As announced in Google I/O 2013, Google edition of Galaxy S4 now is available for order on Google Play Store (US only currently). You can get one at $649 with free shipping.
Google edition Galaxy S4 comes with stock Android 4.2.2. It means it is a vanilla version of Android like that in Nexus devices. The controversial TouchWiz skin was stripped, and the stock UI was loaded. So, users will get the “pure” Android experience without bloatwares and hacks from manufactures. The 16GB Google Play version of Galaxy S4 has a usable storage of 12.65GB; while the original one you get from the carriers has only about 9GB.
Sizable Nexus users have been enjoyed such benefits for long time. Nexus devices receive the update from Google directly. This means once the new version of Android is announced, the Nexus users will get it just in a couple of days. However, for Samsung Galaxy S, S2 and S3 users, they have to wait at least 6 months to get such updates. In some regions, the update may be not available at all.
Another benefit enjoyed by Nexus users is that there are no bloatwares from manufacturers and carriers. such bloatware not only eats the precious internal storage, but also may degrade the performance of the handset. Most of the bundled apps are not needed for most users.
Of course, some customizations from the manufactures do add extra functions and features. For example, most of the prominent (useful or useless) features in Galaxy s4 as explained in the S4 features page are only available from Samsung.
Google edition of Galaxy S4 has no differences with the original S4 when we talk about the hardware. Both comes 5″ full HD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB RAM, 13MP/2MP … Read the rest