The HTC ThunderBolt, which went on sale March 17, is the first phone available in the United States that can connect to Verizon’s lightning-fast 4G LTE network. That fact alone makes the ThunderBolt ($250 with a new two-year contract) a considerable piece of hardware, especially for users who routinely run high-bandwidth apps such as video chat, online gaming, and high-definition video streaming. Network speed aside, I found the phone itself to be another solid addition to HTC’s mostly impressive family of smartphones, albeit one with a few shortcomings.

The ThunderBolt definitely feels well built and sturdy in the hand. However, for someone coming from a smaller phone, the 5.78-ounce ThunderBolt, with its 4.8-by-2.6-by-0.52-inch frame, can feel like a monster in comparison.

But the phone makes good use of its size. The ThunderBolt’s 4.3-inch WVGA screen gives you ample room to maneuver your fingers while touch-typing and navigating Websites when you’re on the go. My one complaint about the screen is that it is difficult to see outside under direct sunlight.

The phone’s design is quite simple, offering a power button and a headphone jack up top, a volume rocker on the right spine, and the standard Home, Menu, Back, and Search buttons on the face of the device. On the back are an 8-megapixel camera (with a dual-LED flash) and a kickstand, much as we saw on the HTC EVO 4G. You’ll also find a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front of the device for video chatting (more on that farther down).

Read my full review on The Review Corner.

 

— HTC ThunderBolt

Possibly the most important business book you’ll ever read.

I’m going to start this review off with full disclosure: I’m a 37Signals fan. I like their products and business model, I read heir their blog and I watch their videos. obviously, I had pretty high expectations for this book. That being said it lived up to all of them.

Rework was written by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hanson of 37Signals fame and is what I’m going to call a ‘new business’ book. It aims to rewrite the rules of succeeding in business with a fresh, down-to-earth approach. In all 12 chapters the authors give advice contrary to everything you’ve been taught about business success. They aren’t just saying these things to be different, tough. They make sense. That’s what’s so promising about this new business crowd. How we’ve learned in the past has been based on trust and tradition; the future is based on logic though proof and transparency.

Read my full review on The Review Corner.

 

— Rework

The guys at 37 Signals have well earned their reputation for making great web applications. They’ve established a strong identity with a line of web tools for project management, to-do lists, and simple collaboration.

They’ve also published a short book called Getting Real about how to build web apps.

The book is short – 170 pages with lots of whitespace and heavy quoting. If you’ve used any of their apps you’ll feel right at home as they do a fine job of maintaining the same voice and style.

They are most effective when they boldly express their ideals, using them to slash trough common assumptions about features, big planning, organisation and customers. It’s a brisk and optimistic read. At times clever and confident, but occasionally nieve, this book will generate strong opinions and can spark healthy debate even if you don’t like or agree with what they say.

Read my full review on The Review Corner.

 

— Getting Real

Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles is exactly what you expect it to be and it delivers on that: a team of marines all with their personal issues, some civilians for the heart, rah rah patriotism and big explosions.

Staff Sgt. Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is about to retire and has one last troop to train. He’s notorious because his last squad didn’t make it, he had to make a tough call and he’s living with it. Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) has a pregnant wife, Cpl. Harris (Ne-Yo) is planning a wedding and everyone gets a defining prologue just to get you introduced.

The aliens land, seeing an invasion of Santa Monica beach via news cameras is pretty cool. Then Martinez has to take the unit into battle on the streets of Santa Monica. They should call it Battle: Santa Monica. The military has a blockade at Lincoln Avenue and they’ve got three hours to evacuate civilians before an air strike.

Read my full review on The Review Corner.

Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung’s mobile phone range covers every smartphone platform out there and the tech giant has even launched a phone on its own Bada OS. That’s probably why the company is so good at making smart devices.

The Samsung Galaxy is without a doubt the best Samsung smartphone to date. That’s thanks to a speedy OS and that stunning screen that leaves other manufacturers wanting to hide under the TFTs.

The Galaxy S is larger than an iPhone and some may consider this a negative. That said, because it’s so light and slim, I really don’t think this is a problem.

At 9.9mm it feels really skinny and this makes it easy and comfortable to nestle in the hand. It’s only 119g too – extremely light for a smartphone, despite the fact that it is packed to the rafters with functionality.

The screen is quite simply stunning. It’s four inches and every single pixel is bright and clear.

Although not as high resolution as the iPhone 4′s 640×960 pixels, the Galaxy S’ 480×800 pixel capacitive Super AMOLED display feels more usable than the iPhone 4′s, and this is probably because of the extra space for live widgets and to make use of the browser.

Read my review in full on The Review Corner.

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