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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

Verizon bloatware is at an all-time high on the Samsung Stratosphere, with no fewer than 20 such apps gobbling up space on the handset's 4GB of internal storage – and no, you can't delete them, sorry.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

Football fans will appreciate the included NFL Mobile, while Big Red also includes V CAST Media, which has now been replaced by Backup Assistant Plus for accessing pictures, videos, music and documents on your desktop from devices like the Stratosphere.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

Verizon also crams a number of other apps onto the device including Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster (which includes $5 free credit upon signing up), My Verizon Mobile (for account management), Quickoffice and Slacker Radio.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

A couple of games are also thrown into the mix from Gameloft: Let's Golf 2 and Need for Speed: Shift, but as usual, both are playable demos that require purchasing the full version to truly enjoy. Last but not least is City ID, a $1.99 per month service for displaying the city and state of incoming phone calls.

Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

On the navigation front, Verizon has included the $4.99 per month VZ Navigator (free 30-day trial included, also available for $2.99 per day as needed) along with the free Google Navigation, which is one of our favorites.