38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
I just got the phone yesterday and it is working great. It is super fast and easy to figure out, easy to work, easy to manage. It is a bit on the large side ( as it fits from fingertip to the heel of my palm) and so is the slider keyboard but that might be because I have smallish hands :/ otherwise the keyboard is also good. The keys are close together and not to flat or bulky. (it is a little difficult to slide open but easy to slide shut) The screen does like to change views at random when I set it down but you can fix that by picking it up and taping the side. I am disappointed that my ringtones can't be used for when a text is sent to me but I can live without that unnecessary luxury. Graphics are really good and the camera isn't half bad either. Skype works well on it and my calls have been clear. Battery life is really good too as long as you lay off the heavy stuff like movies and games. Apps work smoothly. I really can't find a thing wrong with this phone so far.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
Before starting the review, I would like to say that the Strato II has only been out a few months. - starting on the holidays (thanksgiving, Christmas)2012. Starting with a 4G simm card and the new "ice cream sandwich" android ver 4 op sys. I understand the first version was not to great..
I am a android user of over 2 years (droid II global) and find the new strato II to be very good indeed. It not only has all the features the the droid II has but is super fast and has many added features.
- Starting with the sliding out keyboard. The keyboard slides out easy with a nice smooth snick. I have found it is easy to hold the phone in my left hand and push the screen out with my thumb - easy to close. What I like about the phone keyboard is if I slide it out, this bye-passes the lock/swape screen. The physical buttons are placed just right and not to many to clutter up. I like the feel of the on/off button, it take you to the power-off with a longer press, with just a light press it takes you to the lock screen where a swipe is needed to unlock. I like the idea that the unlock/swipe screen can have a different picture (settings -> wallpaper) then the main/home screens.
- The battery for a smart phone is always a concern, with the strato II it is less of a concern being 1800 mAh compared to the 1390 mAh on the droid. I have found the battery life to be good - using moderate internet the phone is charged every two days. What I like about this smart phone is that the internet can be turned off by simply dragging down the action bar at the top of phone and turning off the 4G. For those that absolutely have to have internet then there are some great appl/killers. Two I recommend: "easy battery saver & easy task killer" (play store). The task killer is very good and is handy for gamers, where the easy battery saver can be put in "intelligent mode" which turns of the internet when a person goes to bed. Here is a appl few think about - GPS power sucking appl that comes with the phone that most folk do not even consider: GPS, this one runs 24 hours a day unless turned off when not in use. easy to do:(settings -> location services) or action bar at top of screen.
- Charging the phone I have found is quick when turned off first - this has two good advantages 1) those 10 or 20 appls that are constantly running for that user that expects the phone to kill appls if they forget too. 2) complete charge in a little over a hour compared to hours for a user that is running 20 appls sucking up power while the poor phone is doing its best to recharge.
- Overall the battery performs well about normal life with proper care, I would agree that the battery would not need to be charged for 5 days if the phone had little or no use - easy battery saver would turn of the internet when not used. For heavy gamers the life would be shorter of course - internet sucks up juice heavy.
There are some really neat feature that may only be available on the galaxy: 1) s-beam, you may have seen someone put a smart phone against another to transfer a picture... to do this go to settings -> more settings -> scroll down to s beam - this is were you turn on s beam. 2) I really like the face recognition feature, it can be used to unlock a locked phone, but then you the owner do not need a password the smartphone recognizes your face. For those that are interested in this go to: settings -> lock screen -> tap on screen lock and get a number of options. My favorite is: face unlock.
- I will discusss other features at a later time.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
I've had the Stratosphere II for a number of days and have spent quite a bit of time getting to know my new phone. Overall I think this is a good phone with many good features, with some that are even excellent. In my opinion it is its overall solid performance in many features that makes this a very good phone to use.
Here are my observations:
1. Very fast set up (if you are a prior smart phone user). This is my second Android smart phone after owning (and loving) an LG Ally for over 3 years. It seems very similar in its features and set up in regard to my Ally. Plus, the pop up set up guides made transferring my data and setting up my app's quick and easy. One potential flaw or caveat, not all my app's seem to be finding the data installed on my memory card which I transferred from my old phone....the Stratosphere recognized the card without reformatting, and the card works, but as of yet I can't seem to get the re-installed app's to recognize their data on the old card....it may have to do with the fact that newer upgrades of the apps were installed in the downloads on the new phone? ...I've not given up hope, it simply will take some web research to figure out how to get a re-installed (and upgraded) app to find data on a transferred card. Those app's that were cloud based connected and downloaded my old data flawlessly. Be sure to have a good backup of your data on your PC (if you can) in case your card data doesn't transfer well.
2. Good solid physical slider keyboard...I know the industry is going to virtual keyboards, but I can never seem to get them to type well for me, especially in portrait mode, as I am always hitting the wrong key and having to backspace and retype. I am a touch typist and answer considerable amount of email from my phone, so I find landscape mode a necessity and a physical slider the best answer for me. Of the limited choices of phones with landscape response and physical sliders (at my carrier Verizon), the Stratosphere seemed the best answer over the Droid 4 (very comparable phone with an EXCELLENT key board but alas NO replaceable battery...WHEN the battery goes on the Droid 4, you have to buy a new phone) and the Pantech Marauder (very stiff keyboard, poorer camera, slower phone, less reliable record).
The Stratosphere II's keyboard is a good solid keyboard and the keys are well spaced but not too large even for my small hands. I can type quickly without making a lot of mistakes. I did find that the keys were somewhat stiff at first and some of them require a slightly off center push to engage, however I am getting more at ease with it and the keys are limbering up considerably with use, so I consider it a good physical keyboard...just not excellent like my Ally's was or the Droid 4's is.
3. Excellent processing speed. Very fast network. I went from Gingerbread to Ice Cream OS, and more than doubled my processor and quadrupled my RAM from my old slow Ally, so of course the Statosphere II is going to seem like lightening compared to my Ally. Even so, I notice it is fast and quick as compared to friends's modern phones. I can multi-task with ease, browse the web, hook up WiFi, play Netflix, Facebook, email, and video chat with ease.
4. Good to very good but not excellent screen. I do like how the super AMOLED screen holds up in bright daylight and does not fade out on angles, and it is a clear screen with good colors. When I tried my Netflix account on it (for fun...who would really want to watch on a 4 inch screen?), I actually could watch the show with good clarity. However I do notice some graininess in some situations especially in the icons and the photo I set as wall paper (from a photo I took with the camera). However, overall for my general uses, the screen is very good and will suit me fine.
5. Camera. Meh--it's okay to good. The day they make a reasonably priced phone that has a really good point and shoot camera is the day I will rejoice (and lay down my dollars). I must admit that I am picky about photos, and nothing replaces a really good camera with high quality glass lenses, and proper photo light and meter....however, who wants to lug that everywhere? I never seem to have my camera kit when I want it, so it's the camera on my phone that saves the day. The Stratosphere is typical of camera phones and approaches a lower end "point and shoot." Most "point and shoots" do well enough in daylight outside (unless its fast action), however, it is inside shots that are most troublesome. The Stratosphere seems to suffer the usual peripheral graininess in low light, flash tends to make the photo unevenly exposed, and there is some minor color warping on edges...but amazingly it was clear in the focused object...my favorite test subject is my Sheltie dog's inside night portrait on dark green carpet that gets set as my wallpaper. On my pc screen, the Stratosphere's doggie portrait was pretty comparable to the portrait I took with my husband's i-phone 4...ie the iphone was not tremendously better. The Stratosphere held its own on this shot. I think the camera will be good enough to capture moments I don't want to forget and upload to Facebook for family and friends without grimacing about the horrible quality. I have not shot a lot of photos nor printed a photo out from the camera, but I think with good lighting the result will be reasonably acceptable to even amazingly good. I've not tried the video camera as yet, but I am glad it is there.
6. Okay Tactile Feel without accessory. I have small hands, so the Stratosphere is a bit bulky, and in its original state, cold and hard to touch. I don't really care for the hard shellac shell casing and beveled metal edge. Together they are often hard to hold on to. I found myself almost dropping the phone several times, and other times it was hard to push the keyboard out if my hands were overly dry. The slipperiness of the phone made it difficult to almost impossible if I didn't wet my fingers. This was becoming almost a deal breaker because my phone is a daily tool for my calendar, emails, phone calls, music...it needs to feel like an extension of my hand as I take it almost everywhere. I knew I would sacrifice some size and weight due to the slider keyboard and larger screen, but the hard case and beveled metal edge made the act of holding onto the phone a constant mental effort and sometimes even fatiguing to my hand. Fortunately in talking with the dealer about my concerns I tried a snap-on case accessory and that worked! Even with the additional snap on case weight and slight bulk, it made it MUCH easier to handle and hang onto the phone. I found I could actually let the phone rest in my hand in a relaxed position without having to feel like I had to constantly grip it. The snap case also made finding the power up button and ports easier to find.
Even with the extra bulk, less than stellar camera, good but not excellent screen and keyboard, I am pleased with the Stratosphere. Its "power under the hood" and solid provision of the many features I most desire make it a very good phone.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
A little pricey, but much less costly than buying full price through carrier. As far as the phone, it's still one of my top 3 favorite phones that I've ever owned. And yes, I WANT the keyboard!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2013
This phone has a keyboard and operates on Android's Jellybean software thing, so it's really fast and when you type stuff it actually comes out as you intended it. I don't know what else there is to look for in a phone these days. I had the first Stratosphere and it was SLOWWWWW. This one is a massive upgrade over the older model. The battery life is also outstanding (by smartphone standards).
Less than 6 months later this phone's performance has CONSIDERABLY diminished. The main reason I originally got it was because of the keyboard, but the keyboard is garbage and not well integrated with the Android software at ALL. I got a Galaxy S3 instead and I am much happier with it.
Do yourself a favor and don't get this phone, just get the Galaxy S3.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2013
I've had this phone for almost 8 months now. I like the phone and most of its features. The one huge lacking area is that pics/videos cannot be downloaded straight to a computer via the USB cable!!! Worse than that is the fact that Verizon isn't even aware of this. I have spent hours trying to download and more hours chatting with reps on Verizon.com, and no one ever told me this phone is not capable of direct to computer downloads!! They have had me do crazy things to try to fix the "problem." Finally, today, a customer service rep actually looked at the 250+ page user guide and told me there is no way to download directly. Why, oh why, then does Samsung provide a USB and driver (yes, when hooked up, a driver does install, which made me think it could download). Very frustrated and shocked that Samsung would make a phone that does not have such an important, and I believe basic, capability.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
I've had this phone for over a year and I've had no problems with it. My husband has a diff Droid phone, one son has an Iphone, and another son has a newer samsung. When we compare functionality, this is right in the mix. Camera is decent, but I think iphone camera is better actually. I have not had unexplainable glitches such as shut downs as other reviewers seem to have had. After 18 months I do charge battery nightly ... keep a spare with me, which was not all that expensive. Frustration when it gave me errors about memory space that did not appear to match the settings, but I was able to troubleshoot the problem via Forums on my own. In all, it is a reliable phone that I've been happy with.