Jul 09 AT 9:51 AM Nick Gray 14 Comments

Poll: Have you ordered a Google Play Edition phone? Handsets start shipping today!

samsung-galaxy-s4-htc-one-google-play-edition

The Google Play Edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are now shipping to those who pre-ordered the phones through Google Play. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play edition with 16GB of internal storage sports a price tag of $649.99, while the HTC One Google Play edition with 32GB of internal storage comes in slightly cheaper at $599.99. Both phones are SIM and bootloader unlocked with HSPA+ and LTE support on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s networks and feature a nearly stock version of Android 4.2.2 for those who simply can’t stand Samsung and HTC’s custom Android builds.

While there are quite a few people who prefer stock Android on their phones, it’s a bit hard for many to spend $600 on a new device. Do you think it’s worth paying full retail to experience Android as Google intended on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4? Fill out the poll below and let us know if you purchased a Google Play Edition phone.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • surethom

    I prefer stock/stockish android phone, but I am waiting to see what the Motorola X has to offer before deciding on my next sim free/unlocked phone.

  • kikorb

    Nexus or nothing. This Google edition is in territory of no one. The OEMs will update the handsets right after the Nexus to keep giving the Google-Nexus experience. And they are going to put effort in that instead of putting effort and time in their systems? I don’t think so.

    People who like the Nexus experience can buy a Nexus. And white we geeks appreciate the vanilla experience we are a minority. In conclusion this is an experiment from Samsung and HTC and will never be treated like the Nexus devices.

    Plus you are paying 600 to loose the IR and the good quality cameras, etc. Don’t see the point.

    I will wait to see the Nexus 5 and then decide if my Nexus 4 can be my device until the Nexus 6 appears or if I should upgrade.

    • uzunoff

      The IR is working with 3rd party apps. The camera you do lose but xda already ripped the camera app from the galaxy camera. I think it’s just a matter of time for them to get the camera from the standard GS4 and port it to the Google edition.

    • acey_zero

      I would love a Nexus, but there are several deal breakers for me in the Nexus line hardware, so I am super excited about these GE devices.

      I think it would be ideal if hardware manufactures competed on hardware alone rather than software gimmicks which add little if anything to Android as a whole, and I think this is a step in that direction, though we will see if it lasts.

      Also the IR port still works (on the GS4 at least, I’m sure the One will be fixed soon) and I don’t think there is significant (if any) camera quality degradation from what I have heard.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard
  • uzunoff

    Because of the wireless charging, the extra LTE band, removable battery, 5 inch display. Also the capability to use the IR blaster right away and Samsung’s track records with updates, I got the galaxy. Also the galaxy offers more sensors as well. I really wanted to support HTC but I think that Samsung just offered more.

  • John in Brisbane

    No I haven’t. I like the retail model but I’ve got an SG3 that’s doing the job for now. A few other things are also affecting my purchasing decisions:
    1. I’m in Australia and we get screwed on prices. An international version, through an online retailer, is much cheaper that what Google is selling directly. Their costs are much lower but their prices are higher. Bad Google. Bad, tax-dodging Google. Bad republic Google turning into the empire Google.
    2. I’d be most interested in an HTC One and I liked the sense UI when I had an HTC – they get some basic ergonomics right that Samsung and Google miss.
    3. I’m always lusting after a bunch of new tech but I’m trying to get off the 12 month phone upgrade cycle I seem to be in right now. Plus I bought an oculus rift lol.

  • 0xDEADBEEF
  • redraider133

    I would but well there isn’t a Verizon version so until I ditch Verizon don’t have this option.

  • Mason

    Bought the HTC one on the day that it was released. If you guys want top-end hardware with stock Android, then put your money where your mouth is and buy it.

    If you complain all day that you don’t want the new phone because you want stock Android, then they release exactly what you said that you wanted and you don’t buy it because it isn’t quite perfect, what do you think they’ll do? They’re going to think that the people who say they want stock are a bunch of whiners who never actually buy anything, and they’ll never bother to make one again. If they sell like hotcakes, then they’ll be a lot more likely to listen to us when we tell them how to make it even better.

    Also, I switched over to prepaid, so I buy all my phones for cash up front. Compared to the prepaid plans with subsidized phones, it looks like I’m still saving money and also getting exactly the hardware that I want with no restrictions.

    • uzunoff

      Don’t worry, there are plenty of whiners that will buy the phones. :)

  • Mitch Canter

    I was due for an upgrade and bought an HTC ONE through AT&T. Within 2 hours (didn’t actually take this long) I had it rooted and flashed the Google Play Rom I found online.

    It’s absolutely perfect. Other than having to factory reset once AFTER flashing, it worked exactly as expected.

  • donger

    HTC One > Samsung Galaxy S4.

  1. I prefer stock/stockish android phone, but I am waiting to see what the Motorola X has to offer before deciding on my next sim free/unlocked phone.

  2. kikorbGuest 2 years ago

    Nexus or nothing. This Google edition is in territory of no one. The OEMs will update the handsets right after the Nexus to keep giving the Google-Nexus experience. And they are going to put effort in that instead of putting effort and time in their systems? I don’t think so.

    People who like the Nexus experience can buy a Nexus. And white we geeks appreciate the vanilla experience we are a minority. In conclusion this is an experiment from Samsung and HTC and will never be treated like the Nexus devices.

    Plus you are paying 600 to loose the IR and the good quality cameras, etc. Don’t see the point.

    I will wait to see the Nexus 5 and then decide if my Nexus 4 can be my device until the Nexus 6 appears or if I should upgrade.

    • The IR is working with 3rd party apps. The camera you do lose but xda already ripped the camera app from the galaxy camera. I think it’s just a matter of time for them to get the camera from the standard GS4 and port it to the Google edition.

    • acey_zeroGuest 2 years ago

      I would love a Nexus, but there are several deal breakers for me in the Nexus line hardware, so I am super excited about these GE devices.

      I think it would be ideal if hardware manufactures competed on hardware alone rather than software gimmicks which add little if anything to Android as a whole, and I think this is a step in that direction, though we will see if it lasts.

      Also the IR port still works (on the GS4 at least, I’m sure the One will be fixed soon) and I don’t think there is significant (if any) camera quality degradation from what I have heard.

  3. Because of the wireless charging, the extra LTE band, removable battery, 5 inch display. Also the capability to use the IR blaster right away and Samsung’s track records with updates, I got the galaxy. Also the galaxy offers more sensors as well. I really wanted to support HTC but I think that Samsung just offered more.

  4. John in BrisbaneGuest 2 years ago

    No I haven’t. I like the retail model but I’ve got an SG3 that’s doing the job for now. A few other things are also affecting my purchasing decisions:
    1. I’m in Australia and we get screwed on prices. An international version, through an online retailer, is much cheaper that what Google is selling directly. Their costs are much lower but their prices are higher. Bad Google. Bad, tax-dodging Google. Bad republic Google turning into the empire Google.
    2. I’d be most interested in an HTC One and I liked the sense UI when I had an HTC – they get some basic ergonomics right that Samsung and Google miss.
    3. I’m always lusting after a bunch of new tech but I’m trying to get off the 12 month phone upgrade cycle I seem to be in right now. Plus I bought an oculus rift lol.

  5. 0xDEADBEEFGuest 2 years ago

    neither

  6. I would but well there isn’t a Verizon version so until I ditch Verizon don’t have this option.

  7. MasonGuest 2 years ago

    Bought the HTC one on the day that it was released. If you guys want top-end hardware with stock Android, then put your money where your mouth is and buy it.

    If you complain all day that you don’t want the new phone because you want stock Android, then they release exactly what you said that you wanted and you don’t buy it because it isn’t quite perfect, what do you think they’ll do? They’re going to think that the people who say they want stock are a bunch of whiners who never actually buy anything, and they’ll never bother to make one again. If they sell like hotcakes, then they’ll be a lot more likely to listen to us when we tell them how to make it even better.

    Also, I switched over to prepaid, so I buy all my phones for cash up front. Compared to the prepaid plans with subsidized phones, it looks like I’m still saving money and also getting exactly the hardware that I want with no restrictions.

  8. Mitch CanterGuest 2 years ago

    I was due for an upgrade and bought an HTC ONE through AT&T. Within 2 hours (didn’t actually take this long) I had it rooted and flashed the Google Play Rom I found online.

    It’s absolutely perfect. Other than having to factory reset once AFTER flashing, it worked exactly as expected.

  9. HTC One > Samsung Galaxy S4.