... and it's exclusive to the US.
The first Nexus phone since the Nexus One to have a microSD card slot!
Google just dropped a pretty big surprise during its opening day I/O keynote. It's taken the wraps off a new edition of Samsung's Galaxy S 4 that runs stock Android Jelly Bean. The device itself is fully unlocked and packing LTE support for AT&T and T-Mobile, along with 16GB of storage and what Google promises will be prompt system updates. Not surprisingly, this won't quite be the budget-friendly off-contract option that the Nexus 4 is -- the phone will run $649 when it hits Google Play on June 26th.
it is not a nexus. may run stock android, may get fast updates built by google, but it won't be supported in AOSP
The UK S4 is different hardware too....not sure how much bearing that'll have on the decision of whether to release over here or not
For s4 owners wanting stock, I am sure the ROM can be ported with ease. For the Galaxy nexus we ported a nandroid backup from gsm to CDMA in hours.
This is more like it!
HTC announces 'HTC One with Nexus User Experience' « MoDaCo
HTC have just announced the 'HTC One with Nexus User Experience' - the much rumoured HTC One with the stock Android experience.
To be available in the US only initially (important point - INITIALLY!), the 'special edition' device is priced at $599 and out of the box will run Android 4.2.2 with subsequent software updates provided by Google.
The device will be available via Google Play from June 26th and includes 32GB storage (unlike the 64GB equipped developer edition).
More details can be found on the HTC blog.
It's pretty likely that flashing the software onto 'regular' HTC One devices won't be too tricky with an unlocked bootloader, so this is good news for everyone. But... are you sure you want to give up all the HTC niceties (camera etc.) to get that stock experience?
What's the point of the 'Google Edition' smartphones if updates are still handled by the manufacturers?
Google: No Factory Image Or Proprietary Binary Hosting For Google Play Edition One Or S4, OEMs Will Handle OTAs « Android Police
What's this mean for you? It means that at the end of the day, the onus to update these phones will still be on Samsung and HTC. They will be able to circumvent the carrier certification runaround, and will in theory have much less work to do in maintaining these devices, but the responsibility still falls to them, not Google. This could mean any number of things. It could mean these phones will get updates within days of their Nexus counterparts. But more likely weeks, and possibly even months depending how much attention these phones are actually given by HTC and Samsung. I wouldn't say months is what we should expect, but I'm also saying such a gap is entirely within the realm of possibility. You have to remember, these phones will sell in miniscule quantities compared to their skinned brethren, and that means they aren't as high up on the value chain for software update attention. While it's certainly worth being optimistic about the update process, there's still plenty of reason to temper those expectations until we see these devices receive their first major Android release update.
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