Google to ship custom Galaxy S4 starting June 26th for $649

By on May 15, 2013, 2:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 19

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1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

If only prompt system updates were universal to Android, not just with a Nexus device.

mosu said:

Finally, something worth buying.

veLa veLa said:

Why would I pay $650 for a plastic piece of junk like that...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Bleh, same money better spent on a GTX 780.

JC713 JC713 said:

Bleh, same money better spent on a GTX 780.

That is your opinion. Not everyone is a gamer.

Why would I pay $650 for a plastic piece of junk like that...

Most (99%)of unlocked phone cost >$500.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why would I pay $650 for a plastic piece of junk like that...

I know why I would, Polycarbonate > "Metal"

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Bleh, same money better spent on a GTX 780.

Yeah blow your money on 780, oh wait you need rest of the gear.

veLa veLa said:

Bleh, same money better spent on a GTX 780.

That is your opinion. Not everyone is a gamer.

Why would I pay $650 for a plastic piece of junk like that...

Most (99%)of unlocked phone cost >$500.

You can get a Nexus for $300, or I could get a regular S4 for $200 and root/unskin it myself.

JC713 JC713 said:

You can get a Nexus for $300, or I could get a regular S4 for $200 and root/unskin it myself.

The Nexus is a different story. Plus it doesnt support 4G. Not everyone knows how to root a phone and it is illegal to do so.

waterytowers said:

Nexus is the best option for a phone that is a phone but has other abilities.

Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock android will be the best phone if you want a phone that also has expandable storage.

There is a lot to be said for receiving prompt system updates when improvements are made, that is why my last 2 phones were Nexus branded phones. They do the job of a phone and can also be my personal assistant and internet connection. I don't really need to have a lot of local storage so I will stick with straight Nexus phones, but I know people that would die for a Nexus phone with expandable storage.

Guest said:

Galaxy S4 features combined with the prompt Android updates...!! That would be the ultimate Android experience for any android fan. But then comes the S4 price tag most of us can't/not willing to afford.

Still this might steal some shine from Nexus where it held the pride of being the first among the phones to get Android updates.

highlander84 said:

I don't see this as being worth while. The S4 is made by its software...so putting such a stripped down version of android on it is defeating the phone. While most things could be gained from apps its still pointless...

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

$650 lol what a complete waste of money, are you really on your phone that much that a purchase like this is necessary?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

$649 FOR A PHONE??!! That has to be a typo. For a moment there I thought they were serious. Don't worry fella's once that little faux pas has been corrected we should see sanity prevail once again.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Sorry guys I donno where else to ask - did Techspot stop doing their "Tuesday/Wednesday tech deals" piece? I loved seeing that. hell I've actually recommended it to a few people who went on to buy a Dell XPS and Pioneer amp which they 'advertised' in that way. Anyone no why they don't seem to do it anymore?

mailpup mailpup said:

Captainawesome, Matthew is responsible for this feature but, unfortunately, has been under the weather recently. It should resume when he returns.

Lionvibez said:

Whats with all you guys commenting about the price.

Every phone off contract since like the original Iphone in 2007 has been >$500

You guys are going on like this is some new outrageous price??

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

It has just become an outrageous norm but they keep getting more expensive.

Lionvibez said:

It has just become an outrageous norm but they keep getting more expensive.

That was my point this didn't just become an outrageous norm its been like this for years.

I agree its not a good trend but nothing has changed in like 10 years.

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