Samsung Galaxy S 4, HTC One Google Play Editions Now Available

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.10.06 PM

Today is the day for all your stock Android fans as the HTC One and Galaxy S 4 Google Play vanilla/stock Android Google edition devices make their way into the Play Store. Keep in mind that the Galaxy S 4 is the “better” device for T-Mobile given the complete spectrum of frequencies available to cover all of T-Mobile’s needs. The HTC One on the other hand lacks the 1700 AWS HPSA+ band so is best picked up by customers in refarmed 1900 PCS HSPA+ areas.

Regardless of which device you choose, the option to pick up your favorite hardware with what amounts to a vanilla Android experience may be well worth the price of admission. The special edition HTC One (32GB) will be priced at $599 with the Galaxy S 4 (16GB) priced at $649. It has been said that the Galaxy S 4 is really just a stock Android variant of the T-Mobile edition given the wide spectrum availability, an idea suggested by a report from AnandTech.

This special edition device, priced at $599, will be available in the United States (initially) and supported on GSM networks. Out of the box, this special edition HTC One will run Android 4.2.2 with subsequent software updates provided by Google.

Both variants will only be sold through the Google Play store and yes, Google says the devices will receive “prompt system updates” but they won’t be coming from Google.  Last but not least is the knowledge that as “Google Experience” devices both the HTC One and Galaxy S 4 will come with a unlocked boot-loader.

Google Play Galaxy S 4

Google Play HTC One

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.10.11 PM

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  • kalel33

    Does this mean Google wallet availability?

    • impasse

      pretty sure this is still carrier-dependent, as I’ve got an unlocked xperia zl c6506 (lte) on t-mo and when I install wallet I get an error. obviously you can just hack your build.prop, but..

      • ChristianMcC

        It’s not Carrier dependent as you can use it on a galaxy nexus on T-Mobile. Your phone on the other hand, though unlocked, may not support it due to Manufacturer limitations or firmware, which was locked out by the resist of the carrier it was initially made for.

    • Spanky

      The GS4 supports Google Wallet, the HTC One doesn’t. This was mentioned in a few reviews that came out today.

  • Nat5543

    Who would buy the HTC without the AWS band??? it is ridiculous.

    • 21stNow

      Those of us that live in refarmed/LTE areas.

      • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

        Yep, you are right.

      • tom82

        good luck with that. the refarm is very spotty and not as widespread. i wouldn’t pay $600 for a crippled device

        • 21stNow

          I used an HTC One X for about a year. While there were spots of EDGE service, it wasn’t bad enough for me to say that I wouldn’t get another device with the same bands. It was only slightly worse than having a T-Mobile phone.

    • KingCobra

      I wouldn’t either. The 1900mhz band has terrible building penetration. I get excellent AWS HSPA+ inside my house, but 1900mhz only phones usually get Edge unless I go near a window. HTC dropped the ball by not including it. T-Mobile users are better off to just get the T-Mobile HTC One.

      These unlocked Google Edition devices seem like they would be more popular with T-Mobile since users get cheaper service for bringing their own devices but HTC shot themselves in the foot by making it only fully compatible with AT&T’s bands.

  • scott

    The GS4 doesn’t have AWS HSPA either

    • johnnybeg0024

      The GS4 does have the 1700 (AWS) band that is a typo.

      • scott

        they should hurry up and fix that lol

  • Graham Blackadder

    Anyone notice the time in the images? Says 4.30. Something or conspiracy? And no I’m not passing them prices for either phone. Supposedly s4 comes with s4 processed not the 600. Maybe a misprint in specs list

    • bob90210

      It’s definitely a conspiracy. 4:30 marks the time when The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people under the supervision of the reverse vampires are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. We’re through the looking glass, here, people.

      • Graham Blackadder

        Idiot! That is all. No need to be a d&$# about it.

        • g2a5b0e

          It was clearly just a joke. You’re the one being a d*ck by calling names unnecessarily.

        • thepanttherlady

          I don’t think the OP meant it as anything more than to be funny. Although I will admit, I was a little alarmed that there is a fiendish plot to eliminate dinner. I mean, dinner? Really?!!? What is this world coming to? :)

      • Nick Gonzalez

        LOL
        love me some classic Simpsons references any day of the week…

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    I wonder how well these will sell…

    • MITM

      More than the HTC First, less than the Nexus 4…

  • Steve Park

    So, Google can make 4.2.2 run on the HTC One, can HTC and when?????

    • MITM

      I expect they’ll roll out the update pretty soon now that the GE One is out

  • omnirep

    Be careful if you buy from Google Play. I had a problem with my Nexus 4 and wasn’t able to get it warrantied. Not because it wasn’t eligible for warranty just incompetence really. After 7 phone calls and being transferred many times they just couldn’t handle getting me an RA. I’m bummed about it I really wanted to get a S4 without all the extra software. Also getting instant updates from Android is appealing. So I had to write off $350 because arguably the one of the biggest and best software company’s in the world couldn’t handle a simple transaction.

  • cybersedan

    To everyone who had every said, “why can’t I get this with stock android”, voila!!

  • CJ

    Hard Choice, The HTC One with Beats, the GS4 or the Nokia 925 with Nokia’s build quality. Does anyone (David) know what the Nokia 925 will come in at? I need pros and cons cant decide what device to get and my HD7 is dying on me!

    • Nick Gonzalez

      What a great position to be in buddy! You have 3 GREAT devices to choose from. And BTW I have had the One for little over a month now, its amazing.

  • Brian Bloom

    I’ve not use any recent Samsung Galaxy devices – does anyone know of a list of what features/functions/apps you lose by getting the stock android?

    • Brian Bloom

      Partial answer to my own question.
      Found one page that says “In addition to the TouchWiz interface, there will be a range of extra apps and software in the Samsung version Smartphone and those comprises of the Dual Shot, Sound & Shot, Drama Shot, Group Play, Story Album, Samsung Hub, S Translator, ChatOn, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, Multi Window, Air View/Air Gesture, Samsung WatchOn, Samsung HomeSync, Samsung KNOX, S Health, Adapt Display, Adapt Sound and so on.” [http://www.pc-tablet.com/25557-galaxy-s4-google-edition-galaxy-s4-comparison/]

      …although it doesn’t explain what any of those are, so I will have to go read some more…

    • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

      you lose all of the features that Touchwiz and Samsung implemented. you get the vanilla Google exerience minus any features from Samsung.

      • Spanky

        I consider that a good thing.

      • Brian Bloom

        Deacon, that much I know. The question was *what are those features*?

        • Brian Bloom

          Ah, finally found something useful that describes the features:

          http://allaboutgalaxys4.com/galaxy-s4-features-explained/

        • Brian Bloom

          Well I’ve tried posting this before but it got stuck in moderation apparently because it contained a link. Here’s a site I found that does a good job listing the features of the S4 that stock Android won’t have:
          allaboutgalaxys4. com/galaxy-s4-features-explained/
          (remove the space before the com to get there…)

        • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

          oh well i figured saying all would cover it lol. you lose Air Gestures, Smart Scroll, Multi Window, SBeam .. i mean everything Samsung included is gone from this Google version.

  • KingCobra

    Fail by HTC for lack of AWS bands. GS4 is the clear choice for those using T-Mobile.

  • JJCommonSense

    Does the camera support the Sphere capabilities like the Nexus?

  • Djenni

    hard choice for me dam since i like both .. but hopefully the htc one plays nice with my att sim n i get LTE

  • ssl48

    So the S4 also lacks the 1700 band? It is not listed there at the Google Play store.

    • rcarlosnyc

      Read the above comments. It is a typo.

  • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

    i’d be REALLY surprised if these devices sell out or sell big. not to mention the missing bands.

    • Spanky

      At over $600 a pop (once you factor in the taxes), I highly doubt they’ll sell big. I wanted a stock Android, LTE-capable phone, which is why I bought the GS4GE. Considering that part of the cost will be subsidized by selling my GS3, it’s not all that bad.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    When is Samsung releasing just the software (Stock 4.2.2 or 4.3) for T Mobile S4 as HTC is releasing pure Google experience on T Mobile HTC One? If ever

    • abc

      I think U have wrong info. Might release for One Developer edition and One Unlocked, not the carrier branded One.

      • JaswinderSinghJammu

        I don’t think so. I read that HTC will make the software available if someone wants to switch to stock experience. I was just wondering if Samsung will do the same as HTC doing it doesn’t really helps me since I have S4.

  • Johnthetron
  • ssl48

    Unfortunate they’re not selling the black mist S4.

  • guest23

    no black mist forget it

  • Joe Murray

    Is UMA (WiFi Calling) available on either?

    • http://de-kart.com Wagonist

      grumpy cat says NO!

    • plastic101

      Were you able to confirm?

      • Joe Murray

        Well the grumpy cat said ‘NO’. ;)

        From what I read, the GS4 is the same hardware as the TMobile version so I wouldn’t be surprised if it would only need software to enable it but would TMobile make that software available? Who knows. UMA is a big deal to me because I travel internationally and it’s a tremendous cost savings. I’m also usually in office buildings with spotty service at best.

        • plastic101

          Me too. I love Tmo but must admit that their cell coverage in my house is spotty. Why don’t you buy one and see if it works! ; )

  • http://de-kart.com Wagonist

    it still boggles my mind why the GS4 is $50 when probably costs half as much to build as the ONE. Just think of the raw materials alone, not to mention the massive about of CNC work to mill the whole thing out.

    The main reason I’m not switching to stock on my HTC ONE is because the Sense Gallery app, with the video montage feature is AMAZING, everything else I could do without tho, well maybe not the smart dial, google should really have that feature by now as both Samsung and HTC had it for years..

    • kalel33

      You are incorrect. Just because the outside was more expensive to build doesn’t mean the internals are the same price. The HTC One cut many corners in manufacturing by going with a lower speed/cheaper processor, last years RAM, last year’s Gorilla Glass, no external microSD card slot, and smaller screen. You see, HTC had to cut many corners to make their price.

      • Moses JC

        Cheaper processor ?? (Both snapdragon 600) they underclocked a their processor by .2ghz which wouldn’t save them any money. 32gb of internal space.

        It’s definitely a brand power issue.

        • kalel33

          You can buy computer processors with the same exact architecture but with different processor speeds and the slower processors are cheaper. So why would HTC choose to underclock their processor? Maybe, if as you say that processors aren’t any more expensive, they cut the corner on the battery, since the battery is smaller than other phones of the same caliber. Which means they were still cutting corners by putting in a smaller batter and not using the processor to best of it’s ability.

          The only other reason they’d go with a lower clock speed is if they were having problems with heat, which would be a design defect.

          So Moses JC, I see you didn’t question anything about them cutting corners by using old tech in the RAM or the Gorilla Glass. Screen size was a design choice but they did save some money by not going with a larger screen. MicroSD slot could still have been done on a uni-body, just by adding a slot in the side but that saved them money.

    • KingCobra

      Samsung has the brand power to command a higher price for their products despite them being much cheaper to build.

  • Josue

    will it have the 4.2 camera? or their generic stock camera?

  • Graham Blackadder

    No updates direct from Google? Pass on these at the prices they are.

    • Spanky

      The post clearly states that the updates will come directly from Google.

      • Spanky

        Sorry, I was referring to the HTC statement quoted in the article. David, please clarify.

        • Graham Blackadder

          The updates DO NOT come direct from Google. Both phones have kernel from the manufacturers so require the MANUFACTURERSTO DO THE UPDATES. FACT!

        • Spanky

          Manufacturers provide the kernel. Google provides the software that will run on that kernel. Don’t buy into the rampant conspiracy theories that are all over the tech blogosphere right now.

        • Graham Blackadder

          Ok……. *chuckles* you know better than every tech site reporting and quoting sources.

        • Spanky

          I’ve yet to see ONE, just one, tech site quoting a Google source that goes on record with a statement that updates will be provided by manufacturers. It seems like tech sites are engaging in creative interpretations.

  • EDTIVA

    @david Could you please see if you can hunt down an official word on the 1700 HSPA + bands. Google has conflicting information on their main landing site versus others. Engadget reports it doesn’t have it.

    • Graham Blackadder

      Numerous threads on Google+ are saying they don’t. There was a rumor over a week so saying the HTC version would be LTE compatible with T-Mobile. How true it is is anyone guess right now

      • ChristianMcC

        It is true according to the landing page the HTC one ge has aws bands for LTE.

        • Graham Blackadder

          Yes. Its the hspa+ was band the HTC doesn’t have. My bad!
          But if you lose LTE coverage then oh well. Fact Is if you don’t have a nexus, you don’t have a nexus!

    • Graham Blackadder

      Endgadget does have the article. There is no support for T-Mobile hspa+ on the HTC version

  • datragicprince

    I had the HTC g2. It was a Google experience phone. I didn’t receive timely updates at all…

    • s10shane

      it was not a nexus device. thats why you didnt get timely updates.

      • ChristianMcC

        In many ways it was the same as these phones, just like my G2x and mytouch. The problem with each being manufacturer updates, as these are, unlike how they were initially anticipated being updated. Google has since said they will not be updating these.

        • izick

          Yeah the update is coming from Samsung & HTC. Google will be working directly with them to ensure timely updates, and because these skip all carrier processes and just get a quick test with the necessary added firmware/software to make things like Beats work, it should take no time at all for updates to be pushed direct. Carriers ruin everything, that’s why Apple has put themselves in the position to rule the carriers, and not the other way around.

    • kalel33

      S10shane is correct. Your G2 was NOT a Google Experience phone at all. Just a lightly skinned Android OS.

      • Spanky

        I can’t believe you’re getting downvoted for stating the facts. Even though it was branded “with Google” on the back, it was a T-Mobile carrier exclusive device, featuring the same exact bloatware that’s included on all other T-Mobile smartphones. If I recall correctly, this was the first T-Mobile phone to feature Wi-Fi calling, which was baked into the ROM. Google had nothing to do with updating that phone; all the updates were still “tested” and rolled out by T-Mobile.
        The Google Play editions are unlocked/unbranded phones that are not tied to any carriers. Google has gone on record, stating that the phones will receive timely updates, directly from them.

  • Alveuel

    As a T-Mobile customer, the only problem I have with buying a Google Phone is that I won’t have access to T-Mobile’s Wifi Calling Application. Which I use extensively being in an area that doesn’t have the best coverage. If anyone knows how to load a S4 running stock android with t-mobile’s wifi calling app, I’d be very interested. :)

  • Noah James

    Does the S4 (Google experience) support all of T-mobiles bands like they said that it would at Google IO? Has anyone bought it and tested it out?