The next Android release from Verizon, called Samsung Stratosphere is scheduled for release on October 13th. Until last week, only rumors about its specifications and features were floating around the internet but on 2nd October, Samsung had officially released all the details, and one must say that it is pretty impressive.
The handset is LTE capable, again subject to network availability of course, but it is a decent improvement over 3G and other ‘faux’ 4G networks. If nothing, at least the internet speeds should be faster. The Stratosphere will feature a 4” Super AMOLED display but the exact resolution is not yet known, although it is speculated to be at least WVGA. This is quite below expectations as one would think all phones coming out from now on would go for the qHD standard, irrespective of the price.
Performance-wise too this phone doesn’t exactly rack up on the ladder, as it has only a 1GHz single core processor and is supported by a rather paltry 512MB of RAM. Built-in memory is limited to 4GB and there is already a 4GB microSD card supplied with the phone. Experts would have preferred higher specifications but it seems the phone is destined for the mid-range to low-end only.
On the other hand, the speculation about the OS and the cameras were right on target. This phone will have the Android 2.3 and have a primary 5 megapixel camera and a 1.3 megapixel one on the front for video calling. The rear camera is supported by LED flash but this doesn’t make up for the fact that video resolution is limited to only 480p.
The key feature of this phone is the sliding keyboard in landscape orientation. It is one of the few Android phones to actually feature one and looks like it is aimed for those who can’t live without a QWERTY keyboard. Another interesting aspect is that the Samsung Stratosphere will be featuring a microSIM slot, something not very prevalent barring the iPhone 4 (and a speculated handset from Nokia) and is the first LTE capable phone from Verizon to do so. While the specifications are not very high end, it should be quite sufficient for average use and is probably going to be the best choice for dedicated physical keyboard users.