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HTC Bolt Review

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HTC Bolt Review

James Shisiah

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What we love

  • An incredible 5.5 inch display.
  • Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
  • A powerful octa-core processor.
  • An amazing 16MP camera.
  • Fingerprint sensor.
  • IP57 certified water and dust resistant

Overview

Appropriately named after the superstar Jamaican sprinter Usain BOLT, the HTC Bolt was the first smartphone to support Sprint’s LTE Plus data network. You can rest assured that internet speeds on this gadget will awe you.  HTC has been known to manufacture incredible products for fair prices, and the BOLT just happens to be one of them. It comes in at just under 150-dollar price tag. This phone is simply captivating right from the time you see it. The incredible 5.5-inch screen surrounded by the metal unibody similar to the HTC 10, a snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, and the immersive HTC adaptive boom sound are some of the amazing features on this affordably priced smartphone. Read on to find out more.

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Unboxing

The HTC Bolt is available directly from HTC website or Sprint wireless. It comes with a neatly packed white box with the HTC logo or sprint logo depending on where you ordered it from. The box looks simple and elegant with minimal decorations.

What’s in the box?

  • One HTC BOLT
  • The user manuals
  • Earbuds
  • HTC BoomSound Adaptive Audio earphones
  • USB type C cable
  • Standard wall charger with quick charge 2.0
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Design

The HTC BOLT has a really nice premium feel to it. Its design features are mostly similar to its cousin the HTC 10, but this is not something we are complaining about since the HTC 10 is also an incredible piece of hardware. The all-metal unibody give the phone a premium durable feel. The HTC BOLT features slightly rounded corners that provide a nice and smooth transition from the flat sides.

The power button and volume rockers sit on the right edge, laying naturally in such a way that your fingers can get to them easily. They have different textures for easy distinction when you could be looking to crank up the volume instead of lock the phone. To the left edge, we have the microSD and Nano SIM card trays. The bottom edge has the USB type-c port as well as the hands-free speaker grill. There’s no 3.55mm headphone jack, luckily a USB Type-C to 3.55mm dongle is available, so it can work with your already existing headphones. This dongle can be purchased separately, however, the included earphones will work fine with your phone.

To the front panel is your 5.5-inch display. The top of the display has the front camera lens, earpiece, and the proximity sensor, and LED notification indicator. To the lower of the display, we have the navigation keys and the home/fingerprint sensor. The back panel doesn't have much apart from the camera lens and the dual tone flash. The back cover is also non-removable to satisfy the water resistance considerations. Well, that brings us to the end of our tour around the device.

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Camera

HTC invests a lot in their cameras and the HTC Bolt smartphone will surely impress you. It boasts a 16MP f/2.0 rear shooter coupled with Optical Image Stabilization. This is guaranteed to give truly colorful photos. In normal lighting conditions, we find that the camera does perform quite well. The images are sharp enough and colors are not overly saturated. The camera allows you to take both raw photos and videos; and in case you are looking for more HDR-like photos, the BOLT has got your back. In low lighting conditions, the BOLT still holds its own. As to be expected, there are a few grainy images here and there and the colors seem to be less punchy but still very good.

The front-facing cameras are usually an afterthought for many smartphone users but we are glad that HTC is still delivering quality on this front. Armed with an 8 MP f/2.4 camera, it delivers in both scenarios where there was plenty of light and some low light ones. The wide aperture is also notable with a wider angle, meaning you can fit more people in selfies naturally.

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Display

The 5.5-inch display on the HTC Bolt is a nice upgrade from the 5.2-inch on the HTC 10. This display is a QHD Super LCD that delivers bright and beautiful visuals. While it’s not the same screen as the one in the HTC 10, it delivers deep true colors. The color reproduction is on point and the contrasts don’t seem unnatural. The HTC BOLT also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection to ward of scratches and keep your display shiny as ever.  

It packs 2560 by 1440-pixel resolution bringing the pixel density to 534 PPI which is about the same as AMOLED display of the Pixel XL. As such, watching multimedia files such as photos and video clips is fun and engaging. The viewing angles are great for a phone at this price point and quite acceptable to me. Outdoors the brightness is enough such that you won’t have to tilt the phone for visibility.

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Battery

The HTC BOLT’s battery is another winning aspect on the phone. The device comes with a 3200mAh battery that gives about 23 hours of talk time and about 20 days standby time. It is sturdy enough to support mixed use for a whole day.  The phone does come with some power saving nifty technology that helps prolong battery life when you are in a jam. Due to the all metal design of the HTC BOLT, you can expect that the battery is non-removable. It does support quick charging 2.0 which juices up your phone up to 30% with half an hour of charging.

Storage

The HTC BOLT ships with an incredible 32GB of internal storage by default. While this is certainly enough storage space for most people, those who like shooting raw photos and 4k videos will need a boost. Luckily enough, the phone comes with an extra slot for the expandable storage right next to the SIM slot. The phone supports external memory expansion with a microSD cards of up to 256GB, which is a welcome feature if you need more storage. 

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Performance

The HTC BOLT is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor together with 3 GB of RAM. While this is a step down from the HTC 10’s 4 GB, it still performs flawlessly well, thanks to its 8-core processor clocked at 2GHz speed. The Snapdragon 810 is an incredible, versatile and capable chip which can handle everything it’s thrown at. For everyday usage, the BOLT is quite smooth and without lag. Even while playing graphically intensive and resource-hungry games, the phone was still fast and incredibly responsive. As we noted, the device may become a bit warmer after long hours of playing which is normal in most handsets, it’s therefore, nothing to worry about.

The HTC BOLT comes with Android 7.0 Nougat right from the box. This means it is packed with all the incredible features of Android 7.0 Nougat including a fluid user experience, Google Now, multi-window mode and more. Using the phone is quite a treat. Since it fits perfectly in the palm, you can hold the phone for a little while longer without feeling it’s a load. Calls are crystal clear and data speeds are off the charts. Sprint says the phone was specifically designed to complement their network and it does live up to the hype. This metal unibody gadget is a worthy investment that is sure to serve you for a long time.

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Specifications

  • GSM / HSPA / LTE /Wi-Fi.
  • 5.5-inch QHD, Super LCD 3display.
  • Gorilla Glass 5 screen protection.
  • Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • Processor: Snapdragon 810, 2.0GHz octa-core.
  • Adreno 430 GPU.
  • Memory: 32GB of internal storage, expandable to 256GB with external microSD card.
  • 3GB of RAM.
  • Battery: 3,200mAh battery.
  • Camera: 16MP rear, 4K video recording. 8MP front, 1080p video capable.
  • Bluetooth: 4.1.
  • Sensors:  fingerprint scanner (front mounted), gyro, accelerometer, proximity, compass.

HTC Bolt Accessories