The Galaxy S4 will also be sold as a Nexus phone by Google (Updated)

Galaxy S4 Nexus

Check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition smartphone.

Today marks the beginning of Google I/O, the annual developer conference which often gives tech fans an exciting look at some of the company’s new and future hardware and software projects. One of the most interesting new products will not come from Google at all, but from long-time partner Samsung.

Today at Google I/O, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition was unveiled, which is, wait for it, a Galaxy S4 with stock Android and no sign of the TouchWiz interface. Essentially, it’s a Nexus device. While Google has been involved with the creation of the phone, the report says it won’t be wearing a Nexus name, suggesting it won’t be sold at a lower price (which seems to be a Nexus staple recently) through Google Play.

We’ll just let that sink in for a moment. One of the very best, and most highly specced, smartphones to be released this year, coming with a clean installation of Android. No messing around with a custom ROM, no concerns over voiding your warranty, just lovely Android on a 5-inch, 1080p display. That should help free up a little more of the 16GB Galaxy S4’s internal memory.

We’re a little surprised Samsung is onboard with this, but it doesn’t seem averse to milking as much as it can from the Galaxy S4’s good name though, and rumors of a camera-centric Galaxy S4 Zoom and a waterproof version of the phone have appeared recently.

That said, talk of a Nexus 5 or the Motorola X Phone being revealed at Google I/O has cooled over the past few weeks, so perhaps this is Google’s replacement. The good thing is, we don’t have long to wait until this rumor can be verified, as the keynote presentation begins at 9am PT today.

Updated on 05/15/2013 at 13:00 by Andy: We reported this as rumor earlier, and it was confirmed on stage at Google I/O, Hugo Barra, the VP of Android Product Management, who took a Samsung Galaxy S4 out of his pocket and showed it running a clean version of Android. The phone has Android 4.2 Jelly Bean installed as standard, and unlike devices with manufacturer interfaces, it will receive prompt version updates in the future. Aimed primarily at developers, it’ll also come with an unlocked bootloader.

Google will be selling the TouchWiz-free version of the Galaxy S4 through Google Play, and it’s compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s 4G LTE networks. To own one of these exciting devices, you’ll need to part with $649, and it’s on sale June 26.

Updated on 05/16/2013 at 06:00 by Andy: Anyone interested in the Nexus-like Galaxy S4 in the UK will be disappointed to hear that, according to a Google representative speaking to CNet UK, Google has no plans to release the phone outside the U.S. at this stage.

Article originally published on 05/15/2013 at 07:00.


Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Windows 10 Mobile support ending: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.