No Nexus-like Galaxy S4 for Australian users

Australian Android fans won't be able to enjoy the pure Google experience on Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone

Australian Android fans won't be able to enjoy the pure Google experience on Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone - at least not yet.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition - not available Down Under.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition - not available Down Under.

The stock Android edition of Samsung's Galaxy S4 will only be available in the United States at launch, CNet U.K. reports. The phone will go on sale through the Google Play Store on June 26 for US$649.

Unlike the regular Galaxy S4, which comes loaded with Samsung-specific features such as S-Voice and Smart Scroll, the stock Android version has no bloatware and no interface tweaks. It runs the latest version of Android, and Google promises to deliver prompt software updates. (In the United States, wireless carriers typically distribute updates from phone makers after lengthy testing.)

The phone also has an unlocked bootloader, so hackers can easily load custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod or AOKP.

Differences

Although the software experience should be similar to Google's Nexus 4, the hardware has a few key differences: The Galaxy S4 supports LTE networks, its 5-inch display is larger and crisper, and the phone has a better 13-megapixel camera. But it's also nearly twice as expensive as the 16GB Nexus 4, which sells for US$349.

If you crave the stock Android experience on Galaxy S4 hardware, you have several options. You could try to get someone in the U.S. to buy the Nexus-like Galaxy S4, and ship it overseas, or you can root your phone and peruse forums like XDA Developers for stock Android ROMs.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy S4 is so new that there aren't a lot great options for the pure Google experience yet. Even the popular CyanogenMod, which is closer to stock than Samsung's TouchWiz software, is still a work in progress. The situation may change once the stock Android Galaxy S4 starts shipping.

In the meantime, the Nexus 4 is now available in seven countries: United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Ross Catanzariti contributed to this report

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