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Google strips back Samsung Galaxy S4 to pure Android

Samsung Galaxy S4

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 15 May 2013 at 18:20

Google will offer a version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android, stripping out the additions made by the handset maker.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 features its TouchWiz skin and a host of apps added by the manufacturer, such as translation and photo management, that replace Google's own.

At Google's I/O conference, the company said it would sell a version of the handset with the standard version of Android, without Samsung's additions - making it look and feel more like Google's Nexus line of handsets.

The handset will also be entirely unlocked and get system updates "promptly", Google promised.

It will arrive on Google's Play store on 26 June for $649 - compared to $849 for the original version at BestBuy.

The move was greeted by whoops and applause from the developers at I/O - which may not come as a surprise as our own reviewer was "not convinced by TouchWiz’s busy looks and bold colours".

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User comments

If this is available over here I'd be tempted. Stock Android is SO much better than TouchWiz IMO so I'd definitely want to get one

By EddyOS_2K9 on 15 May 2013

Shame Google can't offer signed a ROM for the S3.

By tech3475 on 15 May 2013

I want an S4 now.

I've played with my Sisters S4 and it's nothing new.

My SGS2 is running a stoke version of JB and I love it to bits. If and when Google release this version of S4 in the UK. I will definitely be getting one myself.

By firstsin on 15 May 2013

At last

This is my perfect phone. I have a SGS2 at the moment, a newer one with the NFC & I'm still waiting for the latest update. My wifes older SGS2 without the NFC has the newer update!

I'm tired of waiting for O2 to release the update for my phone & can't wait to get out of my current contract & buy an unlocked contract free phone. I don't think I would ever buy another contract phone or another phone with a non pure Google operating system. Hate the samsung bits of my SGS2 such as the driving mode which annoyingly activates every time you click the home button twice!

My perfect phone would be the new HTC One with a removable battery and SD card slot, with a slightly bigger screen. I think a lot of people just out of contract are waiting for the perfect phone at the moment, people who have a "good enough" phone now.

By GlidemanUK on 15 May 2013


This could be interesting, if it turns out to be true...

By EddyOS_2K9 on 16 May 2013

S4 and HTC One

I go with GlidemanUK. I'd love the HTC One with those additional features. And WHY is the 64Gb version of the HTC One only available in the US? As ever, too, we're being ripped off with the prices for the unlocked phones ...

I'll probably go for the stock Android S4 when I can afford it.

By Audiobear on 16 May 2013

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