Verizon's latest Samsung phone, the Stratosphere, has an interesting surprise hiding underneath its battery cover. As far as we can tell, it's the very first Verizon LTE phone to use the teensy Micro-SIM standard. The Micro-SIM will be Verizon's standard phone identifier going forward - you can see a Micro-SIM slot on the DROID RAZR in our hands-on coverage.
This isn't the first device to use the tiny SIM card on Verizon - that honor goes to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The iPhone 4S also gets a Micro-SIM card that's technically unlockable, although with Verizon's unique CDMA bands, there's nowhere to take it once you do. But the Stratosphere has the first Micro-SIM that uses Verizon's ever-growing 4G LTE network, and if current trends are any indication, it will be the first of many.
The Stratosphere is Samsung's latest QWERTY slider phone, a distant cousin of their original Galaxy line sporting Android Gingerbread. The overall design is a lot like the Epic 4G, including its Super AMOLED screen and 800 x 480 resolution. At $150 on-contract it's a pretty good deal if you want a full QWERTY phone, instead of the thin slate form factor that seems to be all the rage. We'll have some hands-on coverage of the Stratosphere soon.