Today, after a lengthy wait, Google finally put the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, also known as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, up for sale on the Google Play Store alongside the HTC One Nexus. The device is an intriguing device for those that are in the market for a new device, however those who have been eying it should be aware of several of its properties before taking the plunge.
At Google I/O 2013 in San Francisco, Google took the curtain down from around a new Nexus smartphone. It wasn’t the Nexus 5 or the white Nexus 4, the latter of which made its debut a few weeks ago, but a new Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition that carries features of Google’s Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 4, and thus, its Galaxy S4 Nexus name.
Like its non-Google Edition brother, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is a device that is worthy of a look, not just from Android enthusiasts but from average consumers as well.
The device boasts many of the same features of the current Samsung Galaxy S4 including a 5-inch display that features 1080p resolution, a quad-core processor that can handle gaming and multitasking, a 13MP camera that performs admirably in low-light environments, and of course Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Of course, the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board the Google Edition is far different than the Jelly Bean found on the regular Galaxy S4 as its virtually vanilla in flavor.
The device joins the HTC One Nexus and the Nexus 4 on shelves, the Nexus 4 of course being the elder statesmen, and it immediately becomes an Android device that should be considered alongside the best of 2013.
Like all smartphones though, there are some important details that consumers should know about before looking into buying the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus. Here now are the five things that consumers need to know about the newly released Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus (Google Edition).
One of the nice things about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is that it keeps the microSD card slot which means that users can expand storage beyond the 16GB.
This is a luxury that the HTC One Nexus does not have as it is limited to 32GB of internal storage space. Users should be able to use 64GB microSD cards to expand to 80GB of space, something that will be a benefit to power users.
Of course, to fully take advantage of the microSD card, users will have to root. And that will be extremely easy since the device comes ready for full on customization.
Faster Upgrades May or May Not Happen
While these devices take on many of the characteristics of Nexus smartphones, near vanilla Android and unlocked bootloaders, it looks like they may not get updates straight from Google. A discovery by AnandTech points to the kernels be provided by OEMs meaning HTC and Samsung, not Google. What this means is that updates, in the future, will likely pass through the hands of HTC and Samsung and not come straight from Google.
HTC and Samsung, could potentially make swift changes to the kernels, and push out the updates close to the other Nexus devices. However, there is a chance that these smartphones could see their updates arrive later down the road. It’s still too early to say and there isn’t much of a history to point to.
$50, $350 More Expensive
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is the most expensive option amongst the smartphones on the Google Play Store. In fact, it’s $50 more expensive than the HTC One, likely due to the microSD card slot and it’s a whopping $350 more expensive than the 8GB Nexus 4 which checks in with a $300 price tag.
This means that users are simply going to have to decide if the extra $50 or $350 is worth it for a device that has a plastic design and many of the same features as the HTC One Nexus. The Nexus 4 has some deficiencies in the hardware department but it’s still a very capable device.
U.S Only, For Now
Those outside of the United States unfortunately do not have access to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus or the HTC One Nexus at this point. The door has been left open for arrivals on other versions of the Google Play Store but at this point, the Galaxy S4 Nexus is only available in the United States.
The chances of a Galaxy S4 Nexus outside the United States likely depends on sales and because we’re only on day one, it’s impossible to say whether sales are going as well as Google had hoped.
There is definitely demand in regions other than the United States but it’s not clear if there is enough to provoke Google into offering these devices in other Google Play Stores.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus comes unlocked. What this means is that users don’t need to sign up for a data plan when buying it and instead, can take it where they wish.
That means that users who wish to head to AT&T or T-Mobile LTE or HSPA+ can do so and sign up for a pre-paid data plan. That also means that users who wish to travel with their phone can easily do so and utilize the phone on GSM networks around the world. This is perfect for those that are often on the go either for work or for pleasure.