HTC One with vanilla Android

The rumors are true — HTC and Google will collaborate on a 'Nexus user experience' version of the HTC One

Ever since the Samsung Galaxy S4 “Google Edition” announcement at Google I/O last week, rumors have been circulating that HTC might follow suit with a vanilla version of its own flagship device. Recently, Russell Holly of Geek.com and Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo have chimed in with reports that such a device is on the way. Today we can confirm through our own sources that despite official denials, the “Google Edition” HTC One is indeed real, and will be announced in the next week or so.

Let's take a look at what we know, and what it could mean.

Like the special “Google Edition” Galaxy S4, timely updates will be promised alongside the “stock” Android user experience on this HTC One. One source believes that in exchange for early access to upcoming Android code, “Google Edition” OEMs like HTC and Samsung will be subject to certain deadlines for preparing updates for their vanilla Android handsets. HTC would also enjoy higher margins on these vanilla HTC Ones, as additional licensing fees for certain Sense 5 software features would not apply. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal for everyone.

Questions raised

The existence of a Google Edition HTC One raises several questions, however. The current two-buttoned HTC One relies on an unsightly on-screen bar for legacy menu key support, so how would this work on a vanilla Android variant? It's unlikely that menu key functionality could be re-mapped to, say, a long-press of the back key, as it's previously been confirmed that Google doesn't want HTC hiding the menu button. The most direct (but unlikely) solution would be a change to the hardware key layout, assuming Google and HTC want to avoid losing screen space to an on-screen menu bar.

What's more, the presence of stock Android on an HTC One would likely rule out software tricks like Beats Audio. This could have a knock-on effect on features like the "BoomSound" front-facing speakers, which take advantage of Beats software enhancements. Similarly, the "UltraPixel" camera could likely lose some of its fancier imaging tricks -- side-by-side shots have already shown a marked reduction in image quality for HTC Ones running CyanogenMod 10.1-based firmware compared to HTC Sense 5.

Then there's the question of the power button-mounted IR blaster. Could this component lie dormant in the new Googlified HTC One, or will new software be included to take advantage of it? These are all things worth considering before assuming that an HTC One with stock Android might be better than one with Sense.

Regardless, it's great news for buyers in the U.S. wanting the latest vanilla Android from Google on the latest hardware from HTC. (We’re still in the dark about international availability of Google Edition handsets, unfortunately.) We’re expecting an official announcement in the next week, and it’s likely the Google Edition HTC One will go on sale around the same time as its Galaxy S4 counterpart -- though we’re not hearing any specifics on release dates or pricing just yet.

Given the choice, would you prefer vanilla Android on a Galaxy S4 or HTC One? Hit the comments and let us know.

 

Reader comments

'Google Edition' HTC One coming soon with vanilla Android

261 Comments

It's crazy how long I waited for the Galaxy Nexus. And I can't believe I am doing the same thing with the HTC One. All I want is a carrier that isn't the gestapo about phones that gives GREAT cell reception, speeds, and quality customer service! Is that too much to ask? I am also interested in the Google Edition as my Nexus has been great for the almost 2 years I have had it.

Same exact boat as you. I've had my GN just as long and thank God for the devs that keep the roms coming, but enough is enough. I need to hear from Verizon or someone in the know why on earth you would not provide what your customers are asking for knowing they/we will eat it up. I need an explanation!

The explanation is very simple. CDMA is used by a few million people in the world. GSM is used by almost a billion people. It's just not worth the trouble to release CDMA phones, the market is too small.

That's not true at all with LTE. My Verizon iPhone 5 with LTE works on any carrier including international and that is true of many LTE phones.
Also this is a fairly recent development with Verizon that they have ignored a lot of phones.
CDAM is used by far more than a few million people and it is not just used in the U.S. as many people seem to think.
More likely Verizon has the network, they know it, and they are doing whatever they want to do because they now many people will not give up the coverage they provide which is far better than anyone else. Even AT&T is a distant second when it comes to coverage especially LTE coverage. So Verizon feels free to gimp and lockdown phones and not take the time, trouble, and cost to certify and provide updates to new phones.

Wow, you have no understanding of how these things work. You seem to think that Verizon chose not to offer these phones. That's nonsense. Google decided not to sell a CDMA version because the market is too small. Verizon had no say in the matter whatsoever.

True, Apple likes to build CDMA and GSM together into their phones, probably because they are based in the SF area where CDMA has a strong hold. But virtually every high-end smartphone company is not doing that. I believe more and more manufacturers are going to decide that the investment in CDMA is just not worth the small market anymore, we are already seeing the start of this.

I never said that CDMA was US only. I said that the worldwide numbers are very small compared to GSM. And that is a fact.

Ha. That is definitely not the case. Verizon has over 115 million customers. Sprint has over 55 million. Even HTC said they'd make a big deal if and when the One came to Verizon so there is obviously a nice market there.

Of course any OEM would choose GSM over CDMA if it was one or the other, but it's not. There is still money to be made on CDMA networks. Otherwise nobody would be making CDMA phones.

HTC also just said that they were not going to be making this Dev edition One. I don't hold their word worth much credit right now.

That is clearly not correct. There are 3 versions of iPhone 5. Your Verizon version is A1429. The AT&T one is A1428 (T-mobile's is a modified version of A1428.) There's also an A1429 that uses the LTE bands 1, 3, 5. Your iPhone 5 will definitely not work on any LTE networks that are covered by the other 2 versions.

And, that's not true of many LTE phones, neither. There are a couple dozens of LTE bands used throughout the world, comparing to GSM, which have about only a dozen in total.

CDMA is more advanced and has, on average, better and more reliable reception than GSM, which is OLD technology. Both bands are being replaced now with LTE. Verizon should step their phone game up though.

Yes, the original CDMA specification had some advantages over the original GSM specification, but that's long in the past. Ever since EDGE (which was considered a 2G technology), GSM has been well ahead when it comes to network speed and has matched CDMA's call quality. GSM has also always been able to do simultaneous voice and data, which CDMA can't (Verizon has started to be able to, but only when LTE is available).

The reason Sprint originally added WiMax was because the CDMA spec had run out of room as far as speed was concerned, so the only option was to switch to something else. HSPA (a GSM spec) still had plenty of room for growth with HSPA+, so the GSM carriers didn't need to switch to a new tech. Even LTE is part of the GSM family (thus simultaneous voice and data), and the CDMA equivalent technology was deemed impractical by OEMs and was abandoned early on. That's why LTE phones have a SIM card. CDMA carriers require two radio stacks to support this, though, meaning increased battery consumption. GSM carriers only need one.

@kjnangre

Your explanation is not correct, you simply haven't a clue what you're talking about.

I actually do. But if you have evidence that I'm wrong, I would love to hear it. So far, you haven't provided any

You don't. Hate to break it to ya. But guess what. Google is based in SF Bay Area as well. Mountain View to be exact. They have great 4G coverage on Sprint. Just saying.

The way Verizon handled the nexus is the reason I'm now on AT&T with my HTC one, I don't think big red will ever come around because they feel that most of their client base is more "business customers" and not tech oriented.

No, its not. Move to Europe!
In the UK we have true mobile competition, so compared to what you guys pay its cheap, reception is generally very good, and we seem to get the new phones if not first very early now.

But in the UK, there is only a small area that they have to cover. So, I would hope that you would have good reception on any carrier over there. Also, the reason why you guys get the new phones first is because all the companies are based in Asia, so therefore it is easier to slowly spread it in that area, then eventually move to North America.

I guess last year when all the rumors were going around about multiple nexus devices that this is what they meant. Pretty lame.

Why? According to a close friend in VZ Dub marketing, they're getting the HTC One very soon.

This most likely means Google has given up on Nexus phones, that's why there was no mention of new hardware at the I/O.

WRONG! Nexus phone are not released until the fall. Plus these Google Edition phones are not Nexus phones. Nexus phones are designed for AOSP development. The Google Edition Samsung and HTC were designed for Touchwiz and Sense but will run AOSP software. That is what sets a Nexus apart.

Thats actually not true & quite misleading. I wish people would stop spreading FUD. The GSIV is a Nexus as much as the Nexus 4 is a Nexus as the ZOOM is a Nexus.

Stop with the fan-boy itis.

Its definately not a nexus. Nexuses are designed by google in conjunction with the manufacturer of the device. HTC one and GS4 were not developed in conjuction with google.

Plus an actual nexus uses on screen navigation buttons. Google made this transition when ice cream sandwich was released. Both of these "nexus user experience" phones still use hardware buttons.

It is not a Nexus or Google would have called it that, and given it more time than a 30 second quick mention. And this is not the 1st 3rd party device with stock or almost stock Android so I don't know why people are freaking out.

there was also no mention of HTC one at IO does that mean google is not making HTC one Google edition(rumor suggest they are). Watch the keynote. Google never said Nexus S4. they said "S4 Google edition with the same experience as our Nexus lines of products"

stop spreading FUD. dont make dumb comments

Whoa killer, I think it's a legitimate concern. Will there be a future need for a Nexus device if all manufacturers start to offer phones with Vanilla Android? I am worried that the days of a Google subsidized phone may be ending.

So, by your same assumption Google has also given up on Android OS too? This past I/O was strictly for the Devs. Dang Google, it's a shame it means you've given up on a product because you fail to mention it....such a shame.

I don't think thats the case but unless the next one has LTE they might as well have. Also fall is a long time to wait with these pure android phones coming out. T-Mobile and AT&T are rolling out LTE as fast as they can and they really don't care much about sustaining HSPA.

I dont understand the fascination with removeable batteries. They are not needed unless you are on your phone CONSTANTLY! I use mine a lot, heavy usage, and I still can make it a full day through work and get home before the battery is dead. Do you guys walk around with extra batteries in your pocket? I leave a charger at home and I have a charger at work for the random occasion that I forget to charge over night. Removeable batteries will end up being a thing of the past. Get over it son.

Also you can always buy one of those massive 9000mah external chargers. (Or smaller if you so choose.) Spare battery for everyone.

That's still an extra piece of equipment to have to remember to bring and remember to charge. I have a 7000mAh battery on my S3, no extra anything required. I pickup my phone and leave and its ready to go for as long as I want.

Plus I'm not going to want to use the phone while some external battery is hanging off the side. So I have to plug it up and wait a few hours before I can really use it or carry it around with me.

My take, carry a bag. When you aren't using your phone, toss it into the bag and charge it. A while ago, I figured out why women tends not to be bothered by the Galaxy Note's size even though they usually have smaller hands than men -- almost every women I have seen using a Note put them in their handbags. After I realized that, I began to carry a small messenger bag with me. Man, what a difference it made. My shitty Galaxy Nexus suddenly lasts for a whole day. IMO, it's even better than using a removable battery as you don't have to open the phone.

Here's some advice, don't wait until your battery is low until you charge it. Charge it when you are not likely to use it or halfway through the day for an hour. Your phone should be close to 100%. Don't want to have the external battery hanging out when using the phone? Simple, unplug it and then plug it back in when done.

Yeah. Don't mind the fact that your nonreplaceable battery will wear out that much faster, if you charge it twice as often, from 50%, instead of letting it run way down and only charge it once per day. You're going to want to replace it in a year or less anyway...

Actually it's deep cycling that ages LiIon batteries faster.
Fast charging and heating them up also ages faster.
The batteries age anyway.

Better to top them up rather than flattening then up and charging from near empty.

The extra bulk of the 7000mah battery on your phone is equal to having an HTC one in a mophie juice case both will get you through the day easily I think the removable battery argument is not valid.

Well it's a good thing that a person's personal preference only needs to make sense to that particular person and doesn't need to be justified or explained. Just as you prefer to have multiple chargers in multiple places, that's your preference and who did you need to explain or justify that to? Exactly. I'm sure that's the reason your comment didn't get a response from @AZ2ENVY until I just did because people don't have to get over their personal preference son, they just have to find another option that meets them.

Matt, your viewpoint is valid while in the confines of the city or near civilization, but I for one am out camping or hiking at least once a month. I do, in fact, have an extra battery in my pocket (or pack). Out in the sticks I have airplane mode on but I record my progress with My Tracks - after a while I need a battery swap. While tailgating I often am using my phone a lot. With the extra battery I can always have a good one in the phone and another charging in the car - all I need to do is swap when necessary, no down time.

+1

Removable batteries aren't really necessary for normal people during normal circumstances. But for example when I am traveling I am using my phone a lot more as I am stuck in terminals, trying to get work done remotely. It is extremely convenient to not have to baby my battery during such situations. External battery packs are nice but that still means you can't use your phone normally while it is charging.

That said I can completely understand how non-removable batteries are a non-issue to many people. If I hadn't experimented with an extended battery for the Galaxy nexus I never would have discovered the convenience.

You're right. Normal people don't hike. Normal people sit their fat ass on the couch within arm's reach of an outlet. The average person is more likely to lose their phone in their fat folds then drain the phone's power on a hike in the great outdoors.

I must admit if I was out camping in the wilds for any length of time I'd rather take my old Nokia 6310i out with me and leave the Nexus 4 at home.

Smartphone out in the wilds? Like taking a Ferrari off road.

Hmmm nah. Take a real phone for that.

Barely getting home before the battery is dead isn't a very high bar. I have the Zerolemon 7000mAh battery on my S3 and I love it because I can get wayyyy past one day of heavy use and still have enough left over for phone calls and mapping and such and I LOVE it.

Since my S3 is my only phone I don't want to have it die or have to worry about milking out the last little bit of battery because I need to use navigation to get home or something. One day of usage is as far as I am concerned, unacceptable. What happens when I get on a plane and want to watch a movie then arrive and want to use my phone? I'm left making choices or carrying around external battery packs that I have to hang off my phone while it recharges.

If HTC wants to have a non-replacable battery that is fine but they should be offering up a MAXX style battery option at the very least! Much less what happens in two years after that one and only battery you can have for you phone starts dying?

Matt 120 - You're...not smart:

"Li-ion batteries have a reasonably finite lifespan and can hold only a fraction of their original capacity after a few years, but things like operating temperature, how long the battery spends plugged in, how the battery is used, and the charge cycling you asked about can contribute to how long the battery lasts."

"Ask Ars: What is the best way to use a Li-ion battery?" by by Casey Johnston - Feb 15 2011

What also comes with an easy battery removal also comes with a easy repair.

Go look at the iFixit score for the HTC One.

Why not have a multi-port external battery pack to recharge the phone? They usually charge very fast, and can recharge multiple times before it needs recharging.

Batteries can die. Who the hell knows what some manufacturer could charge you for a replacement.
Also, tweaking happy users like to have a removable battery once the phone locks completely up. Wouldn't be an issue if every company would add tiny hard reset buttons though.

And by the way, you can have your opinion, i can have my opinion, everyone can have his/her opinion. Get over it son, that your opinion isn't thumb of rule.

My #1 reason for preferring a removable battery is just this. Once the battery no longer charges you either have to do a risky operation to replace it or toss the phone. We already throw away too much as a society. Now they want us to treat smartphones as disposable.

By the way, before you cry "But, by the time the battery wears out the phone will be obsolete." This will become less and less true over time. The majority of innovation happens during the expansion phase of a product category lifecycle. After a spell, people have everything they want and see less reason to upgrade. For example, look at the PC industry. Even game console lifecycles have lengthened as the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

When I had the gnex, I had two batteries and used both throughout the day, almost every day. My work requires the almost constant use of gps, which obviously annihilates battery life, and I didn't always have an option of plugging the phone in. Extra removable battery saved my ass numerous occasions.

Some people just need it bud, no way around it. Everyone needs to stop acting confused about this and just move on to more important things that are going in in the world

Seriously when are the people who want replaceable batteries and SD cards are going to get it? It's 2103, OEM's are moving away from these legacy features.

What you and like minded people like you fail to realize that these features ARE still available, whether in mass or not isn't the point. We as consumers have the right to choose from the available options that are out there. If in fact things are headed to where these features are no longer made available to consumers then there will be NEW deal breakers for us consumers when deciding to buy a product or not. You're harping on people simply because they choose to by a product or not based on their own preference instead of being drones and buying a product just because the video will pause when you look away from the screen (if you don't make the connection between software features and gimmicks then you sir/ma'am are a drone....).

They are? Apparently, the BIGGEST phone manufacturer didn't get the memo. Maybe that's why Samsung is selling more smartphones than ANYBODY else - because they're offering phones that have features consumers want instead of cutting features because Google and the wireless carriers want them to so they can make more money.

You do understand that eliminating replaceable batteries and SD card slots is purely so that Google and the wireless carriers can make more money, right?

No SD slot, especially when combined with the trend in those same phones for less storage (how many Android phones have 64GB built in?) is a way to push people to use the Cloud for storage. This helps Google mine their data, which they then use to sell more advertising. And it helps the carriers make more money off people who don't have Unlimited Data.

Non-replaceable batteries means phones start "wearing out" after a year or so, depending on usage and charging habits. And then the option is to have them refurbished or replace them. Thus, helping the carriers to sell more phones. That also helps the manufacturers, too, if they assume the replacement phone will be purchased from them. So, even more kudos to Samsung for not going this route. Instead, they just offer a better phone that makes people WANT to upgrade, even though their current phone is still working just fine. And unlike, for example, HTC. My current phone is an HTC and it is great. But, it's over a year old and nothing that HTC offers now can do everything for me that my current phone does (hold 70GB of music and movies for when I'm on a plane or in the backcountry anyone?). So, when I replace it (very soon), it will not be with another HTC phone.

You're kidding yourself if you think any measurable amount of Samsung's success is due to keeping removable batteries and expandable memory. The success of the iPhone tears this argument to pieces. Samsung got where they are because they're marketing geniuses and made their flagship phones accessible to almost every carrier on the planet.

It's perfectly fine if those features are dealbreakers for you when choosing a phone. Your needs are your needs. But people like you probably make up less than 1% of people who buy smartphones and are absolutely not the reason for Samsung's success. Once Samsung feels SD card slots and removable batteries are too much of a hassle, they will get rid of them in a heartbeat and most customers won't even care.

Maybe because more of their customers aren't forward thinking enough to push for large internal storage and large built in batteries, a la Razr Maxx.

Both of which benefit more than the current setup.

Because keeping the status quo is a lot cheaper than trying to reinvent their wheel. It's that simple.

Good god, do you actually believe that the SD card slot is a driving reason why Samsung is successful? How then do you rationalize Apple's success with a completely locked down and locked out phone? Samsung followed Apples steps in marketing. They appealed to a vast audience.

Apple has sold so many units because they had a several-year head start. For several years, they were the only game in town. Now they are being reeled-in by the Android phones as we speak and Apple's weakness is glaring to all but the most ardent iFanboys.

By the way, I never said that "the SD card slot is a driving reason why Samsung is successful". That's a classic straw man. Congratulations on knocking it down.

I simply assert, and continue to assert that Samsung includes a removable battery and SD card for a reason.

My mistake on saying you believe SD card was big behind their success. I confused with that Stuart guy.

However, I must disagree entirely that Apple's weakness is "glaring" to everyone but fanboys. John and Jane Q. Public would like a word with you. Android is gaining momentum and it's great to see, but Apple is still reeling in the users too. Their head start has had almost 4 years to dwindle and they still sell iPhones hand over fist. If their weaknesses were as glaring as you say, they wouldn't be nearly the player they are today. They still market their product better than any phone manufacturer out there, and that's why they're still at the top of the mountain.

I agree that Samsung includes their removable battery and SD card slot for a reason. I mean, there has to be one, right? But that reason has NOTHING to do with keeping the 1% of users who even know what "SD" stands for, let alone use it.

No, I think you are probably choosing to ignore the facts, which don't support your point of view.

The iPhone is available in 64GB capacity - which actually offers 64GB of usable space. Unlike the 16GB S4, which only offers 9GB of usable space.

Plus, the iPhone generally actually lasts quite a long time on a battery charge, which no Android phone that I have experienced does. Plus, the iPhone charges up a lot more quickly than any Android phone I've experienced, as well.

And, seriously?! You think Samsung Marketing beats the snot out of Apple's?!?! What planet do you live on?

Have you noticed that the HTC DNA does not have an SD slot? But, the exact same phone, sold in Japan (the Butterfly J), does? Is it not obvious that MANY people want that (especially on phones that only have 16GB built in) and the manufacturers are perfectly willing to put it in - except where the carriers force them to not to do it (so the carrier can charge for more data usage)?

Stuart, you're delusional, I'm sorry. Based on your comments it doesn't seem like you live in normal civilization, where people on this planet don't have any idea what you're talking about, nor to they care.

The first iPhone only went up to 16 GBs. Same with the 3G. The 3GS and 4 went up to 32 GBs. Only recently have the higher-storage models at 64 GBs been produced. The iPhone has sold tremendously since its inception, and again, very few people use up all that storage. For 99.9% users, 16/32 GBs is all they will ever need.

You're not even correct about iPhone battery charges lasting longer. I know a number of people who have complained that their iPhone battery sucks now, and it's well within two years of when they bought it. Even if it was true, 99.9% of people simply don't care and don't know to compare battery life cycles. It's just not in their mindset when buying a phone.

So I will repeat, you are delusional if you keep insisting these two features have had ANY impact on Samsung's success. They haven't stopped because they haven't had a reason to, and it's clear they're trying to unify and keep consistent their phones' features.

@The Peanut Master: You're delusional, I'm sorry. Based on your comments it doesn't seem like you live in the real world, where people should know what they are talking about before opening their pie-holes or think that their opinion is the only "right" opinion, or the only one that matters.

No one will ever need more than 640k of RAM, either, right?
You clearly are not very knowledgeable or prescient.

Dealing with the rest of your diatribe: Yes, the iPhone only started with 8GB, and was HEAVILY criticized for not having expandable storage from the get-go. So much so that an Apple exec felt it necessary to defend the decision in an interview. The same criticism was leveled at the following models as well, finally becoming more muted when Apple released a 64GB phone (still not enough storage for a "media centric" phone, IMO, or Apple would never have made higher capacity iPods).

Battery life IS in peoples' mindsets when buying a phone, or the manufacturers wouldn't bother touting battery life the way they do. I have an iPhone 4S and recently also got a Galaxy S4. Guess what, the iPhone charges quicker. In my use profile, it gets about the same as my Galaxy, but the S4 has a higher MAH battery, meaning the Apple discharges slower. Go figure. But hey, even if my anecdotal experience is true for the market as a whole, 99.9% of statistics are made up garbage anyway, including your "statistic" that "99.9% of people simply don't care and don't know to compare battery life cycles."

Samsung obviously knows their market better than you do. If adding a removable battery and SD socket weren't something their customers cared about, they would gladly remove them and save manufacturing costs, and it wouldn't require any significant redesign. Open the back of a S3 or S4 and look yourself, if you don't believe me.

So I will repeat, you are delusional if you keep insisting that you have the only relevant (or accurate) opinion.

I'm not saying that the iPhone having only 8 GBs wasn't criticized, it was (although to my recollection not to the extent you claim). But guess what? It didn't matter, and the people who seriously complained were part of the very small minority of consumers who wanted/needed more, ie the very small tech community. It clearly didn't matter to most people, or they wouldn't have bought the phone in the first place. This isn't rocket science...

My 99.9% statistic may be made up, but I can't imagine it's far off from reality. Did you watch the video I linked to above? That right there is your typical consumer. Stop deluding yourself that the average person cares about or knows about any difference in battery discharge time/length, or about SD cards and how they can benefit. No one buys the iPhone for its battery life. Your single anecdote from your own experience is useless; you're on AC, therefore you're not the average consumer, therefore your own experience is not pertinent to this discussion.

My anecdote holds at least some ground, as I know a LOT of people who have or have had iPhones, and not a single one cared about the things we're discussing when they bought their phone. The video above only further corroborates what I have seen so many times; people DON'T CARE about these things. I don't have cold hard statistic-based proof to back that up, but this should be such common knowledge I don't understand why it's necessary.

Regardless of all that stuff, you continue to dismiss the fact that the iPhone has sold so ridiculously well it single-handedly took over the US for many years thanks to its absurd sales. This fact (and it is a FACT) proves that people don't care about these features or they would have looked elsewhere. The market (ie all those typical consumers) spoke loud and clear.

Removable battery and SD card slot have NOT mattered, and continue to NOT matter for your typical consumer. It's not even really an opinion because it's so obvious.

Some markets do call for an SD Card outside the US. For example, HTC makes their Japanese handsets with an SD Card (the HTC J Butterfly had one, and the HTC One has one also). Maybe the people want it or maybe the carriers want it who knows. But for Samsung, they dont have to change the design. Apple is so big that no carrier will ask them to change the design. Big difference.
With the Batteries, I still think Samsung has the right idea. If I was an average consumer who was having battery problems halfway through my phones life cycle, I wouldn't want to buy from that manufacturer again. Samsung phones dont have this problem because once your battery starts sucking, you can buy a new one. On the flip side, Apple (to my knowledge) replaces the battery on your phone when it dies, so you can always just take it to an apple store and have them do it, so it isnt a big deal for people. The other companies dont have physical stores for this (unless carrier stores and best buy will do it for you, which i doubt).

Do you want even more proof? Watch this video that AC did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u2f0wIs1wE

THOSE are your average smartphone users. THOSE are the 99% of typical consumers. Are you telling me that they give even the slightest care about what you're talking about? Stop deluding yourself. Samsung's success is thanks to one thing, and one thing only: Marketing.

Marketing will only get you so far. I first took Samsung serious when I heard all of the rave reviews of the GSII coming out of Europe. It had nothing to do with marketing as there was very little of it coming from Samsung at the time. Samsung built a following due to superior technology and has used the spoils of that success to protect that success with aggressive marketing.

Sigh. How soon people forget history.

It's really befuddling to me that you and some others can't seem to understand that you are not the typical consumer, and you need to stop pretending that everyone else pays attention to the same things you do. They don't. The typical consumer will never read, pay attention to, or have any care for rave reviews of a phone. It just doesn't matter. To people like us who read AC and pay attention to these things of course it matters. But not to most everyone else.

Samsung built a following among *tech enthusiasts*/people who care about superior technology when they leapfrogged Apple. They combined that with aggressive marketing to have an all-around elite product, but they were only so insanely financially successful because of the excellent marketing campaign they employed here in the US (not sure about other countries).

Stuart, you're the one ignoring facts here. Like, a lot.

The 64 GB HTC One also offers mostly 64 GB of usable space as well. The fact that that Samsung bloats their device with crap and takes up half the memory is a PROBLEM, not a reason to support SD card slots as a standard. And as has been said, most of the original iPhones offered very little storage AND were a brand new product from Apple, yet they still sold by the millions. In regards to iPhone battery, I take it you haven't used the iPhone 5, Apple's first LTE enabled phone. It's no better than any flagship Android device released in the past 18 months. The previous iPhones had great battery, but models like the 4 and 4S didn't have an LTE radio sucking away the juice either.

As to your comment about marketing, please direct me to where I stated or even remotely implied that Samsung's marketing "beats the snot out of Apple's" marketing. It doesn't. All I said was Samsung took a page from Apple's playbook and marketed the hell out of their high end devices, and that's why they're seeing the success they're seeing now.

Again, if you truly believe SD card slots and removable batteries are why Samsung is so successful, you are nothing short of delusional.

All I will say to this post is THANK YOU SO MUCH, I really didn't want to have to write this. It is so flipping obvious that the SD Card/removable battery features of Samsung play a miniscule to nonexistent role in their success, proven singlehandedly by the existence and success of the iPhone. I am so sick of hearing people say otherwise, they are ignorant and not living in reality, where 99.9% of people couldn't care less about this stuff.

The iPhone's past success has nothing to do with it. You might as well site the success of the Model T as proof that nobody cares about an electric starter. After all, people were content to crank their cars by hand when they didn't think there was an alternative.

Peanut Master I have to agree with you. Having worked for two major wireless carriers I can tell you that the average consumer does NOT care about a removable battery or sd card slot. Around 90% of my customers did not even know the back came off of their phone and they thought the memory card slot was for their "sims" card even though they were on Sprint and it was CDMA.

I think that having these two features is not a bad thing and many people do enjoy expandable memory and removable battery but they have no baring on Samsung's success. If the S3 and S4 had been made with all internal memory and no removable battery they would have had the exact same success due to marketing their product well.

I think choices are a good thing when selecting a phone. For the people that are saying they don't want to be "sheep" and move away from expandable memory/battery like everyone else they aren't going to have a choice. It's very clear that internal storage/built in battery is the future of Android devices and I don't see that reversing course anytime soon.

I don't know if your correct. I asked a bunch of mobile sales people last week when i was changing providers. I like the htc, and asked then what they thought of the one. They all like the s4 more, and they all said they push the s4 because it has sdcard, battery replacement, and lots of software options for the consumer.

@ StuartV, You hit the nail on the head. Non-removable batteries and non-expandable memory are a function of "planned obsolescence". I personally will replace my battery within the two year contract, so the option to replace it works well for me. Agreed that Samsung is doing better than other OEMs at delivering features that people want.

My current phone is an off-contract AT&T SGS2(i777), that I love. I occasionally get to demo newer handsets, but always end up gabbing my 'ol reliable SGS2 for my daily tasks.

-best regards

AGREED, thats like saying " If my car stereo doesnt have a CD player, I dont want it!" LOL

Come on man, get with the program, things are moving in the cloud and its ridiculous that you guys carry an extra battery in your pocket LOL. Do you guys also carry cassettes and your Sony Walkman?

I totally agree. If you need to carry an extra battery around, your device falls short on all sorts performance. Sure Samsung still provides these legacy features on their current flagship but be rest assured not for long. The SD carId is for the "geek" types as no ordinary person has any use for it. Heck when I had a Nexus One and other devices that had an SD slot, I never really used it. Apple people aren't crying that they need removable batteries and Sd slots and they are doing just fine.

BTW my Nexus 4 is doing just fine without these two legacy features.

Apple people can buy their devices with 64GB capacity that has just about 64GB of actual usable space available.

And their batteries stop working so well after a year or so and they live with having to plug in much more frequently, or they replace their devices.

I get on with the program I want, not with a program someone wants. If you want to be a sheep that is ok with everything that gets thrown at you, more power to you...

Really, removable memory is a "legacy" feature? Why? Because there are so many "cloud" offerings? All of them open to compromise by hackers, too. Did you ever think of that? If removable memory is so obsolete, we should all stop buying flash drives and burnable CD's/DVD's and the like too, right?

MAYBE, the reason people go for phones with card slots (MicroSD or otherwise) is because there is no such thing as too much memory. But you fail to see that because, in your mind, 640k of memory ought to be enough for anyone, right?

(Yes, I know Gates didn't actually say it, but it illustrates jd914's thinking quite well)

I don't think you'll get microSD slot with Nexus phones. Data transfer between phone and card is slow, so un-Nexus like. Hope for a bigger hard drive, not for microSD slot.

why dont you go troll somewhere else, AZ2ENVY?

Did anyone ask you about your need for a removable battery and sd card expansion?

I couldve swore this article was about the HTC One Google Edition-- 2 entities that dont even delve in your 2 needs. So why are u here?

Nobody cares about removable batteries anymore but a few and the manufacturers know this. Plus sd cards suck.

"Plus sd cards suck"

Oh, yeah! For sure! Having the OPTION to expand my phone's storage, if I want to, is horrible!

Being able to move all my pictures over to a new device, in case the current one dies, is terrible! Especially when it also saves me from paying my carrier for the bandwidth to upload all my pictures to DropBox/Facebook/Whatever. Of course, I could configure it to only upload over WiFi. But then if I'm on vacation and don't have WiFi available, and break my phone before I get home and let the pics upload, I will lose all the photos from my vacation - unless my camera was set to store on the SD. But that would also be terrible!

Right.

Plus, SD speed and reliability are variable. If you get a fast SD card, it can rival decent hard drives for speed. Speed difference between the slowest and fastest SD cards can be a factor of 10.

Does Samsung include the sd card in the box.....no, why cause its cheaper for them to build with 16gb (actually 8.66gb)and have you go and buy it then build phones with built in 32gb or 64gb but they still charge you more for a 16gb s4 than HTC offers the HTC one 32gb. You can't even move apps or games to sd cards anymore since jellybean dosn't allow it. I know samsung advertise 32gb and 64gb at there launch but usually they don't get released for months if ever.

What a stupid comment! "Plus sd cards suck" Some of you people are idiots. Jumping on people because they want options. Trust me a 64GB microSD card is cheaper. Plus you can only get the 64 HTC One on AT@T. You can't get a 64 developer edition for Sprint or Verizon. Some of you are like Apple fans. You have problems with people wanting options.

If HTC wants to go the non battery route they need to put in a Maxx size battery. There is no excuse why they can't.

Fk removable battery, who cares. That's why Samsung has to resort to plastic.
Just get the extended battery case or external charging device if you're that heavy

Every mobile phone I have owned since the early nineties has been plastic, who Fk'ing cares. What matters is what the device delivers to the customer.

I'd love to own an HTC 'Nexus" One. Though the timing is wrong for me as I've only had the Nexus 4 for like two and half months.

I would consider buying this phone because I don't like Sense and the new hardware is very nice. However, there are A LOT OF caveats to consider.

Caveats? LOL Its a phone dude....not a house. You will have another one in 2 years at the latest anyway.

Caveats being all the features that might be lost by not running Sense. But hopefully HTC develops standalone apps for the camera and universal remote functionality.

^^ THIS! I used to use HTC phones with all the way up to Sense 3.6. When he phone died and I went to a GNex, I realized just how much benefit the "skins" provide. I need no less than 16 different apps to replace builtin functionality lost with not having Sense. Some functions aren't even available outside rooting!

I will never buy a pure Android device again and I hope HTC hangs in there because Sense beats out Touchwiz and Motoblur handily.

You might want to try sense 5. It makes a lot of sense to use the software that is designed for the hardware. Time will tell if AOSP will be able to make use of all the cool hardware goodies in the HTC One. We already know that stock software can. Unless you are the kind of person that obsesses about every MB that is lost to apps you don't use.

I'd sell my Nexus 4 for a 'Google Edition' HTC One. If this phone doesn't have T-Mobile bands, I'm going to cry.

I'm going to assume that like the Google GS4, pentaband HSPA+(with 42Mbps on T-Mo) and support for AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE bands.

I'd sell my Nexus 4 for a 'Google Edition' HTC One. If this phone doesn't have T-Mobile bands, I'm going to cry.

If I hadnt upgraded to the LG OG a few months back I would definitely be coughing up the cash for the One with stock Android over the S4. The build quality is stunning.

WHOA!I agree no less. Almost bought HTC One from T-Mo yesterday. My gut feeling told me to hold it until it comes to google.

Heh, made me LOL...unless Google tells us something about a Nexus with LTE soon I'll go for the HTC One, certainly over the S 4.

I'd be very surprised if it didn't have all the same bands (thus carrier access) as the S4 "Google Edition". I don't really have an opinion of this vs the S4, but I really like where all this is headed in general.

Exactly. Give those who want it a stock Android experience, especially now that Android's interface has evolved into something that's nice to use. If others want the "skinned" version that the manufacturers are pushing, that's fine for them, but others want Android without it.

I'd consider it, I actually liked some components of the new Sense (widgets mostly)so it would be a shame to have none of it. I can completely do without Blinkfeed though and the online integrated gallery was a pain as well.

What would be smart is if they just offered this as a stock ROM alternative that any owner of the One could flash to.

Seems like stock android isn't really one-size-fits-all.
People should stop groaning and clamouring for such a phone.

Sure it is unless you want Touchwiz or Sense. Its the best basis for building fast and custom android experience.

Not really in this case. Because you need a button workaround due to HTC not going with on screen ones. On the GS4, however, it should swap pretty seamlessly.

Last I check the S4 had no multitask button. They just have a menus button that is not required by google. Button layout would be the same on both devices double tap home for multitask.

It may not be one size fits all, but that's not the point. The point is having options, and this provides another option to consumers.

Personally, it's an option I have been waiting for since I got my Nexus tablet and found I liked Jelly Bean "naked" better than with things like TouchWiz or Sense.

I love my HTC One and am not seeing the appeal of a Google edition. The camera and Boomsound are the two items that really make it stand out. Take that away and all you're left with is the build quality. The S4 Google edition would make more sense.

Although you are right about the camera (not being fully optimized), stop crying about the boom sound! It will sound the same just like it did before. All beats audio does with boom sound is switch between two different audio profiles. When beats audio is "Off", the equalizer is PURPOSELY under exaggerated and under powered for a dull sound effect. When it is "On", the equalizer is over exaggerated and volume is greatly increased. This tricks people into thinking that anything without beats audio sucks , which is not true. All in all, just don't worry about audio. However when it comes to the camera, you won't know until later. Right?

Why does the S 4 make more sense? The HTC One is already the closest to stock android anyway since they thankfully did a light touch with Sense this time around. Unlike Touchjizz.

On the one hand I am excited at the concept of a stock ONE.

But on the other hand, I don't want to lose all the goodies like Zoes, Highlights, Beats + Boomsound, IR blaster & hell even Sense 5 with Blinkfeed.

I guess it just shows that good OEM's are actually adding value on top of Android.

I agree with you. With the S4 GE and now the ONE GE it almost feels like they are selling the car but leaving out the features that make it luxury. The S4 and ONE were designed to have features such as blink feed or multi-window integrated into their version of android. I'm sure there is a small portion of people who will buy these devices but 600 to 700 bucks is an awful lot to drop on devices with sensors and such not even being used.

"I guess it just shows that good OEM's are actually adding value on top of Android."

EXACTLY!

I look forward to getting my "One".

I think this is the first time I'm actually excited about Sense features. I would have loved a "Nexus" version of my Amaze 4G, but the One just seems right with Sense. I would love to use them side by side to see.

These Nexus experience devices are interesting. They are taking devices that compete with clutch features like BoomSound/UltraPixels, and Hover touch controls/tap to add a speaker. These features probably won't work well or some at all on stock AOSP.

In Samsungs case I'd argue most of them are gimmicky on the verge of pure bloat features no one will miss. As for HTC I feel theirs are genuinely useful, however their launcher is a mess. I think the only way this could work is if it isn't exactly pure Google and keeps some manufacture apps that are required to keep the device as functional as it was running their full software.

I love the idea of a Nexus "One" (haha...get it?) but don't think I could deal with giving up two of the coolest things about the phone for it (great speakers, great indoor photos)

I agree. The pure Android experience would remove the features that have people talking and going "WOW" about the HTC One. I'm glad more top end devices are getting pure Android, but whats the point when it removes the main features or selling points of the device?

We are assuming that features will be removed on a stock Android version of these phones, but neither Google nor the manufacturers have said whether that will be the case or not. It seems to me to be bad press for Android/Nexus phones, if "Google Edition" phones cripple hardware that can be bought elsewhere with the features enabled, and at a much smaller initial cost.

Multi-window ( not mentioned)

Smart Stay ( not mentioned)

Air gestures ( non mentioned )

s translate ( non mentioned )

S voice ( not mentioned)

And what feature is useful for HTC, blinkfeed?

honestly you sound like an HTC spokesman at this point. Samsung does need to improve ther UI. I honestly feel that Samsung should hire Coldfustion UI interface.

Boomsound being clutch? Seriously how moronic are you. Boomsound and ultrapixels are marketing terms that don't back up their big words.

Multi view. ..... cool

Smart stay..... blah!

Hover view..... works....sometimes.

S translate......who cares cause Google translate is better.

S voice. ....... sucks. ...Google now beats it hands down.

S translate > google translate. I tried both.

S-voice is about as good as Siri. they aren't really that refined yet, but it's improving that is. Google now actually came after S Translate

I would definitely take the HTC One Google Edition over the S4 Google Edition. When comparing the two, the only main difference is hardware and in my opinion the One is much better.

You are on Kool-aid at this point.

how is the HTC hardware better when they use the same processors, use SAMSUNG RAM and Flash memory. They both use broadcom chips and qualcomm modems. THe only real difference is the Omnivision Camera lens and the SOny Lens.. the Sony Lens is better in my opinion in the GS4.

Really, how is HTC better in hardware when they are dependent on Samsung for flash memory options? huh>

Idiot.

Can't wait! My OG Note is getting way too old. N4 doesn't have enough storage. Hopefully this is 64GB.

I'm going to wait to see what rolls out of Motorola (Googlerola). I really like the Razr Maxx HD but don't want MotoBlur or Verizon...a Google Version of the Maxx HD (or similar) would be sweet...Give me LTE as well and my Nexus4 will be gone...

Just seems to me that the S4 Google Edition would be the better option. Being an HTC user myself, removing Sense really affects the camera. It's not as big of a deal with the S4.

if they change the LED and allow LIGHT FLOW to work.. I might sell my unlocked one to get this...

coming from Blackberry and using the phone more for business ..I need to reply fast.. so notifications are important to me

Ok, now I don't get why these are such a big deal now. Before you flame me, follow along:

Google made it a point to NOT mention a new OS or new hardware at I/O. Instead, they sold us heavily on the fact that their framework now allows them to deliver new features without the carriers and manufacturers in the picture. That means the hard stuff to update - the underlying Android core - can be upgraded and updated without Samsung having to figure out how their TouchWiz will fit on top of it and then the carriers having to figure out how their bloat works with it also and THEN figure out a release timeframe.

So, why we'll all hail this as awesome - because it is if you want pure Android without rooting your phone - why are these phones so important?

I can't link to it without being flagged for spam, but you can read a layman's version on tested dot com.

Sounds good. Too bad Verizon never gets the cool toys or is always too late to the party. :-(

why? because you like none offensive names like HTC. than Samsunnnng..
HTC is a huge fraud. they've been committing to copying Samsung, and taking credit for other peoples's work

Might have to make the HTC One my next phone and my first Android phone ever!
Oops, if it ever comes to Verizon.

I think this more than confirms that Motorola will be stock Android and get the fastest updates.Google is giving these two companies a chance to build up a user base before Motorola releases their Nexus like lineup.

Do we know which carriers will get this? Might make sense for this to go Sprint/Verizon with AT&T and T-Mobile covered by the Galaxy S4 Google Edition.

Verizon's coverage is the only coverage that actually covers more than 50% of my daily life, and they do so at well over 90%...AT&T and TMo has spotty 2G with a few 3G spots for coverage in most of the locations I visit on a daily basis...VZW, otoh, has 4G LTE in nearly ever location I visit.

I'm tied to VZW until the other carriers catch up in my area. But as soon as they do, I'm jumping ship, buying whatever the current Nexus (or Google Experience Phone) happens to be...How will I choose? Best balance of Price + Feature Set + Hardware

Is anyone else a little concerned with this sentence:

"One source believes that in exchange for early access to upcoming Android code, “Google Edition” OEMs like HTC and Samsung will be subject to certain deadlines for preparing updates for their vanilla Android handsets."

That certainly makes it sound like updates are NOT coming directly from Google, or at least that they are dependent upon Samsung and HTC getting their act together. I have no doubt that Samsung and HTC will honor that commitment for the rest of the year but what about 2 years out? These are expensive phones with powerful hardware that should be relevant for many versions of Android but if we have to rely on Samsung and HTC I'm not sure these will be Nexus-experience phones down the line. Makes me a little worried.

Also I really hope Google adds a developer option to enable on screen keys to use instead of the hardware keys. That would solve any software inconsistencies with either Google Experience device.

Not at all how I read it. They get early access to Android code for having a "nexus" device but in return they must agree to update their other phones quicker...it seems rather clear. Not saying the updates are coming straight from google, but I don't see how that refutes it.

OEM's will be obligated to get the code ready withing a reasonable time. I'm sure it's a contractual obligation. They have to do it this way because of proprietary drivers.

It's going to be funny to see all the people who hated the idea of the Google Edition Galaxy S4 suddenly fawning over the One Google Edition. But i'm sure there will be "reasons" for the way everyone acted.

I can't be excited about this if it degrades some of the hardware features of the phone. It's one thing if you have a device shaped around vanilla android...or if you can optionally add back in the HTC features you want...but stripping the phone down just for the sake of the "holy grail" of stock android? meh.

All these vanilla android devices coming out...I thought everyone just LOVED those stupid vendor skins. So what happened?

I'd say we could wait until the sales numbers come out before we assume that this is a sign that people hate the vendor skins.

Gingerbread fell below half of the market share. That was the last version that needed a skin to fill gaps in the OS. Now Android is all grown up and skins just get in the way.

What I want to know is if my ONE DEV EDITION will be supported. I rather download the OS and install it then wait for Cyaongen stables if it is possible.

Just another example of HTC's lack of innovation. Playing follow the leader....Samsung being the leader.

I'd be willing to bet we never even see this supposed version..HTC already has supply problems. This is just an attempt to stop Samsung's momentum and try and keep their name in the media. By the end of summer when this Google experience device has still not been released, everyone will have forgotten about it and will be speculating on the next gen version of the One.

I won't forget HTC's lies though.

I love this and can't wait until the Rom hits the wild.

Ideally, it would be mostly AOSP with the proprietary camera drivers, but I'm guessing that's a dream.

"HTC would also enjoy higher margins on these vanilla HTC Ones, as additional licensing fees for certain Sense 5 software features would not apply."

Might as well say it like it is: They don't want to be paying the vig to Microsoft for every phone anymore and instead would rather have Google shoulder that liability directly.

Wow... that would be awesome! I'm running Cyanogenmod 10.1 on my Galaxy S3. My next smartphone is gonna be pure Android for sure! That's the speed and support from Google. If HTC is gonna go for pure Android I'm choosing HTC ONE for sure!

Sense 5 all the way, it's not like it slows the phone down! Who would wanna lose Zoes, beats, blinkfeed just for quicker updates? With this and the s4 is Google going to bother with a nexus phone this year?

I apologize if this has been covered but, has there been anything said about the bootloader in these "nexus experience" devices? Soft locked like a nexus, or ultra locked down like the normal carrier variants?

Hmm, I guess the presence of a DEV edition would kind of answer that question (as in, it'll be locked down tight, go buy a DEV edition if you want it unlocked)

Woot. This is the other shoe dropping from stuff I was hearing 24 months ago -- that Google was getting irritated, nay, frustrated with all the divergence of Android due to manufacturer, and carrier, twiddling and bloat. The I/O announcement, and this, tells me that Google found a way to strong-arm two of the leading manufacturers into selling (at a premium, alas) a "pure Android" phone with (most critical feature, if true) frequent updates following on AOSP. No more dying of starvation at the bus stop waiting on the next update from manufacturer+carrier overlords.

Lots of people probably still want subsidized phones with bloatware galore, but opening up the market with these "pure" devices, and the Nexus line, allows consumers to make choices. Regardless of whether the S4 and One '13 are missing functionality and features without the manufacturer launchers and replacement apps, availability of the hardware, unlocked, "pure" Android, and separate from phone carrier stores, has got to be a good thing for consumers, and Android. Look out, iPhone, there's a tsunami coming....

unless it has a removable battery, I really don't see the point of buying this phone. I have went from the galaxy s2 to the galaxy s3 and I haven't had to plug in a phone into a wall charger in years now. I just swap a fresh battery and go. I will never buy another phone missing this feature. A cellphone is useless if it is not on your person and chained to a wall or PC.

Quick question, why is the speaker grill.2 different colors. Ones dark grey from the BLACK HTC ONE and the others silver from the SILVER HTC ONE ? Could it be showing that its simply going to come in both the black and silver model ONEs? And I think they would just make the HTC logo a button. It has the sensor strip in it and there's ROMS to make it your menu button , since Google doesn't want them to hide it, it'd be perfect. Has no other function plus it wouldn't be good for HTC to a whole new device ONE because if it doesn't sell well they'd have another problem like the HTC FIRST (Facebook phone). I do really hope HTC makes it into a button because it'd make the device better and it'd give us the full 4.7 screen for certnt apps instead of a 4.5 because of the menu button taking up space.

So this is what we all finally expected from Google. Multiple Nexus devices from all sorts of manufacturers. I think most of us all thought that they would rename the brands "Nexus" but it looks like now Google is going to support select phones with "Nexus Experience". HTC One and Galaxy S4. I'm sure Google will have something in store for a Moto brand.

I don't think this can be called Nexus. From what I've heard, HTC and Samsung will build the updates to insure it works with their proprietary drivers and then Google will push it. The OEM's are obligated to do it in a timely manner.

That's just what I heard, but it makes the most sense, especially with the One's camera.

If I would be in a situation where Verizon coverage is desperately needed, I would get a MiFi and a data plan with at least 5-10 GB of data and then use an unlocked, unbranded device as an IP phone with Google Voice through Groove IP with the MiFi providing coverage. Granted, it mean two devices and the need for using the hotspot and WiFi on the phone but I would still do it since I rather buy the device I want.

This is just an option I would explore in a situation where any other carrier refuse to work since I can't accept being limited in my device selection.

That once rumour about the custom Nexus devices, these devices seems to be it. I think this will be happening with every manufacturer in time.

I'd most likely get this version if it has a menu button as I like the features the One currently has.

"side-by-side shots have already shown a marked reduction in image quality for HTC Ones running CyanogenMod 10.1-based firmware compared to HTC Sense 5."

Sure, but Cyanogen doesn't have the same camera firmware, either. HTC does. I'm fairly certain the image quality will be fine.

I really only have two questions about this:
1) How will the buttons be handled? Dear god, why did they have to flub the buttons up so bad? GRRR!
2) Does this mean certain proprietary Google software will be included that are only available in Nexus devices, like Photosphere?

I actually like Sense 5 better than I like stock Android. Please make the tar and feathering that follow gentle.

So, regarding those rumours from a few months back about multiple nexus devices: LG Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Nexus S4 and HTC Nexus One! How about that , uh?

Can we stop pretending we know the One won't be coming to Verizon? That's still very up-in-the-air. I've seen many journalists that seem to believe Verizon will get it. And Sprint has it, so why the hell wouldn't Verizon at some point?
I'm just worried the play store won't sell a CDMA variant...

Yes. Verizon availability wouldn't be a surprise for me but this pure Android version most likely only for GSM

But devs will most likely port the firmware over and give people with the CDMA version the same software.

Hopefully this will teach HTC a lesson not to F with button layout. It's mind boggling what they did to the standard Android button trio.

Unless they change the screen/panel to eliminate this mess, GS4 is a better pick IMO. You will be able to disable those capacitive buttons and they would not even be visible. The HW home button can overriden with "wake" or "take picture" functionality.

The camera is also a concern. I wonder if HTC algorithms are part of the "driver" and will be part of this pure Android release. Same goes for the speakers.... maybe HTC can still include those enhancements.

They'd lose screen space, but they could probably black out and disable the capacitive buttons and just use the on screen ones.

Is the screen on phones with SW buttons intentionally made taller (like Nexus 4 for example)? I don't think so.... so I don't think it's an issue

I've been using the One for only a day, and I've already adapted to the button layout. It's not ideal, but overall it's still a better hardware package than the SGS4, and the button layout is certainly not a reason to pan the device all together. The SGS3 launched with a menu button and people got used to that as well.

Why is the One a better hardware package than the ONe. when the GS4 offers Micro SD card support and a removable battery. Granted Aluminum was an Apple idea that HTC also used. I admit that Sammy screwed up and was arrogant about not using aluminum. But HTC doesn't make any hardware. NOr do they make any software. They are incredibly huge fraudsters that do not disclose who makes their parts and their phones.

Trust me CHer Wang and her gang of fraudsters will maker sure they steal from the true innovators of the industry and take credit for something they can never ever even try to manifest to gestate into a technological smartphone.

Tried both the Silver and Black ONE for Sprint, both were defective (dead pixels and gaps in the "zero gap" design). If its coming from Google I'll try it once more. Love the phone other than those issues. If those are ironed out by the time Google puts ASOP on it, I'll be a happy camper. Also ready to ditch Sprint and their terrible service (no SVDO was also a deal breaker. It's much needed on Sprint sub-sub-sub par network).

Most of the "Questions Raised" should also apply to the S4 Google Edition. The S4 has hardware buttons, IR blaster, awesome camera... S4 has SD card slot too. Maybe pure Android will include support for some of these, we'll see how it shapes up on both devices.

You can simply disable GS4 capacitive buttons and they will not even be visible. The home buttons can be overridden as Wake or Camera. IR Blaster already has a number of apps in Google Play.
Cemera should be less of an issue because it's "conventional" 13MP as oppose to 4MP (bigger pixels that require special algorithms, etc to make the image look good)

An HTC ONE Nexus-ish device would be super tempting. I got my Nexus 4 about a month ago and have decided I'm definitely going to stick with it. This, however, could tempt me to sell it and get this instead. Maybe... I'd have to see what they say once announced.

My contract is with Verizon is up in April of next year. I plan to switch to a prepaid GSM carrier after that.

This is the way "Nexus" phones should be. Take an existing phone, and offer it with a pure google experience. The user then truly has a choice of what type of phone experience they want. If they don't like the vanilla android experience, it will just be a matter of flashing a sense based rom from the One line. Same with the GS4. If you would prefer, or want to try touchwiz, just flash it, and try it out.

The HTC One Google-flavored i think is the best deal. No more plastic for that range of price :).

The HTC One Google-flavored i think is the best deal. No more plastic for that range of price :).

Newsflash people: Google REMOVED support for SD cards after Gingerbread (honeycomb 3.1 had read access but that was removed from ICS). It is therefore by definition LEGACY. Samsung and others have hacked it back on but that doesn't change it's LEGACY status).

Stock android is great, but I don't mind additions that enhance android, e.g. multitasking ability improves productivity.

Just was at Best Buy today and finally got my paws on the HTC One and the GS4, I think I like the GS4, the screen looks more intense that the one, and I didnt like how the one fit in my hands, I guess Im addicted to plasticy phones, either way I will get a plastic case to cover what ever phone I buy anyway

the s4 has a dimmer screen and you can't see anything in the sun and the color are not natural no thanks

I have a Galaxy Nexus with a amoled screen so I know all about it. I never had any problems with brightness, and seeing the screen in the sun, LCD technology has never been easy to read in direct sunlight regardless of the device. I like the blacks you can get with amoled, the trade off is color reproduction. its a personal preference.

Will HTC One current owners will have the option to update to the google version firmware?
I hate companies keep playing with their phones after we already buy them :(

I looking forward to see if they offer it in black or even the most desired color "red" model. Google seems to be getting the most desire features and desired phones to be in Google's sales. I will wait to see if this happens.

running same software, ill take the one..I think. I do love the camera quality of the s4 though.

wonder if google will add anything to android code to take advantage of gs4 and htc one hardware features..plus for future use in android in general.

No, that sort of optimization will come on the next Nexus and version on Android. Par for the course.

And people call Samsung a copycat. HTC is ten times worse than Samsung. HTC copies Samsung blatantly now. They suck

What because HTC and the Crappy iPhone don't have removable batteries so "everyone" is starting to move away from Removable batteries and SD? That's not true at all. My Note 2 lasts a day of med use but to me heavy use is playing games and streaming video for hours at a time. The HTC ONE dies in like 3-4 hours of constant use, so the non removable battery is garbage. ALSO Heat kills a battery lifespan and the HTC ONE heats up bad with its all metal build so it's going to be useless quick and with it being nearly impossible to repair you'll javelin a paper weight. The HTC ONE has a HUGE issue I will be brining to light in my review of it in my website which I'm surprised I'm the first to notice this issue, seems other reviewers don't put the devices through any real world tests or they would have found it. I have the Galaxy S4 and it runs flawlessly I highly recommend it over the ONE because the S4 us better in every way other than sound. The ONE sounds great but isn't loud like I thought it would be, it's no louder than the S4 just facing you. Also who cares about metal build Ober plastic when you need to put a case on it anyways because the HTC ONE has glass on the front just like every other phone and will shatter just the same if dropped without a case. Metal build us beautiful but unnecessary and like I said causes a few issues, one biggi. WEverybody needs to think twice about wanting a metal Galaxy Series phone, trust me read my review coming up soon on my website I was very surprised and disappointed by the ONE even though it's an amazing phone for basic users..this K() the

You don't sound anything like an informed objective reviewer, you sound like a total fanboy because all of your points are exaggerated. If I were shopping for either of these phones I'd stay away from guys like this for opinions.

Does your s4 not get really hot or have dead pixels or screen bleeding cause if you go on youtube and type s4 problems there are all these issues and more maybe you got a faulty HTC one to review.

Your not convincing anyone infact your probably paid by samsung to go to articles related to the HTC one and bash it. ....lame.

Thats the questions im wondering about. Will google write code in android 4.3 or whatever to use hardware of gs4 and one? Ir blasters of both phones, ultra pixel cam of the one and the various extra sensors of the gs4..or will samsung and htc license software to google for use with their google edition phone only. last choice sensors and such are just dormant unless you have an app that uses them.

All I have to say is WHY? the reason people want some of these phones is because of the over lay companies put on there devices. There's no need for this many different pure google phones .

Given the choice, neither. A Nexus doesn't have hardware buttons for back, home or menu. I'll stick to the Nexus 4 or even my current Galaxy Nexus.