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Google unveils Galaxy S4 variant

/ Updated: 24 May 2013, 10:04 am AEST
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At today's Google I/O developers' conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it would release its own variant of the previously unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.

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For the most part, the device will remain largely the same. It will feature 4G LTE and 16GB of storage space.

However, the handset will offer a skinless Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Nexus experience, it will come with its bootloader already unlocked, and users will receive system updates as they come in.

This unlocked GS4 version will be available starting June 26 and will work on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. It can be purchased directly from the Google Play Store for $649.

For many, the lack of a new branded-Nexus flagship item from Google is a disappointment. Especially considering the popularity of last year's $349 16GB LG Nexus 4 (8GB, $299).

However, a pure Android experience on the high-powered handset is still attractive, especially for those who do not fancy Samsung's oft-criticized TouchWiz user interface.

While it remains unclear just how much has been stripped away from this GS4 version, it'll be interesting to see if the vanilla Android GS4 turns out to be more enticing than the original.

When CNET reviewed the GS4 in April, we gave it an Editors' Choice Award for its superb 13-megapixel camera, lightning-quick Snapdragon 600 processor, and numerous software features that include eye-tracking and gestures.

Check back often as this first-take will be updated throughout the day, and be sure to catch all of CNET's Google I/O coverage, including our (now-finished) liveblog.

Google's GS4 variant

Google announced its own version of the GS4 today during its developer's conference.

James Martin/CNET

Discuss Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition (unlocked)

Where to Buy

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition (unlocked)


Visit manufacturer site for details.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Service Provider Unlocked
  • Sensors Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, barometer, magnetometer, thermometre, gyro sensor, humidity, gesture
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Additional Features (PB) Android Beam
    infrared remote control