Google announces unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 with stock Android coming June 26 for $649


We told you last night about the possibility of this happening, and today at the I/O keynote, Google made it official that they will be releasing an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 running stock Android.  The LTE compatible, completely unlocked phone will come with an unlocked bootloader and will work on AT&T and T-Mobile. Storage will be 16GB and the device will arrive on June 26 for $649.  The crowd at I/O went silent, with a few boos audible when they heard about the high price tag.

This is the first non-Nexus device to get this kind of Google treatment. It’s a little surprising Samsung is on board with this, considering how much they market their TouchWiz UI’s additions to the Android experience.

A huge advantage of owning this device will be system updates that will arrive as promptly as they do for the Nexus. Instead of waiting for the carrier and manufacturer to customize and approve the new software, owners of this “Google Edition” device will receive updates very soon after Google releases them. With an unlocked bootloader, this device will be ready to go for developers to test on without having to unlock their device themselves.

About the Author: Aditya Thawardas

Born in India and raised in Tennessee, Aditya is currently a marketing/finance student in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. Aditya started off in the world of smartphones with a first generation iPhone, until he realized what he was doing and quickly switched to Android. He then got an HTC Aria, followed by a Samsung Captivate, and today he is a proud Samsung Galaxy S III owner. Aside from writing for Talk Android, he occasionally writes for the Tennessee Titans blog, as is a huge Titans fan. In addition to the Titans, Aditya also loves all Pitt Panthers teams, the Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also enjoys playing the guitar.

  • Kary

    What do the attendees think a high end phone costs?

    It’s basically a Nexus phone with LTE and the ability to use memory cards, and there should be tons of accessories (e.g. car docks). Perfect!

    • GraveUypo

      yeah i was thinking the same thing. this is great, how could anyone boo this?

      • Kary

        I checked T-Mobile’s site, and they charge $629.00 for the regular S4. It would be nice if they would offer this version, so you could get the time payment plan.

  • IonyxIphone 5

    I’m not an android user but I’m glad they did this. I personally would only switch to android for a nexus though I never will. But at least GS4 owners have the choice of not having all the Samsung bloat that took up 8gb on a 16gb model. That would have pissed me off. I have a 64gb iPhone and it would suck so hard if apple loaded it with bloat ware. This is a step in the right direction for the GS4 and maybe now it will sell a lot better.

    • Kary

      I agree with your analysis, but I’d note they’ve already sold 6M S4’s, so I’m not sure it will drive that many more sales.

      The more I think about it though, this probably will generate two sales (1 for my wife too), and this news is probably the deciding factor on that decision. I too would prefer Nexus and didn’t like the Nexus 4.

  • Brian P.

    I was shocked when I heard this news…wasn’t expecting this at all.Too bad It’s not on Verizon or I’d be all over this! I would like to think this is just the beginning of a long list of pure google devices…hopefully a CDMA Verizon version soon!