Earlier on this week we teased the possibility of Samsung releasing the Samsung Stratosphere 3 on Verizon, a follow-up to the physical qwerty predecessors with the last entry only releasing back in November last year. Additional information on the unofficial device has now turned up, suggesting that a Stratosphere 3 may still be on the cards, but it won’t come with a physical qwerty keyboard as first thought.
To remind you of the story so far, the device showed up in benchmark tests with a model number of SCH-i425, which lead to Stratosphere 3 speculation since the last two devices in the series had model numbers of SCH-i415 and SCH-i405 before it. The surprising thing to note here, is that both devices had physical qwerty keyboards, but images of the alleged Stratosphere 3 have shown up suggesting that the device will be touchscreen based instead.
The images, provided by Engadget also confirm some exciting features for users too – largely the fact that this device will have a removable battery which is always a positive, and there will be NFC connectivity built in as well allowing users to make use of features such as Android Beam.
The physical keyboard has disappeared and has been replaced by four capacitive buttons instead, giving the display screen a lot more emphasis. The resolution is thought to be 720p which is great for a mid-end device and you’ll be delighted to hear that it will ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean as well.
One slight negative though, is that it looks like Verizon insists on plastering their logo on the front of the device. Bad news for those that hate carrier branding, but it is becoming a usual tactic for any Verizon device anyway, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
Without the physical keyboard, we actually think the device looks pretty slick. Given the similar model names, it is almost certain that this is going to turn out to be the Stratosphere 3. Are you happy with the switch to touchscreen or not? Don’t forget that BlackBerry 10 handsets are due out on Verizon in 2013, so there’s a chance for you to get your physical keyboard fix there.