I do not have a smart phone.

A majority of my time is spent at home and if I’m not at home I’m generally very close to home or out with the people I would be talking to online anyway.

So I’ve never really needed one.

That isn’t to say I’ve always wanted one.

I’ve worked with Verizon on a couple of different occasions with several different products (disclosure: I pay for AT&T service on a very average phone that calls people, that’s it.) and am currently working with them in reviewing a Motorola Xoom tablet and I was able to take a HTC Thunderbolt smartphone with me to BlogHer.

Y’all, smartphones are fun.

They settle arguments with a simple search on google, they find you all the best restaurants and even better shopping. (And when you actually need to call someone? They do that too.)

When they asked me what I wanted in a smartphone I asked first for a good camera (the Thunderbolt has an 8mp camera. My first digital camera? 3mp.) and second I wanted the 4GLTE service that all the commercials are bragging about.

The camera was a lot of fun to play with. So much easier to document a day in the life of being Vivi with the Thunderbolt than carrying around a point and shoot camera, a phone and an iPod touch.

Not to mention the screen on the Thunderbolt is INSANE.


When I opened the box I was pretty sure it could see my soul. Twitter avatars were actually discernible. And on Saturday when Emily sent me a photo of the world’s largest pig scrotum from the Indiana State Fair?

Well, let’s just say there was no wondering what THAT was.

As far as the 4GLTE service, I didn’t really notice that big of a difference until I was at the Britney Spears concert flanked by two 3G  iPhone 4 users. They couldn’t get much of anything to work, let alone get photos to upload (and believe me, there are a lot of worthy photo opportunities at a Britney Spears concert.) I however had no trouble whatsoever.

I was a little smug and very impressed.

Parting with it has been slightly bittersweet since it’s back to carrying around a point and shoot, regular phone and iPod touch. But I know I lived without one before. I know I can do it again. My only complaint about the Thunderbolt? The battery is close to useless if you actually use the phone. I’m not sure it ever made it longer than 12 hours without needing to be recharged.

In the meantime I have this Xoom to play with. Well, for Cody to play with. It is his precious and he has named it and loves it and spends part of every evening on the couch with it. He also takes it to “important” meetings with him.

I get to play games on it, sometimes. I also put pictures of my babies on it and stare at them. Coolest thing? It has the ability to be a wireless hotspot, an easy way to win friends and influence people who like to use the Internet too.

(I am working with Verizon to review several of their new products, I was provided with an HTC Thunderbolt phone and service for BlogHer and a Motorola Xoom and service for the duration of my partnership with Verizon.)



  1. Wait, so what happened to the HP Veer from BlogHer?

    Casey Reply:

    @Liz, My husband is happily carrying it around (his broke my first day in San Diego) working things to google into random conversations.

    I have a feeling he is going to win a lot more often now that he is the bearer of the only smartphone in the family.

    I tried to convince him that due to the tiny adorableness of it that it really is a girl phone and that he should let me keep it and use it but the he played the “I HAVE A JOB IN AN OFFICE” card and he won.

    The big question is will he let me have it back now? Or even more important, will he be able to live without a Smartphone?

  2. I lurve my Thunderbolt with all my heart. I was a long-time Sprint customer, and *almost* went with the HTC Evo instead when it came time to replace my phone this past spring, but Verizon wooed me with the promise of 4G, and I was a goner! I thought I would love an iPhone, but now that I have the big T’bolt screen, I can’t imagine going back to something dinky… but I will second the issue with battery life. I keep it plugged in at work all day, and I plug it in every time I get in the car. Battery life is dismal.

  3. Hey! Just a couple of things I learned. These are android phones, right? If so please note the following – they will help tremendously in the battery department. And if you know them already I’m sorrry I took up the space…

    Be careful of how often you have the refresh set for things like email and twitter and facebook. They are serious power drainers.

    Download an app that will show you what all is running when. You’ll be amazed at how any apps run in the background – especifically if you don’t specifically close them. Most of battery apps also have the ability to shutdown apps you no longer need up. Again, serious battery saver.

    I didn’t know this but it really does help to let your battery drain all.the.way.down to shutoff and then charge it up – from the wall – NOT from the dangle off a PC or via the car. I don’t know why it’s different but it is.

    That brightness of the screen? Not your friend. I know its’ a pain but it’s almost the biggest gain in battery life.

    Again, if you guys already knew this I’m sorry I resaid it all.

    And, if it’s windows based phone – ignore me too.

  4. I upgraded to a smartphone a while back. Unless I get an iPhone, I think I’m willing to go back to my plain-ole above average phones. I despise my Palm. DESPISE! I guess I don’t find the niftiness worth the extra $30/mo on my bill to support my Googling habit.

  5. Someday in the next decade I’m going to get a cell phone. Someday. And then we can use your smart phone to find the best deal. And by then Addie will probably have her drivers license and take us to the store.


  1. […] has all the same things I liked about the Thunderbolt, huge super sharp screen, 8MP camera with flash (good flash!) and the Verizon 4G LTE service. […]