‘Nexus experience’ HTC One officially confirmed, coming on June 26 for $599
The oft-rumored ‘Nexus’ edition of the HTC One is real. This time it’s been confirmed by none other than Sundar Pichai, Google’s VP in charge of Android and Chrome. The version of the HTC One running stock Android (without the HTC Sense UI overlay) will be available through Google’s Play Store on June 26 for $599.
That’s the exact same day on which the Nexus-ified Samsung Galaxy S4 will start selling via the Play Store. Interestingly though, the HTC One is going to be $50 cheaper than Samsung’s flagship device in its Nexus form. One more difference: the One comes with 32 GB of non-expandable storage, while the S4 has just 16 GB out of the box, but adds in a microSD card slot for expansion.
If you thought that Google selling these Nexus editions of the top two Android smartphones of the moment means that the Nexus programme will cease to exist – think again. Pichai assured people that the Nexus initiative will continue too, in parallel with these new developments. So we’ll see some new Nexus hardware too in the future.
HTC has confirmed that the ‘Nexus experience’ One will ship running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and software updates for it will be handled and issued by Google. This of course means that we should see this variation of the One get updates around the same time as actual Nexus-branded devices. And if this is true for HTC, it’s probably the same for the Nexus-ified Samsung Galaxy S4.
This is certainly good news for those ‘purists’ who love stock Android and enjoy receiving software updates first. On the other hand, the limited distribution for these handsets, at least for now (US only and only available in the Play Store), means that they aren’t likely to be best sellers. Recently we heard that HTC was only planning on making 50,000 Nexus edition One units.
And there are downsides to stock Android too. Certain hardware features in these handsets may not work as well as with the manufacturers’ own software. And obviously you’re losing all the software features and gimmicks that they’ve added on top of Android.
But it doesn’t matter. Yes, these will only cover small niches of the market. That doesn’t matter. Because once again, Google proves that Android is first and foremost about choice. Many people wanted more stock Android in more high-end devices. So here it is. Well, it will be on June 26.