There seems to be a new trend of new flaghship phones getting unlocked and pure “Google Play” versions that can be purchased directly from Google. Since such was the case with Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC’s HTC One, people have wondered whether the Moto X, which Motorola just launched today, will be getting a similar treatment, especially considering it is the first Motorola phone created under Google’s supervision. And so it will be that one will be able to buy a Google Play version of the Moto X “soon”.

There are some benefits to purchasing such a version of the phone. For one, units sold from stores of carriers like Verizon come preloaded with tons of apps, a good number of which do not really provide additional value to users and have been derisively called “bloatware”. Secondly, carriers are notoriously slow for providing Android updates, sometimes taking months, or even never. The technical reason for this is that manufacturers and carriers make so much modifications on top of a pure Android system that it takes them a significant amount of time to apply and test those changes on top of new Android releases.

That’s where Google Play versions come in. Same hardware, no bloatware, no modifications. Just pure Android. Of course, if there are features specific to a certain manufacturer that you’ve come to love, you might end up having to give up on those, too. In the case of the Moto X, however, there might not be much to take out as it doesn’t deviate too much from Google’s pure Android experience unlike HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz. Moto X does have some software customizations, and it is unknown whether they will survive in the Google Play edition.

There are also other unknowns, such when the Moto X Google Play edition will be available from the Google Play store and how much it would cost. If prices of other Google Play editions are to go by, we could expect that it would cost a lot more than a unit on contract but slightly less than one off-contract. So far, only AT&T has announced its pricing, offering on-contract prices of $199 for the 16GB version and $249 for the 32GB variant. Off-contract units will be available for $575 and $629 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. It is also unknown whether the Google Play edition will be able to customize color options, something that is so far exclusive to AT&T customers.

VIA: The Verge