May 15 AT 12:02 PM Taylor Wimberly 70 Comments

Google announces Galaxy S 4 with Nexus user experience


Today at Google I/O, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Nexus edition was announced. The hardware will be exactly like the current Galaxy S 4, but the software will be stock Android and receive updates directly from Google. Like previous Nexus smartphones, the Galaxy S 4 will be sold SIM unlocked and bootloader unlocked. The device will support HSPA+ and LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile’s network. Look for the Galaxy S 4 Nexus edition with 16GB storage to go on sale June 26th for $649.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • thekaz

    Sweet! Can’t wait to update my device on Veriz— oh, wait… *sigh*

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Time to break up with Verizon…

      • thekaz

        I know, but… but…

        *sigh* Verizon.. I wish I could quit you…

      • Jorge Vieira

        Verizon is just to good, hey you get hat you pay for! But in the next ten years I think it will be even and different! But right now Verizon, in the U.S., They just expanded another 60+ small town locations today in the New England area with LTE

      • pekosROB

        It is looking more and more like that. And I think this month is my official 24th month of my original contract (that I signed with a Droid X2, then got Droid 3, then Galaxy S3). Sigh.

      • pekosROB

        BWR, one of the best posts I’ve read from you. We are all suffering from battered spouse abuse, the spouse being VZW that is.

        “I know VZW has its way with me, but the data speed and availability is just so good.”

        OK, maybe it’s more like someone dating an asshole and not necessarily an abusive person. “Why do you stay with ___? He/She is such a jerk to you.” “He/she loves me and the ___ is really great.” (fill in blanks with whatever you desire)

    • LukeT32

      I am with you….. I wish they released these types of phones for CDMA.

      I won’t be leaving VZW anytime soon. I even plan on purchasing phones outright to keep my unlimited data.

      • thekaz


  • tommydaniel

    Won’t this also make it a lot easier for Developers to develop for the Tmobile and AT&T Touchwiz variant?


    funny how the crowd went shhhh when the 649 price was announced

    • Nicholas Vettese

      After the Nexus $350 pricing, we were all hoping this would be discounted as well. I think it will sell well for all the Samsung fans who want a real experiencing. Sadly, I am pretty sure all the great features of TouchWiz will never be seen on this device.

      • tommydaniel

        Someone would buy this phone doesn’t want the Touchwiz features, that’s the point.

      • Steve

        It’s hard to a discount on it otherwise the original S4 sales will go down. I might as well wait for Nexus 5.

    • Nate B.

      Lmao I was dying ha-ha.

      I think they may have done this to fill in the gap for when they launch a Nexus 5 later in the year. When this rumor was said at the last minute last night I was more curious as to what the price would be rather than it being true or not.

  • OpenIntro

    Is it possible that there was a plan to announce a Nexus 5 or an X phone, and since that didn’t pan out, the Google Edition Galaxy S4 was a backup plan?

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have the unlocked, pure Google Galaxy S4 option, but it doesn’t wow me enough to spend $300 more than the Nexus 4 to get it.

    It feels like they thought they needed to announce a device, and this is what we got.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I think we will still see the Moto X Phone in August and the LG Nexus 5 in October.

      • OpenIntro

        I do too. And I agree the timing for an updated Nexus device likely isn’t right. But announcing a $650 unlocked phone is not going to be a huge hit with the general public. Something feels lacking about the announcement, as noted by the silence in the crowd when the price was announced.

      • NasLAU

        I need a phone now though. I was really hoping for an LTE Nexus 4. I might be getting a regular one because I don’t know if I can wait until October/November.

    • Nate B.

      I doubt that was the case. That seems too stretched out to think of something like that. They said the same thing about the S4. They said they had several variants but something wasn’t ready so they went with what they had. This stuff is planned out. Google could of slapped stock on any device to be honest and done it a long time ago. If they really wanted to go out of their way they would’ve changed the hardware a little on the S4. Plus it’s only been half a year and Google isn’t and has never launched another Nexus phone so soon. It’s always about a yearly cycle. What would they have would they have to show at the end of the year?… A refresh of the N7? Maybe but that wouldn’t be enough. New phones come out every 6 months but not successors.

      • Jorge Vieira

        The x phone is probably going to be a random mid range device, I have given up hope on it.

  • g

    It’s still a samsuck phone. I will never buy another one after they ditched the vibrant and made the vibrant 4g.

    • magicmike

      The days of Samsung ditching phone support is pretty long gone. My international galaxy note is still getting updates almost 2 yrs later, it got jelly bean and a bug fix update last week. The Samsung from the vibrant days is no more. I had the vibrant too so I hear you, but that’s not the case anymore.

      • NasLAU

        Tell that to my SII still on ICS.

        • tommydaniel

          What carrier are you on? Carrier has more to do with it than Samsung. Considering all the other Galaxy S II’s are on ICS or above..

        • lolo

          My T-Mobile s2 has jelly bean, it’s your carrier, not Samsung.

        • lolo

          My s2 on T-Mobile has jelly bean, it’s your carrier , not Samsung. Samsung gives the carriers the updates and they have to test it and add their crap to it. So blame your carrier.

  • Nate B.

    For the hardware and all, I think it should of came with 32 gigs at the least. They’re asking for a lot. I think everyone would’ve been fine if no device was announced. Those would’ve been expectations that we had and we hyped ourselves to believe. It’s not time to launch a new device just yet.

  • tmoore4075

    That’s a lot of money compared to the $350 for the N4. I mean if you get the fun added stuff from the GS4, and we know we get the LTE, that’s cool but worth $300 more? I’ll wait.

  • yowanvista

    I wonder if this will sport the Exynos 5 or Crapdragon 600 rebranded S4 Pro chip. And as always, it won’t obviously be sold in the rest of the world..

    • Taylor Wimberly

      My guess is Snapdragon 600. Not sure why you call it crap — it’s the fastest mobile chip out right now.

      • yowanvista

        Well, benchmark show otherwise even if those don’t translate into real life performance. I still don’t get it, why can’t they sell such a device with the Exynos 5 SoC outside the U.S? There’s no Snap 600 GS4 version on sale here in my country anyways.

  • Andre

    Well, I guess that means Verizon & Sprint users are SOL.

  • redraider133

    To bad those of us on Verizon get hosed. This would have been perfect since ill pay full price to keep unlimited data. Oh well hopefully in the next few years tmo catches up so I can get any device I want

  • magicmike

    There is no way this phone is worth double the price of a nexus 4.

    • Ken Marshall

      The Nexus 4 is loss leader pricing. People need to understand this.
      Do not think companies are scrambling to sell phones for ZERO profit. Google does this because they are not a hardware maker and subsidise the cost with other profits. A straight up hardware maker would never sell at that price.
      Galaxy S4 is brand new barely touched the shelves. Samsung is not going to undercut their own product. The TouchWiz S4 is more valuable to them as it has more propietory software S Voice etc.

      Also there IS a substantial difference in quality:

      -note how easy the Nexus 4 breaks/chips.
      -How crappy the camera is/auto focus problems
      -smaller screen.
      -lower resolution (720 vs 1080p).
      -older CPU.
      -non-expandable storage.
      -non-removable battery

  • Fulhamdudeski

    So this is the replacement of the Nexus 5 then? Please say no. Please say no.

    • tmoore4075

      Absolutely not. The Nexus phones are always announced in the Fall/Winter. Nexus One, S, GNex and N4 were all late in the calendar year.

      This is just to give the GS fans that phone but with the pure Nexus UI.

  • tumpero

    Nice, but too pricey. Specs are great, but build quality still pales in comparison to other premium devices from HTC, Nokia and Apple.

  • Tico4674

    This would be very tempting if I didn’t already root and rom with one of the many flavors of AOSP.

  • Techfiend86

    And like that Im saying please take my money a vanilla android experience on any popular high end phone is a dream come true and this is wishful thinking but i hope LG and HTC could do this too my head would literaturely explode if the HTC ONE , LG OPTIMUS Pro G and Samsung S4 all came out with a nexus like experience

  • Techfiend86

    wait upon further review 649 is alot and unless it has better specs then the domestic models so I might want to end my excitement but i do want to see phone manufacturers have two version of their best phones

  • lou2cool88

    Wish they’d release this for Verizon (as so many others have already stated). That said, $649 is so much money for a 16gb phone…

  • Nathan D.

    I still want a Samsung device with a exynos processor, the U.S. market for phone is basically snapdragon right now. What happen to the many different types of processors back in the day?

  • Philip53

    Holy ****,

    This is really exciting news! So we basically are getting a Nexus device with an SD slot and removable battery??!! How come everybody is throwing cold water on this??!

    I’m in Ireland, but what I’m wondering is, is there any way that the Samsung S4 (with Touchwiz) could be updated with stock software, and then actually receive the “Nexus” type speedy updates directly from Google?? Or am I just dreaming??!!

    • @jobet

      yeah, I’m wondering the same question…

  • Broseph Stalin

    I’m surprised by how many people think $649 is too much for this phone.

    Maybe you haven’t noticed, but phones have been at this price point for quite a while now. The fact that you pay $200 is due to carrier subsidies, not because the device itself costs only $200.

    • SGB101

      Sadly, Cos the prise of the nexus 4 spoilt us. If the n4 was normal price everyone would be drooling over this.

      I just wish the nexus5 has a removable battery, I can’t buy another sealed device, I was burnt by my one X.

  • Sere83

    The price is nice for what it is, good move by google, but I dont want to spend that much and I have to say…no new android version at all and no Nexus 4 32gb update is dissapointing.

  • woohoo!

    So, being that this device has no TouchWiz, that also means no Galaxy S4 camera features or the actual processing algorithms of said software? I wonder how the camera will perform in comparison? I can’t believe the price after all of the feature loss.

  • Paul Atreides

    Too bad it’s only on two carriers.

  • DroidSamurai

    I wonder if the “Nexus S4″ has Bluetooth LE support. The Galaxy S4 does.

  • thymeless

    Why do they focus so much on the 16 gig devices? Flash is cheap, give us more storage!

    • DroidSamurai

      On the S4, at least you can add a SD card. On the Nexus 4, you can add … nothing, not even an USB OTG flash drive.

  • KennyL

    If only this had been a Note 2 instead…Here’s to hoping that the Note 3 will be sold this way.

    • SGB101

      Stop it sir, your getting me to excited :o)

      Or a 5.5″ nexus5 at nexus4 prices. Omg…….. I wouldn’t even be bothered if it was sealed if it had the same size battery. I can get a full day out my note2.

  • GrendelJapan

    I’m betting this has a ton to do with reinforcing ties with OEMS leading up to the next lineup of Motorola smartphones. This a pretty important symbolic precedent.

  • Miguel

    May finally make a move on this one. Still with my Amaze 4G running CM10.1 on Tmo, what d you guys think? Should I hold out for the x phone?

  • donger

    $649 for a 16GB version is a ripoff.

  • João Pedro

    Anyone knows if it will be possible to buy this in Portugal, Europe?

  • CJ LaFleur

    Every flagship phone should have this option.Having a Nexus version of all the most popular phones is a brilliant idea, and solves the locked bootloader problem for anyone who was worried about it with the S4. Great move Google as always. We love you for such freedoms.

  • drone3

    Very confused over the whole nexus program. Isn’t Google supposed to work with the oem? This is just slapped on?

  • n25philly

    So it’s like they actually made a usable nexus?

  • techvudu

    curious on how development for all the sensors will be on this phone. i assume other than ATT and locked bloader why people would not just jump on their carrier’s respected S4. Most who still want this phone w/o TWIZ would probably root their phone anyway and install AOSP/AOKP/CM….not sure if they were aiming at the non developer developer on this one.

  • sachin

    Not as good as the nexus 4 design………i still like my nexus 4…….its the best

  • Sami

    will the existing GS4 users wil touchwiz get a scope to install pure android?