Google has announced it will be releasing its own variant of the just-launched Samsung Galaxy S4, powered by a vanilla edition of the Android operating system.
Unveiled yesterday at the annual Google I/O developer’s conference in San Francisco, the Galaxy S4 ‘Google Edition’ is intended to offer owners a ‘Nexus user experience’ that strips away Samsung’s TouchWiz customisations for a cleaner, simpler interface that’s become the preserve of Google’s Nexus-branded smartphones.
It also packs an unlocked bootloader, meaning devs and hackers will be able to enhance and tweak the handset to their hearts’ content.
Better still, because it runs on stock Android (version 4.2), Google will be able to push out new updates to the handset substantially faster than Samsung can, which is sure to please Fandroids eternally frustrated by the lengthy delays caused by bespoke interfaces.
This is especially good news amid reports that Google is readying its next major build of Android - version 4.3 - for an imminent release.
Other than that, the Google/Nexus Galaxy S4 is essentially the same flagship kit from Samsung that hit store shelves last month, sporting a five-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor and 13-megapixel camera.
Also on board is 4G LTE support and 16GB of storage. Although it wasn’t revealed if there’ll be 32GB model too, a microSD slot is on board for up to 64GB of expandable storage.
Google confirmed the handset will be sold SIM free and unlocked through its Play store online for $649 in the US, which converts to about £430 in the UK.
However, it’s not clear yet if or when the phone will be available on our side of the Pond. As we soon as we hear more, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Would you choose a vanilla Galaxy S4 over Samsung’s model? Tell us why in the comments section below.