Early rumours indicated that the Samsung Stratosphere would be released in September, and there were even leaked press shots of the device. However, here we are in October, and Verizon has just now taken the wraps off of the Stratosphere.

Billed as the "first 4G LTE smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard," the Samsung Stratosphere packs a hefty package, including:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
  • 4-inch (800x480) WVGA Super AMOLED display
  • 4G LTE
  • 5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB on-board memory
  • 4GB pre-installed microSD card (up to 32GB supported)
  • 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera (720p HD playback and 480p recording)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n

The Stratosphere is clearly targeted towards the business user as alongside the QWERTY keyboard, the device will also have "enhanced B2B-enabled connectivity services from Cisco, the most comprehensive mobile implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and support for secure remote device management from Sybase Afaria." Additionally, the device will support "Samsung’s Enterprise Platform enhancements such as VPN, encryption and Mobile Device Management (MDM)." This is a powerful phone that looks to attack RIM's enterprise stronghold and take-away market share from the BlackBerry by offering support for features corporate users find essential.

The handset will be available on Verizon from October 13th for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.

For more details on Samsung's newest toy, check out the press release:

First 4G LTE Smartphone With QWERTY Keyboard For Verizon Wireless: The Samsung Stratosphere™

Features a 4-inch Super AMOLED™ Display, 1 GHz Processor and B2B Enterprise Solutions

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced the Samsung Stratosphere™, a Galaxy S® smartphone, will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online atwww.verizonwireless.com beginning Oct. 13.

The Samsung Stratosphere is the first 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon Wireless equipped with a five-row QWERTY keyboard and designed with Samsung’s four-inch Super AMOLED™ display. Additionally, the Stratosphere supports enhanced B2B-enabled connectivity services from Cisco™, the most comprehensive mobile implementation of Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) and support for secure remote device management from Sybase ® Afaria®.

Ideal for the business professional, the Samsung Stratosphere offers robust data management support. The Stratosphere will support Samsung’s Enterprise Platform enhancements such as VPN, encryption and Mobile Device Management (MDM). EAS includes features such as direct push, email, calendar, contact sync and Global Address List (GAL), as well as EAS policies including storage card encryption, device encryption, and simple and complex password support, all essential for streamlining business on the smartphone.

Key features:

  • 4G LTE – customers can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas
  • Five-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Samsung Super AMOLED™ Screen Technology makes watching movies, viewing videos and playing games come to life, even in bright light and outdoor environments
  • Android™ 2.3 Gingerbread – support for Google™ Mobile Services including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk™, Google Search™, Google Maps™ and access to more than 250,000 apps available to download from Android Market™
  • Samsung 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Application Processor
  • Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and flash (720p HD playback and 480p DVD-quality recording)
  • Mobile Hotspot Capability – share 4G connection with up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices or a 3G connection with up to five devices
  • AllShare® – enables wireless connectivity through Digital Living Network Alliance® (DLNA), so customers can send multimedia content to other DLNA Certified®-enabled devices such as TVs and laptops
  • Samsung Media Hub – Samsung’s own content service, offering a vast lineup of critically acclaimed films and TV programs for rent or purchase
  • Bluetooth® 3.0 technology – support for headset, hands-free, stereo, phonebook access, and object push for vCard and vCalendar
  • Multiple video file formats supported, including DivX and XviD
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity (802.11 a/b/g/n)

Business features:

Samsung's enterprise mobility solutions will provide flexibility and connectivity for mobile workforces, ensuring that users are able to operate more efficiently on the go.

  • Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) – communicate directly with your Microsoft Exchange Server enabling push email, calendar and contacts
  • Support for Cisco AnyConnect 2.1 SSL VPN – supports access to private corporate networks using industry-standard VPN protocols with enhanced security of 4G LTE networks helps users tap into VPN networks with no waiting
  • Encryption Services – users and IT administrators can initiate a remote wipe command to erase private information
  • Support for Sybase Afaria® – MDM capabilities allow an integrated experience for the end user in the event it is required by their IT department or corporate policy

Pricing and data packages:

  • The Samsung Stratosphere will be available on Oct. 13 in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online atwww.verizonwireless.com for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.
  • Customers that purchase a Samsung Stratosphere smartphone will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan beginning at $39.99 for monthly access and a smartphone data package starting at $30 monthly access for 2 GB of data.

Source: Verizon