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Samsung Stratosphere to Receive First Update – Includes Face Unlock and Other ICS Features, is Not ICS Though

The Samsung Stratosphere is set to receive its first update since being released on Verizon almost a year ago. The update is labeled FF1, is 53.8MB in size, and includes a number of features that will add to the user experience. The biggest is probably the new face unlock that security feature that we have become familiar with thanks to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), however, this update is not Ice Cream Sandwich. The device will still be running Gingerbread (Android 2.3). They also tweaked the incoming call screen, gave more sorting options in the app drawer, included a photo editor, and allow for stills to be taken during video recording.

Other than those major UI changes, Verizon and Samsung patched security (probably a root exploit), improved navigation audio, added video chatting in Google Talk, and improved touch screen response. Again, it’s the first update for the device, so as you can expect, it’s a pretty sizable one.

No official word has been given for a timeline for rollout to users, but we usually see it within a matter of days once Verizon has posted up support docs like these. 

More info.

  • antidancer

    This is why I never install an update just to be the first to have it. I wait at least a month and read all reviews. My stratosphere is still agreat phone and I will never upgrade it now.

  • mIKE

    give back the scrolling wallpaper it was a key feature for this phone along with the puzzle unlock!!! GIVE US OPTIONS DONT TAKE AWAY FEATURES NEVER BUYING SAMSUNG PHONE AGAIN!!!

  • R3D

    ‘If you’re having trouble connecting the USB to your computer, go to “Settings”, “Applications”, “Development” and check the box next to “USB debugging”. You have to do this BEFORE you connect your phone to your computer. I have to uncheck and recheck every time but so far it works.

  • R3D

    For those who are having trouble with their USB after the update: Go to “Settings”; “Applications”; “Development” and check the box next to “USB debugging”. Do this BEFORE you connect your phone to your computer.
    I have to uncheck and recheck every time I want to connect to my computer. A pain, but it works for me.

  • Deniece

    I really hate this update. It seriously makes me consider getting a new phone. I’m a full time college student with a job and I purposefully got a phone with battery life, now I can’t even make it to lunch! Please fix this.

  • frankfurtr

    I want the puzzle piece unlock back! My USB doesn’t work anymore I can’t connect my phone tho my computer. I want the scrolling wallpaper back. Facebook won’t load fix this crappy today now please!

  • Lon Kieselhorst

    I can’t use the USB to upload pics and download music since the “update”. Bring back the puzzle piece.

  • Kate

    PLEASE BRING BACK THE PUZZLE PIECE UNLOCK & THE MULTI-SCROLLING WALLPAPER! the size for a wallpaper has to be SO small that it’s ridiculous. less than half a picture.

  • candy

    Please go back to the puzzle I hate this update my phont ne worked ten times better when I didn’t have this update it killed some of my apps to. It sucks!

  • artica

    Two days after the update I had to go back and stop all processes again and shut off auto syncs. Finally my phone is running well enough to call this a good update. Battery actually lasting longer than before and 4g has better connectivity

  • Kris

    Update for samsung is awful…its slow, I can’t connect to FB, it says my wifi is low and I’m in my home not the beach and it sucks the life of my battery!I want to Un update the my phone!

  • Yang


  • Kris

    I updated the phone last night and wish I didn’t. I have terrible connection, can’t log into FB or the internet. How do I get it back to the way it was?

  • Bad upgrade. My battery used to last 1 – 3 days and in just 1/2 day my battery is dead. I also want the puzzle piece back. My friend who also has the same phone lost all of her contacts for a while and then some of them came back. Should have done more testing before the release.

  • I called Samsung about the wallpaper not scrolling anymore. They told me it was still supposed to. I tried removing the battery and a factory reset, no luck. They opened a ticket and someone is suppose to call me back. If you want the wallpaper to scroll call Samsung and complain.

  • Jessica

    I miss my puzzle piece unlock!!!!! I wish I could reverse this because there is very little I like about this update. It’s really annoying with the new lock screen, the phone unlocks in my pocket. Everything else I have discovered has been changed I could live with, but I want my puzzle pieces back. Please?

  • artica

    2.3.6 = battery killer! This update is terrible. 6 hours into my day and i have 1/4 life left. Before the update I could go 10 hours and still have over 1/2 life of battery left.

  • Tonya

    Where oh, where did my puzzle piece go???? I miss it, it was great whenI had missed calls or text messages waiting for me……PLEASE bring it back, please!!!

  • Everett Bosch

    Received the update yesterday (northern California area). Haven’t yet had time to look it over, other than to know the slide unlock is simpler; the morning alarm is different & had me fumbling in sleepiness for a time. That I really need to look into before going to sleep tonight! 🙂

  • Wexford

    I can no longer get pictures in my text messages or get on FB. Does anyone know how to fix these issues?

  • tj03

    How do I get rid of this update???? CB# on EVERY SMS??? ANNOYING! And I agree – th new,screen unlock sucks.

  • Hulk

    I just downloaded this update today, about 1pm. Immediately my battery started dying, quickly. By 4pm the battery was so hot I had to turn the phone off. I put the phone on the charger about an hour ago at seven pm – and now it is super heated and has no charge at 8 pm. IT’S COMPLETELY DEAD.Has anyone else been adversely affected like this? My battery is deceased after about seven hours total since the ‘update’ . Also, the puzzle piece was necessary to keep the phone from opening up all by itself, which it was doing already with the new update. Hope they fix this fix.

    • artica

      2.3.6 gingerbread battery killer update

    • YES!!!! Ever since the update my phone doesn’t stay charged for long. It gets VERY HOT after a phone call, using the camera etc…

  • emily

    You are all so so so ridiculous wow.

  • I wan my damn scrolling background and puzzle lock back! If I had known the update would have taken those things away I wouldn’t have done it!

  • Collin

    I found this update very bad for the phone. I can’t make it through the day with my battery and facebook doesn’t load. I am highly disappointed. I should have gone with the iphone 4. Silly mistake. Verizon is such a stupid company and I will be complaining.

  • renee

    Ever since the new update my phone has seriously been lagging my enternet sucks its not fast facebook never connect I miss my puzzle 🙁 worse update ever!!!

  • R00T

    All these whiners about the puzzle unlock. The puzzle was neat.. for 10 minutes. The only good feature was being able to drag the pieces from alerts and go straight to them, but the new swipe screen can be made to do this if they tweak it and send the patch out. If you pansies don’t like the update then do a reset on the phone. You people are as idiotic as iphone users. I am so glad that there are some android users not this stupid. Move forward or Get Trampled! Stop living in the past and get with the program. it’s 2012, not 1995. Also buy a better/different model android phone .

    • You are officially a tool. Good day to you sir.

      • R00T

        That’s a very tasteful reply. cheers to you.

  • krista

    I really miss the puzzle piece and have been searching for it all day, but I see from all the other posts, that it’s just gone. I hate leaving it to just swipe, and I don’t need security to use the pattern, pin, password, or photo recognition. The puzzle piece kept it from getting opened accidently. And I really liked that when I received a text, I could pull that puzzle piece and open right to the text. BRING IT BACK!

  • Bronson T

    Worst update ever! We all want our puzzle back!

  • Kathalvo

    Bring the puzzle back! Bring the puzzle back! Bring the puzzle back! Simply put … bring the puzzle back!

  • Charlie

    My phone battery won’t make it through the day anymore since the update. I can’t stay attatched to the wall all day and I need to use my phone in the evenings as well as in the mornings.

  • C

    Is there any way to reverse the update? I want the puzzle piece back!!! Now with this stupid swipe screen my phone unlocks & calls people in my pocket. I don’t want to have to use a pin, pw, pattern or ridiculous face recognition!! Hate this update!

  • John

    Please bring back the puzzle unlock. It gives the phone character. Thanks.

  • Carter

    I hate the new update. Bring back the puzzle unlock, scrolling wallpaper, and get rid of the other crap!

  • Lexi

    I am so angry with this new “UPDATE” so they call it I am changing back to my droid 2! Why did u take so many of the fun features that drove me to the phone in the first place away?! The puzzle piece screen unlock for one! I wish when I had my upgrade I woulda gone for the droid 4 instead of this crap! Ever since I got the damn phone I have had crappy internet NEVER had that with any of my droids (1 or 2). My facebook NEVER loads. Plus what is even with the long power on it takes like 10 mins just to restart the phone! I was already slightly disappointed with the phone when I first got it now I’m extremely disappointed! No more samsungs for me!!!

  • Crystal

    The wifi is terrible and you can’t get on fb. The 4g doesn’t come up at the top anymore. Drains battery just searching terrible terrible service and update. This phone is crap now. Thanks Verizon for charging so much for Internet that no longer works

  • Lissa

    Please please bring back the puzzle pieces!!

  • Madison

    How do you actually get the update to your phone? My dads phone got the update but mine didn’t and we have the same phone

  • Erica


  • Mariann

    I just tried to download the update, and now my phone is stuck on the samsung screen. It’s been doing this for about twenty minutes now. what the hell.

  • taryn

    how do you get rid of the bigger font size in messaging?? anyone? anyone?

    • Charlie

      Go to settings then select display settings. There is an option to change font size.

  • Omg! I hate this update! Just to start… you can’t use a full picture as your wallpaper anymore? Then the puzzle peice is gone? Everyone thought that was so cool when they saw it unlock the phone! I got a call on the phone and hung up on the person inatead of anwsering my call…. plz change this update… PLZ!

  • heather

    This sucks. I want my unlock screen back and I don’t need the easy to read granny size font in my text messages. And the callback number on EVERY SINGLE TEXT is really annoying! Wth verizon?

    • go to your text message menu, get the settings menu to pop up and uncheck enable call back

      • heather

        I was able to disable it on mine but the sender’s still shows up, anyway to disable that? Or just a way to reverse the update?

  • Shane

    Why can’t I ditch the over-sized message text and call back tag in every message? It’s really starting to bother me.

    • You can get rid of the call back tag in your settings when you uncheck enable callback

      • Sort of – you can get rid of yours, but anyone else who got a similar VZW update has a damn callback number now too unless they notice and change their settings.

      • bria

        i have had to do that multiple times… it keeps re-enabling itself.

  • Adrienne

    I want. My puzzle piece back or I will go chuck norris on all of you!

  • m

    is there a way to un update the phone? none of these things i found useful and i liked how the old way especially with the puzzle piece. can anyone figure out a way to get it back?

  • Richard

    This update has killed battery life even more, to where my phone being on the charger only slows the discharge when on 4g, on a call, or using the screen for an extended period of time.

  • Dante

    Did this take away the puzzle piece unlock screen? If so I would like that back!!!!

    • CA

      Yep it took it way. I haven’t found away to get it back :(.

    • Took away puzzle lock AND scrolling wallpaper!! I downloaded big wallpapers specifically because it scrolled and now they are all useless!

  • with the update of the new software it is now having problems connecting with FB. Constantly up loading and downloading on both 4 G & local wireless. ??????Battery Killer?

  • Have one of these laying around my house. Gonna have to check this update out.

  • Theron

    Does anyone (Stephen?) know if you can get this update on TweakStock? Or do I have to unroot and FDR?

  • SuperCHARGED

    Thanks Samsung, shaft us Charge owners. We can’t get a fully-functional ICS or Jelly Bean ROM (though we do have a CM10 port that lacks cellular data), but the Stratosphere can get the “Value Pack” update that the Korean Galaxy S has? Insanity! I should have bought the ThunderBolt.

    Before I start a comment war, I want to state that I bought the Droid Charge because reviewers (aside from Kellex) seemed to prefer it over the ThunderBolt. Besides, I wanted unlimited 4G LTE and the Charge was, seemingly, the best phone available, even if it was pretty lackluster. Mine still works pretty well and I haven’t had any issues with it, but I would like a decent update. I’m considering buying a used Galaxy Nexus.

  • Aardvark99

    I know three people who *just* upgraded to this phone. Its free now which was the #1 concern for them; first time/novice users that think a better phone is “too much” or “I don’t need all that”. It hard for me say not to get it, since it’s what my wife uses (so yes, I know *4* people with Stratospheres). My excuse for letting my wife by one was it was better than her broken BB, had a keyboard, and was less money (& 4G) than the only other keyboard option at the time (Droid 3)

  • Of course, this comes out now after the primary devs for the Stratosphere (diwitherell and I) both no longer have one.

    Oh well, RIP Stratosphere. We hardly knew thee.

    • DemoManMLS

      The short time we all had working on the Strat was amazing…. RIP Stratosphere.

      • Sorry Demo, I forgot to include you in that list there. Your help was invaluable to me, especially when I bricked my Strat!

    • bobby

      Omg! I hate this update! Just to start… you can’t use a full picture as your wallpaper anymore? Then the puzzle peice is gone? Everyone thought that was so cool when they saw it unlock the phone! I got a call on the phone and hung up on the person inatead of anwsering my call…. plz change this update… PLZ!

      • Erica

        I hate that they took the puzzle unlock away also! I have NO CLUE what they are thinking that was such a neat feature! I’m totally bummed out!

  • Rob

    So instead of just updating to ICS I guess it’s easier to give some of the features and paste it onto GB?

    At least my wife will have a video chat option in GTalk instead of doing a hangout through G+.

  • hkklife

    The Charge is almost identical spec-wise. A shame Sammy has so many one-off and carrier customized models, otherwise they could try to unify the codebase across all of their devices of similar hardware specs (like Bionic-RAZRs-D4).

  • wow…thats amazeballs