Google Ed. HTC One

HTC One with Nexus User Experience arriving June 26 for $599

It's been reported since last week, but now it's official -- in addition to the the 'Google Edition' Samsung Galaxy S4, Google will offer an HTC One running its 'Nexus user experience' software -- that's vanilla/stock Android to the rest of  us.

Android boss Sundar Pichai revealed the news on-stage at the D11 conference, saying it runs the same core UI as Nexus devices. The 'Google Edition' HTC One, he says, will hit Google Play on June 26, priced at $599. It'll run on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. Pichai also mentioned that the Nexus line will continue alongside these 'Google Edition' handsets.

So now that it's all official, who's planning on picking up Google's HTC One? Or will you be sticking with the HTC version, or even the Google Edition GS4? Share your thoughts down in the comments!

Update: Google's Hugo Barra has followed up with an official render, and says the HTC One with Nexus User Experience will come with Beats Audio. HTC's official statement on the device confirms the launch date, and the fact that it ships with Android 4.2.2 and will get updates straight from Google.

Source: Engadget liveblog, +Hugo Barra, HTC

HTC Statement:

A special edition of the new HTC One running stock Android will be exclusively available through the Google Play store in the United States starting on June 26th.  This edition pairs the all-metal unibody design, low-light capabilities of the UltraPixel camera and dual front-facing stereo speakers of the new HTC One with the stock version of the latest Android software, Jelly Bean 4.2.2.


Reader comments

The HTC One 'Google Edition' is official!


Same, for the first time out of my 5 previous Android devices before the One, I don't feel the need to put AOSP on it. Yet I'm so comfortable with AOSP. I'm conflicted...

It's all about timely updates to me man. All though with the direct access to Google API's, it may not be that important anymore. Guess we'll have to wait for 4.3 to find out!

I wonder if this will still support the Boom Sound function where you can record clear audio at concerts? Any guesses, hints?

Why not spend $50 more and get the Dev edition with double the memory, and Sense?

With an unlocked bootloader, it seems likely you'll be able to throw an AOSP image onto our Dev Ed.

Not everybody wants or needs a Dev edition, nor do they want to root and install Rom's etc ... Some folks just want a stock phone, from scratch with no modding needed and no hassles about anything going wrong !

My wife is an Android and HTC fan, I think this will be hers. Beautiful phone running a beautiful OS...

Signed.. iOS user.

It'll be on the play store site with the nexus devices...but wont be on there for another couple of weeks (if it launches with the Nexus experience S4)

Too bad I'm still stuck without it being a Sprint customer..........

Also, I'm curious if we're going to see drivers for ImageSense and all that? If not, it won't have a very good camera experience.

I LOVE that these guys are doing this though!

That's my biggest fear about this device. Without HTC's proprietary software tweaks the camera performance may suffer mightily. Obviously gonna have to reserve judgement until someone get's a review unit, but I'm skeptical.

Imagesense? Yea right. You can forget an even remotely close comparison in camera on stock. They will probably have to come up with another alternative to beats audio too.

Says right in the article it will have Beats Audio. Did anyone who has been in the comments actually read the article?

I'd take HTC over Motorola any day. HTC is the superior Android phone. Never used a good Moto phone.

Funny, other way around for me. Multi-touch was horribly broken on my Evo 4G...and I couldn't even use the screen if I wasn't holding the if it was on a car dock or laying on a desk due to grounding issues. Not saying all HTC phones suck...just that we all have had good or bad experiences that shape our opinions and that just one person is a really small focus group.

Waking up next to the HTC One in the morning is like waking up to a supermodel. Beautiful and slightly cold to touch.

Waking up next to the SGS4 in the morning in like waking up to an old and used hooker that has gone through tons of plastic surgery. Ugly and well, plastic.

Thanks for the compliment. My teens would love to know their dad can hang with them in the immaturity department.

So you're saying that the S4 will get the job done for you better, faster, and in more different ways. Whereas, all the One has going for it is its looks.

Sounds about right.

I think he means:

S4 - It'll be fun for a while, but you'll end up regretting it and won't be proud.

One - I disagree with his analogy. It is more like a long term girlfriend. You'll have your ups and downs and there are plenty more fish in the sea, but your content.

??? - The supermodels more like a phone running a completely different OS. i.e. Look what I've got, isn't it amazing. (whispers) Not great at what it does though, but I won't tell anyone that.

Slimy? What the hell are you excreting on your phone?

Wait a minute. That was a rhetorical question. Please don't answer. We don't want to know.

What would make these phones attractive is if HTC & Samsung released their particular software features as apps, to run on them. Otherwise....what's the point? HTC's One is an amazing piece of hardware and I love stock android, so a Nexus experience One WOULD be a no brainer for me, but a big issue is the photo quality of HTC's 4 ulta pixel camera, sans the software enhancements to optimize it, and the speaker/sound quality, sans the BoomSound & Beats by Dre enhancements. I would also like to have the option to use the Zoe features and Blinkfeed.

Blinkfeed can easily be replaced by something far more capable like Flipboard. Which Blinkfeed is copied from.

Yea, I already use and love Flipboard, but what I like about Blinkfeed (and its funny because I thought I'd hate it) is the fact that I've always wanted a really good news widget right on my homescreen, and have never found one good enough to my liking. Blinkfeed solves that, and looks rich and attractive. I've always wondered why Flipboard didn't creat a homescreen widget that is closer to their actual app.

So, why in the world does Google need it's own nexus line of phones? For developers? I imagine anything that can be developed on the nexus 4, can be developed on the the One or the S4. Price wars?

Weird!? :-!

Do you see a new version of Android on these GE devices? Do you see that they have capacitive/hardware buttons? Do you see the non-Google subsidized price that very few consumers and even fewer developers will desire to afford? Do you see that Google has had ZERO involvement on the design of these GE devices both in astetics or hardware? Do you understand that Google is a company made up of tech geeks, based in California (as in generally laid back), desire openeness and freedom, and are as much about "giving back to the people" as a for profit company tends to get? These are just a few reasons why the Nexus line, and Android will continue to exist. Android/Nexus is Google's baby. These GE devices are not. They're to potentially appease folks who want a Nexus but NEED removable battery and storage. Google was listening. I'm willing to bet after seeing the lackiluster sales these GE devices will go the way of the dinasaur, especially seeing as all the people who cried why can't their be a Nexus-like GS4/One blah blah now all say they love the features of Touchwiz and Sense. Hilarious. Sort of.

"They're to potentially appease folks who want a Nexus but NEED removable battery and storage"

They? I think you mean THE S4. There's no removeable battery or expandable storage on the One.

Annnnd the GE S4 was mentioned in my rant. You think I frequent AC and don't know the One's specs? Come on.

What makes a nexus phone? LTE? Better camera? Better hardware? Longer battery life?

Obviously nexus's were always about the pure Google proscribed OS experience, rather than hardware. The simple fact is proved by rather lacking hardware. Nexus phone hardware was never at the level of flagship device made by other manufacturers in any generations of smartphones existence. All the manufacturers were busy skinning android, hence the nexus. But now that Google has shown how successful and popular stock Android can be with the N4, the other manufacturers are jumping on board. Basically making the custom Google hardware obsolete.

I have played with the wife's ONE, it is a finely tuned Ferrari, load it up with stock Android and you have a Bugatti, while the N4 is a Prius at best. While my Bionic is a Ford Pinto. Lol.

Stock Android editions of phones should have been available from the beginning of android phone market, it took Google, yes, with cheap hardware, four generation of nexus phones to show manufacturers the error of their ways. And now we are seeing the fruits of Google's labors. Nexus phones were never about you, yes they were your wet dream, but, nexus phones were always about shaping and controlling the landscape of the android market. Google WANTS stock Android on ALL phones. Lol.

Since they are not Apple, and are open source, they can't enforce their whims, instead they will let the free market do it for them.

I imagine, these Google edition phones is a great victory for Google and the beginning of a much larger shift in the status quo of market share. Meaning, we might be seeing the beginning of the demise of skins. If Google keeps making android more functional and more beautiful as they have been, I think skims don't stand a chance. Can you imagine stock Android in a few years from now? I can't, but, I am sure it will be amazing.

And oh yeah, who cares about buttons? Lol just kidding.


Abionic waiting for the X.... the hardware and specs are different. Each is missing different buttons, have them in different orders, and neither have onscreen buttons, for example Not to mention, camera tech and speaker tech is different, etc.

I left Sprint for T-Mobile a few years ago and never looked back. Seriously, there is not a single thing I miss about Sprint.

I know what you mean. I was a sprint customer for years, paying 10 bucks a month for "premium data" all the while being stuck on their laughable 3g network. I just paid $240 to break my contract and switch to tmobile on a new HTC One. couldnt be happier. Even though the HSPA+ speeds ive been getting so far top out at 15 Mbps, while the occasional sprint LTE i saw hit almost 30 Mbps, most of the time, i was on sprint 3g, which would get no more than 1.5 mbps on a GOOD day(and a really good day at that). most of the time, data on sprints 3g network was unusable. so while i may average between 6-10 mbps on tmobile, its plenty. honestly, on a phone, anything more than 6 mbps is pretty much a waste. and now that sprint isnt the only game in town with unlimited high speed data, there is no point in staying there.

I'll be bailing on Sprint very soon too, likely jumping to Tmo. Been a Sprint customer for ~13 years, enough is enough.

Neither......yet, those hardware buttons still bother me. But mainly because the Moto X phone has got me intrigued and since it's a Motorola phone, it'll probably have amazing battery life.

So many choices! Go for either the Google edition One or S4, Google X phone come October, the next Nexus (per Pichai). *eek*

Can anyone confirm if existing HTC One's will be able to download this Google Experience and install on say on the Sprint version? How will the camera work, Beats?

look at any CM 10.1 ROM or other AOSP ROM and you will see what the camera will look like and there will be no beats audio.

Beats audio will be included. Says so in the article.

As for a Sprint phone flashing the Google Experience're going to have to wait for a dev to port it, as it only supports AT&T and T-Mo radios.

I would assume the LED will still be 2 colors..

and the SOFT keys will be useless

the BLACK bar will have the BACK/HOME/MULTI TASKING ..

So less SCREEN REAL ESTATE with just about every app

They are capacitive key, not softkeys. You can easily (YMMV) hide softkeys whenever you want if the app doesn't do it automatically if you need the screen real estate. Just one of the many things you can do with sofware/on screen keys you cannot do with capacative/hardware buttons.

Yep. But, a 5" screen that uses soft keys is still going to have less screen real estate than a 5" screen with dedicated keys - at least, for any app that needs the keys displayed while its running.

I would imagine that with this release, the availability of source code and proprietary drivers will improve for the HTC One dev community. If you were planning on sticking with AT&T anyway, probably a good call to save $400 or so with the subsidized phone and then flash a new ROM, effectively leaving you with the same experience. That is, if you're down with flashing.

This is exactly what I am hoping for. I'm running CleanRom 2.5 right now and although I do enjoy Sense 5 I'll always prefer stock Android over anything. Plus like you mentioned with all the drivers available for camera, beats, etc it'll run smooth.

you aren't getting any proprietary source info.

Straight from Phil's article.

"The bigger implication comes with the camera. Remember that the HTC One technically only shoots at 4 megapixels, though those pixels do let in more light. But you'll be losing the major software features that make up HTC One experience. That means no Zoes. No Video Highlights. No animated gallery.

In addition, the power button-mounted IR blaster will be disabled."

Yeah, at $600 I'll pass. I'm hoping that the X phone comes in at a more aggressive price point, otherwise I'll just pinch my pennies for the next Nexus.

I'd sell my Nexus 4 and upgrade to that. It is a very nice phone, for the little bit of time I played with it.

Two thoughts on this

1. Will wee see a Sony device at the same time? With the soft keys that must be closer to standard.
2. Given the late June date, will all these devices launch with Android 4.3 (or 4.2.3 or whatever!) making the Google Edition even more special?

What issue? Legacy apps that don't take advantage of the new Action Bar, will just display a black bar with a menu button on it, like ICS/JB always did.

Once again people outside the US gets burned by not able to get it like the SGS4 "Google Edition" not happening outside the US as well?

This might be the phone that makes me leave Apple. I'll have to wait for the reviews, but this is looking very sweet at the moment.

If you're not already familiar with Android,then you should know to not expect the same kind of experience from the HTC One Google Edition that you see with the regular HTC One. AOSP is very different from Sense.

no mention of i assume 32gb and silver only? if they release a black in 64gb for $650 i will purchase the day it comes out....

Per HTC's blog on this, it's 32gb and silver. 64gb still reserved for only the DEV version and AT&T in the states at least.

I'm wondering about storage, too. I'm almost certain, that it's going to be a 32GB variant:

At&t still has an exclusive on the 64GB variant (I think), and the developer edition of the One (with 64GB) is $50 more (IIRC).

Too bad there is no AWS HSPA.

I will definitely be ordering this, unless the Moto X is announced and sounds better.

I don't think it was made clear with the S4, but HTC's blog post says subsequent updates from Google. I think this is important, rather than just the manufacturers getting around to pushing updates.

So....with the internals being the same, i'll "buy" mine when someone on XDA releases the ROM

I was thinking the same thing. As soon as the source code is released, ill just install that ROM on my TMobile version. I will miss the camera app though. I do hope they keep in in there, like they are doing with Beats

Wonder if they'll release the ROM so Developer Edition phones can be switched to this, since I'm assuming its the same hardware as that phone. Still weird that they aren't activating HSPA+ on AWS (since we KNOW it's in there).

Its confirmed that this isn't 100% a Google experience as it has Beats by Dre in it. I'm forced to assume the Camera from the One will follow a similar path based on the statement. The Google camera is awful in low light and doesn't use "ImageSense". Anyways, I'm happy to hear the One won't be taking a step backwards and instead is blending here. My question is, how we the One receive updates? I don't see someone being able to simply update from Google once 4.3 is released being that there is propriety tech in use here. Phil, Jerry...go!

How so? All the secret sauce is in the driver and the hardware. Google said they are going to update the Camera app to support the new features of the camera hardware. So even if they update to 4.3, the changes are still going to be there. I doubt they are going to fork Android just for HTC. Just like on Windows. There isn't a different version of Windows for every different hardware configuration. There is one version of windows, you just play around with different drivers.

Exciting ... I'm sure it won't take long for someone to make a image that works on the current One. Then I'll be just a flash away from the stock experience.

"Your current balance is $401.01. Your available balance is $598.99."

Damn it! I have to make 1 more payment to make room for this One. It's ok. I will have the payment made when it becomes available.

Thanks for the glimpse into the mind of...

Well, I should just say please do yourself a favor a just save your flipping money. Living on credit or paycheck to paycheck is no way to live. Ask the millions before you...

Well Google did announce it's "Auto Awesome" functionality at Google I/O, so you'll get your image enhancements one way or another.

B...b...but I thought no one wanted Vanilla Android devices. I thought vendor skins were the living end. Why on Earth would HTC not include it's precious Sense UI on all it's phones?

well its cheaper than the google s4 but i still don't see a need for it. we already have several aosp roms for the htc one.

id refer google get off their rears and release the nexus 5 without lg involved this time.

Are the AOSP roms 100% functional tho? When I had a Galaxy S3, the current builds of CM had a busted Device Encrpytion implementation. If you enabled it, it worked, but only until the screen turned off... Then it would reboot your phone.

If you used an older build of CM, the encryption worked, but the decryption didn't. If you selected "unencrypt" phone, your phone would be soft bricked, as it would boot loop, because the encrypted system partition would be corrupt. You'd have to flash the stock recovery to fix it, then flash TWRP/CW back.

On XDA, this bug seemed to be ignored, because not many people used that feature, so it was untested/ignored.

Sense is the worst thing about HTC Phones. Now there is no reason not to get a One instead of a Nexus except the price.

I do love my Nexus 4. But the One has a better display and significantly better camera. Also more storage and a slightly better CPU.

Unless you use your phone to sync your enterprise mail. If your enterprise required Certificate Authentication, you are SOL, because sense-mail doesn't support that. You'll need to root and install AOSP mail app.

I have both the Sense experience (3-5) as well as the Stock experience. Sense used to be noticeably laggy (4.X) but in 5, that is no longer the case. This was my only CRITICAL flaw with Sense. Anything else was just a nuisance here and there (inevitable with any OS). Sense 5 is on par with Stock in the GUI speed department. its a really solid platform and I would gladly leave my CM 10.1 S3 for an HTC One after using it. BTW, the Stock Camera can't hold a candle to the proprietary cameras and you know it. (S4 and HTC One) are big winners in this category.

That should be easy... On my Galaxy S3, you only needed to root, modify the config file, unroot, then reboot. HW buttons disabled, and SW buttons enabled.

I'm just trying to find a reason for it. Google Experience is cool and all but at the cost of using 60 percent of the HTC One's capability. Beats Audio is (potentially)the only proprietary software they're bringing over from HTC. The only reason I can think of is that you will have the best looking Google Experience phone and they're giving potential buyers the choice of HTC Software and Google's Version of Android. Just make (the inevitable) Key Lime Pie available to flash in the fall and I'll change my mind. Lol.

I agree, there just aren't enough "Cons" with Sense anymore for me to force myself into a Stock experience. The speed of it used to kill me. Now its very snappy.

So many smart people on this site missed the obvious, these Google Edition phone are Google's way to get the Nexus type updates on LTE certified devices. You all know that patents on wireless technology here in the US are crazy. HTC and Samsung already been through the process of certification. These are the same devices less the OEM software overlays. So Google back door the process with the Google Editions. Be the way, Verizon will never agree to anything like this.

I would rather have the gs4 for the removable battery and micro sd card, the nexus 4 would be my next choice because of the price and the software buttons. The HTC one is not even an option. It costs too much for what it is, no removable battery or storage, enormous bezel all the way around the phone, (if you want boom sound get a JawboneJambox), funky 2 button setup, I could go on all day. I really like HTC but the One is not the phone for me. I would rather have a One x body with the One internals.

I don't think I'd put vanilla Android on my One anyway (I have a Nexus 4 for that), but I'm sure there will be ports to Sense HTC One's rather easily. I actually love the new iteration of Sense and I don't feel like the software is a downgrade at all coming from the Nexus 4. In fact, the user experience is the best I've had on any phone.

Awesome to see other devices selling with stick android. I'm actually enjoying sense a lot with my HTC One so far though so I'll probably just stick to it. I have a Nexus 4 if I want stock Android or to try the latest updates.

Only for up to 6 months or so. They have to refarm to 1900mhz for their LTE rollout. They've already done it in over 40 markets. With them saying they will have LTE out to 200 million people by the end of the year, expect most of their HSPA+ to be moved over to 1900mhz by the end of the year.

So many unanswered questions with this and the S4 Google Editions. I'm excited about these phones and what they might mean for the future of Android on AT&T & T-MOBILE.

The One having beats audio answers one of my many questions. It leads me to believe the cameras will have some sort of input from HTC and Samsung. What about the IR sensor. Both of these are great options to me but if the cameras are screwed up it makes them much less interesting.

It's nice to see that manufacturers are sending flagship phones to Google for the Nexus experience. Especially ones with working LTE. I'm sticking with my Nexus 4. I like the on screen buttons over hardware. That is unless I come across a phone that has hardware same as on screen.
Also, you never know if Google is going to take the Nexus 4 back into FCC with working LTE and release firmware. One can only hope..

Im in hong kong and havent seen anyone use htc phone. US must love aluminum stuff. Btw,samsung is bigger than apple right now. Everyone carrying note 2....

both this and the gs4 (google editions) are greatly over priced.. the price should be lower because your not getting all that bloated software that they pay their people to test and make. without the software all you are getting is the shell. google did the leg work on the stock software. so i'll pass on both devices at their current prices. why get the gs4 if you cant wave your hand over the sensor to answer the phone. why get the one if you dont have zoe. dont make sense to get either device if your not getting their special bloat..

Would it be possible for people to flash this on to their regular HTC One or is there some hardware devices?

yes just as s4 owners will be able to take advantage of the google roms as well once the devs do some magic.

what i want to know is how beats is included with this? there's already beats mods all over xda.

Wonder what color the 'Google Edition' HTC One will be available in? Hopefully, it not the silver! Black or Red would be fine!

If it used on screen buttons I might not beable to resist itself. This makes me want to see what HTC does for their next flagship and what Motorola pulls out of their hats.

Do you guys think google will exclude the beats, camera, and special features that can be found on normal HTC One? i mean those features that make the One special.

Did you read the story? :-) Beats will be included. Also, nothing makes the One special.

I did read the story, because nexus experience is totally stock google UI,thats why i asked this, the paragraph that stated it ll come with beats audio is an update of the article, i posted my question before it get updated :) and yeah i think there are a lot of things that make htc one special. have you read those articles about the htc one review? If you re an owner of it then im speechless because you know nothing with the One. :)

I love the HTC version how it's lag free, I love the white background phonebook, I have no complains with the HTC version, not upgrading to android stock or otherwise I could pickup S4