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Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon) review

The industry's first 4G LTE-enabled slider from Samsung is a capable offering for Verizon users on a budget.

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Our Verdict

QWERTY slider keyboard fans don't have a whole lot of choice when it comes to 4G LTE data, but they could do a lot worse than the Samsung Stratosphere. It's not a handset intended for Android power users, but the sum of its parts is overall a good value.

For

  • Attractive TouchWiz UI
  • Lightning-fast 4G LTE speeds
  • Colorful Super AMOLED display
  • Great soft keyboard with Swype pre-installed

Against

  • Slider requires both hands to open
  • 480p video recording
  • Just a hair too large to hold comfortably
  • Verizon's 20+ pieces of bloatware

A tap on the Phone icon in the dock calls up the dialer, featuring a large, finger-friendly keypad. Start typing a phone number and a bar appears above the keypad offering suggestions; tap one and the complete number is entered, ready to call.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

Call volume was quite good through earpiece and speaker alike, although actual call quality was a bit on the digitized side for our tastes. During a call, users can switch to another task and then return to the call, mute, speaker or end it, all from the notifications window.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

The dialer also includes buttons at top for quickly accessing Keypad, Call log, Favorites and Contacts. Orange buttons below offer voice dialing, which failed to find the correct contact after repeated attempts, and a shortcut to messaging, which worked like a charm.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

We really like the TouchWiz soft keyboard, which comes with Swype baked right in. Whether you're banging out a quick SMS or simply typing a URL into the web browser, you'll find the soft keys are among the best Android has to offer.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

Samsung also has a slick, clean UI for Messaging, with easy access to Recent, Contacts or Group recipients. MMS messages can be attached from pretty much everywhere, including a full slideshow, movie or image files, contacts and calendars.