Samsung and Google teamed up to bring a new version of the Galaxy S4 to consumers in the United States via the Google Play Store. The Galaxy S4 Google Edition is a Galaxy S4 on the outside, but a little bit different of a beast on the inside. The internal hardware is the same, but the big difference is the software that it runs. The Google Edition runs a bare-bones version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with no modifications to the UI or additional applications from Samsung or any carrier. While this definitely makes the phone more lean, there are some big features missing that helped separate the Galaxy S4 from the competition such as AirView, special camera app functionality, and a lot more.
The Google Edition also has an unlocked bootloader, which basically allows users and developers to flash custom ROMs such as Paranoid Android or Cyanogenmod to their device without voiding the warranty.
You can buy the Galaxy S4 Google Edition from the Play Store in the US today for $649.99.
Source: Unlocked Galaxy S4
A few days ago we reported on a story that Samsung would soon be releasing a refreshed version of the Galaxy S4 with a faster processor and LTE-Advanced capabilities. While no word was given on when or if this new refresh would be released in the United States, it was definitely going to be released in Samsung’s native South Korea. South Koreans aren’t too happy.
The Galaxy S4 launched just under 2 months ago, and the fact that a faster version is already being released is somewhat of a slap in the face to their customer base. Of course, when it finally rolls out in the United States, it’ll be the same dilemma the company is facing. Perhaps keeping the Galaxy S4 moniker wasn’t a great idea for the new handset? We actually don’t even know the name of the new variant yet, but it could be made much more expensive to help everyone feel better, but we doubt that will be the case when it launches in a few weeks.
Read More: GSM Arena
Samsung has been cranking out several variants of the Galaxy S4, all with their own unique strengths added. So far, we know about the Galaxy S4 Mini, the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Galaxy S4 Active, and now there’s a new Galaxy S4 variant that is capable of LTE-Advanced which is an even faster 4G technology still in its infancy.
Looking beyond the support for Advanced-LTE, this new Galaxy S4 variant also houses a Snapdragon 800 processor which is quite a bit faster than the Snapdragon 600 processor in the Galaxy S4. Some expect the performance boost to increase further as Samsung gets closer to a final model.
Samsung has somewhat confirmed the new device, and says it will release the first version of this new variant in South Korea sometime within the next month, but no U.S. carriers have confirmed plans for the LTE-Advanced device. AT&T, however, does expect to have their LTE-Advanced 4G network up and running later this year.