The new HTC Thunderbolt, the industry's first LTE phone, made its debut just the other day.
Overall the reviews are extremely positive… particularly related to the data rates of Verizon's LTE network. The primary complaint: Battery Life.
One analyst I spoke with at CTIA said the phone was out of power by noon. Certainly some of this can be attributed to the newness of LTE as a RAN technology, and undoubtedly improvements will come.
But the Thunderbolt also uses a new technique concocted for providing voice and data simultaneously when on LTE. Cleverly named "SVD", or Simultaneous Voice/Data, this is something vendors developed to keep the CDMA voice channel (1x) on/open when the LTE radio is on.
This is not how CDMA/EV-DO devices behave. But I guess Verizon was catching so much flack that it decided to try a dual-radio solution.
As a result, those HTC Thunderbolt commercials are actually more accurate than one realizes. It turns out that the Thunderbolt device really does need a steady supply of lightening to keep it powered throughout the day.
Watch this video about how Smart Wi-Fi saves battery life.