For those wanting the top of the line GALAXY S 4 without Samsung's software tweaks, Google and Samsung have delivered. Now that the big first day at Google I/O has ended, many are wondering what new hardware will be available. And Samsung's GALAXY S 4 Nexus Edition is it. With Google's Nexus devices not supporting 4G LTE, and even the latest only being 720p, this is how we'll get the best of both worlds.

Many thought it was just a crazy wild rumor, us included, but yesterday Google shocked everyone and announced it. The 'Google Edition' or Nexus version of the flagship Galaxy S 4. This brings the absolute latest and greatest Android device into the realm of a Nexus. Nexus devices are always excellent, but never top of the line cutting edge devices. Take the GALAXY S 4 with every top-tier check marked, and put stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on it.

We caught up with Android's VP Hugo Barra here at IO in the Moscone Center, and he was nice enough to not only sit and talk with us, but let us snap a few photos of the smartphone too. Rocking a white Nexus version of the GALAXY S 4, he said it was amazing, battery life rocks, and it's very snappy. And yes, it looked like stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, although he did hide multiple things before letting our camera near it. Being the VP of Android and all he put all the icons where they should be to make it look like a stock Nexus device.


While talking with Hugo we learned that it wasn't exactly a finished product, and we could expect to learn more details and information soon. Hugo went as far as to say the plan had only just came together, and it wasn't a final product. This actually makes perfect sense to us, otherwise they probably would have handed them out to all I/O developers in attendance. Sadface!

Flipping through the home-screens and rearranging icons the smartphone certainly looked snappy, which is expected given the quad-core processor and stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. In case you missed it this best of both worlds smartphone will be available from the Play Store in late June for $649. Full details can be found below.

Will you be forking out the cash for the GALAXY S 4 Nexus edition? I just might.

  • abhi

    a great device with a great software without any samy crap.. wish all other galaxy series have a nexus version

  • earth

    Does Google edition have SD slot? That would be a first.

    • That’s a great question and something we’d love to find out. Should have asked. I’m going to say yes, but you never know.

  • I don’t think the micro sd slot will be usable as Google doesn’t support expandable memory to keep a unified memory structure. This is probably this years Nexus 5 as according to Google, Motorola didn’t produce anything that met their quality standards. Also the reports of Google dropping Xphone from development kinda corroborates that.

    • Either way its a minor incremental upgrade to the Nexus 4. Not sure if its worth the $330.00 hike in price…

    • nathan118

      I thought the lack of SD is because its “confusing” as Duarte put it…not because they can’t. Nexus One had an SD slot and it worked fine.

      • Android 4.0 and greater doesn’t support app installs to external memory. If they do keep the memory card usable, it will only be for files, music, docs etc.

  • CodeDisQus

    Seems like you could just take a normal S4 and root it to get a stock rom

  • Kevin Davis Jr.

    Is this just a Touch Wiz less version with the camera improvements and some of the other software additions that Samsung developed? Or this just a S4 shell with stock Android?

    • Zachary Morris

      Second one.

    • Andrés Arrieta

      Android Vanilla.

  • nathan118

    I finally caved and bought two nexus 4s (one 8 and one 16) for the same price as this nexus s4. As much as I would like an SD slot, I can’t go back to hardware buttons.

  • Justin Prime

    Did it have a menu and back button next to the home button like the S4 or did they eliminate those, to just give it a home button?

  • It still use Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean so what is difference?