn off haptic feedback. Once you get the hang of typing on the EVO’s on-screen keyboard, you can turn off the haptic feedback that was turned on by default. Go to Settings -> Language & keyboard -> Touch Input -> Text input -> Vibrate when typing.

    You can disable haptics in other areas of the system by going to Settings -> Sound & display -> Haptic feedback.

  25. @Austin- Inspire battery life is great compared to what? I can’t think of a single phone that gets worse battery life. You should follow your own advice since you’re the one who doesn’t know what they’re talking about

  26. Yeah I don’t understand why they went with the 1400mAh battery. I’m no phone guru but I could have told you that is too weak!

  27. I don’t believe a word of this. Oh sure, I believe the T Bolt probably has shitty battery life, but is it even remotely believable that they are just realizing this just before the planned launch? I think this is just another sleazy carrier manipulation. Verizon is disappointed in I*hone sales, so they hold back the T Bolt hoping some people will get tired of waiting and opt for Apple’s old, tired pos. So, so sick of all this manipulation by the damn carriers! They’ll get theirs, eventually. No company gets away with treating their customers like shit forever.

  28. I don’t understand why they don’t start making these phones with 3000mAh batteries as the minimum. It’s clear battery life is going to continue to be a problem if they don’t drastically increase battery capacity.

    Actually what would be nice is an internal 500 mAH battery that is non-removable and a 2000mAh battery that is. This should allow for hot swapping of batteries.

  29. It’s not the battery, or the capacity folks. We have all seen the Verizon commercial that demonstrates the recommended charging method for these phones.
    The phone obviously requires at least 1.2 jigawatts to charge properly, so if you don’t have a small nuclear reactor in your basement, take a hint from Doc Brown and the commercial.
    If you aren’t too close during the charging process, you’ll thank me. ;-)

  30. @Charles Mahan – They want it to be a problem, either so you go out and buy some extended life battery or you continue to upgrade your phone. They definitely have the technology to make far better phones than they do now, but they don’t want to push the edge of technology because then they couldn’t put out a marginally improved product every few months and keep a constant flow of sales going. Trust me a friends dad works for Samsung. That’s just the way things work.

  31. I have been an HTC supporter since the G1, but this battery issue has pretty much finished me. I wouldn’t even mind swapping out batteries if they came up with an innovative charging and loading system for spare batteries.

  32. @Richard, seriously would be interested in hearing how to improve battery life on my Evo. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

  33. I don’t understand how people have such poor battery life on their evo’s. I rarely get less than 15+ hours and that’s with HEAVY use. Even my girlfriend averages the same and she is FAR from tech savvy.One thing I can recommend is do NOT use any task killer application, as they usually drain more battery than save. Just throwing in my 2 cents.

  34. @Charles Mahan (19)…> I agree with you 500%!!! This is not the first time HTC has done this. They know there is always problems with these batteries that are too small for these powerful phones…Why in the world would you keep making these batteries so weak for these phones!!!?? HTC I’M having second thoughts about you!! Please get it straight..

  35. everyone knows this phone will need to be powered by 1.21 jiggawatts

  36. @matt your sarcasm fails.

  37. -________________________________________-

  38. @Evo owners, most of this guide on XDA for the Desire HD is relevant to Evo owners too (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=937080). The battery on my Desire HD (1230mAh) routinely lasts me for two days (after a little tweaking). Obviously, if it had 4G the battery life wouldn’t be nearly as good though.

  39. If the phone is having so many problems before release, imagine what problems there will be after ewlwase

  40. Best Buy has this phone for the steal of a price at $299 in this weeks ad. Last week it was $249. I can’t wait to see what the price will be when it is actually released! I am very glad I did not give them $50 a few weeks ago.

  41. HTC phones have notorious poor battery life. And while the samsung phones seem to take forever push updates to their phones, the Galaxy S phones, regardless of the carrier, have pretty good battery life.

    And since the Galaxy S2 has been announced, it might be a good idea to wait for that phone.

  42. 3rd and 10th…sound familiar? iphone preorder on the 3rd, released on the 10th. Coincidence? I think not! Poor iphone sales caused this…not a battery issue. This phone has been in development since summer. They didn’t just discover battery issues right at time of release The battery issue is just a rumor. You people bash people for believing rumored release dates, then you believe rumored delayed release date reasons…

  43. Would HTC phones benefit from departing QComm and using a Tegra dual core. I thought I read where that processor rate at the top for power economy?

  44. I’m extremely satisfied with the battery on my G2. I get 4g speeds with 3g battery life. The LTE and wimax technologies are not ready if they cannot provide at least a day of life in the phones theyre implemented on. HSPA + ftw.

  45. @tim242 I work at a Verizon and don’t get me wrong, I swear by the incredible and can’t stand the iphone but at least in my store, most people come in looking for the iPhone. I tell them I will try not to sell them 8 month old phone that had year old technology and 3g, weeks before 4g phones come out. But if they want, go right ahead. More than half respond, “the iPhone 4 isn’t 4g?” The rest say, “yeah, but its an iPhone”
    HTC sense 3.0? Flash player? 4g LTE?
    iPhone. That’s all people seem to know as far as top end smartphones. All I can do is inform of options.
    Marketing won

  46. I had pre-ordered the Thunderbolt but with all these delays and rumors all I have to say is boo and goodbye HTC Thunderbolt.

  47. It ain’t nothing but a thing, man.

  48. No way is it about the battery. Do you think Verizon and best Buy would have ads, videos, commercials, web ads ll over the place for a phone that hasnt already been tested? Please its all about the iPhone!!! Steve Jobs

  49. Its deffinatly not a battery issue the phone would have never been anouced. Test models were prob given to major stock holders and even the ceo said he’s been using it. Everey one thinks the iphone 5 is still in works but the truth is its prob already ready for realeasde. I just spoke with 6 verizon and best buy stores across the nation and 4 if them said thuirsday unless ups comes b4 tomorrow and the other 2 said when ever ups arives it will go out. And best buys ad shows it again they would ha ve removed it from ad and it shows correct price. This week is lokking good.

  50. There is always an option to get an aftermarket battery. There are many available for the evo and that can help solve power issues.

  51. I’d rather they make sure it works and works exceedingly well before releasing it. So rather than be miffed that they’ve been fudging the truth about the delays, I’d be happy that they’re trying to make it the best it can be.

  52. Thanks Richard. Not sure why I wasn’t seeing your comment at the time. Thought you hadn’t responded yet.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets