The Samsung Galaxy S4 is officially a hit and it looks like Google wants in on the action. At the Google I/O Developers Conference, the Internet search giant announced that it would be releasing their own version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, only it will not have the TouchWiz skin to give users the pure Android experience.
This is good news for people who plan to get a Galaxy S4 but do not want Samsung’s TouchWiz skin. This will save them the trouble of rooting the phone to suit their needs but risk voiding their warranties.
While a lot of people are disappointed that Google is not releasing a branded Nexus phone, this is actually a smart move from Google:
Nexus 4 is just another version of LG Optimus G
People who are disappointed that there is no original Nexus phone coming should realize that the last Nexus phone is just another version of LG Optimus G. The main difference between the Optimus G and Nexus 4 was that the former was a little bigger and it had 4G LTE coverage from AT&T. In fact, the Optimus G was the more capable business phone and a lot of owners decided that they can actually convert it to Nexus 4.
That said, why should things be different with this new Galaxy phone? The Galaxy S4 is already a powerful device on its own so there is not much you can do to change it. The most you can do is to remove the features that Samsung is heavily advertising, which is actually what they did.
It gives users the option to ignore Samsung’s gratuitous features
The Galaxy S4 is a crazy powerful phone. What with an 8-core Exynos chip for the International version or the quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor of the US version, people are in for a fast and smooth user experience with this device. Combine that with a great camera and a gorgeous AMOLED display and you have a winner.
But not everyone loves TouchWiz and the current features that it brings. Sure, some of them are interesting like Group Play for instant surround music or Air Gesture for motion driven browsing. But none are real necessities and a lot of them you can live without. And with all these features combined, your system files are already consuming about 8GB of your internal memory; not to mention the toll it brings your batteries.
So a skinless Galaxy S4 is just what the doctor ordered for those who are not enamored by Samsung’s set of features. No frills; just pure Android on a powerful phone.
Galaxy S4 is also a popular brand
Outside the Nexus brand, the most popular Android brand is Samsung’s Galaxy series. Unlike the Optimus name that has not gained that much traction yet, the Galaxy brand has proven that it sells. And that is exactly what Google wants. They want to combine the Nexus brand and the Galaxy brand to gain more sales, which will not work if you come up with a completely different product than the S4.
So skin the current Galaxy S4 and attach the Nexus name on it. What you get is the Nexus Galaxy S4. That sounds like dollar signs to Google.
Of course, buyers should consider if the hefty $649 price tag is worth a skinless Galaxy S4 when you can get the regular version for $200 under a 2-year contract with one of the major carriers.