Google has officially announced that it will begin selling its own version of the HTC One with stock Android. According to Engadget, Google’s Sundar Pichai made the announcement while on stage with Walt Mossberg at AllThingsD’s D11 conference. Google’s HTC One will sport a completely stock version of the latest version of Android Jelly Bean, and will be available through Google’s Play Store on July 26 for $599.
Pichai explained that the handset will be unlocked and available for use on T-Mobile and AT&T. Available in the U.S. at first, the HTC One will pack the same 32GB of onboard storage and quad-core processor found on its carrier-branded siblings. The One is the second halo phone to be made available through Google with a stock version of Android.
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The first, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was announced at Google’s I/O conference and is also available through the Play Store. Like the HTC One, the Galaxy S4 can be used on T-Mobile and AT&T.
So what’s the benefit of getting stock Android on one of these powerful handsets? The updates, baby. Unlike carrier-branded versions of the HTC One and S4, the Google editions will receive OS updates as they are released into the wild. Carriers have a bad habit of holding back Android updates so they can go through the proper certifications. By stripping out the middleman, you’ll be able to get all of the latest Android improvements without delay.