Google may have announced big new changes to their Maps and Hangout services at Google I/O just hours ago, but arguably the biggest announcement of the day was the unveiling of a Samsung Galaxy S4, with a stock Nexus user experience which Google will directly sell themselves through the Play Store.
It means that we didn’t get to see the announcement of the mysterious Google X phone from Motorola, but perhaps we don’t need to anymore. The Samsung Galaxy S4 unveiling by Google will be a stock device, running an untouched version of Android 4.2 which will be a major incentive for a lot of consumers who don’t like using Samsung’s Touchwiz custom skin.
Another major incentive is the fact that Google’s Samsung Galaxy S4 will come with an unlocked bootloader straight out of the box and will have LTE support, on T-Mobile and AT&T. While that is fantastic news for customers on those networks, it is going to be a painful blow for those on Verizon and Sprint who will just have to sit and watch while others enjoy the ultimate Galaxy S4 experience.
Google has confirmed that the device will go on sale on June 25, but the asking price may prove to be a stumbling block for some of you. Unlike the Nexus 4, Google are asking for $649 for their Galaxy S4 and that is only for a 16GB device. There has been no mention of a 32GB model from Google, which could prove to be another issue to contend with.
$649 for a device with impressive hardware features, but only around 12GB of storage to play around with – that surely isn’t enough for most consumers, right? Then again, this is a stock Nexus experience we are talking about, plus a device that is now going to be first in line for all future Android updates – including Android 4.3 which is coming next.
If you are on Verizon or Sprint, give us your reaction to the news. Are you tempted to switch carriers just for this phone? Let’s hope the Google Play Store can keep up with demand this time.