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
5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
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)
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 FedEx man brought me a lovely little gift yesterday: The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II. This is the last stateside arrivalof the Galaxy S II family. The review will take a bit to get out the door, so until then I figured I'd whet your appetite with some initial impressions.
First of all, this thing is big. Really big. I have to say though, I love the design of it.
Sprint announced today it will be switching 4G technologies from WiMax to LTE. The LTE network should go live in mid 2012 and and have a "full rollout" by 2013. Sprint eventually hopes to double current amount of 4G customers with its LTE rollout.
Joining the LTE ranks puts Sprint in the same technology corner as AT&T and Verizon, with only T-Mobile still clinging to HSPA+. Sprint's slice of the LTE airways will be the 800 and 1900Mhz spectrum and, pending the FCC's blessing, 1600MHz.
It looks like Motorola has a Facebook feature phone up its sleeve - the Motorola EX225 is set to join ranks with the HTC Status as a socially-focused phone with a dedicated Facebook key. A device almost exactly like the EX225 - sans the Facebook integration - also made an appearance at the FCC, affectionately named EX226.
Tests confirm that both devices are headed for AT&T with 3G capability, though the EX226 only supports AT&T's 850MHz spectrum and lacks compatibility with 802.11n.
The HTC Rhyme, a stylish phone geared toward HTC's female demographic, has only been on the market for a short time, but it's already getting some pretty hot discounts thanks to Amazon Wireless.
Amazon Wireless is offering the HTC Rhyme for a paltry $79.99 on a new two-year activation, or $99.99 for those opting to upgrade from their current device.
The Rhyme is a sleek phone, and comes with a handful of nice accessories including a charging dock, tangle-free headphones, and a charm call indicator that can stylishly hang from your purse and glow to alert you of incoming calls.
T-Mobile announced yesterday the latest additions to their myTouch family - the LG myTouch and myTouch Q, devices designed to help users adopt "the benefits of smartphones for the first time."
The LG myTouch packs a 3.8" touch screen, while the myTouch Q offers a slightly smaller 3.5" display, but boasts a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Both devices hold a 1GHz Qualcomm processor and 5MP rear shooter capable of 720p video recording, as well as Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
When Verizon and T-Mobile filed amicus curiae briefs in favor of Samsung in the company's ongoing patent litigation against Apple in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, we cheered inside a little. It's always nice to see Android and its handset partners have friends in high places.
However, the question of how the court would respond to these briefs remained - as the decision is an entirely discretionary one.
Back in July, Sprint announced plans to begin throttling speeds for customers who use more than 2.5GB of data in a month on its pre-paid subsidiary, Virgin Mobile. Naturally, this announcement did not sit well with Virgin customers, despite Sprint's claim that the change would only affect "3% of all data users."
However, the Now Network has decided to delay this throttling plan until sometime in 2012 to "ensure [they] have all the necessary systems in place so that [their] customer experience will remain positive."
There's no word as to exactly when this changeover will take place, but the company "will provide further information on timing beforehand so [their] customers have advance notification."
So, Virgin customers, breathe a sigh of relief, because it looks like you'll be able to bathe in unlimited data for a while longer.