Google I/O is in full swing and as expected, the search giant is dominating today’s tech news. We’ve just received word that Google has unveiled a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 that’s unlike any other. That’s because the handset sports a pure version of Android that comes with an unlocked bootloader.
Hugo Barra, Google vice president of product management for Android, didn’t give the S4 a name per se but it offers what the company calls a Nexus user experience. Specifically, he said this was Google’s take on Android and that it feels really awesome on the Galaxy S4.
It’s unclear at this hour if Google plans to ship the S4 with Android 4.2 or the latest version which would be Android 4.3 by the time it ships. That said, the search giant did promise prompt system updates.
Whether or not consumers will go for it, however, remains to be seen. Similar efforts in the past that didn’t include carrier subsidies haven’t exactly done well via Google Play. Perhaps then, as analyst Jan Dawson from Ovum points out, Google is probably just selling the device with its own version of Android to hush critics that claim existing Nexus phones often lack key features like a good camera or 4G LTE capabilities.
The handset will be available for purchase on Google Play starting June 26 for $649 without a contract. Phones will be available for AT&T as well as T-Mobile with 16GB of storage, we’re told.
The Galaxy S4 is a continuation of Samsung's flagship Android handset, in a sleeker and more modern version inside and out. The S4 features a 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. The S4 also packs 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, IR LED Remote Control, MHL 2.0, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0.
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