Samsung Stratosphere Hands-on

Samsung Stratosphere Hands-on
With the introduction of the HTC ThunderBolt earlier in the year, Verizon Wireless brought us all into the 4G LTE era. Of course, the carrier was quick to increase its portfolio by bringing aboard the Samsung Droid Charge and LG Revolution soon afterwards. More recently, the mighty Motorola DROID BIONIC brought the best technologies into one, as it combined 4G LTE connectivity with a peppy dual-core processor – though, it was an expensive one at $299.99. And in the last couple of weeks, the Pantech Breakout finally made owning a 4G LTE smartphone easier than ever before with its affordable $99 on-contract price. However, the 4G LTE lineup is still missing a QWERTY focused handset. Thankfully, that’s where the Samsung Stratosphere aims to fill in the gap with its 5-row landscape style keyboard.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, but the Samsung Stratosphere easily brings back fond memories of the Samsung Epic 4G, as it pretty much looks, feels, and performs in the same way. In typical Samsung fashion, it’s completely constructed out of plastic with a soft touch coating in the rear to keep it looking clean, and a metallic bezel to make it a decent looking smartphone. Overall, it feels solidly built, but doesn’t really try to deviate much from the styling we find with the Epic 4G. In fact, It’s profoundly made evident with the 5-row landscape style keyboard it’s boasting as its maintains the similar chicklet style buttons used by the Epic 4G. Well, that’s not a bad thing seeing that it exhibits a satisfying tactile response when buttons are pressed.

The Samsung Stratosphere uses a 4”WVGA Super AMOLED display – so yeah, there’s no Plus found with this one. Nevertheless, it’s able to win us over thanks to the saturated and vivid looking colors it’s able to produce. Powered by the same 1GHz Cortez A8 Hummingbird processor used by all the Galaxy S smartphones, we’re accepting of its peppy response in navigating around the TouchWiz interface running on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. But of course, the other main highlight with the handset is its wickedly fast 4G LTE connection.

As we mentioned already, it’s essentially Verizon’s version of the Samsung Epic 4G – but with 4G LTE instead. Furthermore, its $149.99 on-contract pricing will be appealing enough when pitted against the $200 and up pricing being flaunted by most of its 4G LTE brethren right now.  Granted it’s not a high caliber smartphone by  today’s standards, it’s nonetheless an appealing handset as it finally brings the QWERTY form factor to the 4G LTE mix.

Samsung Stratosphere Hands-on:

Related phones

  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Storage 4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1800 mAh(8.00h talk time)



1. bb_user unregistered

I wish I use this cool samsung android instead of this bb. without BBM this BB is a junk, it's even worse than Nokia 1616


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

This doesn't look bad but they could have at least bumped it up to 1.4ghz and 1gb of RAM.

3. zhieson

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 21, 2011

I agree. The specs are so mediocre. I'd almost rather have the Droid 3.

4. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Yeah, but the Droid 3 doesn't have the RAM either. It would be nice if the handset had it all, but at least we get something LTE/qwerty out there at a reasonable price point. And since it's essentially a Galaxy S, there will be minimal programming changes to worry about.

6. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

as someone that's had the Droid 3 for a while now the RAM really isn't such a big deal especially after this latest update and the fact that it's dual-channel memory. it feels just like using my dad's Bionic.

5. GeorgyP unregistered

Totally bums me out why manufacturers assume that physical QWERTY lovers only want mid-range specs: WHY ISN'T THIS BASED ON THE 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus- screened Galaxy S2 derivatives? While the keyboard actually looks ace, imagine *how fantastic* it would have been with one of these phones or even the S2 HD LTE or Galaxy Note as a base!! An absolute category-killer that pple could only stare at slack-jawed with NO ability to dream of complaining about. Seems this "tablet" frenzy is clouding the minds of OEMs and people are forgetting that MOBILITY is key; even a 5.3-inch screened slider is FAR more pocketable and therefore USEFUL than a 7/7.7/8.9/10.1-inch tablet! Same madness afflicting Blackberry in rushing out the Playbook with QNX/BBX before it's feature-complete instead of e.g. a 5-inch slider with the same 1024 x 600 pixel resolution screen and a KILLER QWERTY running OS7 (6,1) on the same 1 Ghz dual-core 1GB SDRAM platform. Would have both sold better PLUS buy time to complete QNX instead of muddying the waters and releasing also-ran products.

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