At the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android — no TouchWiz — with an unlocked bootloader was announced. The smartphone will begin shipping on June 26th on the Google Play Store for $649 (16 GB). While the Google I/O crowd was very receptive about the handset, prompting much applause, the audience went silent when the price tag was announced. It’s expensive.
Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will now gain the same treatment as the Nexus lineup of devices that Google offers. The Galaxy S4, to be available on AT&T and T-Mobile, will now receive more streamlined Android updates, without carrier delays or limitations. Other versions of the Galaxy S4, including the Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy S4 Active, are rumored to follow next.