Stock Android Samsung Galaxy S4 is almost like a Nexus experience, but not exactly

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Stock Android Samsung Galaxy S4 is almost like a Nexus experience, but not exactly
We are not big fans of the vague word that is ‘fragmentation’ around here, especially when it is applied only to Android. Matter of fact is fragmentation is present in many forms on Apple’s iOS as well. However it is also true that the situation with uniformity of experience and updates on Android could be much much better.

Yesterday, Google made a huge step towards that in two ways. The first one is that it did not announce a new Android version. The second one was the most exciting news of the night for gadget lovers - the 'Nexus' edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 was announced with pure stock Android and without Samsung’s TouchWiz skin.

But at the same time, this was also a step down in terms of uniformity. This was touted to be a “Nexus experience” in a non-Nexus device. However it is not exactly that. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a great device but it differs from Nexus devices in one key area - it does not use on-screen buttons. Right now all current Nexus devices have on screen button - the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are all without physical navigational button.

Introducing the ‘Nexus’ Galaxy S4, though, Google breaks that uniformity. The lack of on screen buttons is not a major segmentation in anyway - it mostly makes accessing Google Now harder and changes little besides that. But it is segmentation, a slightly different ‘Nexus’ experience.

Will we miss the quick access to Google Now? For us personally, the freed space from the missing on-screen buttons is welcome news - we love every pixel and don’t want it go to waste for on-screen buttons. For others it might be different. But now that Google sells the ‘Nexus’ Galaxy S4 on the Play store, it will finally have a way to tell which one users prefer.

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