May 14 AT 9:08 PM Dustin Earley 42 Comments

Rumor: Google set to unveil Google Edition Galaxy S4 at I/O


According to Russell Holly of, Google is gearing up to make a huge announcement tomorrow at I/O, completely out of left field. While we won’t see a new Nexus phone unveiled just hours from now, Holly is citing sources already at the developer conference that say we will see a “Google Edition” of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android.

Hardware wise, the Galaxy S4 is an absolute beast of a phone. A high-end processor, 5-inch full HD display, and fantastic camera are just a few of the hardware elements that make the S4 one of the best Android powered smartphones money can buy. Unfortunately, Samsung’s custom version of Android isn’t for everyone. The Google Edition of the Galaxy S4 would remedy that, not only giving consumers a chance to buy a non-Nexus stock Android device, but one with a removable battery and expandable storage as well.

How the Google Edition of the S4 would be sold, whether through Google Play or Samsung directly, is still a mystery. But supposedly it will work on T-Mobile.

As far as rumors go, this one is pretty out there. It’s strange that we haven’t heard anything about the Google Edition Galaxy S4 before now, some 12 hours until it’s supposed to be unveiled, but Holly and have been on-point with Google related rumors in the past. There may be good reason to get excited for this one. Not long now until we know for sure.


Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I think if they released a stock version on more than one carrier this would sell even better than their touchwiz loaded s4. That would be a real beast of a phone with stock android and eliminate one of the major complaints about the device(touchwiz slowing it down)

    • DroidSamurai

      I seriously doubt it — a quick survey to my galaxy loving, but clueless non-tech savvy friend shows that they don’t give a dime to stock Android. Quite the contrary, they are much less excited about the S4 if the Google Edition loses all the useless features that Samsung heavily promotes.

      To me personally, I think this is a great alternative to the Nexus program — just pick the flagship from each OEM and snap the stock Android on top of it. IMO, it’s probably a better way to get the OEM to get on the stock Android train (neither HTC nor Samsung seem to be interested in making a Nexus phone these days.)

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      • Jimmy_Jo

        These phones are sold based on features and marketing. The same sort of people who buy iPhones based on commercials and those wonderful features (that were stolen from Android nad dumbed down to fit the Laws of Fruit) are the same ones who are buying Galaxy devices.

        I just asked my friend how her 4G LTE is on AT&T since I’m thinking of switching carriers… Her reply: Ummmm…. what? So I asked how fast is her phone? To download or send messages…. Her reply: It works nice.

        I had to take her phone, download Speedtest and run it to see she was getting 25+MBps in an area that is known to have poor signal.

        Nexus phones/stock Android are sold to people like us. Folks who read tech sites for fun not just research. People who troubleshoot the devices of their friends and family. The Nexus is technically a developer phone. Most people don’t even know what Stock Android is. They just want to do cool stuff they see on TV.

    • Chris

      I doubt that, that average consumer who goes into the store for the Galaxy s4 will be there because of the touchwiz features they saw on tv, they could care less about stock Android.

  • Nate B.

    Say what now?

  • jamal adam

    Wow, now wouldn’t this be something. I would have never expected it, if it does come to pass tomorrow, I would be amazed but it should be with multiple carriers.

  • pekosROB

    This is the crazy out of the blue announcement I’m hoping for!

  • Inquizitor

    No more stock Samsung phones! At this point, it’ll take a Google Edition HTC One to pitch my tent.

    • Ronaldj666

      I was thinking the same thing. I love my Galaxy Nexus, but I’d drop it in an instant for an HTC One running stock Android, or a Nexus using a similar metal design.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      Absolutely!!! I was thinking the same thing. And I don’t want just an aluminum phone (unibody or not)…. I want the One. Those front speakers are so cool. They are the only reason I’m even thinking of getting one. Without those speakers why wouldn’t I get a GS4 which has a removable battery and microSD support??? To me that is the only advantage. Plus as awesome as the phone is, it’s still running Android 4.1.2, which isn’t ICS but if it’s supposed to be the One, the phone to bring HTC back on top, they need to try harder.

      Also, am I the only one who’s afraid they’re going to go back to making too many devices and dropping support if the sales aren’t as good as they hoped.

      • pekosROB

        This is exactly how I feel. Those. Fucking. SPEAKERS! Otherwise the S4 is better in most categories.

  • humidity

    My biggest concern would be price. If they can sell it for close to the price of a Nexus 4, then I’m all for it! I understand that the S4 has better specs so maybe ~$400/$450/$500 for the 16/32/64GB?

    • Ken Marshall

      Samsung especially would not let that happen and cut into their Touchwiz model prices.. which push all the samsung S voice etc etc. Even Nexus 10 Samsung didnt let it go Google crazy cheap…

      • pekosROB

        True… but doesn’t the carrier set the full MSRP of devices locked to their carrier? The majority of us Americans do not buy unlocked (sure, some do, but I’m talking about the vast majority of consumers) and buy phones that are carrier locked as well as locked to a contract.

        Hell, didn’t T-Mobile price their Nexus 4 at a higher off contract price when there was a Nexus 4 shortage?

    • Igor Ganapolsky

      The funny thing is that stock Android is free in all the custom ROMs out there. But I guess people still want to pay extra money for the smoke n’ mirrors that Google is trying to sell.

  • Ken Marshall

    Oh my gawd if true = day one buy. Need a new phone been waiting for 32GB Nexus announcement but Stock S4 – lovely jubbly! lol

  • Ian B

    Just sold my nexus 4 to gazelle in case this comes true and under $450 price. That would be insane!

    Ian B

  • DroidSamurai

    I bet you guys 1 cent that the rumor came from Sundar Pichai’s interview. He mentioned that his daily driver is a S4. I think some people have a hard time believing the Android team head would use a TouchWiz infected phone as his daily driver, and thus the stock Android S4 was born.

    • pekosROB

      But wouldn’t he just as easily be able to root and custom ROM his whenever he wants? Or at least have someone on staff do that?

  • Igor Ganapolsky

    I’ll save myself several hundred dollars and upgrade to a Verizon Samsung with the Touchwiz UI. But then I can install CyanogenMod on it for free!

    • Jimmy_Jo

      And then spend $1000 on yur service…? You’re not saving money getting a Verizon phone. the only money saved is with CyanogenMod…

  • Rohan Sood

    This is too crazy and good to be true.. but if it is, I’ll buy this device without a moment’s thought!

  • Adam N

    I’ll buy it, if it cans the home button for on screen buttons.

  • rashad360

    I think I found my next phone!!!

  • halo0

    I will cry. The return period for my S4 just ran out today.

  • CTown

    So, Samsung will still make a version of their flagship device for Google to control? Ahh, it seems Samsung still remebers who helped them to get to the postion they are at now!

  • donger

    Not exciting, Google can do better.

  • Steve P

    Obvious linkbait is obvious

    Seriously, they don’t even claim to have a source or anything, I’m disappointed in the android blogs for picking this up, especially as the story itself makes no sense. Samsungs entire marketing message about the S4 is software based, this is not happening.

  • sly

    I’m happy and sad. I just got my Nexus 4 and would’ve definitely waited if I knew! I’m kinda hoping this isn’t true. But I’m really hoping it is true. I’m a mess!

  • furius

    Why should I buy this for 600$ or more instead of a Nexus 4 for 349$?

  • Nexus
  • Paul Atreides

    Just make it an option for all devices Google, that’s the real win. It’s an open platform so it should be openly easy to pick between stock and custom skins. Unless it’s stock with the option to add some of those “gimmicks” it should’nt cost much more than the N4. First a new N7 and now this. Hoping today brings plenty of great news for Android.

    • thekaz

      Pretty sure this isn’t Google’s decision..

      • Paul Atreides

        I’m pretty sure they could make it happen if they really wanted to.

  • exilis

    Given the choice, my preference would be for the S4 to carry on as it is just now, but with the option to flash an ‘official’ Google Edition ROM. So users get the choice of Touch Wiz and all the fancy features, or stock.

    Sure you can do that with 3rd party ROMs, but something that doesn’t require root would no doubt be appreciated.

    • Paul Atreides

      My thoughts exactly.

  • lou2cool88

    Hopefully this comes out on Verizon!

  • tommydaniel

    This would be awesome!

  • lensgrabber

    GS4 w/ stock android. 32 or 64gb, black, w/ photosphere, from the Play store, and I’ll buy it.

  • NexusNYC

    I think we r just going to see chromebook pixels and white N4′s with Android 4.3

  • Nathan D.

    I would love to see this.