Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere is a piece of crap! June 2, 2013
Reviewer: Rosanne Beatty (Brookfield, WI United States) -
My Samsung Galaxy Startosphere purchased from Verizon Wireless is a total piece of crap. Has not worked right from day one, which was less than a year ago. About a month ago the phone got very hot and the battery died. Replaced the battery (at my cost) and then it died again in a day. Returned the phone to Verizon who is now trying to screw me out of $200, saying that the recharge port was corroded and that is what caused the problem. Verizon sent a photo of a DIFFERENT phone with a corroded port saying it was mine. As I can see by many reviews online that there are many problems with this phone. Definitly would not recommend Samsung or Verizon..double not recommend Verizon for their trying to cheat me.
Do not get this phone May 8, 2013
Reviewer: Nimue Amethyst (Charleston, SC) -
My first Stratosphere with Verizon worked great...for almost a year. It did everything I wanted it to, even if the GPS cut out sometimes and it was kind of slow. Then about a month ago it started getting strange about recharging. It wouldn't recharge at all on some cables, and even on the cable that came with it, the phone had to be resting perfectly still with the cable hanging in just the right position. After looking the issue up on the internet, it seems that there are a lot of complaints about the charge port on the Stratosphere wearing out. I did find an online repair site that will fix the charging port for about $55, and I should have gone with that. I finally got tired of not being able to use the phone because the battery was dead or almost dead and took it back in to Verizon. It was still under warranty, so they sent out on of their "certified like new" replacements. Should be "certified crap," as the first one became unusable (even for phone calls and texts) after a couple of days, and the second one seems to be following suit. Add to that the customer service from Verizon has been so terrible we're planning on going with a no-contract carrier when our contract is up. Don't listen to their hype about free or reduced-price phones, it's not worth it. What you don't pay for with the cost of the phone ends up being more than covered by the cost of the contract, much less the time and frustration in dealing with malfunctioning phones and their replacement process.
A lesson in futility. May 5, 2013
I purchased this phone through Amazon Wireless's Penny Phone program in May 2012. I guess the old adage rings true: "You get what you pay for."
First off, the upside: Because Amazon and Verizon are partnered, Verizon has replaced the phone with a certified like-new version each and every time. I'm currently waiting on phone number 4 to be delivered to me. Phone number 1- solder holding battery connection came loose and it wouldn't charge at all. Phone number 2- the phone kept giving me all kinds of sim card and sd card error messages and losing functionality. No phone calls, no internet, no apps (well, I guess the calculator was still available in all fairness). Phone number 3- won't hold a charge, won't charge above 11%, had it for two days and never once got it to charge. Phone number 4- en route to my home. I'm sure I'll be back to update when I have to get phone number 5.
Ok- the truth. This is the worst phone I have ever had. I will definitely think twice about EVER purchasing a Samsung device again. I have been a Verizon customer for over seven years. I have rarely had to call them over the years and I liked it that way. Let me pay my bill and leave me alone. It was a good arrangement. It worked for us. But then came the dreaded Stratosphere. I did not have the foresight to clock my phone calls to Verizon regarding this phone, but if I had to guess, I have spent over twelve hours in the last month and probably 20 total in 2013 listening to an untrained "tech" support person walk me through troubleshooting steps I have already completed. I've recently just taken the tack of being a complete b**** the second I get through to a person. It's surprisingly more effective than I originally anticipated. Tonight, when I called in about the phone AGAIN, the girl said, "Hello! And how are we this evening?!" I just did the long sigh and said, "Eh!" She didn't even walk me through troubleshooting but just ordered me a new phone.
All right, getting off task. The phone. Yes... it's s****y. Way s****y. Pretty much the only redeeming quality of the phone is that it's got great glass on the screen. I've dropped that sucker in nearly every parking lot in my town and the screen is still in pristine condition. What's wrong then? Well, the battery life is a joke. Unless you can be tethered to a charger approximately every hour, then I would pass on this one. No notifications when screen is in rest mode. The transition from the home screen to the apps screen is dreadfully slow. Speaking of slow, good luck making an emergency phone call if you have to power up the phone to do so. Since the entire process from start up through the media scanning (that runs EVERY time you turn the phone on) is about five minutes, you had better hope your home isn't on fire or you're not being chased by a murderer. You WILL die from this phone. And let's talk about making calls... my expectations of a phone are pretty simple. You dial a number, it rings, someone either is or isn't on the other end. Not with the Stratosphere. Here's how it works. You go to the dial screen. You dial and hit send. The phone goes back to the home screen without dialing. You frown at the screen and say something naughty to the phone. You go back to the dial screen. You dial again while muttering curse words under your breath. You dial and hit send. The phone goes back to the home screen again. You look to turn off the power button and then magically, your first phone call dials out. But then, your second call dials out. Great feature if you're into three-way calling.... however, if you are trying to call your parents who really don't get call waiting, they get real confused as to how I can be calling them while I'm already talking to them. Merging phone calls is an option, but I'm worried it's going to throw us into some kind of multi-dimensional stupor. Oh and did I mention my favorite? When the battery is low and you are on a phone call, it doesn't give you any kind of emergency warning that the battery is low. It just dies. Many times the recipient of my phone call thinks something bad has happened to me... but after I allow the phone to power up for five minutes (see above) and then dial them repeatedly hoping the phone call will go out (also see above), I'm able to call them back and let them know I'm ok.
Basically, if you are thinking about buying this phone, do yourself a favor and stab yourself with a pencil instead. Then spend some extra money and buy yourself a phone that actually works and isn't a total piece of crap.
Worst Android Phone Ever, of All Time April 29, 2013
Reviewer: Stephan S
Me and everyone in my family got a Stratosphere for Christmas 2011. The phones worked all right for almost a year. They were essentially free phones, so we didn't expect much out of them. After the FF1 update though our phones have all pretty much become useless, glowing paperweights. My phone constantly freezes, never keeps up with typing, overheats, randomly loses network connection, reboots, battery dies in a few hours of use, WiFi drops out, and has never received any actual Android upgrades (despite it coming out months after the ICS update).
Verizon just pushed another update to it this month but didn't actually fix any of its major problems (nor acknowledge that this phone has some serious issues). They updated their built-in apps, fixed email problems (which I never experienced) and supposedly made it possible to remove the bloatware that came with the phone (I can't actually uninstall it though... it's still on my phone without the option to uninstall...). Since it's past its warranty I have to wait until December to get a new phone, though with its performance exponentially declining every day I may just pay the cancellation fee, drop Verizon, and use my Strat for some target practice.
Wish there was an option for zero stars April 21, 2013
Reviewer: R. Houston "Warrior6521" (Lexington Park, MD) -
The Samsung Stratosphere is the absolute worst phone I've ever owned.
I'm on my third phone in less than a year. The original died after 6 months when the screen went permanent purple. The refurb replacement went to a green screen on St Patty's Day weekend.
During the original phone's short life, I had to endure 3 hard resets resulting in having to download all the apps and download my backed up photos and contacts each time.
The latest refurb phone will go back to home screen while trying to dial a number or in the middle of typing a text message. The phone will lock up where I have to pop the battery 2-3 times per day (power button won't respond either). I have to restart the phone 4-5 times per day in order to reset the service connection or just clear the memory in order to do anything with the phone.
The response from Verizon (since I'm now 4 days out of warranty) is to buy a used phone of a different brand or type Samsung from Craigslist or EBay and have it activated....Right...I'll do that right away.
I've owned 'dumb' phones made by Samsung and always been pleased with the quality. Their smart phones - at least this one, leaves much to be desired. This phone is pathetic.
Avoid this phone like the plague.
On top of everything, when Verizon sold me the phone I asked if it was international capable, and the rep said yes. However, it is NOT international capable. That's partly my fault for not researching the phone first. Note to others - when being solicited by Verizon by phone to upgrade your phone, tell them to piss off until you can research the crap they're selling.
I hate this phone. April 16, 2013
Reviewer: M. Noboa (NY) -
If I didn't have 3 months left until I can get a new phone, I would be throwing this phone against a wall and hitting it with a hammer. Maybe a baseball bat. I HATE THIS PHONE.
Maybe, if it worked, I would like it better. But it doesn't. The phone is slow, taking sometimes up to a minute, just to come out of sleep. Using multiple apps at the same time is out of the question, and if you happen to get a text in the middle of a game or video, the entire phone crashes.
Despite sitting right next to my router, the phone will be as slow as dial up when connected to wifi. When I move from a 4g area to a 3g area, it's anyone's guess when I'll actually be able to use any data, because apparently the phone senses that 4g is gone and doesn't bother connecting to 3g.
I have spent the last 15 minutes trying to do a simple search in the facebook app for a store that I have "liked". The phone refuses to search. 4g: no dice, 3g: no dice, wifi: no dice. I'll look up the store on my computer when I get home.
When my contract with this phone expires, I'm going Office Space on this thing.
Don't Buy This Phone! February 20, 2013
I owned one of these for a little over a year. I have to agree with the problems when going from 4G to other reception areas. The phone comes to a virtual stand-still. If you check the Verizon website regarding this phone, you will see a lot of issues such as the one I experienced that resulted in my inability to use the phone at all. The battery begins to hold less of a charge very quickly (and this was after I did the "drain & charge" battery conditioning upon purchase). I even purchased an extended battery as a back up (because I travel a lot) and it wouldn't hold a charge once the phone went bad either. Well, apparently the phone has neglected to charge for many other users, after varying lengths of time of ownership. So the question you have to ask yourself is, "Do I want to gamble on this not happening to me?" I enjoyed the QWERTY, slide-out keyboard but it, in no way, could make up for the frustration I experienced when I could no longer power up the phone for longer than 15 seconds because it wouldn't charge the battery from ANY source...electrical outlet, car charger, USB cable, NOTHING!
Very disappointed February 16, 2013
Reviewer: DJW "HappyNana" (Broomfield, CO USA) -
I have had my Stratosphere less than a year and can't wait to get a different phone. I was happy with the phone when I first got it but about 6 mos. later, I started to have issues with it.
First, It will randomly reboot. All of a sudden, the screen comes on and it is obvious something is not right.
Second, It will freeze on me. Nothing will work!! I can't turn it off. The only thing that will resolve this issue is removing the battery for a few seconds, replace it, and turn the phone on. Only then will it be OK.
Third, The battery life on this phone is HORRIBLE. I don't use my phone half as much as other people. It will be fully charged, with an extended battery, in the morning. One day I used it for 2 calls, 4 texts, and 1 short search on Google. By 7pm the phone was letting me know that battery was dangerously low. It had 10% charge left. I can't imagine what it would be like if I used it all day like some people do. I would have to carry a couple charged batteries with me.
The things I do like is 1) The camera takes really good pictures, 2) The screen is a nice size and is clear, making it easy to read, 3) The keyboard is easy to use, 4) The phone is a nice size. It feels the right size in my hand.
Please consider all reviews before you buy, especially the cons.
Horrible, stay away February 14, 2013
Reviewer: YippieHippie "YippieHippie" (Massachusetts) -
The only thing I like about this phone is the camera. I didn't want a smartphone in the first place, but Verizon has crap for regular phones. I got this phone because of the slide-out keyboard which doesn't work half the time. Sometimes it randomly starts going to shortcuts (if I type 'G' it goes to google, etc which I have since completely disabled this feature, I hope) and I have no clue how the feature gets turned on so obviously no clue how to turn it off when it starts doing this. Sometimes when I'm typing, NOTHING shows up in the text box, other times it says the program encountered a problem and needs to close then nothing will work.
I also had to turn the wifi off. I was lucky if my battery lasted 12 hours... this was happening on weekends when I was at home with a wifi connection, not even using the phone. I haven't downloaded ANY apps, I use the phone for texting and taking pictures. Since turning the wifi off my battery is lasting closer to 4 days.
The phone also came with apps on it like some NFL Network thing, a Blockbuster app and some games... I don't want this crap on my phone that I'm not going to use. Have tried uninstalling several times then rebooting the phone and the apps won't go away!
Happy With This February 5, 2013
Reviewer: Catherine Dumas
I purchased this phone in Nov 2011 when it first came out. I'm still happy with it. I chose it mostly for the Querty keyboard which I much prefer. I could've chosen a faster phone if I waited a bit or gave up on the slider keyboard. My old phone was broken, so that made up my mind. I have really had no issues at all with this phone until the September 2012 update. I have no problem connecting to WiFi, but browsing is slower than before which is very annoying. Email and FaceBook still work fine for me.
The screen quality is excellent. Sound is good, great with headphone or Bluetooth. I have dropped it many times, even on pavement, and it hasn't cracked or broken. The battery life isn't great. I did have to buy a new battery, but, I'm a heavy user. Batteries are cheap on Amazon. I love that it can be personalized. No problem creating ringtones, there's apps for that. The problem someone mentioned about emoticons popping up is not something I've seen. The QuickOffice app it comes with works very well for Office type tasks. The camera is OK, not great. The front facing camera is adequate for videochat but not photos. Not having an LED indicator light is solved by getting the NoLED app. When it was new the slider was a little sticky when pulling out which resolved itself with use. Call clarity is good on both ends. Reception is good. It does everything I need and more. I dislike all Verizon's bloatware. I just made a folder and stuck all the icons in it since you can't uninstall the apps. Luckily, this phone has plenty if memory and I added a bigger SD card. Although it doesn't have the "beam" capabilities of the newer phones, it does have WiFi direct which was very handy for moving things to my new tablet. For the price, this is an excellent phone. I paid $49, now it's a penny. I'll be happy keeping this until my next upgrade. Then I'll probably go for a faster phone with a better camera.
Disappointed wit Samsung WIFI February 4, 2013
Reviewer: James Kenny (Norristown, Pa United States) -
I have had Samsung Stratosphere phone, for about a year, that has a great deal of difficulty connecting to home wifi., which is a complete Verizon setup, but it appears that, although it finds the Verizon wifi network, and connects to the network it cannot reliably send/receive web pages. The phone is fine as a phone, with a great display, but a smart phone, not really very smart. I cannot recommend the Samsung product.
wanna have emoticons inserted randomly in all your text messages? January 19, 2013
I've had this phone for several months now, and like a lot of things about it - the keyboard, the tough protective case that came with it, the best reception I've had yet. But this is driving me insane: Samsung has programmed it irreversibly, I've read, to decide to insert their stupid emoticons randomly in my text messages. You might be texting to get directions to a funeral, and a screen will pop up asking what kind of smiley face you want to insert. So if you don't text, this might be a great phone for you. But if you do, be warned they've wrecked an otherwise great phone with this constant interruption of texting with the unwanted emoticon screen.
A reliable phone with an impressive feature set January 4, 2013
Reviewer: J. Chambers (Georgia, United States) -
When our Verizon contract expired in March 2012, I took out a new 2-year contract with a Samsung Stratosphere 4G Android phone. This was my first smartphone, and I'm still learning how to take advantage of its features and capabilities, but I have to say it's been a good experience so far. I live in a large metropolitan area where the 3G/4G coverage is very good, so phone calls seldom have dropouts, and file transfers are relatively fast. But I've had the phone in some fairly remote areas in the West, and the connections were still solid with decent download speeds.
I am by no means a power user, but I make a fair number of phone calls, and I use about a dozen Android apps regularly, including the Gmail app. I've been impressed with the Stratosphere, as well as the Android OS. One feature of the phone was an unexpected benefit. My wife and I are geocachers, and I found that the GPS in the phone is as accurate as my older model DeLorme GPS, and it's a lot more convenient to use, since geocache data and coordinates can be sent to the phone wirelessly from my PC, and the Android geocaching app is very good. The GPS is also great for navigation with MapQuest.
I like the slide-out keyboard, although I usually use the virtual onscreen keypad for typing. I've used the back-facing camera for both stills and video, and it's a superb camera for a smartphone, and very handy to have, especially with some of the image editing apps that are available. The camera also works really well with apps like Google Goggles and the bar code and QR code scanner apps. Web browsing with the default browser is fast enough, although I have also used the Dolphin browser, and I like it too.
So I've only used a few of the Stratosphere's features, but the ones I have used have been impressive. Overall, I've been very pleased with the phone.
An AMAZING Phone WHEN It's Working! November 25, 2012
Reviewer: Shelby Cicero (New York, USA) -
I've had this phone for a little over a year and overall it's lived up to/surpassed all my expectations WITH a few exceptions. First off, within the year I've had it it has broken 3 times; all three were for the battery port (not charging.) This was a little weird to me because I'm not rough on my phone by any means. Also, the battery life was pretty terrible with the original battery in it so I was forced to put a thicker extended battery in. This wasn't so bad because I don't mind the added bulk and it was only $30, but to someone who wants slim that could pose a problem. NOTE: The original battery was bad with minimal use, not like 10 hours of all internet/games or somethings - Just texting, maybe one or two calls, and the occasional Facebook/email checking. However, the internet is beyond fast (and I live where most carriers don't even get service,) the calls are crystal clear, and the camera/video is pretty high quality. I mean I wouldn't be bothering replacing it if I didn't think it was a pretty decent phone!
(: September 9, 2012
i have this phone, i love it. i switched to this phone from a vortex & the difference was huge. this phone has more features than the vortex. the pictures come put great, sure the battery could be better, but what android couldn't use a better battery, it all depends on how you use your phone. the slid out keyboard is amazingg. i love the fact that you can switch keyboards (swype, android &another one) on the phone. this phone is amazing i would most certainly recommend :)
stratosphere September 1, 2012
Reviewer: torry "latorry boston" (shreveport la 71118) -
hello i dont know why it is that verizon makes better phones i love this phone the glide makes me think of this phone i love the whole phone i hate that it will not get ice cream update nor will the glide but love the phones they are good phones
Allyson July 23, 2012
I absolutely love this phone. I was leery at first about buying it because there were quite a few negative reviews, but the good ones outweighed the bad one.
I have had the phone for about 3 months. I get 4G connection about 95% of the time I'm using data. I have yet to have a dropped call or have the phone freeze up on me during use. The only problem I have had is when I dial for voicemail, my screen does flicker on and off while I try to put in my pin. Annoying, but not unbearable.
I've read in the reviews where people have said you cannot assign different ringtones to specific people. Not true. I have a number of different ringtones for different contacts.
My screen has not cracked - knock on wood - and it has been dropped multiple times and man handled by my two toddlers.
Bottom line: I'd recommend this phone to a friend.
poor phone controls June 8, 2012
I have the stratosphere 4g phone from Verizon. You cannot read the screen in the daylight. It's difficult to answer the phone and its too heavy to carry with light weight summer clothing. There are times when the various and many features are handy. I would like to have a small light piggyback phone to use when I do not plan to text or when I have no use for all the features. Therefore I would have to give this device 2 stars.
not that great of a phone. May 12, 2012
Reviewer: Ben Dover
First of all, I'm writing this review from a reconditioned replacement stratosphere as the first one I got died & refused to restart after about four months with it. I had a replacement battery sent to me but the phone still wouldn't work so I had to temporarily activate my old lg vortex until the replacement stratosphere arrived. I tried the old battery in the new phone & vice versa, both the old phone & battery are bad. I've had the "new" phone for ~3 weeks. It still freezes at random requiring a battery pull, lately it has been losing service (voice & data) temporarily for 2-3 minutes at a time. On both 4G is on & off, but that's a problem with how the 4G sim connects to the network not the phone itself. This phone also will not get ICS because Samsung has decided not to update the old galaxy s line of phones which includes this phone, because they don't want to take time to fiddle around with touchwiz. I would not recommend this phone.
Weakest Screen in SmartPhone History May 11, 2012
Reviewer: A. Scarpelli
I am personally still using this phone. The QWERTY feels great, the screen looks fantastic (although the brightness setting does not go low enough), and it is crazy fast. However, the battery life is poor even for a 4g phone. On top of this the lcd screens/digitizers are EXTREMELY fragile. A quick search online will show that the screen will crack on its own in cold conditions, and even one drop can be enough to crack this screen. I have seen a Stratosphere that has taken a hit on the corner's screen leak out with no external dents to indicate any extreme trauma to the unit. Search ebay for Stratosphere parts and you will find no less than a dozen phones at any given time being sold with a cracked screen. There is a reason carriers are practically giving these phones away even though they have been out little more than half a year.