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.


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.

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.

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.

Samsung Stratosphere 360-degrees View:



21. jillybean0517

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 26, 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!

20. irfanskt1

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 04, 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...........

19. keyboardmom

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 20, 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.

18. 12dr34m

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 10, 2012

I can go for an iphone over this one.

17. sondamom

Posts: 1; Member since: May 25, 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.

16. asmallchild

Posts: 20; Member since: Jan 01, 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.

12. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 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..

10. jen_y

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

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

9. sarahkap83

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 16, 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?!


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

8. burtonsnow8

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

4. burtonsnow8

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

3. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

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

11. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

slow compared to what?

2. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Touchwiz just looks ugly in landscape mode.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Stop trolling.

13. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

not really a fan of touchwiz at all...
  • Display 4.0 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    1.3 MP front
  • Hardware , 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 4GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1800 mAh
  • OS Android 2.3

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