Gadget Guru: Technology Pick

Vincent Mecca

Lifestyles Editor

By now, many of us have heard the term “4G” in many of our wireless carrier’s commercials such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.   4G is the new wireless service many providers are beginning to initiate, providing faster data transfers for our smartphones, and this will essentially allow us to browse the web and download files from our phones much faster.

An upcoming phone for Verizon Wireless expected for release in Q1 of 2011 will be 4G-capable from HTC called the HTC Thunderbolt.  No longer will the iPhone4 be the only mainstream smartphone to enable video calling, as the Thunderbolt will have both a front facing and rear facing camera. It will also have a nice 4.3” screen and will be running Android 2.2.

Another complaint from some Verizon customers is the limited functionality of the CDMA  service their phones currently run on.  As it is, phones running on CDMA cannot use voice and data simultaneously.  This means that if you are talking on your phone and need to browse the web, then you will have to hang up your call and do one or the other.

With Verizon’s new  LTE (Long Term Evolution) network boasting 4G speeds, this limitation will be a thing of the past for phones who can utilize it such as the Thunderbolt.

This isn’t to say that 4G will be available to everyone with a phone capable of using the new service.
Verizon is only rolling out its new 4G service to a few large cities and eventually expanding later on, so some of us may not see 4G in our area for some time.  Not to fear for those who want a new 4G phone, though, as they will be backwards compatible with our current 3G.

HTC Thunderbolt. Photo credit