Today’s two most popular Android devices the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are now available in Google Play Editions. Yes, both of these devices are running on the Android OS by Google but today Google will start selling variants of the devices with clean versions of its Android OS.
The Google Play Editions of these devices will be landing with original Android 4.2 software. Just like Google’s Nexus 4 and other Nexus devices, the software is just as Google want it with Google Apps and features front and center. You will instantly notice the phones’ homescreens as it won’t be showing the traditional HTC’s news and social media Blinkfeed software on the HTC One or Samsung’s widgets on the Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions, however, are more expensive than AT&T, Verizon’s, T-Mobile’s $199 versions. The Galaxy S4 will set you back at $649 and the HTC One will cost you $599. Why? Well, for one, these devices are not tied to any carrier. With this, you do not have to sign a contract with your chosen carrier and do not have to commit two years of service under it. All you have to do is to plug in your SIM card from AT&T or T-Mobile and you are good to go. These devices will not be available via Sprint or Verizon Wireless.
So what’s the advantage of getting these devices? Well, for one, you don’t have to pay for monthly bills or stick with a contract. There is also Google’s promise that these devices will get timely Android updates. Google Edition devices will get new software features right after they are announced. Just so you know, Google is expected to launch its Android OS Key Lime Pie before the year ends. Lastly, if you prefer a cleaner and faster version of Android, then these devices are meant for you.
Ross Rubin Principal Analyst at Reticle Research says: “The versions of those handsets that are distributed through carriers today reflect what is being aimed at mainstream consumer,” and added “With those, handset vendors want to put their imprint on it, the carriers want to put their imprint on it. These versions offered by Google appeal to purists and enthusiast and to people who are willing to give up some functionality of the hardware in order to get something that is uncluttered.”
You can get the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One via Google’s Play Store and expect your device to ship on July 9.