Samsung Galaxy S4 gets Android Nexus treatment for $649

Summary:The unlocked Nexus-ish Galaxy S4 will quantify the market for a pure Android experience with Google pushing updates.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Google said that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available without the Korean electronics maker's software overlays and pure Android for $649 unlocked.

The move, which got cheers from developers at Google I/O, addresses a market niche. Google is essentially going to sell Samsung's latest phone in its Play store June 26 and give it the Nexus treatment. The device will be unlocked, have LTE support and work on AT&T and T-Mobile.

 Hugo Barra, vice president of project management Android, said Google will also provide the latest updates for Android in a speedy fashion. 

The move is probably a win-win for the Google-Samsung partnership. Samsung will sell a few more Galaxy S4 devices. Google gets an extension of its Nexus program for those folks that want the pure Android skin.

Now the real thing worth tracking will be sales of this unlocked Galaxy S4. The unlocked Nexus-ish Galaxy S4 will quantify the market for a pure Android experience with Google pushing updates.

Does the pure Android experience on the Samsung Galaxy S4 change the value proposition of the phone?

More from Google I/O:  I/O 2013: Google's location APIs likely to fuel Google Glass apps  |  Google gives digital music another look with Play Music All-Access  |  Google developer tool releases include new Maps, Games, Google+ APIs  |  Google I/O by the numbers: 900 million Android activations  |  Google to use open-source sensors to monitor I/O conference

Topics: Google, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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