Is it too soon for QWERTY keyboards to make a retro-style comeback? Samsung and Verizon say no. As such, the pair are promising the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 in the coming weeks. There’s no official release date yet, unless your calendar has a day called “Soon” on it.
Marked with a price take of $180, Verizon will be offering a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement to bring consumer cost down to $130. For the money, buyers of this phone will get to enjoy a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, S Beam and its NFC features, and the difficult-to-ignore QWERTY keyboard. The Stratosphere 2 will run Android 4.0 and will be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Not wanting to get too caught up in the nostalgia of the sliding keyboard, Verizon will extend its 4G LTE network to this handset.
It appears that the big market for this phone will be the business community, as Verizon and Samsung are playing up the features more focused on the travelling sales executive rather than the teen with a texting habit so bad that it requires a physical keyboard so they don’t type through the screen. The Stratosphere has built-in VPN connectivity and is Global Ready, and also features security tools like on-device encryption and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Those may sound like tools more suited for a secret agent than a businessperson, but Bond already has his phone of choice. This might be a good alternative for those MI6 agents that have typing-heavy missions.