Two of the top Android smartphones released so far this year are about to hit the Google Play Store. Google will start offering versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 on June 26th.

Both devices will be available with Google’s stock version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean instead of the custom versions that HTC and Samsung usually install. They’ll also be available contract-free… which means they’ll be expensive.

Update: The HTC One is now available for $599, and so is the $649 Samsung Galaxy S4. Both are expected to ship July 9th.

HTC One with Nexus user experience

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition phone will sell for $649, while the HTC One with Nexus user experience will cost $599.

If you buy either device from a wireless carrier, you can typically pick one up for around $200 with a 2-year contract. The difference is that if you pay full price you’re not locked into a contract, and some wireless carriers may offer cheaper plans when you bring your own phone, which means you could actually spend less money over the course of 2 years than you would if you bought a device that was cheaper up front.

Samsung Galaxy S4 with Google Experience

That said, you can also get a Google Nexus 4 for just $299 and up. That’s also an unlocked, contract-free phone with Google’s version of Android.

What the Nexus 4 doesn’t have is a 1080p display or Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. It’s still a pretty great phone, but if you want the latest hardware, you’ll have to pay around twice as much.

Bear in mind, it’s a mixed blessing that the Google Edition versions of the new phones will have stock Android software and get timely updates directly from Google or not. It means that you don’t get some of the coolest features of the phones, such as the HTC camera app or the Samsung Galaxy S4’s hands-free features that let you pause a video by looking away from the screen or answer a phone call by waving your hands over the display.

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27 replies on “HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition phones launch June 26th”

  1. There is a bug! The Google Edition Galaxy S4 doesn’t have SD card support! How the hell did that get past the engineers?!

  2. So here’s my question; the time is now 12 noon in Chicago and still no site of either the SG4 or HTC One on the Play Store so where are they? Are they going on sale today or not?

    1. Who knows, I even called Google Play customer service last week and they didn’t even know what time of day the phones were going on sale

  3. For T-mobile users I expect neither of these will have T-mobile wifi calling as the Nexus 4 does not.

  4. I am wondering if the Motorola X phone will be a Nexus phone. With the specs that have been leaking it should be less expensive than the GS4 GE or the HTC One GE.

  5. Being fairly new to android and purchasing from google specifically. How do releases usually work? 12AM, 12PM, EST PST?

    With iPhone you have to worry about it selling out so quick, I’m not sure how this will/normally works?

    couldn’t find much info in search regarding this.

      1. Nexus devices usually sell out. I see these struggling to sell b.c the price on an already niche product.

        1. thanks for the info. was orig thinking i9505 from amazon. would rather have stock though and LTE so hoping for google S4.

      2. You probably mean 12pm EDT or 9am PDT.

        I’m getting the GES4 tomorrow as long there are no hiccups.

        1. Yeah, sorry that is what I mean. They don’t really have a set time but the nexus 4 was 9 PST 12 EST

  6. How come the GS4 GE and Nexus 4 have Chrome, but the HTC One Google Edition has the old Android browser?

      1. Maybe. I have a Galaxy Tab 2 with Chrome preinstalled. I don’t have a big problem with Chrome. I downloaded the Tor browser for security, and I have the photon browser so I can use flash. If you think Chrome is sluggish on Android, try that browser with Flash player running

    1. Because the person holding the HTC One hasn’t installed Chrome yet…you know it’s a free app in the Play Store….

      1. I know that. However, on the other Nexus devices, there is no Android browser. Chrome is the only preinstalled browser on Nexus devices starting with Jelly Bean 4.1. However, the HTC One Google Edition has the Android browser preinstalled. I find it an oddity now, since Google seems like it wants to replace the old browser with Google Chrome

    1. unfortunately that’s the price for an unlocked phone these days (unless you’re the nexus 4)

      1. These days? The original iphone was $500-$600 depending on storage (8GB or 16GB)

        1. unfortunately, that was six years ago. Now, an unlocked iPhone 5 starts at $650, all the way up to $850.

    2. Hate to break it to you Timmy but your subsidized phone with the cheap $99-$199 up front cost actually comes out to the same cost as these unsubsidized phones in the end.

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