Many of us are familiar about the Google Nexus range of devices and its benefits. The latest trend Google has created is the Google Play edition devices that it is launching for quite a while now. Majority of Smartphone users doesn’t know this latest flick from Google. If you are one of the person who want to know about the ‘Google Play Edition’ terminology, then you have landed on the right site. We have created this short article just to explain everything about Google Play edition devices. Let’s find out.

What are Google Play Edition devices?

A Google Edition device or most commonly known as Google Play Edition device is a Google certified device that comes with ‘stock’ build an operating system from the same manufacturer but specially tailored to cater for device-specific hardware features. It does not carry the Nexus branding, and one of the significant advantages of purchasing Google Play Edition devices is that it receives updates directly from Google bypassing the respective carriers like LTE, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, etc. which are highly criticized for pushing Google updates slowly.

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Some of the characteristics of Google Play Edition devices

1)      They may or may not support wireless carriers, so they could be off contract and you can have a peace of mind, but as they are retailed directly through Google Play Store, hence they are expensive.

2)      Since Google OS is open source, Smartphonehone maker can develop their own ‘skin’ software like Samsung’s ‘TouchWiZ’ and HTC’s ‘Sense’ but sometimes this user interfacea little bit bit cluttered. So if someone wants to stick to the pure Android ‘skin’, these special Google Edition devices are meant for that.

3)      Google Play Edition devices are free from ‘bloatwares’ (unwanted apps) that carriers and OEM load in Smartphonesones.

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Which devices are currently available?

1. Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition

The device was announced at Google I/O 2013 and made available after sometime in June 2013 on the PlayStore. The smartphone came with the same hardware specs along with carrier support and stock Android features. Unlike the Google tradition, Samsung Galaxy S4 became the first Google Play phone to be shipped with removable battery. Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe is available in US PlayStore in $649.

2. HTC One Google Play Edition

The smartphone was announced shortly after the Google I/O conference June 2013 and was released alongside Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe at a competitive price of $549. The device lacks HTC Sense skin and is available with non-removable battery and supports LTE, T-Mobile and AT&T.

3. Moto G

Hard to believe but Moto G which has created furore in the market with killer price and powerful specs, was launched with Android’s stock Vanilla flavor in January 2014 at the same aggressive price of $179. But as Motorola own software skin does not differ much from the stock Android OS, one can find hardly any difference but the compelling reason is still there i.e. fast updates from Google.

4. HTC One M8 Google Play Edition:

The latest entrant in the bandwagon is HTC’s flagship device One M8, successor to popular HTC One (M7). The powerful smartphone’s Google Play Edition was made available in March 2014 and is currently priced at $699 with LTE carrier support. The device will be available sans ‘Sense 6.0’ of the manufacturer but one can find stock KitKat on the device.

5. Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition

The first and only Google Play Edition phablet (6.4inch) Sony Xperia Z Ultra was launched in December last year at $649. For most of the people, the giant phone cum tablet could be a weirdest offering at Google Play Store but this huge phone does carry powerful specs at present times.

6. LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition

LG’s flagship 8.3 inch tablet was made available in combination with Android’s stock skin in December last year. This is the first Google Play Edition tablet that went on sale. The device sports some powerful internals and is cladded with premium materials. It is also aggressively priced at $350, just sitting above Nexus 7.

Are Google Play Edition devices worth purchasing?

As we have arrived to the end of this article there might be question arising that is it worth to buy these devices? Genuinely speaking, there are some pros and cons but it totally depends on person to person. For people who want their favorite device in the dumb down version but with quick Google updates, for them it is definitely a good deal. But as they are highly priced in comparison to their original counterparts, these devices could fail to appease general users.