Verizon announces LTE-ready Samsung Stratosphere

The Samsung handset is Verizon Wireless's first sliding QWERTY smartphone to offer support for its high-speed 4G LTE network.

The Samsung Stratosphere is Verizon's first QWERTY Android with 4G LTE support.

Verizon got a jump on CTIA today by announicng that the Android-powered Samsung Stratosphere. Arriving on October 13th, the Stratopshere will be Big Red's first 4G LTE handset with a QWERTY keyboard. Other details include Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 5-row QWERTY keyboard.

Looking nearly identical to Sprint's Epic 4G from 2010, the Stratosphere provides a spacious typing experience with a dedicated number row. Additional specifications include a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, a microSD expansion slot, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), DLNA connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, and mobile hotspot capabilities.

On the software front, the Samsung Stratosphere skews heavily toward the business-minded consumer. Pre-loaded applications include Cisco AnyConnect 2.1 SSL VPN, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Sybase Afaria, and encryption services that allow for remote wipe.

The Samsung Stratosphere will be available later this week, October 13, in Verizon stores with a $149.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) price tag and two year service agreement. We'll be sure to catch at CTIA in San Diego for a hands-on.