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.

Related phones

Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)



1. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Sorry S4 Nexus 4 still better.

9. mydi.maus unregistered

Nexus s4 mo better 13 mp photosphere and mo free space...

10. NightFelix

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 29, 2013

Will the Photosphere be in S4(Google Edition)? anyone can confirm this? As I know that S4 do not have Photosphere(or S-Orb), correct me if I'm wrong.

22. Shubham412302

Posts: 580; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

if it has gyroscope then yes.

49. ph00ny

Posts: 2048; Member since: May 26, 2011

Um don't they both use the same 13mp sensor and stock android means same space usage? as for photosphere, stock android?

11. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

N4 is better value for money...S4 rocks latest hardware.

21. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

dont tell me that my country N4 sells for $600.....So Nexus S4 is my ultimate choice .bang for the Buck ...Now i can have SD Card support & Get Fast Android Version update like Nexus devices ...Woooo Hooooo !!!!

45. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

IF you live in the US you can buy a nexus 4 for with 16gb storage for $350. As far as we know the S4 nexus is $650.

44. atsamman

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

But I think that if google will sell the galaxy s4 as a nexus device it will definitely drop down in the price cause it will not have any of that pre installed software by samsung Sooo...

51. WM6.5Sucks

Posts: 42; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

......Soooo about 550?

53. atsamman

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Idk am hoping less xd

27. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

You crazy? Its not even comparable. S4 over N4: - a 0.5 inches more of the effective size of sharper, far superior screen. - much better camera. - longer battery endurance - removable battery - SD card slot - better processor - loads of sensors - glove sensitive screen - superior sound quality output(external source, not the speakers) fact is has the CLEAREST AUDIO OUTPUT EVER MEASURED IN A SMARTPHONE(check out GSArena review) and can give you a true audiophile experience if you use a high end headsets

29. giri555

Posts: 111; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

S4 is a Samsung phone, will stay away from it. Nexus 4 is better still, LG build quality is better.

36. cse.vicky unregistered

You forgot price !


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Is this kinda like the rumored 'Nexus' certification program awhile ago? I think that would take Android to the next level for us hard core users.. Morw Nexus's, more choices :)

46. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Only the international S4 has the good audio output, the US has the same audio chip as the HTC One and boths audio outputs are pretty crappy compared to a Wolfson chip.

33. taikucing unregistered

go home, you're drunk

38. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011


2. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The problem is, by the time it's out, the TouchWiz version will be sub-$600 so a Nexus coming more expensive than the regular will very hard to swallow. Pure Android is half of the Nexus charm, price point is the other. This would make sense around... well $500 at the highest.

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Even though the 'Nexus' Galaxy S4 has no on-screen buttons, it's okay, what's the big deal, at least we still have a physical home button and two capacitive buttons, and this is not a full Nexus smartphone, it's just a (half-Nexus)Galaxy S4 with stock Android. And we won't miss the quick access to Google Now, because there's a Google search widget on the home screen, just tap the Microphone on the right side and you can access to Google Now.

19. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Also, you can program the home button (via app) for double tap to Google Now

20. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

That's right!

4. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

This article is useless, like really? Come on now.

13. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I was about to write same!

5. FlushGordon unregistered

What about the usable free space?

15. NightFelix

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 29, 2013

I think would be same like the Nexus4, S4 16gb would be come with usable of 12-13gb of free space

6. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

victor let me inform you a little about the gs2 series on. that button... yes that squarish one can be programmed. in other words if a developer or if google wanted they can simply allow pressing and holding the button down for 2 seconds to go straight into google now. this technique actually makes it easier to access the feature. i used it all the time when i had a gs3

28. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011


7. mydi.maus unregistered

No touchwiz greatly appreciated and now stock android.weehoooo..

8. jromy

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

Scrambling for something to post as news? Kinda sad really.

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