I saw it. You saw it. We all saw it. I’m not talking about how everyone at this year’s Google I/O developer conference got a free Chromebook Pixel. I’m talking about the fact that Google announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, one that’ll run a “pure” Android operating system that’s free of manufacturer-added fluff or any amount of bloat whatsoever. We’ve taken to calling it the Galaxy S4 Google Edition; it’s a device that first got rumored less than a day ago, and many people are now waiting for. It’s fascinating and all, but you have to ask, what’s the big idea?
As you may already know, the Galaxy S4 currently exists in an “official” configuration. It’s manufactured by Samsung and comes with a whole list of additional software features on top of the default ones found on Android. It isn’t without issues, and some of its features can’t be considered the best. But despite all of its flaws, it still managed to become the fastest-selling Samsung smartphone to date.
In other words, it’s selling well enough. Heck, it’s selling so well that it’s on track to hit the 10 million unit sales mark by the end of this month. Was it really necessary to come up with and release an entirely new version of it?
Whose idea is it, anyway?
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been regarded by many as one of the best Android smartphones ever. However, it has also been the subject of harsh criticism from users who have found it lacking in sufficient internal storage space, especially the model with 16GB of memory. Was it Samsung who decided to work with Google for a cleaner version of the Galaxy S4 with less system apps and more user-available storage space?
It’s more likely than you think. In the past, Samsung has been known to resort to good old-fashioned trial and error to find out what type of phone sells the most. During the height of the Samsung Galaxy S3’s popularity, Samsung thought to come up with a smaller version of the same handset, and decided to call it the Galaxy S3 mini, to see if any people would be willing to buy it for a less expensive fee.
As it turns out, people did like the smaller and less expensive version, and now Samsung is trying to duplicate the process of creating a miniature version of its current flagship with the production of the rumored Galaxy S4 mini.
To make a long story short, Samsung is willing and able to make moves such as this one just to make sure its best-selling products actually keep on selling.
But what about the Nexus 5?
Many people thought that Google I/O would be the venue for the official announcement of the Nexus 5. It was either that, or the Motorola-Google X Phone. But we saw neither of these two phones, and instead we found ourselves greeted by a familiar face wearing a very different set of clothes.
The Galaxy S4 with pure Android is the very first non-Nexus handset running the stock version of Android with Google’s blessing, and it is said that it will launch pre-loaded with Android 4.2. Then, when later versions of the Android software arrive, it will be among the few phones that will get the software first.
What does all of this mean for the future of the Google Nexus smartphone brand? Quite simply, it means everything.
Einhorn is Finkle. Finkle is Einhorn.
Google didn’t cancel or postpone the launch of the handset that would be known as the Nexus 5. The Galaxy S4 with pure Android is the Nexus 5.
It’s quite an ingenious setup, as it brings the best of Android hardware and software all in one place. And the lack of unnecessary software add-ons takes care of the known Galaxy S4 storage problems at the same time.
The big issue now is with the price. At over $600, it’s certainly not as affordable as the Nexus smartphones that came before it. But we think that it will all work out in the end, as it is likely that there are a lot of people who have been waiting for a chance to buy this exact same type of device. Now that it’s here, these people will finally be able to fulfill their electronic desires once and for all.
How about you? Do you think this is the one? Could this actually be the droid that you have been looking for? Sound off in the comments below.