Samsung Stratosphere LTE Query: Why Put it Up Against Droid Bionic?

Some of you may already have heard of the Samsung Stratosphere, which at one time got a few people excited as it was rumored to be Verizon’s Galaxy S II variant, which turned out to be false. Instead it seems as though the Stratosphere is another take on the Epic 4G on Sprint, but this time with LTE. Today we’re wondering about the wisdom of the decision to release it at the same time as the Motorola Droid Bionic, with both handsets coming to Verizon.

Some clear images of the Samsung Stratosphere have now been revealed by Evan Blass over on Pocketnow. Although there’s still not too much known about specs and features it seems as though the Stratosphere will have a QWERTY slideout keyboard, which will make it Verizon’s first slider handset with 4G LTE. Other likely inclusions are a five-megapixel rear camera with a 1.3-megapixel front-facer, 2GB of storage and a 4-inch display. It looks as though it will be running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and is expected out some time this week, launched at around the same time then as Verizon’s Motorola Droid Bionic, which really should blow the Stratosphere out of the water. The Droid Bionic for instance will have a dual-core processor, 4.3-inch qHD display and 8-megapixel rear camera, among other hugely impressive specs. No price has been confirmed for the Stratosphere but around $150 on the usual two-year contract seems a pretty reasonable estimate as opposed to the $299 contract price of the Bionic.

Over on Gotta Be Mobile, Chuong Nguyen also reports on the Stratosphere and points out that because it is being released almost a year after the Epic 4G the specs already seem somewhat dated. This is even more relevant when considering the fact it could be launched on September 8, the same day as the Droid Bionic which is set to be a big hit and has notable specs and features, and is a phone we at OSM have been enthusiastic about for some time.

It’s not yet know for example, what processor the Stratosphere will have but based on the fact it’s a rehash of the Epic 4G it could have a single-core processor whereas the upcoming crop of top-end smartphones such as the Galaxy S II and the Droid Bionic now feature dual-core processors. What the Stratosphere may have going for it though is that it’s likely to be one of the less costly 4G LTE phones out there and of course some people prefer a phone with a keyboard.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on the Stratosphere. If indeed it turns out to be competitively priced could it win you over against the Droid Bionic, also featuring 4G LTE on Verizon? Let us know with your comments.