S4 and HTC One Google Editions out now, but may face update wait

CNET has reviewed the stock-Android versions of both phones -- but it seems they won't get updates as fast as Nexus gadgets.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
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.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One running a stock version of Android are now on sale -- but it seems that both phones will have to wait a little longer than Nexus devices to get new versions of Android.

Although both phones run a version of Android that's identical to the raw Android you'll find on gadgets like the Nexus 4, Anandtech reports that the two mobiles are actually built upon kernels supplied by Samsung and HTC.

That would introduce the possibility that these phones won't in fact receive new versions of Android as soon as they're released -- a major selling point for Google's Nexus devices -- as Samsung and HTC will likely still have to tweak the updates to make them fit to be sent out.

Droid-Life quotes a Google representative as saying of the two mobiles, which are only on sale in the US for now, "We will be working very closely with Samsung and HTC on future software updates for these devices and they will receive software updates shortly after a new version is released."

'Shortly' would imply that there will be a wait, during which time Nexus owners will already have access to fresh versions of Android. I've contacted Google for clarification on this matter, and I'll update this story as soon as I hear something back.

Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Editions reviewed

A touch of update confusion aside, there's plenty to love about these new versions of the year's most popular mobiles, as my esteemed colleagues at CNET found in their exhaustive reviews of both phones.

The S4 Google Edition "Offers users the most powerful hardware specs of any Android phone without any carrier bloatware, and with an elegantly simple Jelly Bean UI", CNET decrees, while HTC's offering is "refreshingly simple". Both phones won four stars, though reviewers cautioned that the price to buy them from Google's Play store is rather steep.

That's not a problem facing Brits however, as neither phone is being offered here. Fingers crossed that changes soon though.

Would you use a Google Edition phone? What do you want from the next version of Android? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Watch this: Galaxy S4 Google Edition explained