Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android coming to Google Play Store


Samsung Galaxy S4 google edition announcement

Google I/O’s opening keynote hasn’t come with the flurry of device announcements we have seen in past years, but the one new piece of hardware they did show off is a doozy. The rumors were true: we will soon see a Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android. The hardware will support AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, but should be the same as the version currently available (we’re guessing this is the Snapdragon model). But that’s not even the biggest aspect of the news.

This special edition Galaxy S4 will only be available direct from the Google Play Store. It will ship unlocked for $649 and is available starting June 26th. Sans the announcement of a new platform version, the device will feature Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box in all of  its stock glory. No TouchWiz. Just the way Google intended. Oh, and all updates will come direct from Google as soon as they are available.

Unfortunately for attendees at this year’s I/O, Google won’t be treating all in the audience to a free phone. Bummer.


Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. Verizon you suck !!!

    1. As a Verizon customer, the rumor didn’t excite me in the least. My lack of enthusiasm is now justified. But maybe this will lead to a good stock-android rom for the rest of us.

    2. Yeah sometimes you miss out on something nice, but you make up for that with a ton of exclusives. First dibs on Galaxy Nexus, exclusives like razr Maxxx and DNA.

    3. be honest though. How many of us would have kept it stock Android anyway? I’ve had a few stock Android phones. All of them had custom ROMs put on them the day I bought them. Stock Android is great, customized AOSP is much better.

      1. Nobody keeps it stock but not everybody runs aosp either.

      2. I like stock android, its smooth, stable, efficient and bloatware free

  2. T_T want!!

  3. boooooo

  4. So I must ask, what happens to all the touch wiz features that utilize all the hardware? Maybe it will be a seperate download from Samsung. That would be awesome.

    1. Buy their version…

        1. Ooo.. Not sure if it’ll have one, since stock doesn’t have the software for it.

          Now that I think about it.. what makes the S4 GE better than the N4? Better cpu, better camera, better screen? I don’t think that justifies the $649 asking price. It really should have been not more than $500

          1. Exactly what I was thinking, this is a galaxy s4 without all the neat features and priced higher, the T-Mobile version is $629

          2. It’s the same exact price as the SGS4. I’m not certain how or why people aren’t comprehending this. It is just an SGS4 with AOSP instead of ugly/bloated TW.

          3. But one can justify the price of the TouchWiz S4 by the software and hardware features it has. But the S4 GE is just plain old vanilla android (nothing wrong with that) and the same hardware that seems to be a minor boost from the specs of the N4. Which is why I was saying that it should have been cheaper

          4. Fair enough.

          5. As was pointed out to me several times, Google essentially (but only kinda) subsidized the price of the N4. No real reason to do that here, Im guessing.

          6. No one would buy the S4 from any of the GSM carriers or unlocked from Samsung if Google was to subsidize the price.

          7. Well, people DID buy the N4 from Tmobile unsubsidized…. And I know that was due to the supply fiasco, buy hey, it could happen, so… yeah.

          8. I would so I could have TouchWiz

          9. And what makes the N4 better than the previous Nexus phone? Every latest high-end device is around that price, and the only differences from the previous high-end device that was previously sold at that price is a better CPU, better camera and better screen. The S4 also has extra hardware features over the N4, an IR transmitter, a removable battery, and the sd card slot.

            My guess is that it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to get the tv remote working on the AOSP device since the Samsung drivers will work. The only question mark will be whether the tv app requires any of the TW framework.

        2. The IR blaster is one of my favorite features of the HTC ONE,rivaling the dual front-facing speakers.

          If this version of the GS4 is lacking IR blaster functionality,that’d be a huge disappointment.

          The IR blaster should be a no-brainer on all top-end ANDROIDS from here on out.Perhaps it’ll be a part of KLP………….

  5. Very interesting. I still don’t like the home button, but it’s pretty cool they’re releasing a stock Google experience. My question is who is going to release updates, Google or Samsung?

    1. Google for this S4 and regular S4 I’m assuming it’s still Samsung.

      1. Oh there gonna be alot of whining and complaining by the samsung fanboys with this one.

        1. What else is new fanboys will complain about anything

          1. “This phone is TOO fast”

        2. I’m somewhat of a Samsung fanboy, I’m actually happy about this.

        3. Oh shut up.. We know better.. LoL

      2. It says right on the article Google will be directly updating.

    2. They said at the keynote that the updates will be straight from Google

      1. Ah, thank you. Sounds even more awesome now.

    3. ditto, hate that @$#@#$ home button. get rid of that thing and i will be in 4 1, assuming the price will be competitive like pass nexus devices.

      1. The price is $649, per the announcement

        1. Holy crap!

          1. What’s so surprising about that? The regular S4 is about the same price if bought unsubsidized.

    4. “Oh, and all updates will come direct from Google as soon as they are available.”

      1. Thank you, I admit I skimmed the article, I should have read more thoroughly.

  6. I feel very “meh” about this. This is awesome from a developer standpoint, but I’m not sure there is a large interest in a device like this at that price point. I want stock android but with only a touch of Touchwiz features like Air View and some of the camera features.

    1. well the price point is the same as the Touchwiz version. And I’m going to make the assumption that the operating system doesn’t take up a large amount of the storage on the stock version. Making the 16GB more accessible. Your dream of having stock with a touch of touchwiz is unlikely anytime soon :P

      1. I’d imagine the camera apk can be yanked from touchwiz and used for this…

        1. AOSP > TouchWiz.

          1. TouchWiz > AOSP. Touchwiz is what everyone creating ROMs from AOSP tries to imitate.

          2. try again…tw has aosp beat in camera features, thaz it.

          3. Uhh… no. AOSP, by itself, is utterly useless. Here’s something Touchwiz has AOSP doesn’t. GApps and the Play Store. So even if the OP meant AOSP-based ROMs, Touchwiz is still better. Better camera (stated), better calendar, better phone app, better gallery, quick toggles that work properly, the best media player on android, the best music player on android, more useful features than any other version of android, a more concise user experience than any version of android, a contacts app actually built into the phone app instead of standalone, multi window, actual Facebook contact integration instead of additional apps being needed unnecessarily, S-Beam which makes utterly useless Android Beam and clunky wifi direct useful… so on and so forth. Android right now is Touchwiz. Everything else is a cheap imitation, desperate to catch up.

          4. Touchwiz is android? Seriously? Aosp is android. Tw is a clunky sjin that suts ontip of perfectly fine software. Why does everyone crave aosp ROMs? Cuz aosp is light fast and arguably the best. Touchwiz does some cool things don’t get me wrong but the AOSP development is on another level. Its not cluttered, fulla gimmicks and rip off of play store apps. Cuz multiview and pop up player been arounf long before the tw on the s3.

          5. You’re delusional. ASOP is cool if you live in your parents basement, but if you actually live and work in the real world TouchWiz is king. The whole reason to buy a Galaxy phone is for all the great things TW brings to the table.

          6. what feature does asop have that touchwiz does not? The whole draw (for me) of the S4 is all the cool features TouchWiz brought to the table. Without TouchWiz its just a Nexus, which (for me) sucks.

      2. You’re completely correct that I will likely never get it. It was like a “in a perfect world” sort of statement. And although the cost is the same as the Touchwiz version, the Touchwiz version can be subsidized with a carrier. This one cannot be.

  7. too bad more manufacturers offer this option :-/

    1. Absolutely! It’s a great solution.

      1. Agreed! A ton of folks complaining about it though!

  8. Man I’m starting to hate being on Verizon more and more each day. Trying so hard not to use my upgrade just to keep my damn unlimited data

    1. This phone isn’t being subsidized – it is only available for $649 direct from Google. You could buy the Verizon version for about the same price and keep your unlimited data. You only lose unlimited data if you “use your upgrade” and get a cheaper/subsidized new phone.

      1. What Verizon version?

        1. I think he meant the Samsung Galaxy S4 with touchwiz and with huge VZW logo everywhere

          1. Yup they alrdy got root unlock boot. Can be ROMing in a month

          2. LMAO. Verizon rapes the phones with their logos, AT&T rapes the phones by putting them in shitty boxes.

      2. There was no version for Verizon announced. Only supports AT&T and T-Mobile

        1. I think Jay was suggesting that the only thing Verizon customers are missing out on is the stock android experience, since in order to keep our unlimited data we would have to buy the Verizon version of the S4 (with TouchWiz, Vzn branding, etc) at full price anyway.

          I’d say that this is still good news for Verizon customers though, given that they’ll still be able to root their S4’s and put a “stock” experience in place of the default touchwiz system. Something like AOSP that gives an enhanced stock experience would be nice.

      3. In that case, nevermind. I’ll wait for a subsidized phone.

    2. Because you are in the wcdma/cdma arena, go get out and try the gsm world. GSM phone is working around the globe, unless you are willing to spend more for roaming. And I don’t think Google is making a cdma variant of Google gs4.

      1. Which is exactly why I moved from Sprint to Tmo.

        1. DITTO! Too bad not all are in a good T-Mobile coverage area.Supposedly better battery life on otherwise similar phones (GSM vs. CDMA).
          Even though I’m forking out a $120 ETF to SPRINT,it’s worth not spending another six months on a carrier,which otherwise is a great company to deal with,that doesn’t serve your area well.
          Not to mention NEXUS & SGS4 GE compatibility.
          For those waiting/wishing on such GOOGLEIZED phones to become available on CDMA networks,I wouldn’t hold my breath………..

          1. dude just flash a verizon prl on your phone and..use as much data as you can and sprint will kick you out without having to pay the etf

          2. Too late, already on T-MOBILE. THX for the info though. I’d kinda forgot about flashing PRL’s, ROMS, etc…. hadn’t done anything like that since my CRICKET/HUAWEI ASCEND days w/CM7.

            Hindsight being 20/20,I’m curious as to how long it would have taken SPRINT to show me the door…….

        2. If I could be sure that Tmo has good coverage and connection speeds in my area, I’d drop Verizon like a led weight. Though I’d miss my unlimited data plan…unless Tmo has one of those too?

          1. They do.

  9. Phandroid was the only site that mentioned the s4 GE was coming before the keynote. Chris Chavez!

    1. Viva Chavez!


        1. toda

    2. Lol no… There were plenty others

      1. Truth. Plus Phandroid isn’t the only site he submits his writings to. He had the same story over on android authority.

    3. Yeah, I’ve called out Phandroid for hyping bogus stories in the past(only once, actually, so ‘story in the past’), and I had my doubts here, but you guys clearly know what you’re doing.

  10. And yet again, no love for us CDMA users from Google…

    1. CDMA must die.

    2. It’s not entirely their fault! Besides America and China, hardly any countries use CDMA, so the user base isn’t there and I highly doubt that Verizon or Sprint would even allow a device that is not sold through them to be activated. There’s always Cricket, but what’s the point.

      1. Yet Apple has no problem putting their latest devices on Verizon and Sprint. It’s no excuse for Google not to support half the US population.

      2. But the thing is, the S4 GE is only available in the US as of now, so it would make sense having a CDMA version of the S4 GE… Also, the S4 has both GSM and CDMA versions, so it’s just Google’s choice not to have a CDMA version of the S4 GE. I know for a fact that Sprint will allow any compatible phone (whether from them or from other stores) to be activated, I can’t speak for Verizon, but I imagine it shouldn’t matter.
        Ultimately, it is Google’s choice not to include the CDMA population.

    3. i realy hopping for a CDMa refresh ala nexsus 4g and galaxy nexus lte…womp womp…

    4. the problem with google not wanting to support cdma phones is that….before they send out an update it has to be processed by the carrier first so the carrier can then add to the rom or update w.e it needs for it to function properly. the binaries and such. that process takes months. gsm phones give google complete control.

  11. My VZW contract doesn’t expire until November. :(

    1. Same here, however that’s probably a good thing because it gives AT&T time to alter their plans. Right now only T-Mobile separates their service plan from the phone purchase plan but unfortunately T-Mobile lacks LTE. AT&T is experimenting with the idea in a couple of cities but they haven’t committed to it. I’m guessing that they will follow T-Mobile’s lead by the end of the year.

    2. But hey, by then, Google will have announced their next Nexus device and you can . . .oh yeah, you’re on VZW – nevermind

  12. So I am assuming that all the Google Edition rom’s will work with a rooted Tmobile version with no issues?

    1. I’m also assuming that the stock Samsung rom will run on it without any problems.

  13. Verizon is getting harder and harder to stay with…

    1. Verizon has been a joke since 2007 when AT&T got the first iPhone.

      1. AT&T has been a joke since 2007 when they got the first iPhone.

        1. American networks have been a joke since…well….since I can remember. Honestly, you guys get screwed over there. Yet $699 is a dream price for that phone. Same price as, if not slightly cheaper than, locked payg over here in the UK.

          1. Yep, in my travels, I am always amazed at how much better phone customers have it in other countries. Much lower rates and way more choice. When overseas friends in a “third world” nation say “let me call you back and save you some money,” because they pay 1/3 what I do. That really drives it home.

            And this in countries where everything else they buy costs 5 times what it does here. And more importantly, their local cell carriers are usually owned, or partnered with major US carriers. Yet they are still profitable on the much lower rates they charge.

  14. How do the 3 buttons work on the S4 with stock Android? Does the menu button remain a “menu” button or is it a “multitasking” button?

    1. yes

    2. I’d imagine the latter multitasking/windows button.

  15. You guys forget the Nexus 4 sales debacle so easily…

    1. You forget that this is Samsung, not LG, and this is twice the price.


    1. It’s not the Nexus 5. That will be announced and released later this year.

    2. I was kinda thinking that too, it’s a Nexus concept w/out the “Nexus” label. Stock Android with updates direct from Google. If they start letting manufacturers do this than what’s the point of the Nexus line?

  17. Great news for cyanogen on Galaxy S4. I am assuming this will be a SGH-M919

  18. You could buy 2 Nexus 4’s at that price.

    1. And all of yesterday’s technology packed within the Nexus 4

    2. And the two of them together would still be no where as good…not one of my friends that got it still likes the Nexus 4

      1. I like the Nexus 4, my only complaint is that the battery isnt razr Maxxx sized and camera. There is literally nothing that has been released that made me feel jealous. Everything so far is only ever so slightly better than it.

        1. Same. Best phone I’ve owned yet, love the build quality and speed. The N4 will be the first phone that I won’t upgrade after a year, it’s that good.

        2. I run matr1x kernel and my phone lasts two days with normal use. No special rom, just updated the kernel….

          1. i’ll check this out

    3. You could, but why would you want to?

  19. I can get two nexus 4’s for that price!

  20. Won’t be as cool if their the snapdragon processors, would be awesome to have it with the exynos “octa-core”, then the full source code would be readily available for the international gs4

  21. Hey Kevin or Chris can u confirm if this version will come with air gestures and camera features that the touch wiz version has?

    1. Those are touch wiz features. Why would a aosp phone have tw features. Smh.

    2. Ummmm…no.

    3. I believe someone will make a stock android rom with touchwiz framework. Voila =)

  22. Bummer

  23. This is great news. I’m on Verizon now but when my plan runs out at the end of the year this is a real alternative. I currently have the Galaxy Nexus running Cyanogen 10.1 because Verizon has been so slow to release updates. The S4 is great hardware that’s burdened by a ton of Samsung crapware and it’s apparently very difficult to unlock. An unlocked phone directly from Google fixes the software problem which makes this the best option at least until the Nexus 5 is announced and even then it will probably be the best option if the N5 lacks a removable battery like the N4.

    I like the idea of decoupling the phone purchase from the network provider. The term subsidy is misleading, the phone company is just renting you the phone and hiding the actual cost. As more alternatives like this show up we should expect the other providers to follow T-Mobile’s lead and separate the service price from the phone’s purchase price.

  24. so….. no android 4.3?

  25. If they allow Samsung to do this, then what’s the point of the Nexus line?

    1. Nexus line is meant to be decent and cheap. It will never be able to compete with flagship phones bc Google wants to keep the price down and reasonable for anybody to buy

  26. The at&t version cost $639..the T-Mobile version cost$629 and these come fully packed with air gestures, great camera software, IR blaster and many more neat features for a lower price…..I think the price for a featureless S4 is way too high.

  27. If you can finance this through t mobile, I know several people who already want one

    1. You can’t. It is only going to be available through Google.

  28. Nice! If only verizon wasn’t a douche

    1. If this was coming to Verizon and Sprint also I would probably buy it.

  29. $649? Ummmm…. I don’t think so…..

  30. Why not just get the subsidized S4 and root it with a stock experience?

    1. right! if it was 450 i would buy it without contract but not for 649

  31. $449 to $500 anything more is too expensive

    1. all flagship devices are above $500.

  32. I’ll wait for the N5!

  33. I will be getting this phone. It is everything I personally want in a phone! I always get my phones unlocked and off contract anyway, and this just fits the bill.

  34. Ouch! $650?

  35. You don’t know what a Nexus phone is apparently.

  36. Google influenced hardware + Google software = Nexus. That’s the point and that’s why this isn’t a Nexus. The line has never been about being “decent and cheap”, the N4 was the first to be subsidized and it has great hardware if you can live without LTE.

    1. At least it not going to be the CDMA version of Galaxy Nexus :P

  37. Very good idea for those who like stock Android.

    The 2 major advantages of this phone are that it will get updates quickly and it should be smooth as silk

    On the down side 16gb is a no no and while stock Android looks much better, it’s so much less functional that TouchWiz. I’ve got a Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Note II, the Note II is so much more functional, you can’t possibly compare

    1. People like Vanilla, just for the fact that it was simple and none of what came out of the box lagged the phone (non-bloated). Now since the hardware is definitely getting better and can handle whatever these Android overlay throws at it, people are appreciating the overlays a bit more.

  38. Check out what that htc rep said in regards to this

    1. It would help if you told us. We are lazy

      1. No HTC ONE “NEXUS EDITION” at this time.See SLASHGEAR.

      2. They said you could pay for a 649 plastic Google phone or you could wait.. Or something like that

    2. Where?

      1. Twitter.

    3. what did he say?

  39. Only thing this S4 has over the Nexus 4 is the LTE enabled chip. So why $300 more? I am sure LTE chip doesn’t cost $300

    1. 1. Better Camera
      2. 1080P screen
      3. SD card slot
      4. Removable battery

      1. How does that add up to $300?

        1. He forgot the ir blaster and barometer and no back glass to shatter. The screen is also larger. And there is no subsidy from Google. I’m sure the n4 would be more expensive if you bought it from other than the play store

        2. Samsung is not going to sell it on Google Play for less than the carriers.

  40. So tired of all of the “verizon this, verizon that” comments. If you are unhappy with your carrier because their service is fautly, that’s one thing. If you’re unhappy with your carrier because of a phone offering (or lack thereof) then switch! STFU, pay your ETF, go buy an unsubsidized phone from google, activate it on a inferior network (this may vary depending on your geographical location) and remain content until the “next great thing” comes out and isn’t on your new least favorite carrier. Rinse/repeat and stop your bitching. You made the choice to be where you are, if you don’t like it switch (and pay the price that comes with that decission too). OR you could make the choice of a carrier based on what really matters (coverage, speed, reliability, customer service, price), pick up the best (or most developmentally supported) device on said network and enjoy your stock android experience (easy to do on a rooted device) along side 1st class network service and maybe, just maybe enjoy the best of both worlds. *stepping down off of soapbox* As you were.

    1. Unfortunately, having compared network speeds and coverage for both carriers in my area, I’d be a fool to give up my unlimited Verizon plan to get less data at slower speeds with less coverage…just for a phone I will have for 1-2 years. Every time I think about switching, I go do an in-store data speed comparison and quickly realize it isn’t an option. Why aren’t I allowed to laude Verizon for their network and complain about their lack of phone choices/freedom, you phone-Nazi?

      1. lack of phone choices? Haha Verizon has one of (if not the largest) selection of Android power devices hands down. If you’ve proven to yourself that you’re already on the best network, great! Now if you’re unhappy with your phone do something about it. Go to Swappa and find a new device to try, root, play with and see if perhaps you can be happy now that you already k now you’re on the best network for your area. If you can’t find a phone that you like, then you have to decide if it’s worth going to an inferior network for a new shiny device. The point is, you have so many options, stomping your foot and holding your breath is not going to solve your perceived problem.

        1. BS.
          Name one phone on VZW that gets updates in a reasonable manner, is bootloader unlocked and runs stock android. Don’t say GN, because i have one of those and the OS updates are always many months behind. Once my contract ends I am done with them.

        2. Thanks for the insight. Since I’ve rooted every phone I have owned, guess I’m already following your advice. I’m not sure Verizon has the largest selection of SMARTPHONES, but even if they do, you can’t deny they miss out on numerous flagship devices, yet every flagship device that isn’t a Motorola is pretty much available on the other networks, and are often less locked down. Verizon isn’t exactly making it easy to follow your advice. If I wait till my upgrade in September, can you guarantee I’ll be able to unlock a new S4 on Verizon, or will they have relocated it. Not to mention Verizon seems like they won’t carry a 32gb version, which pretty much means I would skip it, yet AT&T has one. It’s just a bummer you have to choose between network and phone most of the time. The S3 fixed that, but we’ll see if the S4 can maintain it.

    2. Talk about a pissy PMS rant. U mad bro?

      People have every right to have complaints about Verizon. Fact is they seriously lag behind when it comes to having Flagship phones available on their network. Of the top 5 phones they CURRENTLY have only one available.

      At&T: S4, HTC one, Xperia Z, Note 2, Nexus 4
      Verizon: Note 2

      People know the value of being grandfathered into the carrier with the best network. Doesn’t mean they can’t be upset about other things.

      1. I ain’t even mad, and def. not pissy. Feel free to be upset. Being upset and doing nothing about it is just mindless bitching. And you’re right, they are lagging in flagship phones CURRENTLY. There is plenty about Verizon that I don’t like but the fact is (in my area) they hands down have the best network and for me that makes them my choice of carrier. Do I wish they had more phones? Meh. i don’t need to run out and grab the ‘newest’ thing the day it comes out, i’m perfectly content to see how the dev community accepts it, how much they sell for on swappa just 3 months after release etc. I’ve been off contract for sometime and could leave for another carrier and one of these “new” devices, the fact is..none of these new devices are worth a crap if the network their on is dial up slow and spotty at best (again, just my geographical area). Anyway, my intent was not to come off pissy, but to offer a different approach to carrier vs. phone driving your device decisions. Cheers.

        1. I ain’t even mad, and def. not pissy”.
          Telling folks to STFU isn’t coming off mad and pissy? If you’re going to say something stand by it you backpedalling worm. Even if I dont agree with you I can respect your stance but the backpedalling ugh…

  41. Hopefully this also means we will see Moto’s next big thing (not the 4″ xfon) released with stock Android through Google Play as well.

  42. There is always a chance Google knocks the price down somewhere down the line.

    More importantly…doesnt this kind of spell the end of any chance for the Xphone being priced like a Nexus? :(

  43. Most boring Keynote in the history of Keynotes.

    1. At leat it wasnt like Samsungs

  44. Man talk about bittersweet. I just got my SG4, locked, for AT&T off contract for about what the unlocked Googlyfied version will be.

    On the bright side, we have root! ;)

    1. So return it.
      Get your money back and buy this one. That is how you show people will buy these and get them to continue to be made. Vote with your dollars.

      1. Buying and Selling on eBay is a gamble. I’ve been doing it enough to tell you that something I bought last month is not going to sell this month now that it’s been released and ebay flooded with buying options. Additionally, why buy a used locked phone for the same price of a new unlocked phone?

        No. as I said, bittersweet but we have root now and soon we’ll have this ROM too. Thanks tho.

        1. I assumed you bought it from a normal retailer or AT&T.

  45. Galaxy Nexus 2 in the form of gs4.
    Make it 32 gig andI I’m sold. ;-)

  46. Nice.

  47. ok so what happens to the current Nexus 4? Price drop?

  48. The plus here are the sd slot/replaceable batt.,
    the feature that there are non existent to current nexus 4.

    1. And you’re willing to pay $300 for two features?

  49. I hope Google offers the 64 GB version!!!

    1. SD card option was not taken away.

      1. Yes but 64 SD card doesn’t help when you can’t put your apps on it. Not only do I use a lot of apps but some like Google Play apps Facebook etc quickly take up even more space with data information and the cache. Either apps should be able to be moved or I need a 64 gb phone.

  50. So…can we officially say there will be no Nexus 4 refresh(32gb version)?

  51. Holy price gouging Batman! $649?! They expect people to pay that much for a phone?!

    1. I’m guessing you’ve never looked at the price of a phone off contract, huh? That’s the average price for a high-end phone off contract, if you walked into any carrier today and said “I want to buy the S4 off contract” they’d tell you to shell out $650 for it, guaranteed. Apple wants $800+ for their 64 GB iPhone 5.

  52. I knew it was going to be pricey. Nexus 4 still the best value.

  53. Meh! At $650 for a 16GB phone, I’ll give it an easy pass. I’ll take the Nexus 4 at $350 even with the freaking sealed battery and lack of SD card. They should have priced this at $400. I’ll wait for the S4 prices to come down to $400 in the second hand market and install Google’s ROM on it.

    1. Too bad Google couldn’t of subsidized the cost of this to get it a little closer to the Nexus 4s price.

      1. Think about what you just wrote then imagine if you were the CEO of Samsung.

        1. Do you mean the CEO of Google because I don’t think the CEO of Samsung would be mad about getting money from Google.

        2. Took me awhile but i think i see what you’re saying now. People wouldn’t buy the regular S4 if they could buy this one for a low price plus unlocked.

  54. Is Android 4.3 going to be updated to handle sdcards correctly?

    1. lol…. no

  55. If nexus 5 rumors hold any water, I’ll definitely wait!!

  56. I find it odd reading through the comments that many people don’t see the value of this phone. Yes it’s more expensive than a Nexus 4 but you also get more so I feel it’s somewhat justified. You get a better screen, better overall hardware, an SD slot (this is huge for me), and a removable battery (hello bigger battery packs). To me that all makes it a better phone for me over a Nexus 4.

    1. But it looks like all the new features of the S4 wont work on this one, so it seems to be just a Nexus 4.5

      1. And last I checked, Nexus 4.5 is better than Nexus 4.

        1. True. But not sure that justifies paying double the price.

  57. Does this mean that Samsung will release ALL it’s source codes to get Touchwiz phones running stock Android? Will this make TouchWiz phones easy to port?

    This is a VERY unusual maneuver by Samsung. I did NOT see this coming at all. They’re really trying to get on EVERYONE’s good side. LoL!!

    I hate TouchWiz, now there’s an option. Oh my gosh!! I just can’t believe this.

    1. Samsung releasing source for TW?

      lol… no

  58. So, does this mean it’ll be easier to make a fully functional and optimized vanilla ROM for the S4 on Verizon?

  59. I just can’t believe it actually exists.

  60. Does it Say Google on the back of the phone?!?!?!

  61. This is how it should be done. I’m on a Gnex through the play store……For how long, who knows.

  62. nice, Google finally comes out with a descent hardware phone that is stock android, but sucks that it’s 649 should of made it a little be lower. However, I’m still disappointed Google hasn’t really tackled this on a larger scale by solving android fragmentation.

    1. I wonder if it has a sd card slot

  63. I’m hoping this isn’t going to be a US exclusive because us Canadians would like a crack at this as well.

  64. Come on Google! I need more stuffs! One $1300 laptop just ain’t gonna cut it for my first IO adventure!

  65. Well I gotta say I’m super stoked. But tell me this: did Google announce if they’ve figured out how the hell online retail works for newly released devices? Because if this goes down anything like the N4 release I’m going to lose my damn mind. Plus that will mean most of us won’t get our phones til August maybe later due to back orders..

  66. Anyone knows if this version can be purchased in Portugal, Europe?

  67. Shouldn’t this still help with AOSP on the Verizon variant?

    1. Its GSM only, probably not.

    2. They have different radios (T-Mobile/AT&T is GSM, Verizon is CDMA) so it will help with everything but actually getting connected to the network, which I’m sure the RIL and other things can be ripped from the Verizon S4 variant.

  68. I thought the whole magic of the Samsung SIII, SIV, and Note2 line up was the TouchWiz UI features and gestures? Fells a bit like they’re stripping the Shelby out of a Mustang.

  69. my name is kevin iphone sucks and I am apples troll

  70. Im not sure if the capacitive buttons on the S4 will be of any use, hopefully they will remove those buttons. A true Nexus phone doesnt require any buttons on the face of the phone, Im sure it will be a minor manufacturing process to disable this button on the front, just a clean glass screen

  71. Bummer? I think absolutely NOT. I’d way prefer the Pixel to an SGS4… which is what attendees got…

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