We’ve known about the Google Edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 for a little while now, with the former announced with little fanfare at the end of May, and the latter announced at Google I/O to some disappointment among fans. When announced, both Google Edition devices (they are actually now listed as Google Play Edition devices) were slated to appear in the Google Play Store for purchase on July 26, and just as promised both are available on the Google Play device page as of this morning.
Despite some reports that the HTC One Google Edition might be in short supply, it is set to ship on July 9 just as the Galaxy S4. Of course, many will remember the trouble that Google and LG had keeping the Nexus 4 in stock when it first went on sale, and all the annoyances that resulted. It is doubtful that demand for either device will be near as high as it was for the Nexus 4, but I still hope that Google is able to manage orders and shipping in a slightly more organized manner than before.
Now that cheaper shipping options are live for Google Play and the Google Edition devices ship for free, buying from Google’s online storefront isn’t quite as expensive as it once was. Still, with these Google Edition smartphones costing $599 and $649, that isn’t likely to be the deciding factor in anyone’s purchase. However, the prospect of the best hardware from Samsung and HTC, easily unlockable, and minus the software bloat, should appeal to quite a number of customers.
While it is possible to buy the HTC One and Galaxy S4 in their retail versions, work to unlock and root the devices, and then install a stock ROM, for many the Google Edition smartphones will provide a better option despite their higher price. I must say, although the Galaxy S4 didn’t interest me, I’ve started to be tempted by the HTC One, simply because of the impressive aluminum design. I wasn’t planning on buying it, at least not right away, but with my slightly damaged Nexus 4 and the easy availability from the Play Store, that may soon change.
If you’re interested in either device, you can find the Google Play devices link below.[Google Play]