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Editorial: My dilemma regarding the HTC Thunderbolt and Google Voice

Today, preorders for the HTC Thunderbolt went live at Best Buy. Why do I care when I already have an EVO? Well a few reasons: First off, Verizon has better coverage than Sprint. For the most part I don’t have many issues but one of the places I travel to frequently is roaming on Sprint which equals extremely slow data speeds (.01mbps down). Furthermore, even at home, I have a semiweak signal for both voice and data. You may argue, “Well you’re at home with Wifi, why do you need data?” I answer, “Comcast.” My ISP sucks. I get slow speeds, and they’re incredibly unreliable. I’ll frequently have to tether to my phone, which when you’re on Sprint 3G, is still fairly slow.

Secondly, I have been less than impressed with Wimax. Even when I have a full Wimax signal, speeds are never fantastic (2-3mbps down). Sure, that’s a hell of a lot faster than Sprint’s 3G but when I’m paying an extra $10 a month for premium data, I expect more. Also, Wimax is few and far between. No signal at home, where I most need it. Even while driving around the city, I’ve only noticed a few locations I have a strong Wimax signal and it’s never anywhere residential (highways, down town, the Medical Center, etc.). Again, what exactly is that extra $10 a month getting me?

Lastly, if I went to Verizon I’d be able to save a few bucks on my plan by just being anadditional line on an already existing plan.┬áSo I sounds like I’m already to jump ship. Why haven’t I?

Well, one thing I do love about Sprint is the unlimited SMS and MMS included with an unlimited data plan. Sure may seem small but when other carriers are going to charge an additional $20/month, it pretty much kicks ass. So that leads to my other dilemma: do I port my number to Google Voice? As it stands, I already have a G Voice number for business and my regular number is my personal line if you will. One of the beauties of Android is the integration with G Voice, however only one G Voice number can be tied with any one handset. So even if I port my personal line, I can only use it OR my business line on the phone. Your next question is, “Why not just port it to Verizon and keep it a regular cell number?” I answer, mainly for SMS. To avoid $15+ a month in additional charges, using G Voice gives me free SMS. Plus, I get all the other features of a G Voice number which is just additional awesomesauce.

Furthermore, getting a Thunderbolt means LTE. Since it is supposed to be the future of wireless I shouldn’t have the same issues as Wimax but who knows (the Shadow knows)? However, theoretically this could help a lot of my current data issues.

Then again, all of this is sort of circumstantial. For what it is, the EVO works great and maybe I’m just getting sucked into the hype of a new phone, like I do with every new phone that’s announced.

So… Get a Thunderbolt? Port to Google Voice? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

 
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