Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition is US-only, for now

Google has confirmed that its Nexus-brand version of the Galaxy S4 isn't due out in the UK.

Bad news for Brits -- Google's raw-Android version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is launching only in the US.

Other nations will have to watch from the sidelines it seems, as Google has told CNET that the Google Edition version of the S4 , which made its grand debut at Google's I/O conference last night, will be US-only at launch.

The freshly unveiled variant looks identical to the normal Galaxy S4, and has the same high-end hardware, including a 5-inch 1080p display and a quad-core processor.

Switch it on though, and you'll see the difference. The S4 is running 'stock', or 'vanilla' Android -- a pure distillation of Google's operating system, free of Samsung's extra features and TouchWiz interface tweaks.

That means you miss out on the shed-load of bespoke apps that Samsung has created for the S4, but also clears away a lot of clutter, and will bring the phone to the front of the queue when new versions of Android are released.

One thing we're still not clear on is the name. The moniker, 'Google Edition' was tied to an earlier rumour , but Google hasn't divulged exactly what it will be calling its newest toy.

Though it's staying tight-lipped, I suspect Google may eventually bring the stock-Android S4 to the UK and other countries, but for now there's no word. Maybe it's possible that Google will release the pure Android software as an easy-to-apply download for S4 owners outside the US, or perhaps the LTE radios inside the S4 mean it's trickier than you think to give it a global release.

Brits frustrated at the news could find solace in the arms of the Nexus 4, a powerful own-brand mobile that costs only £239.

Are you gutted not to be getting the Nexus-esque S4? Or would you rather snuggle up with the Nexus 4? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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