CNET First Look
Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)The Samsung Stratosphere is Verizon's fist 4G LTE phone with a QWERTY keyboard.
-Hey everyone, I'm Jessica Dolcourt with CNET taking a first look today at the Samsung Stratosphere. Now, this is Verizon's first 4G LTE phone that also has a QWERTY keyboard. I took my first look at CTA and noticed that it were a great resemblance to the Samsung Epic 4G, which was originally released for Sprint and which was one of the original Samsung Galaxy S phones. So, this phone does look the same. It's sleek and it's kind of got this minimalist look to it. So, it's really nice looking device. It's got this glassy face, but something a little bit different on the back is that it's got the sort of knobbly, but still soft back cover and that makes it a lot less toy like than if it were plastic all the way through. It also has a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED screen, which is really bright with vibrant colors and that's due to the AMOLED material, but the resolution could be a little it tighter when you compare it to other screens. It also got a front facing camera, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera that takes really strong photos with crisp edges and right colors. So, it's pretty satisfying, and there is support for 720p HD video. This phone does have a keyboard. It is a full 5-row QWERTY. It's good tactile feel on the keys. It was little bit wide for me personally that's because my hands are a little bit smaller. It runs android 2.3 gingerbread with the TouchWiz custom UI. There are a ton of extra apps on this phone between Verizon and Samsung here. So there's the kindle app. There is back of the system, walk faster app. There is this whole V-cast of everything, slacker radio, and also all of the Google services that you would expect can't leave those out. There's also Wi-Fi direct and DLNA support. There's a 1 gigahertz processor running the show. 4G speeds because this is a Verizon LTE phone were really impressive often in the range of 20 mega bits per second down, and it's pretty good for San Francisco, very fast. Verizon's big sell with this phone is with business. It's got support for VPN on device encryption, Microsoft, active sync e-mail, active sync calendar syncing, and then you got that keyboard here. However, the Samsung Galaxy S2 phones also have these capabilities minus the keyboard and if you don't absolutely have to have the keyboard, you might prefer the Galaxy S2, which is also dual core as an 8-megapixel camera and support for 1080p HD video. I think this is a good phone. I'm just not sure that I'm exactly buying Verizon's business argument that they are trying to make. So, it definitely is a [unk] versionof the Epic 4G because of the speed and because of some of those other apps within and I think that's okay. I just don't think that you guys should get caught up in the marketing height, but what you should consider is that if you're looking for a 4G QWERTY or for a well priced LTE phone, this is a good one because it cost 149.99 after $50 mail in rebate and that is with new 2-year service agreement of course. So, there you go. Here's some food for thought. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. This is the Samsung stratosphere with Verizon. You can check out the full review and other phone reviews at reviews.cnet.com.