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  • RichUK - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    TouchWiz > Standard Android Reply
  • Silellak - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Said no one, ever. Reply
  • RichUK - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I just said it. Reply
  • Waveblade - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Big Papa Joe right here Reply
  • secretanchitman - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Haha the ladies love the wiz! Best vergecast ever lol :) Reply
  • TheDome - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Said no one except one idiot.* Reply
  • RichUK - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Pipe down, kid - get back to your pokemons. Reply
  • prophet001 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Dangit!!

    Now that song's going to be stuck in my head.

    *hums tune*

    *Gotta catch em all!!! Pokemon!! Gotta catch em all!!*
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Wow, the one guy who likes groody third party mods gunking up their OS is getting mad. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    The only guy who loves 3rd party mods? Really? You are aware that only one single percent replaces manufacturer firmware with something different. I and I am pretty sure they all sit there wasting days trying to get it half as functional as it was before they clicked Confirm in Odin on their PC. Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Hey, don't be hatin' on my bulbasaur! Reply
  • Jewgong - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    touchwiz...designed for children and idiots. Reply
  • krazyfrog - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I actually love several of the TouchWiz features. Just wish Samsung hired better designers. Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Right with you there. While many of the features I find super handy, I really don't like the aesthetic design around TouchWiz. I do generally prefer TouchWiz over stock Android though. Reply
  • designerfx - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    doesn't mean we're foolish enough to believe you. Reply
  • darwinosx - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Touchwiz is bloated, laggy, non-working, UI mishmash that sucks. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    Congratulations for commenting on something you clearly have no clue about. Reply
  • mwildtech - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    TouchWiz is pure garbage. You got big balls sir..... Reply
  • hsew - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Second that. Until Google comes up with its own Multi-Window. Reply
  • beluga - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    TouchWiz is fine. Just install a different launcher like Nova and all is good. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    "TouchWiz is fine. Just install a different launcher like Nova and all is good."
    Ummm yea... It is fine once you don't have to deal with it.
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    Maybe you should learn what a launcher is? Reply
  • DukeN - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Actually agree with this.

    I would've disagreed before I bought a Nexus 4, and subsequently ended up selling it. Touchwiz IMO is a lot faster for a daily driver, but not for people more obsessed with modifying/customizing the interface than actually using the phone.
    Reply
  • cyberguyz - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Android standard = Trebuchet. Never cared for it.
    TouchWiz = No scrollable wallpaper, gotta take a whole lot of samsung bloatware to get it. No Thanks.

    Nova = way better than both together.

    Nova better than both thanks.
    Reply
  • LittlBilly - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I can't wait for the S4 GPe rom to be released so that I can blow away all the crap-ware on my AT&T S4. Reply
  • Adnim - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    How do I buy one of these Google version phones, its not listed on the PLAY website? Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    it is if you live in the US. Theyre US only for now. Reply
  • designerfx - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    exactly! and getting photosphere back will be nice, too. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    "There's some truth to the continual OEM refrain that "there's a lot you need to do to Android to make it a phone for regular consumers.""

    Actually, there is no truth to that.
    Reply
  • Coentje44 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    PLEASE SYSTEM DUMP OF FIRMWARE FROM I9505G S4 Reply
  • FHM - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Hey Brian, can you tell if the Google Play Edition of the S4 has the rSAP protocol like the "OG" S4 does? Reply
  • StarHawk - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    On Google's page it says the CPU for the S4 is a Snapdragon Pro. Is that the 600 or is there a difference? Reply
  • Martuv93 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    It's the same. Reply
  • enderwiggin21 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    White-only = no sale for me. I actually had to go back and cancel my order because I was too quick on the trigger. Reply
  • sherlockwing - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Don't see enough of a substantial improvement for me to sale my GS4 to get a Gpe. I will probably wait for the Optimus G2(if it have 32G+micro SD) or Nexus 5(if it have 64G). Reply
  • pixelstuff - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Personally I hope Google releases an updated Nexus 4. Not a Nexus 5 like all the rumors suggest. Reply
  • Martuv93 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Will it be possible to get the international i9505 (Samsung Galaxy) and flash the "stock" ROM? Reply
  • edlee - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Just load a Pacman/Slimbean/Paronoid/AOKP/CM Rom and you will enjoy either one of these phones more. Reply
  • kleos44 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Brian, does the SGS4 GPe camera take faster shots than the stock model? My disappointment with the SGS4 stock is how slow it is to take a shot from button press compared to the SGS3. Reply
  • apertotes - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I think that a battery test that does not include any kind of game can not reflect a realistic use. I would love to know how, other than browsing, do different phones perform battery wise while playing, say Real Racing 3, or Temple Run, or Virtua Tennis.
    Hell, maybe even including a 3DMark complete run on the battery test could work.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I echo the request for a game-related benchmark or five. At the very least one benchmark of a simple/puzzle game (Cut the Rope or whatever), and a 3D/more GPU-intensive game (though this is admittedlyproblematic with the rate of change of ARM silicon and generally high turnover of mobile games, anything relatively recent would satisfy me) Reply
  • apertotes - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I would like to ask those with a larger experience than me how many of these devices' drawbacks are completely amended with a simple trip through google play. For example, the camera interface. Stock camera is bad. Install Camera 360 or Camera FX. So, take any of these phones and give it to a experienced user, and after 1-2 weeks of tweaking (not counting installing new roms, or else what's the point?), they may as well have gotten rid of any drawback whatsoever. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Yeah, people want the phone to be great out of the box, not have to tweak like mad to get rid of the drawbacks, there shouldn't be issues to begin with. Reply
  • apertotes - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    downloading 5 apps and changing some settings is not tweaking like mad. Reply
  • DukeN - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Maybe it's just me but there are a lot of things touchwiz does that stock Android lacks. Even with apps like Camera FX and custom ROMs (liquidsmooth, paranoid, stock CM are ones I tried) I couldn't mimic some of Touchwiz' basic timesavers.

    Slide to call/message is indispensable for me. Also the camera app with Touchwiz is drastically better than AOSP, and frankly both third party camera apps off Google Play aren't as intuitive IMO.

    Also the one touch drag-down top menu in Touchwiz is unique with brightness and other settings, some of the ROMs let you setup for wireless radio control but it takes quite a bit of tweaking.

    I'm probably in the minority here but after going through a few Android devices, I'd probably take Touchwiz over stock AOSP.
    Reply
  • Drazick - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Does the SGS4 GPe still has the Slide to Call / SMS? Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    My nexus 4 doesnt so the chance the sgs4 has it is next to 0. Theyre runnign the same build of android, so if the n4 doesnt have it the sgs4 wont either. There are NO samsung customizations here Reply
  • umadBRAH - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Htc one on Sunspider 0.9.1 I get 760ms - 780ms on 1.29.xxx.13 and on 4.2.2 also Reply
  • teiglin - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    It still boggles my mind that HTC (or Google?) didn't pick the UMTS-over-AWS-enabled version of the One for this like the GS4. Seriously, what the #@#%$?

    Anyway, not many surprises here. I would definitely dispute your advice that anyone who knows what AOSP is shoudl get the google editions--band options aside, I think anyone who is comfortable flashing a custom ROM is better off getting a better price from their operator. Especially with an easy S-OFF available for the One, there is only danger to your warranty if you're either foolish or experimental. I think the segment of people who should buy these is a rather small slice--those who know enough about Android to want the stock experience, but are not savvy enough to be comfortable flashing a custom ROM. For everyone else, there are better options available--whether operator-subsidized from AT&T or just flat-out $20 less from T-Mobile. Not to mention alternate colors, if that's your thing.

    For myself, I already have a tmo One and will likely give CM another try once full code gets released to AOSP and presumably the niggling little bugs are worked out (did I hear you say bluetooth?). That said, I don't see myself wanting to live with the stock camera app, which was a big part of the reason I ditched my Nexus 4 in the first place, and while the Sense Gallery app is needlessly complicated, I do like the features it offers. Pretty much everything else is cosmetic, and that is easy to change.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Agreed. But comparing stock apps is valid if you're sole purpose is to do that. But the marketplace is there for a good reason and absolutely no one escapes it by not trying new and different apps. There are drawbacks to using 3rd party apps however and there are expectations of an OEM app but this is really all meh as options are widely available to chose from. Reply
  • Kidster3001 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Why no Dalvik benchmarks? The vast majority of Google Play apps are NOT native. I am very interested to see how much drop in performance (and resulting increased power consumption) there is with AOSP Dalvik versus Samsung/HTC Dalvik.

    Re: Browser benchmarks. The best JS engine always wins, even over better hardware.
    Reply
  • Mr Majestyk - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    So how is this different to installing CM10.1 say yourself, which is much nicer than stock AOSP. Reply
  • A5 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I prefer AOSP to CM. But it isn't really that different from installing an AOSP ROM except for the official support. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    you can easily root and turn any s4 into a vanilla nexus device by flashing that rom they use on the developer edition. Reply
  • Diagrafeas - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    What is the RAM usage after first boot for GPe and Stock on both of them?
    What about free storage?
    Reply
  • benjdm - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I don't see the Galaxy S4 GPe in the Web Browsing battery life graph. Did it get inadvertently left off? Reply
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Thanx much, Brian for the review comparison. Reply
  • chubbypanda - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Thank you Google and HTC for making this happen! Now if only HTC One GPe were available worldwide... Reply
  • dougxd - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Brian...can you check to see if Google Wallet works? Reply
  • Kamus - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know if the samsung has color profiles like s4? Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    its not in stock android, so no it doesnt have it. Assuming you mean for the screen Reply
  • akdj - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Wow...completely off topic, but damn! I can't get rid of my original 'Note' fast enough! Good. Lord! The speed, in every test on these new handsets just absolutely SMOKE the Galaxy Note and GSIII! Unreal...in some case 4-500% increase in performance...still another 6 months to go. Amazing though, the performance increases across the board in just one years time. The Note and GSIII along with the iPhone 4S were really the top of the heap about 13 months back. Now, those numbers are barely enough to 'anchor' your list!
    That said...pretty amazing how well the iPhone 5 has held up to the newer generation Snapdragon procs. It's still definitely holding its own...even topping the newer hardware in all of those GL/graphic benches. Crazy.
    Here's to looking forward to the Note 3 or SG5! Damn two year contracts. This move though by Google will make me second guess my next Android purchase....exactly because of this option. Forget the carrier subsidy. In the two year plan, you're always laying a helluva lot more than the 550-700 dollar range on these Google Play options
    I think that may be a third group to add....those of us in America, where the cell companies and their massive monopolous empire they've built on these '2 year' subsidies. Crazy....$600 up front and 40-60 bucks a month vs. a C Note for 24 straight months....that is easily a 50% savings on the initial purchase.
    Reply
  • qucktaker - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Can I assume that the Samsung SAFE APIs will not be included in the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition? Reply
  • MrDarthBuddy - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Are you going to benchmark that Radeon card too? LOL Reply
  • cbutters - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    What about wifi calling? Reply
  • cyberguyz - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Samsung includes exFAT to support SD cards >32GB under license with Microsoft.
    Because raw Android does not license this from Microsoft, can it provide the same SDCard support that Samsung does? I am doubting it - hence only half-assed support for >32GB SDCards.
    Reply
  • augustofretes - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't worry too much about the crappy camera, or a missing application, I'm sure there's going to be a perfectly functional ROM that will simply bring the HTC's or Samsung's framework to an otherwise AOSP ROM to run the camera app, etc. Reply
  • xaml - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    "I've had a lot success handing out Nexus 4 phones"
    You wouldn't mind, now, would you? ;-)
    Reply
  • nubian1 - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    My concern is that the kernel is still being supplied by the respective manufacturers with Google only supplying the Stock Android OS. This can still lead to lack of ongoing support as newer handsets come out from HTC & Samsung. I'm not convinced. Reply
  • bamyasi - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Contrary to what Brian wrote in his review, GS4 GPE is an AT&T variant and its radio does not include WCDMA Band IV (AWS), so T-Mobile HSPA+ will not work on this phone. Oh, and GP phone page clearly states this (under Tech Specs). Reply
  • hollovoid7 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    lol no comparison to Razr Maxx HD in battery life? Seriously tho, not buying another phone that does not last at least as long as that phone does. Reply
  • vhargyle - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Dont buy the HTC One. Had it a week. Glass broke first time I dropped it - six inches to my desk. Gorilla glass? Took four years to break my iphone. Antenna gate is alive. Have to hold with two fingers and several inches from my ear. And do not try texting in bed in the dark. Real trouble keeping the display lit. Phone keypad is odd on that first digit. And yes it has gremlins. Volume turns down to zero by itself. Surfs goggle all by itself. Camera just starts whenever.

    About AT&T. Dont believe what they say about the protection plan. The deductible is $199 no MATTER what the store rep tells you.

    It is beautiful to hold and touch. But put a $25 shock cover on an all aluminum case?!
    Reply
  • batongxue - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    Sense? Yes.

    TouchWiz? No
    Reply
  • TinCity - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    Not only did I buy one of the best smart phones of 2013, but Amazon has some awesome s4 cases at great prices. I'm so excited that I just wanted to share the deal that I received on my s4 case http://amzn.to/12zGpJ0 - Don't know how much longer these discounts will be active, but they have many. Reply
  • AngelT - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    Do either of these have issues with apps/games? I currently have the HTC Desire, having issue w/game & HTC won't assist, saying they don't support 3rd party apps. Just curious, if I have to update I don't want same issues. Reply
  • dineshramdin - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I find it pretty difficult to reset things and had difficulties with volume buttons. Reply
  • NobleHelium - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Can you tell us what languages are supported on the Google Play versions, please? Is it the full spectrum of languages like the Nexus devices? Reply
  • anitaantoinette - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Big fan of samsung galaxy s series. Did my homework. Got alot of my information from this site also http://www.samsunggalaxysreview.org Reply
  • darkice1111 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    My iPhone 5 iOS 7 beta 3 results: Sunspider 1.0 - 709.0ms; Kraken - 13783.9ms; Octane v1 - 3056; Browsermark 2.0 - 3056. So 9 month old dual core hardware that's faster than anything on the market today, and faster in some benchmarks than Qualcomm's 800 that's not even on the market yet... Google, wasssssssup??
    I don't believe the soc on the iPhone can be THAT GOOD... So why isn't Android getting faster??
    Reply
  • vinhsoft - Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - link

    samsung was really great http://trangcongnghe.com Reply
  • TheEvilBlight - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Wish google could compel vendors to allow OS updates. The market is going to fragment to heck with things on Gingerbread, Honeycomb, ICS, Jellybean (and god forbid, even some Froyo) Reply

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