Samsung Stratosphere 4G LTE QWERTY Phone Fit for Businesses

Verizon Wireless will start selling the Samsung Stratosphere Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone Oct. 13 for $149 after a $50 rebate. The phone has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and a QWERTY sliding keyboard.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) will begin selling the Samsung Stratosphere Galaxy 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) smartphone Oct. 13 for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year data contract.

The Stratosphere is Samsung's first 4G LTE handset with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, and the company's first Galaxy S phone with a slider as well.

Based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, the Samsung Stratosphere offers both a 4-inch Super AMOLED touch screen and a five-row QWERTY slider.

The keyboard should appeal to both consumers and business users who like to type emails and text messages using physical keyboards.

The Stratosphere is powered by a Samsung 1GHz processor powering applications on Verizon's speedy 4G LTE network, which aims to speed up data by as much as 10 times that of the carrier's existing 3G network. Faster mobile broadband will be attractive to the corporate road warrior looking to send big email attachments and other files.

Other key enterprise features include support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to enable push email, contacts and calendar, and Cisco AnyConnect 2.1 SSL VPN to allow workers to tunnel into their corporate networks while on the go.

The phone also features encryption to let IT managers remotely wipe the phone's data in case it's lost and support for Sybase Afaria, which provides corporate data management tools for IT administrators to enforce their IT policies.

These business-focused perks make the Stratosphere a good alternative to the Motorola Droid Pro line, as well as the Motorola XPRT.

The Stratosphere won't be mistaken for a multimedia-friendly smartphone like its Samsung Galaxy S II brethren. While that 4G LTE device lineup features 1.2GHz or faster dual-core chips and an 8-megapixel camera, the Stratosphere comes with modest 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, paired with a 1.3MP front camera to enable video chat.

The video camera also supports 720p HD playback, but only 480p recording, compared with 1080p capture and playback for the S II.

Customers who want to buy the Stratosphere will need to purchase a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan beginning at $39.99 for monthly access and a smartphone data package starting at $30 a month for 2GB of data.