Last Updated: Jul 16,2013
Content removed as I am retired from Phandroid/AF.
Very good report. I feel exactly the same way. The only thing that sucks about the GPE phones is no aws HSPA support. Hurts if you're a T-Mobile user in an unfarmed area without LTE. But they're great in every other circumstance.
There was some confusion on that. The S4 GPE has AWS HSPA+, while the HTC One GPE does not.
Ahh, you would be correct. I could have swore I looked the day they launched it and wasn't listed there. Or maybe I don't remember correctly
Thanks for correction.
I always buy unlocked phones for full price and use a prepay sim. Its the way the US should go i think. Electronics are really cheap there compared to the UK.
Because using pre-pay gives the customer choice, it forces the carriers to be competetive.
As for Google Edition phones, i dont understand why theyre more expensive (if they are) than OEM skinned phones. Id rather just root and mod a phone and be slightly behind with android versions :thumbup:
Just to confirm for you, they are not. MSRP on the Galaxy S4 GPE is $649.00, $649.99 on the TW variant. The HTC One is $599 for the GPE, $599.99 for the developer model (which is a price hike, as it was $579.99 before the GPE was announced).
Carriers can and will alter the prices. For example, T-Mobile USA charges $629.99 for the S4 for existing customers, and $579.99 for new customers. But a carrier/retailer discount doesn't mean that the MSRP is lower.
Ah right. Id just read people moan about the price but i guess, as said, these people are just too used to "subsidised" phones
In that case, id defo buy the Play edition over the OEM skinned ones.. even though i think some of the hardware features are missing/disabled.
Aparenly the cameras are surprisingly good without the OEM camera app.. i suppose google will have worked closely with the OEMs to get it right..
Id say if you like the idea of a nexus but can afford to spend more money, get a Google Play Edition s4 or One :beer:
Exactly the same for me, when I was in the UK. UK carriers do offer subsidized phones, if one is prepared to commit to a stiff two year contract. I don't think it's like you must have a two year contract, like in the US. AFAIK most phones in the UK are pre-paid, however when they're sold by a carrier they're locked to that carrier.
When I was there last month, I did see lot of places offering to unlock your phone, like every market stall and street booth that sells phone cases. Which is completely different to the States, where you can be thrown in jail for attempting to unlock a phone....DMCA.
AFAIK prices stated in the US don't include sales tax, like they include VAT in the UK. So the apparent prices may seem cheaper, but once sales tax is added at the point of sale, the difference is not nearly as much, if at all. That's as I understand pricing in the US.
It is Rip-off Britain of course, and for some things, especially books, they seem to think that
This perception is one that I hope starts to fade. You don't have to have a contract in the US. As I illustrated in the first post, there are many cases where the "subsidized" phone costs more than retail.
We have stalls in our local mall that unlock phones. You just have to show proof of purchase displaying that you bought the phone prior to the grandfather date. Those who don't fall under that category should expect the DMCA exception to pass relatively soon. As of right now, the "law" isn't being enforced.
I tried the GPE rom on my Galaxy S4 for a few days, there are so many lost functions that I had to flash back, the new stock camera app I really didn't like.
Good to have the option but it's not for me.
Then applying the original post's logic to you, a full-price unlocked Galaxy S4 (Touchwiz) would be better for you, if the option exists.No carrier bloatware, faster fimrware updates, and better firmware support. However, unlocked GS4 isn't an option on every carrier. Verizon and AT&T have them, while Sprint and T-Mobile have an unlocked bootloader on their carrier-branded models.
If the current carrier subsidy model wasn't so near-exclusive in the States, you could just buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 from Samsung, full price, and use on virtually any carrier (this would also require us to go to the Euro model of regulating all carriers use the same technology and limited frequency bands for universal compatibility).
@mike, i keep noticing that
"Google Play Editions"? I'm not exactly sure what that means.....
Samstung and HTC have made Google Play Editions of the s4 and One. Basicly they run pure vanilla android. No Sense or Touchwiz so they should always get the latest version of android faster. Im not sure if the updates come from google or the manufacturer(?) :thumbup:
Interesting. I think it'd be cool if this was a requirement to be able to use Android. Phone manufacturers can have their version with their customizations, BUT, they also have to release a version with Vanilla Android for those who wish it.
Where are these sold? If it's through the Play Store then only the Nexus is available like that in Canada and that sucks (that we only get one option, not that the Nexus sucks).
Yeah youre right, every manufacturer should release a flashable more raw android version compatible with the hardware (or let google do or something) for the minority like me who dont want their gimmicky features (although id probably just end up putting a custom rom on it lol)
Tbh i dont know if theyre only available through Play or how the regional variations work mate. Im unfortunately not in the market for a new superphone lol
Yeah, for the time being it's exclusive to the US via Google Play. No word on when is going to open up to other countries.
A year or so back, Google were of this very opinion and tried to get agreement from OEMs to make their overlays/skins/UIs an option. The device might run TouchWiz (for example) out of the box, but the user would be able to disable it in favour of the 'vanilla' Android UI if so desired.
For whatever reason the idea never gained traction.
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