Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon) review

The industry's first 4G LTE-enabled slider from Samsung is a capable offering for Verizon users on a budget.

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The Samsung Stratosphere's 5.0MP autofocus rear camera is capable of shooting still images up to 2560x1920 or capturing video at up to 720x480 (480p). Not quite state of the art, but in our tests, the results were better than expected, particularly with still images.

Samsung Stratosphere Verizon

While we didn't have much luck trying to snap decent photos of subjects in motion, actual picture quality was quite rich in detail. Images were a little on the soft side, but otherwise had accurate color reproduction and contrast.

Samsung Stratosphere Verizon

The camera app offered a surprising number of options given the Stratosphere's lower rung on Samsung's ladder. Users have nearly full control over how their images are shot (including four choices for the actual shutter sound!), although Effects options are quite skimpy (Negative, Black and white and Sepia only).

What's more, 480p video recordings are made in the MP4 format, but exhibited a noticeable amount of noise and even some moderate pixelization upon playback when played back on our iMac, even with movies shot in bright sunlight.

Samsung Stratosphere Verizon

While the lack of HD video recording was a bit of a mystery to us, Samsung has done an otherwise admirable job here. We're more impressed with the Stratosphere's optics and camera software than the company's more high-end Galaxy Nexus, which has a notoriously poor camera considering its lofty status.