It’s pretty obvious that slide-out QWERTY smartphones are not everybody’s favorites, due to their “robust” bodies and mid-range specs. Still, students, elders and even businessmen tend to favor them, what with their added functionality and all.
One of the most interesting QWERTY devices of 2011 has been Verizon’s Samsung Stratosphere, which is getting ready for a refresh. Rumors about the second Stratosphere have been floating around ever since August, but now it’s time to finally have a look at the new phone’s design.
The first Stratosphere 2 pic is not official, but does come from a very trustworthy source, notorious Twitter account @evleaks, so we’ll take this one for granted. As expected, there aren’t going to be many visual differences between the second Stratosphere and its predecessor, although the new phone’s edges are much more rounded than before.
I know that’s not a tweak to be crazy about, however there seems to be something better about the Stratosphere 2’s overall look too. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the “noble black” of the first handheld might have been replaced with a darker and more distinguished shade of black, while the back side also seems a tad more elegant and smoother.
The physical keyboard looks identical to the first, which is not a bad thing, while the four on-screen buttons have been kept, but are now differently placed.
Evleaks mentions nothing about the device’s features, but, based on previous rumors, we have an almost complete spec sheet lined – 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.5 GHz S4 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 8 MP rear-facing camera, 4G LTE, Android 4.0 ICS.
We also suspect the phone to come branded as a Galaxy device this time, while the Verizon release should happen by November 21. As for pricing, that’s still a very delicate subject. Anyone excited about the Stratosphere 2 now that we know how it will look? How much do you think Big Red will ask for this?
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It looks like there are four buttons, but I think more than the configuration has changed. They look like the same four buttons as on my Pantech Marauder, with the third button (replacing the search) acting as a task manager button.
One of my areas of interest is the battery and whether they might be using the same one. I have a collection of Stratosphere batteries before I jumped ship to the Marauder due to the lack of RAM. I might give the Strat2 a try if it means getting to use those batteries. (Of course, I have spare batteries because the battery-life of the Strat is so awful… which is the other concern.