Samsung Stratosphere Verizon the first Verizon 4G QWERTY phone- like the Samsung Galaxy S but this new android phone comes with handy slide-out keyboard, new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
In the past couple of months, we have seen many 4G LTE Android phones released from Verizon Wireless. HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Droid Bionic became the high-end phones in the market but there is one missing feature that both phones have been missing – a physical QWERTY keyboard. So, now we get Samsung Stratosphere Verizon - like the Samsung Galaxy S but this new android phone comes with handy slide-out keyboard, new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Like others Samsung’s phones – even though Samsung Stratosphere’s shell is made out of plastic, it feels durable. On the back is soft touch coating texture which cuts down on fingerprints and slippery battery cover so you can feel more secure when hold Samsung Stratosphere in your hand.
On the front – there are an LED notification light and 4-inch 480×800 pixels WVGA Super AMOLED (without “Plus”) display which is the middle size between too small and too big, although it’s not Super AMOLED Plus but Samsung Stratosphere Verizon still have some of the best quality display on the market. Images and text look good and clear on it. Colors are vibrant and saturated, the contrast in dark colors is amazing. At the bottom of display are the 4 touch-sensitive control buttons and 1.3 Megapixel front-facing camera above the display. Volume rocker and microUSB port on the left side. Power Button and 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side.
The phone dimension 4.96 inches tall, 2.54 wide, 0.55 inches thick and weighs 5.8 ounces. The Samsung Stratosphere Verizon feels quite slim for a phone with slide-out keyboard. It’s easy to slide out the QWERTY keyboard although it requires more pressure than most other QWERTY phones like Motorola Droid 3. When you sliding a phone you will find 5-row keyboard with dedicate number key on the top. With nice size and large spacing QWERTY keyboard on Samsung Stratosphere ,you will get an excellent typing experience. Homescreen and 4 control keys below the display are being to be use when the keyboard is slide out. Overall, the slide out QWERTY keyboard on Samsung Stratosphere is quite hard to slide open and close but still excellent.
The Samsung Stratosphere Verizon running Android 2..3.5 Gingerbread out of the box, that’s great but with a new version, Ice Cream Sandwich which will be available soon, update schedule for Samsung Stratosphere still can’t find and confirm. Newer version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI also included, bring more visual improvements and ordinary 4 shortcuts on the bottom of display screen for accessing phone, contacts, messaging and applications menu. You can move though application side-by-side or change it to a single scrolling view with the app drawer but on Samsung Stratosphere there are only 5 home-screens instead of the standard 7 and the amount of widgets are limited.
Samsung Stratosphere Verizon has 5 Megapixel back rear camera with autofocus, single LED flash and other camera features like Panorama, Action Shot, Continuous. Samsung Stratosphere ’s camera supoorts 720p HD video and integrated with nice camera software which you can set and adjust image resolution, scene modes, ISO, effects, shooting modes and GPS tagging. In the day that phones come with 8 Megapixel camera and 1280p HD video support , only 5 Megapixel and 720p HD playback seems to be not enough. Pictures taken withSamsung Stratosphere’s camera outside in a sunny day have a nice detail to them, though the colors are a bit oversaturated and bright areas have the tendency to be overexposed. Inside images aren’t great, as they look grainy and occasionally had trouble focusing in low-light.Another trouble is the images are occasionally hardly focused in low-light places.
With Android 2.3 on Samsung Stratosphere, the Phonebook can groups all of your contact list in phone, Facebook and Google into one list. You can also add the contacts from your Twitter, AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo! Messenger, Microsoft Exchange accounts and import or export contacts to the 4G SIM card. On the Phonebook there are also call log, favorites and contacts tabs. You can tab on one of your contacts then you are taken to their info screen which you can view message history and their Facebook, Twitter activities.
Messaging - Samsung Stratosphere Verizon supports SMS, MMS and Email and comes with pre-loaded Verizon’s Mobile IM app which allows you to connect your phone with AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo! buddy lists. Including POP3, IMAP, Gmail, AOL, Windows Live, Yahoo! Mail, Verizon.net and Microsoft Exchange
Calendar - working with Microsoft Outlook/Exchange account and pulls events from Facebook and Google, can also sync with Google Calendar.
Music Player - On the top of app, there are all, playlists, albums and artists tab for sorting your songs. When the screen is locked, the current song keeps playing in the background for displays the controls you just pull down the notification area.
The Standard Android Gallery - manage your pictures and videos into each category folder for easy viewing. It works probably great with Super AMOLED display while playing YouTube videos or ripped videos with H.264, MPEG-4, DivX and Xvid.
Samsung Stratosphere is powered by 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird CPU which making the phone feel super fast and responsive. With 1800 mAh battery A full-charge battery will last you enough to a full day use, even on a standby mood with background updates still turned on. Remember; the battery life is personal which is up to the user’s usage time. About web browsing, the another main feature ofSamsung Stratosphere Verizon is that the phone use Verizon’s 4G LTE network. They advertise average data speeds of 6-12 Mbps and after test on theStratosphere, the majority of speed test result are 20-27 Mbps.
Super AMOLED display, excellent QWERTY keyboard are the main point. If you are waiting for Verizon’s 4G LTE Android phone with a physical keyboard, Samsung Stratosphere Verizon is your best choice.
PROS : nice Super AMOLED display, 5-row with nice spacing QWERTY keyboard, new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, 1800 mAh battery and Verizon’s 4G LTE data network
CONS : only 720p HD video playback and 5 homescreens with limited widgets, keyboard doesn’t open and close smoothly,