As we told you about last month, the ‘Google Edition’ of two of today’s hottest smartphones are finally here. Beginning today, you can order the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 without their manufacturers’ skins and customization. For the HTC One, that means no Sense 5 skin. For the Galaxy S4, that means no TouchWiz. It also means you’ll get Android system updates faster than you would regularly, since neither the manufacturer or the carrier gets their hands on it first. Updates comes straight from Google, just like Nexus devices.
In fact, that’s really what both of these phones are: Nexus devices, minus the branding. They ship contract-free and SIM-unlocked, so you’re free to switch between carriers (and take them overseas) without any hassle. You’ll pay a price for this freedom, though. Carriers sell both these phones for around $200 with a 2-year contract. Instead, you’ll be shelling out $599 for the HTC One and $50 more for the Galaxy S4.
If you’re a U.S. customer, it’s worth noting that these devices can only be used with T-Mobile and AT&T (as well as a few of the prepaid carriers), but not Verizon or Sprint, since neither allow you to bring your own phone and add it to their network. Verizon and Sprint phones have to be specifically branded to operate on their respective networks.
If the Google Edition of the HTC One or the Galaxy S4 is what you’re looking for, head over to the Google Play Store and order yours today. They both start shipping July 9.
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