You already know about the new Samsung Galaxy S4, which is now available on most carriers in the U.S. What you probably haven’t heard of yet is the Google edition of the phone, slated for launch June 26, directly from Google. It’ll be available in the Google Play Store for $650, fully unlocked (16gb model).
The Google Edition Galaxy S4 will appeal mostly to Android enthusiasts and those who avoid carrier contracts with month-to-month service. Since it’s sold unsubsidized, you’re free to take it to AT&T or T-Mobile (or a myriad of prepaid carriers), as well as anywhere around the world you may travel. It’s also bootloader unlocked, which lets you “root” the device and install your own custom ROMs like Cyanogen.
While the Google Edition of the Galaxy S4 isn’t being sold or branded as a Nexus device, it’ll office a Nexus-like experience, getting Android updates directly from Google right as they’re available, instead of months later. It’ll also ship without TouchWiz, Samsung’s skin for Android, and without any carrier-installed apps like the dreaded VZ Navigator.
If you’re interested in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, you’ve got just over a month to wait (and save your pennies) before it’s available from the Google Play Store.
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