While Google did not announce a new Nexus 5 at Google I/O, it did announce a new Nexus dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus also called the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition. At the D11 conference today, the company recently announced another new Nexus, the HTC One Nexus also called the HTC One Google Edition. Here is how those two devices, the Galaxy S4 Nexus and the HTC One Nexus, match up.
In November, Google released its latest and greatest Nexus smartphone, the LG-made Nexus 4, which came to the Google Play Store unlocked and cheap to replace the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the previous Nexus smartphone. And while rumors surrounding Google I/O 2013 suggested that Google may be announcing a new Nexus, perhaps an update to the Nexus 4 or a possibly a new Nexus 5, the event did boast a new Nexus smartphone, only, it wasn’t the Nexus that anyone was expected.
Rather than announce a new Nexus 5, Nexus 4 LTE or white Nexus 4, Google instead took the curtain down from around another Nexus smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, also known as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition. The device, while not exactly a Nexus 5, will be joining the Nexus 4 on the Google Play Store soon, presenting another option for those looking to snag a Nexus smartphone.
Of course, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus wasn’t the only new Nexus that Google had up its sleeve. Rumors pointed to another Nexus smartphone, from HTC, as coming out in the next few weeks.
Those rumors were spot on as today, Google announced another new Nexus smartphone dubbed the HTC One Nexus or HTC One Google Edition, a version of HTC’s big name HTC One smartphone, one of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s biggest competitors.
Needless to say, with two new Nexus smartphones on the way, and ones based on two of the most popular smartphones on the market right now, consumers have their hands full.
That said, here, in an attempt to make life easier for those looking for a new device, we take a look at how the new HTC One Nexus (Google Edition) matches up versus the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus (Google Edition) in terms of release date, pricing, features and more.
Google decided to take it easy on consumers and supply them with release dates for both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus and the HTC One Nexus. Typically, launches of Android devices come without specific dates – case in point today’s arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini – so it should be refreshing to see specific dates handed out.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus and the HTC One Nexus will be heading to the Google Play Store on June 26th, just under a month from now. We suspect that the devices will be sold in a similar manner to the Nexus 4, though consumers should hope that the devices don’t run into the same type of supply issues that plagued the Nexus 4 when it first arrived.
It’s also unclear as to whether these devices will be available elsewhere, or if they will be strictly sold on the Google Play Store. It’s possible that Samsung and HTC could sell them directly but at this point, the Google Play Store remains the only confirmed place to buy them.
What we do know is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is going to be available only in the United States at the start and as expected, this applies to the HTC One Nexus as well.
Their release dates will come several weeks after the launches of both the regular Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, both of which have been available on a multitude of carriers, and in a host of stores, for many weeks now.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the HTC One Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus will more than likely share the designs of the predecessors, the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.
For the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, which is thought to be based on the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 variant, the device will come with that plastic design that consumers both love and hate. The plastic is much nicer than the polycarbonate material used on the Samsung Galaxy S3, but it’s still plastic nonetheless. That said, it should mean that the device will have a removable back which means that users can replace the device’s stock battery.
It also should mean that the device shares the same form factor specifications as the Samsung Galaxy S4, specifically, a frame that measures in at 7.9mm thin and one that weighs about 130 grams. That’s thinner than most smartphones on the market and fairly lightweight.
We expect it to rock Gorilla Glass 3 in the front which means that it should be able to withstand a hefty amount of damage taken from any drops, spills and falls.
As for the HTC One Nexus, the device should keep the design elements as the HTC One. It’s thought to be based on the unlocked international variant that is out already.
What this means is that it should feature the same ZeroGap metal design that consumers either love or hate while also keeping the speakers that provide front-facing sound.
it should also mean that the device will keep its design measurements intact which translates to 9.3mm design that is a mere 4.3mm around the edges. The device is likely going to be a bit heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus as the regular model weighs in at 143 grams.
All in all, it’s going to come down to metal versus plastic for most people.
The displays of the Galaxy S4 Nexus and HTC One Nexus figure to be the same as the originals and that should mean that they are going to be much better than the 4.7-inch 720p display found on the Nexus 4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus should arrive with a 5-inch 1080p display which means that it will support full HD resolution. That means fantastic looking video and photos. Furthermore, its high 440 pixel-per-inch count means that things like text will be extremely rich and crisp.
Those looking for a bit of a smaller display may want to look closely at the HTC One Nexus as it will likely have the same 4.7-inch 1080p display that we saw on the HTC One.
The HTC One will come with 468 pixels-per-inch which means that it too will deliver high quality content to its users.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus will likely come with the same 13MP camera sensor that is baked into the regular old Galaxy S4. The HTC One Nexus is said to be coming with the Ultrapixel camera that’s found on the regular model. What this means is that both cameras will be fantastic for those that like to shoot video and photos with their smartphone.
For those interested in an in-depth comparison, head to our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One vs. iPhone 5 Photo & Video Showdown. The two cameras both perform admirably and they both are solid options for smartphone owners.
That said, one thing to keep in mind is that neither device will have the benefits of third-party camera software. That means that both devices will be stuck with the stock Android camera app which features Photo Sphere but doesn’t have the features from HTC and Samsung.
That means HTC Zoe isn’t here, neither is Dual Camera mode, neither are some of the modes that produce the best possible photos in different lighting environments.
This is easily one the biggest drawbacks of these devices but if Google is able to overhaul its camera app in an upcoming Android update, perhaps the gap between the stock camera app and the software from Samsung and HTC won’t be as wide.
How about the rest of the specifications? Here are how the HTC One Nexus specs stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus specs.
HTC One Nexus.
- 4.7-inch Full HD Display with 468 PPI
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor (Likely)
- 16GB of Storage (No microSD Card Slot)
- Ultrapixel Rear Facing Camera / Wide Angle 2MP front facing camera
- 2300 mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
- 2GB RAM (Likely)
- Bluetooth 4.0
And now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus.
- 5-inch Full-HD 1080p Super AMOLED HD Display
- Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core Processor
- 16GB of Storage
- 13MP Camera
- 2,600 mAh (Removable)
- 2 GB RAM
The first thing to notice is that both devices will more than likely be powered by current-generation processing chips. In the Galaxy S4 Nexus, it should be a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor from Qualcomm while in the HTC One Nexus, it should be exactly the same.
Second, both sport large stock batteries though Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus owners should be able to pop out the back and replace the battery should it not be enough. HTC One Nexus owners won’t be able to do the same as it comes with a non-removable back thanks to its unibody design. So unless Google switches up the designs, this is what to expect.
Third, we fully expect the Galaxy S4 Nexus to have expandable storage through a microSD card slot, despite Google shunning microSD card slots on its Nexus devices. This could explain the steeper price tag. The HTC One Nexus will more than likely not have expandable storage though this is not yet confirmed.
And finally fourth, expect all the bells and whistles like Bluetooth support and NFC for use with Google’s mobile payment platform, Google Wallet.
The software on both of these devices will be the main attraction as they will not feature their respective manufacturer user interfaces. That means that the HTC One Nexus won’t come with HTC Sense 5 over Android 4.1/4.2 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus won’t come with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 over Android 4.2.
Instead, both devices will have stock, pure, and vanilla Android on board, the same Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software found on the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and so on. This means that all of the features of Sense 5 and TouchWiz will be non-existent, leaving One Nexus and Galaxy S4 Nexus owners with a more Google-based experience.
It also means two other things. One, both devices will come without any bloatware on board. Bloatware of course are the apps that carriers place on board, straight from the get-go. And two, it means that the software updates will come straight from Google, rather than from carriers, which means that they will be quicker than updates to the regular versions of the devices.
Both devices will also feature unlocked bootloaders for customization right off the bat.
Unlike the Nexus 4, both the HTC One Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus will come with support for 4G LTE. This means that they will be able to pull down speeds that, in some places, are faster than Wi-Fi.
The devices will come unlocked for GSM carriers which means that users will be able to utilize them on either AT&T or T-Mobile in the United States. Sprint and Verizon, which are CDMA carriers, are out of the picture at this point and there are no signs of either device becoming available for those two carriers in the future.
While the pricing for the regular Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One variants ranges from $199-$250 through carriers, and much cheaper through retailers, the Galaxy S4 Nexus and the HTC One Nexus will be more expensive endeavors.
Indeed, Google charges only $299 or $350 for the Nexus 4 unlocked, but the company will be charging far more for these devices. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus price will check in at $650 for 16GB. That’s on par with the price of the unlocked iPhone 5 which checks in with a similar price tag at 16GB.
The HTC One is actually a bit cheaper, coming in with a price tag of $600, a $50 difference. It’s not clear why it’s cheaper, possibly because it doesn’t have expandable storage, but that price is for the 32GB model and not the 64GB variant which is an AT&T exclusive.
Regardless, the prices are going to be steep for both the One Nexus and the Galaxy S4 Nexus.