So, today is the day where the Google edition of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 goes on sale in Google Play Store in the states. The HTC One that comes with LTE connectivity and 32GB of non-expandable internal storage retails at USD$599 while the Galaxy S4 is a 16GB LTE variant that retails at USD$649. Google Edition means that these devices offers pure Android experience out of the box and does not have all the fancy customized software by HTC and Samsung – no more HTC Blink Feed, Zoe, Samsung list of Smart features, all the special camera effects, and such, but it looks like that’s not such a bad thing after all.
Engadget has a video hands-on for both the devices and it looks like the lack of Sense 5 on the HTC One and lack of TouchWiz on the Galaxy S4 makes both devices perform much faster. I’m not sure if it’s only the review unit, but the Galaxy S4 we have is pretty slow despite being powered by an octa-core Exynos processor, so a snappier performance on the Google Edition version is definitely something to look forward to.
Aside from performance differences, it looks like the camera interface has been revamped too, looking different from the Nexus 4. All the special camera features have been gone but according to Engadget, the image quality is similar to the original devices – the 4MP Ultrapixel camera on the HTC One and 13MP camera on the S4. HTC One still supports HDR on its wide-angle front facing camera. However according to Gizmodo, the Google Edition HTC One clearly has a poorer performance.
While both devices are Google Edition, their hardware sets them apart from each other so the user experience is a little different on both. Like for example the One only has 2 buttons while the S4 has got 3 so the way the menu is handled on both devices are different. The HTC One also has Beats Audio, giving it an extra Beats setting in the menu compared to the S4.
Jealous of the people in the United States yet? Visit Gizmodo for a side-by-side comparison of the original and stock Android version of both devices, or visit Engadget for an overall view of the Google Edition HTC One and Galaxy S4.