Verizon has finally introduced its first 4G LTE phone equipped with a QWERTY slide-out keyboard – the Samsung Stratosphere, powered by Android.
CNET reported that the 4G LTE handset will go on sale October 13, and will also boast Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread Operating System, a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz processor, and a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera. Additionally, the Stratosphere will include a 1.3 pixel front-facing camera, a microSD expansion slot, Wi-Fi, DLNA connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, and, my personal favorite feature, wireless hotspot capabilities. Of course, the phone’s shining feature is its big, easy-to-use slide-out keyboard.
The smartphone seems to be skewed closer to the type of specifications Blackberry users would find appealing than iPhone customers. The phone’s preloaded Cisco AnyConnect 2.1 SSL VPN, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Sybase Afaria, and remote wipe applications give it a decidedly business-friendly feel. The phone is also capable of handily sending large e-mail attachments, deeming it well-suited for business use.
Samsung is dutifully following current trends by opting for the Gingerbread OS. More phones now run Android than any other operating system, including Apple’s operating system. This is no mean feat, as the iPhone 4, and recently the 4S, is far and away the most popular smartphone on the market.
Verizon jumped the gun a little by releasing the phone when they did. CTIA San Diego commences today, but the mobile community has already been buzzing about the Stratosphere for a full 24 hours. Presumably, Verizon hoped to whet the collective appetite of the convention attendees in order to cleverly maximize anticipation for the phone.
The Stratosphere will go on sale for $150 after a $50 rebate and comes with a 2-year deal.