Galaxy S4 and HTC One “Google Play Edition” handsets have landed!

June 26, 2013

    google-edition-handsets

    As expected, the big day has come! You can now get your hands on the stock Android-powered HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 directly from Google Play.

    You might notice that Google is now officially calling the handsets “Google Play Edition” devices. This is interesting, considering we previously had it on good word from Google that they were referring to these units as “Nexus Experience” devices. Whatever the reason for the name change, we are still very excited to see manufacturers embracing the idea of pure Android handsets that provide an experience similar to a Nexus device.

    The only potential downside to the Google Play edition handsets is that you don’t get custom software designed to make the most out of the flagship hardware. This includes things like the lack of IR support out of the box, no HTC Zoe, no Blink Feed and none of Samsung’s special software features.

    Of course for those of us that prefer pure Android, the Google Play edition handsets will still certainly be worth the minor sacrifices. And then there are also 3rd party apps and customizations that can help bring some of these ‘missing’ features back.

    So how much will the Google Play Editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 set you back? The 32GB HTC One is available now for $599, and the 16GB Galaxy S4 is $649.

    If you live in the United States, you can start ordering either handset starting today, with Google promising to ship by July 9th. Just remember that Google doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to online ordering – so a little patience might be needed to make it through the whole ordeal.

    So how about it, which Google Play edition handset are you planning on picking up?

    Comments

    • Luka Mlinar

      Why is is the HTC cheaper. It should be the other way around since one is a premium phone and the other one is made of plastic.

      • Doug

        While I’m not sure, I would assume the prices are set by the manufacturer with Google. The S4 Developer Edition for Verizon costs the same amount as the Google Edition, so that’s probably the case.

        I also wouldn’t say the HTC One is Premium while the S4 isn’t. Some people like the plastic build because it allows for the battery to be swapped out. The S4 also has micro SD support. Still, I like the HTC One more than the S4.

      • Laszlo Demeter

        Your “premium” phone case can’t be replaced and is not protecting the phone as our “cheaper plastic” which is easy, cheap to replace and gives us the option to change battery

      • MasterMuffin

        Galaxy S4 is a premium phone even if it’s made of plastic…

      • AndroidShiz

        The manufacturers have set the prices. Even though the s4 has plastic it’s still a premium device in my opinion but of course I’m one of the countless millions of people who use a phone case to protect their expensive phone, so..yeah. that being said I still ordered the HTC One. but if the S4 came in a 32 gigabyte version, I would have probably got it instead. Yes I know it has an SD card but you can’t “fully” utilize it in real-world use unless you root your phone which I don’t do anymore.

        • Carl

          What do you mean not fully utilize? The only thing you can’t do w/ the SD memory is install apps to it, but if you are planning on installing for than 9gb of straight up apps, you are the rare individual indeed.

      • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

        O.o Sammy fanbois vs HTC fanbois. /popcorn

        • MasterMuffin

          Idiots vs idiots you mean /popcornpopcornPOPCORN

        • Luka Mlinar

          If anything I’m a Nexus fan. Just sayin’

          • Carl

            Yeah, it’s not really a question of fanboyism for me. The One’s an amazing device. Hell, so is an iPhone 5. I’m sure they are both really durable. Removable memory is what sealed the deal for me on the GS4, but I can appreciate that a lot of people don’t care about that. I just wanted to correct the misconception that the GS4 is plastic therefore fragile, because it’s not true.

            • Luka Mlinar

              It doesn’t need to be metal. I like plastic. It’s the glossy thing that makes it look cheap as hell. HTC and SONY are making some premium looking phones with plastic. When you take the HTC in your hand you instantly feel like you got a quality phone in your hand. Samsung should reflect on the outside what’s in the inside.

      • mikegonzalez2k

        the gs4 is premium because it has a larger screen, faster processor, removable battery, higher resolution camera, and many sensors no other phones have.

        • Carl

          I seriously have dropped my GS4 in it’s thin Samsung Protective+ case like 210942093842093 times and it’s taken it like a champ. This is by far the most rugged phone I’ve ever owned and I’ve had 10 HTCs including the Sensation which had a metal unibody.

      • MariaxXT

        because HTC is not money hungry like samsung cheap garbage laggy phones

      • OMGgary

        Because melted down soda cans are not worth very much.

    • eli-future

      Which processor is better, (snapdragon s4pro galaxy s4 Google edition) or (snapdragon 600 HTC one?

      • Laszlo Demeter

        Of course S600 is better, faster memory and higher CPU clock, but that may be a typo, because official S4 have S600 CPU. Google did a mistake or either Samsung downgraded de S4 Google Edition

        • eli-future

          I wanna get te s4 , but I don’t want s4pro processor,,

          • MasterMuffin

            S4 and One GEditions have both got S600, get the sgs4

            • Laszlo Demeter

              That was supposed to, but Google kinda informed the information. It’s pretty hard to believe Google made a typo but there is still a possibility. However, I would go for the normal S4

    • senyora santibanez

      Htc!!!! Take my money!!!!!

      • Lord Popo

        Shut up and go to the store, you ungrateful filth!

    • xtriker360

      No thanks, it you waited this long you should wait a little more the sony ultra or lg g2, and maybe motorola?

      • MasterMuffin

        Nexus 5

        • xtriker360

          Yeah guys that one too, but no sd card is a deal breaker for me.

          • MasterMuffin

            But if it’s 64Gb I could give up the SD card

            • xtriker360

              In that case I would too :D

      • Luka Mlinar

        Nexus 5

    • AndroidShiz

      Just ordered the Neo! I had the S4 32 GB on contract, but just couldn’t deal with the fact that as high end as it was, it will probably/maybe only get 2 updates.. and that’s a weak maybe. Returned it within the 14 day window. Plus already having a Nexus 4, the S4, as cool as it was to hold and watch media on, had a few things loaded on it that just flat out annoyed me. I don’t root anymore because of the hassle, so this will do just right since the only reason I’m getting it is for the 32 Gigabytes. I would not mind having the S4 version as I really love the screen size and weight, but since the SD card doesn’t get Google support of transferring my Google media to it, and lots of premium apps not having SD support, there’s no point for me. I like watching and listening to a lot of media on my phone, and storage has always been an issue with my Nexus 4. If the Nexus 4 came in a 32 gigabyte version I wouldn’t even be thinking about a new phone at all. I sure as heck wouldn’t get the 16GB Samsung over the 16GB LG Nexus, not because of the brand, but its just crazy to pay that much more when the Nexus pretty much does everything you need it to do, and it does it well and reliably. Having the ability to swap out the battery and SD card that is only useful for pictures and some other music, isn’t worth an extra 300. I have a portable 13,000 mAh Anker battery and retractable USB cord, and it does me just fine when and if I need it. Of course I’m paying 300 for an extra 16GB. But hey- at least the build quality is really nice and I get Beats Audio. Storage was the only real issue for me.

    • Alex

      I ordered the HTC One (google edition) from the Play Store.
      3-5 day shipping is free. 2 day shipping = 11.99
      Total with the 3-5 day shipping option, including tax is 652.91
      Price = 599, Tax = 53.91, Total = 652.91

      Ships on July 9

      • AndroidShiz

        Whoah! which state has taxes that high? I will be avoiding that place. I thought Hawaii taxes were high, but that’s insane!

        • Alex

          welcome to California

      • LiiIiikEaBau5

        You are lucky you pay tax, im unlucky, Google Play Store is not available in my country!

    • EvenInTheDarkestHour

      A scoop of vanilla, please. And charge me more for no added features. While you’re at it, throw in less functionality and support too. Thanks!

      • Carl

        You aren’t being charged more. That price is less than either of those phones cost outright at a corporate store. I believe I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $651 for my GSIV at T-Mobile.

    • Lord Popo

      Why the HELL isn’t in Canada! We live right nect to the US! I can make it to California in a days drive from where I live, I can practically visit Washington whenever I’m in the mood! Why Canada? Why have you failed me! I want that HTC One Google Edition so bad! It’s the best phone on the market and quality! I feel so disgraced for living here…

    • TJG

      no love for Canada!

      • Lord Popo

        No love! I really do want that HTC GE! Better than getting the normal one, otherwise I’d take the normal one if it doesn’t ship to Canada in time,

      • mrjayviper

        not just Canada. No love for every country except the US!

        • chrislettiere

          Seriously? We, USA, get screwed too! Samsung doesn’t give us the option to choose between the Exynos or Snapdragon chips; it should be a choice, as they should have mastered the software/functionality before even releasing the phone! And, now we, Americans, are getting screwed with the release of the new LTE-A edition! I realize our networks can’t support advanced lte, but I still wouldn’t preferred the Snapdragon 800 to the Snapdragon 600, which came with the phone I bought a couple of months ago! We, Americans, only get the 16 gb version as well! So, it’s not all peaches & cream over here just so you know…we get Scroogled too, only it’s by Sammy…Sammied? Sammled?

    • Carl

      My question is, w/out HTC Zoe, does The One only have a 4mp camera? If so, that’d be a deal breaker

    • ziplock9000

      No you can’t.. Unless you live in one specific country.

    • B_Insane_Hussein

      I’m going with the S4 Dev edition for verizon that ships now (not the 2nd week of July like these from google). Gives me the features that makes the S4 the best smartphone on the marjet as well as the ease and ability of adding .apk’s without voiding the warranty or bricking the phone.

    • Cameron Spark

      Hope I’m not posting this after someone already has… but you can download the apk for the new camera app now, seems to work really well on just about any device. It includes photosphere too! http://kiwi-phone.com/get-the-new-google-edition-camera-app-on-your-phone/

    • SpaceCadet

      Why can’t we get these in Canada?

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