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Samsung Stratosphere Review

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Samsung Stratosphere Review
Introduction:

Samsung Stratosphere Review
We’ve seen Verizon release quite a few 4G LTE Android smartphones over the past couple of months, from the high-end Motorola DROID BIONIC and HTC ThunderBolt, to the entry-level Pantech Breakout. But there is one feature that all of them have been missing – a physical QWERTY keyboard. Enter the Samsung Stratosphere, which just happens to include a handy slide-out keyboard. This combination clearly targets the device to individuals that want fast data speeds, and also prefer a real keyboard as opposed to using the on-screen one.

Included in the retail package is the Samsung Stratosphere i405 smartphone, 4GB microSD memory card, 1800mAh battery, wall charger with microUSB cable, and user guides.


Design:

The overall appearance of the Samsung Stratosphere draws closely on other Samsung models, such as the last year's Fascinate, but it is a bit more refined. Even though the Stratosphere has a plastic shell, it feels more durable and less “plasticy”. Gone is the slippery battery cover on the back, as the Stratosphere has soft-touch coating with a grooved texture, which allows the phone to feel more secure in your hand.

Even though the Samsung Stratosphere has a plastic shell, it feels more durable and less “plasticy” - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Even though the Samsung Stratosphere has a plastic shell, it feels more durable and less “plasticy” - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Even though the Samsung Stratosphere has a plastic shell, it feels more durable and less “plasticy” - Samsung Stratosphere Review

Even though the Samsung Stratosphere has a plastic shell, it feels more durable and less “plasticy”


Samsung Stratosphere Review

You can compare the Samsung Stratosphere with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

On the front is a 4” WVGA 480x800 pixels resolution Super AMOLED display (not “Plus”), which seems to be what appeared on the Fascinate. Images look good on it thanks to the saturated colors, and text is clear, but it could be way better. Above the display is a 1.3MP camera for self-portraits or video chat, and at the bottom are the four touch-sensitive control buttons.

On the front of the Samsung Stratosphere  is a 4” WVGA Super AMOLED display - Samsung Stratosphere Review
1.3MP front camera - On the front of the Samsung Stratosphere  is a 4” WVGA Super AMOLED display - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Touch-sensitive control buttons - On the front of the Samsung Stratosphere  is a 4” WVGA Super AMOLED display - Samsung Stratosphere Review
 

1.3MP front camera

Touch-sensitive control buttons

On the front of the Samsung Stratosphere is a 4” WVGA Super AMOLED display


Volume rocker on the left - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Power button on the right - Samsung Stratosphere Review

Volume rocker on the left

Power button on the right


Sliding a phone open to access the QWERTY keyboard should be easy, but we found the sliding mechanism on the Samsung Stratosphere requires more pressure than most other QWERTY phones (such as the LG Enlighten and Motorola DROID 3), and we could also feel the keys rubbing on the backside of the display. But once it is open, you are treated to a keyboard with a nice 5-row layout with dedicate number keys across the top. All of the keys have a nice size, and also ample spacing that provides an excellent typing experience, which rivals that of the DROID 3. There are also a few extras, such as being able to use the homescreens in landscape mode when the keyboard is open, and there are even four keys on side on it which mimic the 4 function keys below the display. Overall, we’re quite pleased with using the keyboard, but wish that it slid open and close better.

The QWERTY keyboard - Samsung Stratosphere Review
The QWERTY keyboard - Samsung Stratosphere Review
The QWERTY keyboard - Samsung Stratosphere Review

The QWERTY keyboard


Back - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Rear camera - Samsung Stratosphere Review
Battery compartment - Samsung Stratosphere Review
microSD card slot - Samsung Stratosphere Review

Back

Rear camera

Battery compartment

microSD card slot



Samsung Stratosphere 360-degrees View:



17 Comments
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posted on 25 Oct 2011, 10:08 2

2. Mozarrt (Posts: 290; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Touchwiz just looks ugly in landscape mode.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:59

7. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2871; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Stop trolling.

posted on 24 Dec 2011, 04:07

13. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 285; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


not really a fan of touchwiz at all...

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 10:18 1

3. terabyteRouser (Posts: 407; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I used this phone and it's pretty slow. I would give it a 6.

posted on 24 Dec 2011, 03:53

11. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 285; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


slow compared to what?

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 14:08

4. burtonsnow8 (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Apr 2010)


4g on my stratosphere in LA worked great. 44Mbps down, 22Mbps up. No switching back and forth. Just north of LA in the valley I was hitting 22Mbps down and 11Mbps up. No drops of any kind and pages loaded quickly. Wirefly loaded in less than 5 seconds on 4g, RARELY had half a second or less of checkerboarding when zooming/browsing the pages, but it was very responsive. On wifi it was just a tad slower than my roommates 4s.

So far with moderate usage (40+ txts/email, 30 minutes of call, 30 minutes of gaming), my phone has been on a full charge for about 36 hours. At about 20% currently. I was in a 4g area for only about 3-4 hours though, so it would probably be less with full 4g.

posted on 25 Oct 2011, 19:54 1

5. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2871; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


At first I thought this was a harsh review given the score. Then I remembered "oh wait, this is the Epic from nearly 2 years ago just with LTE" Since it's got Gingerbread but that's all it'll have. If you are in a strong LTE area and need a keyboard, you should still wait. Wait for the Droid 4 or deal with not having one because this is completely outdated from the start.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 14:41

8. burtonsnow8 (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Apr 2010)


It is an older model, but there are some improvements over the epic4g. I consider myself a techie, had a TP2 before this which I built custom ROMs for. If this phone can't do what you want with whats out there than you are looking for something not on the market. As long as I keep the task manager cleared (which why would anyone not, even on a dual core 1gb phone, for the battery savings alone) this phone handles everything. Phone arena loaded blazing fast, thats with all the flash content. I very well might be trying to rationalize my purchase but for what I do (moderate use, business use, e-mail) it is awesome.

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 20:20 1

9. sarahkap83 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Someone doesn\'t know what they\'re talking about. I have this phone and I like it a lot. It has all the major features that new phones have.

Also...I use my keyboard ALL OF THE TIME and...I definitely don\'t feel the keys scraping against the display when I slide it in and out. Just saying....

It\'s a solid phone and it\'s free at radio shack. What is there to complain about?!

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 21:15

10. jen_y (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)


I love the phone only problem the battery last 18 hours and today it was over heating

posted on 24 Dec 2011, 03:58 2

12. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 285; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


i think people keep forgetting this would be considered ENTRY/MID LEVEL... waiting for the Droid 4 would defeat the purpose.. the Droid is on a whole different tier.. there still needs to be mid level smartphones out there to help people break out of the messaging phone or feature phone catagory..

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 13:34

16. asmallchild (Posts: 20; Member since: 01 Jan 2012)


I had network connection issues with this phone.

Moved to the Nexus.

Apparently the Nexus has network connection issues for some people. Not for me.

Thank god.

Otherwise I would have shunned Samsung phones forever.

posted on 25 May 2012, 20:26

17. sondamom (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 May 2012)


I don't like the camera on mine...there is a blue line that goes down all my pictures I take and I have only had it 3 weeks or so.

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 13:39

18. 12dr34m (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Jul 2012)


I can go for an iphone over this one.

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 18:23

19. keyboardmom (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


I don't really like this phone. the camera is pretty good and the touch screen is good. I don't like the size of the keyboard.... i don't like the way I have to answer it... I hang up on people a lot. Don't like typing on the touch screen... I'd rather have a tablet for browsing and reading email.... It does some things OK, others .. not so OK in my opinion. I'm going to go to something else.... i guess for the price... what do you expect.
It's only an entry level smartphone. I guess I like a smart tablet and a dumb phone.

posted on 04 Sep 2012, 05:28

20. irfanskt1 (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


i am screwed.........i live in a country where no other natwork then gsm is available and i have this phone gifted to me........and i have no idea how i can use my gsm sim card in this phone....if someone has the idea of doing that pleas let me know...........

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 10:05

21. jillybean0517 (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


By far, this is the worst phone I have ever owned. I am on my 3rd replacement and it's as bad as all the rest. Done with Samsung. NOTHING works right on this thing. I am going back to Motorola when my contract time is up! Save your money and pick something else would be my recommendation!

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Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.96 x 2.54 x 0.55 inches
(126 x 65 x 14 mm)
5.80 oz  (164 g)
Battery1800 mAh, 8 hours talk time

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