Samsung Stratosphere brings Qwerty keypad to LTE

Posted by Mark Raby

Samsung is trying to bring sexy back to the idea of a slide-out Qwerty keypad.

Pictures have surfaced of the company's latest creation, the Stratosphere. With a design not unlike T-Mobile's Sidekick line, the Stratosphere is a full touchscreen phone that can slide out to reveal a full keyboard underneath.

Geared toward the smartphone crowd that still isn't quite comfortable with the whole touchscreen keyboard thing, the Stratosphere comes with Android 2.3.4, 2 GB of internal storage, and front and rear cameras.

According to media reports, the phone is also likely to have a Super AMOLED Plus screen, Samsung's absolute top-of-the-line display technology.

The most important spec of all, though, is that it is equipped to run on Verizon's 4G LTE network, ranked the fastest 4G network in the country. It is the first LTE-enabled phone to have a full Qwerty keypad.

The iPhone pioneered the idea of a phone that didn't need to have any physical buttons, except for maybe one solitary "home" command. Since then, many manufacturers have followed suit.

However, for many consumers, the idea of a touchscreen keyboard just doesn't sit well, and so there is still a definite market for Qwerty phones. The main drawback to including the keyboard, of course, is that it makes the phone bulky and more susceptible to wear and tear.

Details about when the Stratosphere will be available and how much it will cost have yet to be revealed, however there is speculation that it could drop as early as later this week.