If you’re in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S4, then the choice of phones available to you is about to get a little wider, as both Verizon and AT&T are all set to stock special editions suited to developers. Anyone following the story of the S4 is probably also aware Google announced its own developer-centric Galaxy S4 during Google I/O, however the Google phone stands apart from the pair headed to America’s biggest networks.
Spotted by Phandroid.com, the two phones appeared as coming soon on Samsung’s U.S. website, although only the Verizon model remains online at the time of writing, with the AT&T page disappearing into the ether. Named the SCH-i545 Galaxy S4 Developer Edition, the phone will come in Black Mist with 16GB of storage memory, and although it’s not mentioned, we’d expect it to have an unlocked bootloader for development use.
Don’t confuse Verizon’s developer edition with the Google edition of the Galaxy S4 though, as it still has TouchWiz and all its bloat, just like the standard phone. Google’s S4 is special, as along with its unlocked bootloader, it comes with plain old Android 4.2.2 installed. The Verizon phone hasn’t been given a price yet, but most developer editions are sold unsubsidized, so expect a $600-plus price tag. The Google S4 will cost $650 through Google Play when it goes on sale in June. As for the absent AT&T phone, it’s probably going to be exactly the same as the Verizon phone, aside from it being suitable for GSM networks.
Putting out a developer edition isn’t unusual, both HTC and Motorola offer similar hardware, and both come with their respective manufacturer’s user interface’s installed. However, putting them on sale with a network isn’t common practice. Neither phone has been listed by Verizon (where the standard Galaxy S4 has only just gone on sale) or AT&T yet, and an official announcement hasn’t been made either. We’ll update here as soon as any more details become public.