Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition: so, ummmm… where is it?


stock GS5

We’re hoping that it may have just slipped Samsung’s mind, but we have to admit we were a little disappointed to find out that, despite a worldwide launch early this morning, there still hasn’t been any mention of a Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition. Worse yet, the fact no one seems to have noticed (or cared), could be a sign of its demand and the real reason we haven’t/possibly wont see one this year.

It was last year, we saw Samsung kick off the whole Google Play edition trend, debuting the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play edition at Google I/O running a near-stock Android build. Up until that point, it had never been done before and it was kind of a super big deal. Earlier today, we told you about the Samsung Galaxy S5 Developer Edition for Verizon Wireless, which seemed like a good time, if any, to at least mention a GPe version would soon be on the way. But still nothing from Samsung’s camp. It’s all rather puzzling, given strong competition from HTC who — along with the announcement of the HTC One M8 — wasted no time in mentioning a Google Play edition was also in the works (and is currently available on Google Play).

Google Play edition devices screenshot

Perhaps Samsung’s gotten cocky, perhaps they want to keep the focus of the GS5 on TouchWiz, or maybe they’re simply waiting for Google to finish up work on Android 4.4.3, said to address a plethora of bugs introduced in Android 4.4.2. One thing is for certain — we know we’d love to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition, if or when it ever comes out. How about you?

P.S. Don’t even get us started the 32GB or “Electric Blue” Samsung Galaxy S5, two versions of the phone that don’t seem to be available for any carrier in the US at the moment. Talk about a major bummer…

[Google Play Edition Devices]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Samsung has a track record in announcing variant models of their smartphones that never appear.

    1. Not really relevant since we are discussing that the GPe has not even been announced.

      1. You might want to read the article again because you just made yourself look very ignorant.

        1. You might want to follow your own advice.

          1. So you truly are an idiot huh? What’s the definition of the word variant? If you know your simple elementary school vocabulary, you would realize that their comment was relevant as the OP mentioned how the Google Play VARIANT was missing and at the end they mentioned how a color VARIANT is missing. Did you fail English?

          2. This article is about the GPe. The GPe variant hasn’t be announced. The comment is irrelevant. Move along.

          3. Ok, yeah you are retarded. Read the bottom of the article or my other reply. If you still don’t understand how you’re a complete moron please do the world a favor and hide yourself for the rest of your life. Who knows what dangers you represent to humanity’s intelligence.

      2. ” P.S. Don’t even get us started the 32GB or “Electric Blue” Samsung Galaxy S5, two versions of the phone that don’t seem to be available for any carrier in the US at the moment. Talk about a major bummer…”

        In case you missed that part. Pretty sure that was announced and it’s in the OP so…..seems like that was a relevant comment to me.

  2. It’ll come later IMO.

  3. I hope the next version of android has WiFi calling and texting baked in. I imagine it being a carrier activated feature, working with your current phone number. It would be great for people traveling abroad, people who live in basements, and people who live outside of service areas. T Mobile has it figured out, offering it on most of their phones. The problem is, I would love to buy a Nexus or GPE phone, but can’t get one with WiFi calling and texting that works with my current phone number. The carriers would be stupid not to use it since it would ease some strain on their network and expand their coverage with out requiring additional infrastructure.

    1. I love wifi calling! It really would be awesome to have that as standard feature on any android device, including tablets.

      1. There are apps you can get to get a tablet to make calls and text over WiFi:


    2. I agree wholeheartedly and I really don’t know why they haven’t yet done it, especially considering the capabilities of Google Voice/Hangouts. Verizon and AT&T would probably block it though.

      1. I can’t argue that Verizon would probably block it to start with. They are known for doing stupid things like that. But if they were to build it into Android T Mobile customers could have a Nexus or GPE phone with WiFi calling and texting. I also think that as other carriers started taking advantage of it and were able to offer “coverage” in places cellular signal simply can’t reach, the bigger carriers would be forced to come around. It could save the carriers millions of dollars. AT&T could lay these guys off.

    3. One of the many reasons I am with T Mobile! My work has me out in the boonies where there is no reception for any cell phone, however there is satellite internet… and with WiFi calling and texting I am the only one with a working phone. Unfortunately I cant see them building this in… I doubt any other carrier would want it.

    4. Doesnt the new FB messenger support wifi calling?

      1. I do have a Facepage, but I don’t use the messenger. I’ll take your word for it, though. There are several WiFi calling and texting apps available in the play store. The thing about them is that you can call and be called over WiFi, but it doesn’t use your normal phone number. So if someone tries to call you on your regular number and you’re connected to WiFi while not receiving good cell signal they will have to dial a different number or call you through an app like Facebook. Same goes for texting.

  4. Might have something to do with the finger print scanner and heart rate sensor taking extra work to function on stock android. Or they won’t work at all.

    1. I believe Android has native support for fingerprint scanners as of Kit Kat and really the heart rate sensor shouldn’t be hard to integrate. They managed to integrate IR blasters with the last version and HTC managed to get Duo Camera, BoomSound, their motion launch gestures, and even their Dot View Case working with the M8 GPE.

  5. I’m also waiting for the google play edition. Im inclinded towards buying an M8 Google Play Edition… I’m waiting! I wouldn’t mind an Electric Blue S5 32GB Google Play Edition… Make it happen Samsung!

  6. My gs4 gpe has been great to me, but Im really digging this gs5 I’m thinking about picking one up….. vanilla android is a little over rated

    1. Very much so overrated

      1. Vanilla Android may well be overrated (I happen to disagree however), but near instantaneous Android updates aren’t. Until Samsung, HTC, LG, and others adopt Moto’s updating policy, it’s Nexus, GPE, or Motorola for me.

    2. Vanilla Android overrated? I’d rather have an iPhone than touch Touchwiz again.

      1. I just went to best buy and played with the gs5 and yeahhh touch wiz ain’t my thing either, but I’m sure if you slap on nova launcher you have a pretty nice experience. I’m sticking with the GS4 gpe edition for now, I guess i am a vanilla guy after all haha

        1. yup, my note 2’s been using nove prime and lmt, i love it.

        2. That’s how I was. TouchWiz launcher was a HUGE no-no for me. I also don’t like the new Settings layout.

          I was trying to help my friend on his S3 and couldn’t find anything. But I’m guessing it grows on you.

    3. I’d rather have the choice to put whatever rom on the phone I see fit. Having a locked bootloader makes it hard to root and install custom roms. At least with a vanilla android, you can don’t have all that crapware that the carriers and manufactures junk your phone up with.

    4. Thanks for the honest post. Its refreshing

  7. I would prefer a Z2 GPe.

  8. I’d guess the carriers want a chance to sell first. Or the GPE version is just not ready yet.

    1. my thoughts as well

  9. Give us NEXUS 6!!

    1. Yeah only a few months after it was released! Let’s make everyone mad!

  10. So it’s only available in 16GB in the US? lol.

    1. With expandable memory via SD card you can add all kinds of memory, and way more cost effective!!! For just 20 bucks you can add a 32GB card, giving you a phone with 48GB total memory. Try finding a phone that goes from a 16GB to a 32GB phone and only charges you 20 bucks!

      1. HTC m8 starts at 32GB with SD card expansion up to 128GB, sorry had to point that out.

        1. Don’t be sorry, I think its great that HTC caught up and starting adding the SD card again, and both phones expand to 128GB.

        2. My Verizon M8 came with 24.02gb usable. :(

          Good thing I have a 64 card.

          1. That’s normal. My M7 came with 26GB. The OS expands and takes about 6-8GB now. Just look at those poor souls on the S4 with the 16GB version. =.[

      2. I had the 16GB E4GT (Sprint GS2)

        SD cards do not help with all issues. Mainly apps. I did move apps to my SD card, but they crashed or didn’t work. Also, the phone slowed down a lot when I started running out of space on the phone itself. I was left with about 8GB to use.

        So no, 16GB is NOT enough on a phone. Unless you just don’t put anything on the phone itself, it won’t be enough. I’m sorry to say.

        Yes, some people may be content, but no. 16GB is not enough. LoL!!

        1. You need a better SD card, I have never had an app (leaving out apps that specifically say not to put on SD) crash or not work on an SD card – with 4 different phones now. Pay the extra for top speed, at least class 10, and a trusted manufacturer – SD card is not a place to skimp. I would stay away from Sandisk, I did have a problem with them and corrupted data.

          1. You’re running data-munching games on an SD card in the post-Gingerbread world??

            Stop by the SGS4 forums and tell everyone how you managed that.

            Outside of Samsung marketing, no one actually believes that you’re going to run apps as you describe.

          2. Wow, what a rude and ignorant comment…and from a member of the phandroid team, that’s disappointing. I never actually said “data-munching games”, I simply said “apps”. Try this:




            but make sure you have a solid nandroid backup… just in case.

          3. It was a Sandisk. That could explain a lot then if they’re not the best brand. Though it was a Class 10. I only used it for media since my apps weren’t working so well on it.


      3. There is one very important thing you forget tough:
        Ever since KK4.4.2 you won’t be able to move all data from an app to the SD-card; only the apk from the app…..
        It has to do with the permissions an app has, to change data in other apps.

        Google made the sd-card less attractive to use for games and data.

        1. Oh I didn’t forget….There are always work-a-rounds……

    2. They did the same thing last year with the S4. Released the 16gb first, then a few weeks later, the 32gb.

  11. Maybe Samsung is insideously busy growing the GS5 Play Edition to be even bigger and taller with an even larger bezel than the standard model.

    1. If you are looking for a larger bezel…. HTC has just the phone for you!!

      1. Everyone’s perception of bezel thickness is absurd. Most of you just parrot each other and have never seen the m8 in person Im willing to bet.

        1. well said

        2. Its not a perception when you can measure it…with a ruler, and see in hard numbers that it has a larger bezel than the GS5.

          However dismissing “everyone’s perception” as “absurd” simply because it doesn’t line up with yours, is absurd.

          1. Just because the bezels are slightly larger, it doesn’t make the M8’s bezels out of control or a design flaw or undesirable. It’s just a minute difference that gets called out frequently amongst mobile enthusiasts for whatever reason. Until commenters actually make the time to hold one and try it out, it is indeed absurd to bring it up.

            What makes more sense to whine about is the M8 not being waterproof like the S5. That’s a legit functional difference. The former is just a cosmetic complaint that borders on splitting hairs and the weight it is given is, again, absurd.

            People complaining about it is like that kid whose brother got a slice of pizza with one extra pepperoni on it. BFD. Seriously.

      2. Migrating from the M7 to the M8, there isn’t really any issue with the bezel. I do wish there were still capacitve buttons, though. Only for notification purposes, though. The HTC symbol should have been an LED that lights up.

  12. I guess that makes my decision easier. Google Play Edition HTC One (M8) it is!

  13. I am holding out for the GPE of the S5. With a rooted S4 that I can do anything I want to with, being stuck with a locked bootloader and forced to deal with all of the carrier/manufacturer bloatware, I see no reason to upgrade just yet.

  14. If they are going to do what HTC did, whats the point in a GPE. No LTE for Tmobile for $649.00? Are you kidding me? Maybe they can get away with this on a 300.00 Nexus 4 but not on a flagship phone. Who makes these decisions?

    1. I thought the Google Play Editions could be bought outside the US? If that’s the case, that’s why there isn’t an LTE for Tmo. It was to my understanding that LTE isn’t as widespread as other places.

      I think I’m wrong, though. IDK…

    2. “No LTE for Tmobile for $649.00? Are you kidding me?”

      Uh… What? The GPe M8 supports all the right bands for T-Mobile. The M7 is only missing HSPA+ on AWS, which only matters if you’re in a location that has HSPA+ but hasn’t been prepped for LTE rollout.

  15. There isn’t a Google Play Edition because people will realize that there is nothing going for a Galaxy device besides it’s removable battery. Oh, and it’s water resistant now.

    But why get a GS5 Google Edition when you can get something better? I mean the S5 is not worth it without TouchWiz, and TouchWiz has a lot of features that you can get out the PlayStore. I mean, there are some cool features you can’t, like Multi-View and the amazing air gestures. I mean, those look cool.

    My friend was just talking about the heart rate scanner and how he wished his S4 had that. I showed him Instant Heart Rate. I kinda saw him disappointed in his cubicle. He seemed to realize the S5 isn’t that big of a deal. The world is slowing finding out. Though I felt bad to have done that that to his soul.

    I have an essay due this week and I’m typing all this. =.P

    1. Maybe a little more research on the GS5, and your essay, would be a good idea. When compared with actual heart rate monitors “Instant Heart Rate”, and others like it, are no where near accurate, or consistent. I don’t know yet the quality of the one in the GS5 personally, however it has been reviewed great, and is an actual heart rate monitor… a sensor on its own.

      Compared to the M8 the GS5 has a smaller foot print and is lighter – despite having a larger screen (that has been ranked best: http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s5-s-screen-dubbed-the-best-performing-smartphone-display–1238524), more sensor’s, and IP67. Lets not forget: fingerprint scanner (considered gimmicky by some, however I am looking forward to it), ISOCELL 16mp camera, and Ultra power saving mode.

      Aside from subjective opinions about aesthetics, what other phone is currently available that is functionally better?

      1. LoL!! Really now? Then that’s good to hear.

        I had a phone with a fingerprint scanner, The LG Expo. I was surprised how well it worked. I would just swipe and my phone would unlock. I rarely had issues using it.

        I read the heart rate scanner in the S5 was no different than the apps and it didn’t have a sensor. Research was a must, I see.

  16. I have a feeling it’ll pop up at Google i/o

  17. It`s in it way, just keep your eyes open.

  18. Waiting on the S5 GPE. Hoping for pure google, wireless charging, and better battery life than the nexus 5.

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