Bar-style phones with a physical slide-out QWERTY keyboards are not the most favorite handsets in the market today – a market dominated by touchscreen phones whose major selling characteristics is thinness and low weight. But you cannot deny that there are people who still prefer the old fashioned physical keyboard hence the reason companies still come up with these phones. The next in the market comes from the leading smartphone manufacturer Samsung. The Samsung Stratosphere 2 is a smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 4.3 inch super AMOLED screen. The phone, which seems reader for release based on the press-ready render images leaked on the internet, will be coming to Verizon wireless, most likely before the onset of the holidays this year.
The phone with a physical slide-out keyboard has got to be a mid-range phone that may appeal to students, businesspeople and the elderly who appreciate the extra convenience of the physical keyboard but do not mind the extra few ounces or the thickness of the phone. Rumors of this phone have been alive since August but it is only now that we actually see something credible. The phone’s pictures are not official but they look very real, coming from evleaks, a very reliable leaks source. Most other specifications are not known but we can speculate the specs and features as well as release dates.
Based on rumors that surfaced last month, the Samsung Stratosphere 2 comes packing a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display, a rear 8 megapixels camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out-of-the-box. The pictures tell us that the phone may be available in Black and White or Silver and the hone’s outer design gives it an elegant and smoother feel. The physical keyboard is a lot like the keyboard Stratosphere 1 has – with well-spaced rubber keys. There are four onscreen buttons for better navigation but they are placed differently compared to those in the Stratosphere 1. The phone will also be 4G LTE capable and will have all the standard smartphone specifications mid-range devices have including Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi.
Early indications are that the phone will be launched or made available on Verizon starting November 21st this month – that is just three weeks away. The pricing is still unknown but it should cost between $99 and $149 with a 2 year contract.
So, this is the next big thing on the smartphone market – at least those with physical keyboards. What do you think about phones with slide-out QWERTY keyboards in general, and the Stratosphere 2 in particular? Are you eagerly waiting for this phone? Let us know your thoughts below.
Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4
Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Jelly Bean most likely to follow soon)
Memory: 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory with microSD card slot up to 32 GB expansion
Display: 4.3 Inch Super AMOLED screen
Cameras: 8 megapixels rear, 2 megapixels front cameras