After having been leaked countless times, the Samsung Stratosphere was finally officially announced by Verizon today. This will be the carrier’s first 4G LTE smartphone to have a full physical QWERTY keyboard. So if you’re still into physical keyboards but would also like to get some of that sweet (and fast!) 4G LTE action, this is pretty much your first (and only) choice.
The Samsung Stratosphere has a 4-inch 480×800 Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 1 GHz processor, a 5 MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash and 480p video recording, a secondary 1.3 MP front-facing camera, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of built-in storage and a 4 GB microSD card preinstalled, and GPS. The smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
As we expected because of some leaked information from a few days ago, the Samsung Stratosphere will become available at Verizon on October 13, which is this coming Thursday. It will cost $149.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate), if you sign a new two-year contract with Big Red. Said contract will have to be at least $39.99 per month for voice, and you’ll also need a $30 or more data plan tacked on for good measure.
All in all, this is a decent midrange device with 4G LTE support, but its unique feature has to be the keyboard. Otherwise, the price is decent, but right now there are many other higher-end devices to choose from if you don’t care for a keyboard but need LTE connectivity.