You can now get the best Samsung and HTC phones on the market with 100% less Samsung and HTC software... (Something something iPhone)

While we're still waiting on a 2013 iPhone 5s, Android Central has already gotten the second versions of both their flagship Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One only this time without any trace of Samsung or HTC software. That's right, these are "Google Editions" and that means they come with stock Android Jelly Bean. Phil Nickinson took a first look at the Google Play editions HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 and here's his take away:

If you can imagine running "stock" Android on the HTC One or Galaxy S4 — or if you've had basically the same experience with a custom ROM — that's what we're dealing with here, and that's what you'll get if you purchase these phones from Google Play.

Seems like a great alternative for people who prefer stock Android but want greater choice in hardware. As someone who liked the HTC Nexus One, the Google Play edition HTC One might be the closest thing to a sequel we'll ever get. It's really strange from an iPhone perspective -- where we always get the "Apple Experience" but we never get 3rd party hardware makers -- to see these types of variants, but I think it's a very good thing, and hope it's a trend that continues.

If you want a better idea of the current world Apple's next iPhone will be entering, check out Phil's complete first look, then come back here and tell me what you think. All software being equal now, at least on the Android side, what if anything do the big screen competitors portent for the future?

Source: Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

You can now get the best Samsung and HTC phones on the market with 100% less Samsung and HTC software... (Something something iPhone)


Blaah. It is either iPhone with Apple services or Nokia WP with Nokia apps/services for me. Android is too much of a hassle and a compromise, and the bundled services are provided by an ad company. No thanks.

To each their own, of course.

Always get the apple experience? You do realize the google experience is stock android and fully customizable right? I'm a fan of both platforms, constantly switching between the two, but come on guys. Leave the bias at the door.

He's not being biased here -- just pointing out when you buy an iPhone, you have a choice of one hardware/software stack (ignoring this year's vs last year's model), whereas on Android, you have choices between different hardware and software stacks. Some people view that as a bug, others a feature. Either way, this announcement increases that array of choices on that side of the fense.

Aaah I'm so in love with the HTC one hardware, but also totally bound with the Apple ecosystem, which I like too much let it behind me.

Please Apple, I too want stock Apple OS, but I also want a larger phone...

That is pretty much the same situation as me !! Love the look and feel of the HTC one but there is no way i am gonna go android to own one.

android has come a long way from the froyo and gingerbread days... lag is gone. i too love all platforms, as they all have their own benefits. but for me personally, android suits me best. i like choice. i dont like to be locked in on any eco system. and the services i use should be cross platform, you dont get that with apple.

Without going towards one ecosystem. You will never have the ease of use that, using just one provides. That's one of the best things about Apple's. They work so seamlessly together. Very nice experience.

Ease of use? Is that where you have to go through iTunes to manage your phone's music, movies and pictures instead of dragging and dropping them on and off using regular folders like every other media device on the planet?

And so I went to Google Play to check out the HTC One, and sure enough, you can purchase a Google Play Edition there, but you also will pay premium price: $599.99 vs. $199.99 with a two year Verizon contract.