There are many firsts on the new HTC Bolt, a Sprint-exclusive smartphone. It is the first HTC branded smartphone to run Android 7.0 Nougat and to have water resistance on a unibody design. It is the first HTC device to ship without a headphone jack. It is also the first smartphone compatible with Sprint’s 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation, making it the fastest smartphone on the carrier’s network.
The HTC Bolt gets its speed from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip, featuring the X10 LTE modem. The carrier aggregation allows data to be sent over three channels simultaneously and pieced back together on the handset, according to HTC’s AVP of product planning, Nigel Newby-House. The smaller packets of data going through the network on separate channels allow for top download and upload speeds of up to 300 Mbps per second.
“Building this product specifically with Sprint allowed us to do a lot of fine tuning on the device; the antenna and the radio performance is beautifully optimized for the carrier aggregation technology on their network so you can get really good, fastest in the U.S. network speed,” Newby-House told iDigitalTimes.
Sprint established its 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation in February ; however, the speeds have yet to be showcased on their own. Most smartphones host multiple bands to support different carriers, which can affect the overall network speed on each carrier. However, the HTC Bolt being a Sprint exclusive allows the carrier to showcase its top speed without interference from other bands.
“If you want to build one speed for Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, there's often a compromise there, which may have meant Sprint didn't quite get that network speed they were looking for,” Newby-House old iDigi. “[Sprint wants] to go out and tell this network story.”
The HTC Bolt features a 5.5-inch Quad HD display with Gorilla Glass 5, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage with microSD expansion up to 2TB, a 16-megapixel main camera and 8-megapixel front camera, 3,200mAh, USB Type-C port, IP57 water resistance, a front-facing fingerprint sensor and Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense.
The device comes in Gunmetal or Glacier Silver color options and includes a pair of HTC’s BoomSound adaptive audio headphones in the box. The headphones are USB Type-C compatible and automatically adjust audio output according ambient noise and the user’s hearing capabilities.
The HTC Bolt is available Nov. 11, selling for $599 or $25 for 24 months on Sprint’s payment plans. The smartphone is available at Sprint stores, Sprint.com, Best Buy, RadioShack and Costco.com.