Galaxy S4 Developer Edition

For sale directly through Samsung with no Verizon subsidy available

A few weeks ago we learned that Samsung was planning to bring a Developer Edition of the Galaxy S4 to both AT&T and Verizon customers.The Verizon handset has gone on sale first, and is available through Samsung starting today for $649.99. Since this version is only available through Samsung, there will be no subsidy for those looking to use their Verizon upgrades.

This version of the Galaxy S4 will be virtually identical to the version available through Verizon, with the important difference of shipping with an unlocked bootloader. This will enable users to install custom software on their devices right out of the box. However, with bootloader unlocking methods already available for the Verizon and AT&T versions of Galaxy S4, the value of a factory unlocked bootloader is arguable. It is worth noting that supporting developer editions such as this is important to ensure their continued future existence, especially when the day may come that Samsung bootloaders do not have unlocking methods available.

There is still no sign of the AT&T Developer Edition, however the Galaxy S4 "Google Edition" is still scheduled to go on sale tomorrow in the Play Store. This Galaxy S4 variant will also ship with an unlocked bootloader, as well as a pure version of Android (without Samsung TouchWiz) -- as also seen in Google's Nexus devices. Unfortunately, this "Google Edition" version will not work on Verizon, as it will be a GSM-only phone.

Source: Samsung


Reader comments

Verizon Galaxy S4 Developer edition goes on sale for $650


Verizon will NOT Carry the Nexus editions, only the unlocked dev editions. Itwould be nice to be able to download the New Nexus Edition software since it is the most advanced version of 4.2.2 with new camera software than the original 4.2.2. without having to wait for a rom

Annoying to have to pay an extra $450 just to tinker. HTC had it right with their bootloader unlock page......except they didn't always allow unlocking on every device

Don't worry by the time they start looking at number of sales. Price must come down:)

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Just ordered one. $650 is NOT the price - local tax is applicable. My order was $705.24. Yours may vary. Oh well. At least shipping is free.

This will be my first phone with an unlocked boot loader

1. Will this phone receive verizon update like the other verizon s4's?
2. Will I be able to delete the bloatware because it is unlocked?
3. Will there ever be a 32gb version?

1) Yes, as long as the phone is running Verizon's firmware, you will receive updates from Verizon.

2) Even though the bootloader is unlocked, you'll have to root the S4, to delete any of the bloatware.

3) Seeing as how this is a niche device in and of itself, I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you. Not to mention, Verizon is inherently against unlocked (or unlockable) bootloaders, so it's not like them to provide more than one option.

I hope this helps.

Question: does it come with carrier bloatware or is it just a stock galaxy s4 with touchwiz that has the radio bands need for verizon?

Verizon isn't subsidizing or selling the device, so I don't think it will come with any carrier bloatware installed on it.

This is a great idea for me, as I don't want to get rid of my unlimited data. Just trying to decide if it is worth it. Coming from tthe GNex, I am spoiled with an unlockable bootloader....

Manufacturers really need to release these things within a week of an actual phone release on a carrier and let people know they will be available then. I have already unlocked my bootloader on my S4, but I would have gladly paid full price at the time of my purchase to support this edition. I paid full price to Verizon to keep my unlimited data, so honestly I would have rather gone this route.

Either way, it will undersell its potential at this point because of the timing.. Its unfortunate.

Will Verizon use a special OTA file for updates to handsets that it knows are "developer", to prevent the presence of an unlocked bootloader from triggering the middle finger screen? Otherwise, it would be possible to just port the ROM/bootloader to any S4 and poof you have a "Developer" edition.

Tough to say, though my guess is no. Technically, it's the recovery partition that "throws the middle finger screen" if it's been modified, so I'd think that same firmware updates could be applied regardless of bootloader version.

Having said that, it does raise an interesting point as to whether or not the unlocked bootloader from the dev edition can be used to unlock the bootloader of the standard version, which technically isn't even "unlockable" at this point, there's just a work-around (Loki) that can be used to achieve the same functionality (at least that's my understanding).

Awaiting tomorrow when the Google edition goes live and hopefully they won't sell their orders out too fast such that I miss out on one. In fact, in order to get the product purchased quick enough and use it at work, I would probably need to do a purchase on my own and then get it paid back later.

Barely got the Nexus 7 fast enough last time while watching the videos and hitting the Play Store.