HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Experience phones available today

first_imgIf you’ve been waiting to get an HTC One or a Samsung Galaxy S4, Google’s got the version you’re going to want to pick up.Ever since the first Android phone with a custom user interface was released, fans of the OS have asked that OEMs make vanilla versions of their hardware. This seemed mostly like a fantasy, and many have moved on from something like this ever happening.Now, with more than 7 million users having rooted their phones and installed CyanogenMod in order to get an Android Open Source Project-based UI, it has become clear there’s a market for these vanilla phones. As a result we have the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and the HTC One with Nexus Experience, and they are available for purchase today.Google has made these phones available through the Play Store exclusively, sitting in their online shop next to the Nexus line of phones, tablets, and Chrome OS hardware. These new phones will be running as close to vanilla Android as possible, without ruining the overall experience for the specific hardware.The HTC One, for example, will still have Beats Audio onboard to manage the unique speaker design the handset had. HTC’s other features, like BlinkFeed and Zoe photos, will not be available on this phone. It is widely suspected that the camera on the Google Edition HTC One will not be as good as the stock HTC One with Sense. The same goes for the Galaxy S4, and neither device is expected to have software onboard that takes advantage of the IR sensor.The Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One with Nexus Experience will be sold for $649 and $599 respectively. These phones will be sold and shipped by Google. Like the Nexus devices, Google will be responsible for support during the first month in case there’s out of the box hardware defects. After that time, HTC and Samsung will handle support for the phones.This experiment is a big gamble for everyone involved. HTC and Samsung are hoping to dip into what appears to be a rapidly increasing niche market, while Android enthusiasts are hoping this becomes a trend that spreads to other manufacturers.last_img read more