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