Last month, we learned that Samsung would be releasing a special edition of the Galaxy S 4, sold through the Google Play Store and running stock Android, just like a Nexus-series device. That was followed by rumors of a similar version of the HTC One, and sure enough, just before the month was out we saw that confirmed as well. Today, both phones finally go up for sale, and we also get to learn a little bit about their software.
First up, we’ve been calling these Google editions, or Nexus editions, not really positive about the accepted parlance. With both now available, it’s clear that this family will be known as Google Play editions.
The 16GB Galaxy S 4 sells for just about $650, while the 32GB HTC One will go for more like $600. Both phones are listed as “shipping soon” for US customers, and should be out the door and on the way to new owners by July 9.
It’s interesting that while both phones appear to be running Android 4.2.2, they show some differences from the stock firmware we’re familiar with from Nexus models. For instance, they seem to feature the modified camera UI we saw on a Nexus 4 claiming to run Android 4.3. They also get new boot animations and additional wallpaper choices. We’re not yet sure what any of this means about a possible 4.3 release this summer.