The HTC Thunderbolt is a big, big phone. Its 4.3-inch display mandates a dinner-plate sized footprint and that's exactly what you get. It is moderately thick, though by no means the thickest phone we've tested here at Phone Scoop. It is weighty, too. Apparently cutting-edge radio circuits and thin profiles aren't yet a possibility. Despite its sheer size, it’s not uncomfortable to hold and use. The back edges are pleasantly rounded, and the soft touch paint job on the back cover has an organic feel to it. If you've got big pockets, the Thunderbolt will fit.
HTC doesn't break any new ground in terms of the appearance and design of the Thunderbolt. In fact, it looks nearly identical to the wide range of super slabs that HTC has produced of late. The colors are conservative (greys, silver and black), and the Thunderbolt doesn't stand out visually from the large pack of Android devices in the market.
The four standard Android controls are placed on the front of the device under the screen. I am really beginning to wish these buttons appeared in a mandated order. Every handset seems to jumble them up at will. These buttons are the touch-sensitive type, and produce haptic feedback when pressed.