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A Few Thoughts on This “Nexus Experience” Program

htc-one-nexus

The “Nexus experience” device appears to be all the rage these days, grabbing headlines left and right. After Google announced the first in this new category at Google I/O as the Samsung Galaxy S4 “Nexus experience,” HTC decided they would like to be a part of this elite crowd as well. This morning, Android leader Sundar Pichai announced the HTC One “Nexus experience” to an applause from tech enthusiasts across the globe. It’s a move I think many of us have hoped for all along – you know, the latest flagship devices running stock Android, receiving timely updates, and having no part of a manufacturer skin.

It’s a dream, right? Mostly, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions, concerns, and other thoughts in general. Here are a few that immediately come to mind.

The point of this new program

This new “Nexus experience” program is an interesting one, to say the least. Is the point to show that a strength in partnerships between Google and OEMs still exists now that they own Motorola? Is it simply to offer the best hardware with a “Nexus” or stock experience? Is it all about having choices? It certainly isn’t about affordable choices, that’s for sure. I certainly don’t think it’s about selling millions of stock Android devices, though the success of the program will remain to be seen for now. No matter what, we’ve never been one to be negative about choices, so to that I say, “Thanks…Google.”

Timing of releases

I understand that this new “Nexus experience” program is brand new, but to Google and whoever your partners are going forward, let’s not release these phones a month or two after the regular editions have dropped. There are such things in the tech industry as “early adopters,” and we don’t like it when a better version of what we just bought is released weeks later without us having any knowledge of it. So either announce “Nexus experience” editions during your device’s initial unveiling, or at least release them at the same time. I personally, now have an unlocked HTC One that will become a paperweight thanks to today’s announcement of the “Nexus experience” One.

Prices

The prices of these new “Nexus experience” phones are arguably higher than they should be (HTC One at $599, Galaxy S4 at $649). While these are not “Nexus” devices made specifically for Google, meaning the manufacturers still want to make a buck or two off of sales of them, selling them at the same price as one would find from a carrier is a bit much. I get that they are giving us “options,” but when you aren’t tying them to a carrier, you should be able to sell them for much cheaper. Also, since part of the cost of the skinned versions of your phones likely includes all of the time spent fine-tuning your custom skin and software enhancements, I sort of feel like charging the same price for a phone without all of that is sort of a rip off. Shouldn’t there be a discount for the bare bones model? Even shady car dealers have done it this way for years with cars and options.

Updates, where are they coming from

We understand that these “Nexus experience” devices are in essence, Google’s take on how these devices should perform, meaning they should also receive timelier updates than skinned versions of the same phones. But where are these updates coming from? Are they coming directly from Google, or do we have to wait for manufacturers to approve new updates once Google has released them? According to a blog post from HTC, it sounds like updates will indeed come directly from Google. Here’s to hoping those updates carry the same importance as they do on Nexus devices.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 2.32.09 PM

galaxy s4 google edition

Please CDMA, just die already

Our comments were flooded immediately after today’s announcement that HTC and Google have teamed up for a “Nexus experience” One with, “No Verizon? That sucks.” And yes, it does suck. But thanks to the CDMA networks behind carriers like Verizon and Sprint, we may not ever see “Nexus experience” devices. Carriers get to decide what phones are whitelisted for their CDMA networks, unlike GSM networks who have to allow anything capable of running on them. That’s why these new devices from Samsung and HTC work great on both T-Mobile and AT&T. Our only chance for a “Nexus experience” on Verizon, is one that is VoLTE and doesn’t have to touch their CDMA network at any time. But who knows how many years away we are from that happening.

Nexus program lives on

Sundar Pichai confirmed during his interview today that the Nexus program is not dying even though we are seeing a couple of “Nexus experience” devices. Their goal with the Nexus program is to push the platform forward, and that will continue on. So with that it mind, be aware that we are likely to see a new Nexus phone this winter, if history tells us anything. So if you were thinking of picking up one of these new “Nexus experience” phones, it may not have everything that the next Nexus will offer.

Please Google, fix your camera software

Both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One have been praised since launch for having two of the best smartphone cameras ever made. They both have their issues, but for the most part, there are few phones that carry as many tricks as these two. With that said, they won’t have any of these tricks once they ship with stock Android. Both HTC and Samsung use their own camera software on their skinned phones, but with a stock “Nexus experience,” we’re going to be stuck with Google’s stock Android camera software. As we have mentioned time and time again over the years, Nexus cameras always produce some of the poorest quality shots of any smartphone. At this point, I think we’re done blaming the sensors being used and are instead fully on the stock-android-camera-software-sucks bandwagon. It’s time, Google, to fine-tune your camera software, especially if you are going to sell phones known for their cameras.

In the end, these are the phones to have

When it’s all said and done, if you are an Android enthusiast or one that constantly begs for a stock Android experience with timely updates, these are the phones you should be considering. Sure, the Nexus program itself has always been the way for Android elitists to go, but with the Nexus 4 lacking LTE, we know that many of you passed this time around. But with the “Nexus experience” program launching, you no longer have an excuse, assuming you are willing to spend $600 on a new phone. On June 26, you’ll have the choice of the top two smartphones on the planet, with stock Android, updated by Google, at your fingertips.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts as we close in on the June 26 launch date for both devices. Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new “Nexus experience” program. Love it? Hate it? Don’t understand it? Changes you’d like to see?

  • Big EZ

    What I’d love to see come of this is the ability to turn off the OEM skin, similar to the HTC Facebook phone, and run stock Android. It probably wouldn’t be as easy Facebook since that’s just a launcher, but it could be done with a reboot.

  • Michael Hopper

    Am I correct in assuming that these phones will not have AOSP support?

  • wmsco1

    $400.00 too much….ok $350.00…..Google does need to be more transparent and forthcoming. The verizon galaxy nexus 30 days of purchase Google no longer supported it’s update and Google i/o bam no Android 5.0 we should have been inform ahead of time before purchasing ticket’s-or nexsus it’s like Google on the fly (make it as you go).

    • Derek Edwards

      You don’t really understand how business works do you? You understand that these companies exist to make money right? They don’t announce things months ahead because it would kill the current market (which is precisely what you’re asking for).

      Regarding the Verizon GN, you can thank Verizon for that blunder. Don’t put it on Google. It’s VZ who doesn’t want their phones updated, so you buy new ones.

      • wmsco1

        i realize their just plastic and production cost are 150-200 dollars. if you like being ripped off so be it.

      • wmsco1

        then why they say nexus? it was not! and excuse me but Google did know ahead of time the problems they would have with verizon. you need to expand your awareness and get your head out of corporations pocket!

    • joejoe5709

      Holy lack of puncation Batman. Couldn’t even read this! And… what are you talking about?

      • wmsco1

        get a life

        • joejoe5709

          Go to school.

          • wmsco1

            get a brain

  • Julien Duplant

    So, what’s everyone’s favorite camera app to replace the stock app on Nexus devices? Do we have to wait for a port of the S4 or HTC One camera apps?

  • Huy Pham

    It’s interesting that no one had mentioned that this version of the One doesn’t have all the 3G antennas for T-Mobile. For those with T-Mobile like myself who wants to get all the non-refarmed towers to work right, we would still have to go back to the T-Mobile version of the One :(

  • Huy Pham

    It’s interesting that no one had mentioned that this version of the One doesn’t have all the 3G antennas for T-Mobile. For those with T-Mobile like myself who wants to get all the non-refarmed towers to work right, we would still have to go back to the T-Mobile version of the One :(.

  • MrCapcomDS

    I wouldn’t say get these if you want stock Android Experience with LTE I would say skip these and wait for the Nexus 5 because lets face it new Nexus is just around the corner and I’m betting that it will have LTE since all the GSM Carriers are jumping on board

  • br_hermon

    Two thoughts…

    1. VZ had covered nearly 100% of their customers with 4G, so is the next logical step VoLTE and death of CDMA? How far do you realistically think we are from putting CDMA to bed?

    2. What kind of impact will this have among rooters / hackers / the tech savvy as it relates to sideloading apks? Are HTC One NUE users going to hope that someone rips the camera apk from an original HTC One so they can side load it? Will HTC and others come after users to discourage that? Or, heaven forbid, would manufactures dare get into the business of publishing apps (like the HTC One camera) to Google Play? (read… fat chance).

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Adopting VoLTE is the next-to-last step in killing off CDMA entirely, and I guarantee Verizon is eager to do so. Until they can force their users to abandon their CDMA-only devices (dumbphones/3G smartphones), there is no way they can shut it down or even begin to refarm the spectrum without a major backlash. They could run a massive promotion to encourage users to switch to VoLTE devices, but they will need about 2-3 years after VoLTE is activated on their network before they will likely be anywhere near ready for CDMA to be killed. Its had a good run, and Verizon rose to power on its back, but the sooner it goes out to pasture, the better off we all are.

  • D4niel

    “I personally, now have an unlocked HTC One that will become a paperweight thanks to today’s announcement of the ‘Nexus experience’ One.”

    Well, if the device is a “Nexus experience”, then the factory images should be available. I would think those could be flashed right onto that phone you have. Since they would be signed, you shouldn’t even need to unlock the bootloader, I would think.

  • fauxshizzl

    I just wish there was something like a “Nexus Mode” you could switch to that would disable the skin and boot to stock Android while also unlocking the bootloader and removing any other encryption. Put it in the settings, built straight into the OS, so it is an option on every phone. While I know I am just dreaming, it still seems more logical than the way they are approaching it now.

    • joejoe5709

      I bet this is the future.

      • fauxshizzl

        Carriers still have way to much power for it to come to fruition. Could you even imagine a company like Verizon allowing such a setting on a handset on their network? Not a chance. To put it in the core of the OS would go against basically everything the carriers are trying to do.

  • joejoe5709

    #1 I think the point is to show the strength of stock Android. Most consumers won’t be interested – but enthusiasts and developers will. And finally there’s enough of us out there to support a program like this. This encourages a relationship between developers and all OEMs involved rather than just one OEM once a year. Everyone gets a small part and it’s all good for Android. #2 Boo hoo. Sorry that “early adopters” are butt hurt, but I don’t have a problem with the release timing. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to release the skinned version first and then the Nexus Experience a little later to keep the buzz rolling. #3 Prices are what they are. It’s not a Nexus intended for the masses. It’s a special edition of a flagship phone. Look at Porsche’s “bare-bones” special models. They’re more expensive despite not having power windows. #4 I have no idea, but I have a feeling we can look at the Verizon GNex for inspiration. Sure, the updates come from Google but I bet the releases will lag just a hair (perhaps a week) behind some of the other true Nexus devices. Only a true Nexus sold off contract like the N4 has a chance of perfect updates. But that’s what the dev community is for and they end up being pretty darn quick with updates these days so I’m not worried. #5 Perhaps I’m in complete denial or live in a world of wishful thinking, but I have a similar feeling now as when we got passed up for the Samsung GSII but got the legendary GNex instead. Everyone was cursing Verizon’s name and jumping ship, but Verizon ended up being the best of all. So if history repeats itself, Verizon is possibly cooking up something pretty great (X-Phone?). Let’s not get too eager to jump ship just yet, people. #6 Definitely looking forward to a Nexus instead of these Nexus Experience phones – even if they were on Verizon. #7 Definitely the worst part of owing a Nexus phone over anything else is the camera. I am mercilessly ridiculed by iPhone carrying wife of mine and for once I would just like to have a camera that is at least competitive. Thanks Google. #8 Yeah… With these flagship phones rocking stock Android, Google has no choice but to put out a quality Nexus successor. Overall, it’s a great program and I’m very glad the Nexus family is rapidly expanding and redefining itself. It’s the perfect direction for Android and I’m very curious to see how this all plays out. :-)

    • deadpenguins

      No one is going to read that.

    • annonoynomo

      TL;DR

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    I dont think anyone needs to buy them to make life better. All that matters is now you will have a Google maintained and Samsung/HTC backed AOSP ROM. A ROM that XDA geniuses didnt have to reverse engineer to get around chipset issues, customizations and stripped functionality. A base ROM where “everything just works” to build all of their ROMs off of. Now those XDA peeps shift their brainpower from making AOSP actually work just making it better.

    Fans of rooting who have HTC Ones or S4s rejoice, your AOSP roms are about to get a hell of a lot better.

  • Isidore Delance

    I have a question, if everything under hood of the Galaxy S4 is the same between the regular and Nexus Edition is the same, why can’t it work on Verizon? definitely if you live in a area that is cover by LTE.

    • chris125

      Different radios for the gsm networks compared to the cdma. Plus unless you never travel out of your area or hope and pray they dont have an lte outage, you would be SOL as soon as you were out of their lte network for service.

      • Isidore Delance

        I understand the difference btw the gsm and cdma radios,I rarely leave my area, and it’s rare having a LTE outage in my area

    • Trevor

      Currently, Verizon’s (presumably all other carriers too) LTE network is used only for data on your phone. You still need CDMA for voice. Once VZW gets their Voice over LTE (VoLTE) going, then phones can be CDMA free. Hells yes for that.

      • Isidore Delance

        Ah yeah, I totally forgot about voice

        • Khary Anderson

          People still do that on phones?

  • topherct

    No Verizon is a deal breaker

    • trwb

      Verizon is a deal breaker

  • Darshan Shah

    Why not just buy the phone on contract and then unlock the bootloader and install the ported rom on it. You get it for 1/3 of the price and get everything else that comes with it. Working your way around these things definitely helps…at least as long as you’re not on VZW (in case of the HTC One)

  • Christaynium Cavan

    I like the idea of nexus experience flagships, It can entice a demand for stock android. It could help the infamous fragmentation problem of android. The nexus experience could only help Android.

  • Jones

    I’m leaving Sprint when my contract is up and going to Tmobile.

  • Dabruise

    What about Air View, Motion Sensor, Eye Sensor, and IR Blaster. Will they all be useless with out TouchWhiz?

    • Matthew Merrick

      97.6% chance that yeah, they’ll be gone. hardware will still be there, software won’t be able to touch it.

  • Mike Hilal

    Actually, with CDMA they also have to allow any phone capable of running on their networks. The difference is that to use CDMA radios, you have to pay Qualcomm their licensing fees. GSM radios, afaik, do not have this.

    If these guys were smart, they’d handle the warranty and tech support for the devices and look to verizon/sprint to be just the carrier. No subsidies either. Im sure they’d still sell a lot of phones.

  • Kregstrong

    The reason I love this is because now that I have a Vzw s4, when the nexus expierience edition comes out, I will have a legit stock ROM to flash with everything working beautifully. So I will consider mine a nexus experience s4 shortly after July 26

    • Steve Benson

      If that even works. Too early to tell for sure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      Unfortunately probably not. There were always issues when trying to run GSM roms on my old CDMA phones when I had sprint, the radios are locked down and the devs have to work magic to get them working.

      Now, if you have a GSM S4 its game on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

      The GSM ROM won’t have the CDMA interface code in it, unless they hack it in there, or Samsung has it in all the builds and disabled.

      Not saying that it can’t be done, but unlikely you can just flash the stock GE ROM and it work w/o modification.

    • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

      the GE S4 is actually just a stock t-mobile S4 so i highly doubt that you’ll be able to flash that directly to your vzw S4 unless developers do something about that. Even so, your updates won’t be directly from Google OTAs.

  • PhoenixPath

    “I personally, now have an unlocked HTC One that will become a paperweight thanks to today’s announcement of the “Nexus experience” One.”

    I doubt it. You should be able to flash the AOSP from HTC on any GSM HTC One.

    “Both HTC and Samsung use their own camera software on their skinned phones, but with a stock “Nexus experience,” we’re going to be stuck with Google’s stock Android camera software.”

    Won’t know until we see them, will we? There’s every possibility HTC and Samsung will offer apps that take advantage of their hardware on these devices. (There’s every possibility mermaids exist as well, but I’m betting HTC and Samsung offering apps is more likely)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Gallegos/1578850285 Jacob Gallegos

    I think both Samsung and HTC should make their own camera software available to download from their sight as an option so their awesome cameras can be used to its potential

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    yea, I’m not leaving T-Mobile

    • Justin W

      …. How the… I think that’s about what I’ve used in the past 7-8 months…

      • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

        haha, yea, road trips will do that to you. I usually 5 to sometimes 10. But its nice to know I don’t have to worry either way

  • NAM37

    If the MotoX isn’t on Verizon, or if it isn’t awesome, I will be leaving Verizon this year.

    • Steve Benson

      You should be leaving Verizon anyway.

  • moelsen8

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if a Moto phone also popped up on Google Play on June 26?

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    an interesting portion of this article that caught my attention and I did not expect to see what is the part where you said “CDMA, just die already”. I’ve jumped from T Mobile to Verizon to AT&T back to T Mobile, and at one point it seemed like my entire family was on Sprint, why I am well aware of the differences between CDMA and GSM. For years I could not, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would want CDMA over GSM.

    The openness of GSM is an obvious advantage or CDMA. But the lesser mentioned features like conference calling and call waiting are a pain in the ass on CDMA. It was partially the reason why I left Verizon.

    First time I’ve ever seen a news blog site actually mention this, thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Turdbogls

      for some….CDMA…AKA verizon….is the only option. thankfully where I am, ATT and T-mobile are actually faster/better than verizon. but i know for a fact that my family in Michigan cannot survive on ATT/Tmo

      • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

        No, I totally get that. I understand that T-Mobile’s coverage is not nationwide. When you look at a map of its coverage, especially when compared to Verizon it’s actually kind of sad. Hit or miss, depending on where you are (especially west of the Mississippi). I think my point is more along the lines of how has CDMA survive for so long basically since Verizon’s coverage and definitely Sprint’s coverage, used to not be that good.

      • Ronaldo

        Stuck in Michigan myself, and stuck on VZW too :(

    • Tyler

      You act like CDMA has no advantages…a major one is much better penetration into buildings. For example, I get full Verizon LTE in the elevator in my work building. My coworker on Tmobile doesn’t even have a data signal.

      • tyguy829

        lte isn’t cdma……..irrelevant

        • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

          hahahah

    • EC8CH

      I believe CDMA has a longer range so it requires fewer towers to provide coverage to a larger area (a big advantage in rural areas) compared to GSM.

      Which probably is part of the reason VZW has such good coverage especially in more rural areas compared to the other GSM carriers.

      • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

        Ahh, I didn’t know that. It would be interesting to see that in a graph number of towers/range, thanks. Still prefer GSM tho :P

      • butt pirate

        I believe it has more to do with the frequency that the carriers operate on. Verizon uses a lower frequency band for its LTE and therefore has better range/building penetration than a carrier operating on higher frequencies

        • EC8CH

          I believe this is true as well, but it’s a separate issue from CDMA’s longer range compared to GSM.

          CMDA has nothing to do with LTE.

  • wordmoss

    In regards to prices, I doubt we’ll see them lower the price for the “GE” devices solely due to the fact that the OEM’s are trying to push their skinned versions of said device and undercutting those with the same device only with out the skins is bad for business.

  • e_droid

    In terms of the camera, if these are going to be stock Android ROMs, can’t the APKs be extracted from S III or S IV devices and simply install them? Hardware isn’t changing inside is it? Do APKs like those actually need TW to perform correctly?

    • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Turdbogls

      i doubt anything has changed in the past couple years, but back when i had my thunderbolt, i had to be on a Sense based ROM to install any of the sense apps. the camera in particular was tied to the Framework_res.apk i believe.

      so AFAIK, one cannot simple install Touchwiz/Sense camera on NE S4/One

  • NYAvsFan

    So then the GE GSIV will not have any of the special apps Samsung put on the regular GSIV? Pardon my ignorance, I just wasn’t sure if those were tied directly to Touchwiz or just designed to run on Samsung hardware only.

  • Rich Koos

    Isn’t this what we have been hearing rumors about? For the past two I/O’s we have been hearing about a “skin chooser” for android, but now we finally have it. And yes they are not subsidized, but you can’t expect google to do that. Full retail is what you should expect to pay for a phone like this, and it’s $50 cheaper for the google edition htc one if I’m not mistaken. However this should be more streamlined so that you could buy any OEM’s device and be prompted with their skin or stock.

  • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

    “Updates, where are they coming from”
    -Looking at you VZW GNEX

  • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

    Added one final bullet.

    • KG

      “But with the “Nexus experience” program launching, you no longer have an excuse”

      uhmmm, I do have an excuse… None of these options work with my Verizon unlimited data plan

  • Dr0me

    The rom from this device will be ported over to the HTC One carrier editions so we all will be able to have the same experience. No word on whether google will release the sources though or if a port is the best we get. This is something I would like some clarity on from google. However, I nearly wet myself when this was confirmed. Bring on the 4.3 and KLP. This device just got future proof.

    The timing of the release is poor as you have stated. If I had known this was coming out I may have held out for it instead of getting the HTC One when I did. However, this is amazing news for android enthusiasts. This is google and the OEM’s finally listening to the hard core fans and giving them what they want. Top of the line devices running stock android. I am fine with them being sold at full price, you can always sign a contract to get a new phone, sell it and buy this one yourself for the same price.

    Hopefully these will be launched or announced along side the next gen of phones so consumers can really make a choice before buying.

    • brkshr

      Sources will not be released. That’s why it is a ‘Nexus Experience’ device & not a ‘Nexus device’. The hardware in them most likely has proprietary drivers. It’s pretty hard to make a device with completely open drivers/hardware & these devices weren’t originally intended to be open source.

  • Shane Redman

    Funny how Android was intended to be a software strictly for cameras in its infancy…

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Yikes, totally forgot about that.

  • jpfrasier

    Though I am not able to afford these phones I do hope they sell really well. I love that these devices will be available and want to see it succeed. Who knows, maybe I will win one some day?

  • Clint O

    Completely agree in regards to the camera software. Have a Note2 running an AOSP and the camera just don’t perform like a touchwiz based rom. Hope google updates the software sometime in future releases.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    rumors lately have been spot TF on. If 4.3 is released on june 10th, let’s wait on the camera judgements (and my ir blaster comment).

  • Derek Duncan

    How would unlocked phones be cheaper? Look at the unlocked iPhone, $649 for 16gb. The Nexus 4 is about the only ‘cheap’ unlocked phone you can find. $599 is a good price for an unlocked phone.

  • Kyle Miller

    There should be a Nexus Program phone for each flagship phone these manufactuers make. One for US, One for Them. And if you’re on this site like releigion, then you know who is who. As for the price…well i’m iffy on that!

  • Rocketjrb

    Hows the LG Optimus G pictures compared to the LG Nexus 4?
    That should show us the Nexus camera software impact on a device.

    • Droidzilla

      Didn’t the Optimus G have a higher end sensor than the Nexus 4?
      [Scurries off to Google it.]
      Yep; 13MP vs. the 8MP shooter on the Nexus 4. That said, I’ve been pretty happy with the shots from my Nexus 4.

      • Rocketjrb

        I was referring to the AT&T Optimus G with the 8 megapixel camera.

        • Ryan

          Im not a fan of the Nexus camera software like time catch shot and cheese shutter. The Optimus G camera is good but the features are not on the Nexus.

          • Ryan

            Woops messed that one up. the Nexus doesnt have the cheese shutter or time catch shot like the Optimus G has.

      • Justin W

        One model of the Optimus G had a 13MP (I think the Sprint model?), while the other model (AT&T) had an 8MP cam. Don’t know about quality, though.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I am so confused with what i want in a phone now. I bought a n4, and loaded cm10.1 on it. That’s not a google experience is it? If i’m going to change the software anyway, what’s the point of purchasing this? disabled ir blaster? nty.

    Kellen, just stick with the device you have now.

  • possomcrast

    I’m enjoying my Cyan experience…I kind of like buying phones with custom skins because it gives me something to avoid and complain about, I think we all do as long as it’s not impossible to get around. A lot of this community is built upon avoiding touchwiz/sense/ and other bloatware.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      i’m happy we posted like-the-same thing around the same time. Even more happy to know i wasn’t the only person thinking it.

  • jamie stevens

    i dont understand why they are more…they dont have to support their own software. that a huge cost right there. But i figured if the cost was less than their own versions they would outsell their own.

  • Derek Edwards

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless the hardware is different, you should be able to throw the NE ROM on your HTC ONE right? I mean this is going to make it SO much easier to get AOSP running on even the skinned versions of the phones.

    • ElectroGadget

      Correct.

    • http://twitter.com/rbrtwillis Robert Willis

      Assuming you get past the locked bootloader on the non-NE version.

      • Derek Edwards

        But of course :D

      • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

        as long as it isnt a motorola bootloader it’ll get unlocked haha

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      While true, the unlocked versions won’t get direct updates from Google. But, once you had the ROM on there, I’m sure you could update fairly quickly after new updates are pushed.

      • juscozimme

        Actually I like My HTC One, it responds quick, the camera is not the best, but it is still better than most. Sure I’m a flashaholic, but that’s why I have the Nexus4. Maybe if i could dual boot I would root and rom but right now I’m enjoying Sense.

      • 4n1m4L

        unless we can do what we did with the yakjuwx and etc and change that part of them. Make everything think it is a nexus experience one.

    • grizzlyfoz

      This is what I’m hoping for too in regards to my AT&T HTC One. I’m running Cyanogenmod right now but it has a few quirks, so stock would be amazing.

      • Derek Edwards

        CM will get that much better too. The biggest problem with porting things like CM (AOSP/AOKP) is the hardware interaction with the software. Many times they are using bastardized kernels and what not. Starting with an AOSP kernel will produce amazing results for these.

    • QuarkZ26

      Funny, a guy said the same thing than you and got only downvotes ;)

  • schoat333

    I would think the reason behind all of this would be clear. The OEM’s want control back from the carriers, and this puts Google on their side. By selling devices without the carrier, the OEM’s can gain some power back, if the sales are good.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      While I like that idea, you are only going to gain that control back by selling devices, and at these prices, I’d be surprised to see them sell many.

      • Scott Hartman

        I sort of expect that the carrier contracts with the OEMs prohibits them from selling the same phone at a lower price than the carriers do, otherwise it would undermine carrier control of the market (which is the entire point of those high prices).

        • DROIDOMEGA

          That is a really good point.

      • EC8CH

        They should offer financing plans like the carriers do. Only problem is it can’t be rolled into the service bill like when the carriers do it.

      • CapnShiner

        You’re probably right. The majority of the customer base doesn’t know what a Nexus is, let alone the difference between stock Android and whatever OEM skin they are using. Most people are not going to care about any of that. They will only look at the price tag. If given the choice between paying $600 up front or signing a contract and paying $200 up front, most people will choose to sign the contract. Some people may not realize that they are still paying the same price or more over the course of the contract and some people may not have a choice because they just don’t have $600 in cash. The carrier subsidy model is what allowed the industry to grow as fast as it has. T-Mobile is giving customers a choice whether or not to opt in to the subsidy model but AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are still forcing customers into it. Not everyone can afford to pay $600 or more a phone while still paying the outrageous monthly fees that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will charge on top of that. Until everyone else adopts T-Mobile’s pricing model, only enthusiasts and early adopters will buy Nexus, Nexus Experience, and Developer Edition devices at full retail price.

        • Chelsea Hawkins

          You are so right. I finally awakened and saw the light. I’ve been with the “Evil V” for many years with the most inflexible phone (iPhone 4s) I’ve ever had (albeit reliable.) Screw the subsidies. I bought my GE HTC One (ships 7/9) and am debating going with TMobile or PureTalk in Charlotte, NC. I will learn how developers work with their phones and follow suit with time. Americans raised these devils (carriers) and now it’s time to put them down. BTW-I also have an old unlimited plan. I say goodbye to it now. Time for consumers to rule again. The next step is to REALLY let the Chinese cottage industry phone makers drive the prices down.

    • JonathonFlores

      Nobody in their right mind would buy this nexus experience. Those that want a nexus like device on an HTC or Samsung phone will simply root and unlock. It’s free to do that.

      • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

        idk why you’re being down voted but i agree with you completely. paranoidandroid has been amazing lately.

      • CapnShiner

        Some people don’t feel comfortable doing that, there is never a guarantee that a particular device will have developer support for rooting and ROMs, and even if there is support for it it takes time for these things to be released. Buying a Nexus/Nexus Experience device is easier, safer, and sometimes faster than rooting, unlocking, and installing a stock ROM on other devices.

        • JonathonFlores

          I would think those that want a Nexus experience aren’t the average comsumer. They’re all ok with GS4′s and the like and probably dont know the difference betweeen a Nexus and a Razr. They want all the cool software features and fancy names. They call all Android phones “Droids” lol. I get it, if Google is trying to mainstream the Nexus program, but at that price..people will just root and unlock a subsidized phone.

    • possomcrast

      Plus it paves the way for a future Google exposition as a wireless/internet carrier without contracts.

      • CapnShiner

        Google cannot offer wireless phone/data services without controlling wireless spectrum on which to offer such services. Unless I missed something, Google does not own any such spectrum. To my knowledge, there is no such spectrum available for Google to purchase, either. They would have to become an MVNO and that’s no better than any of the existing MVNOs in terms of coverage and service quality. Unless the government steps in and forces all the carriers to let anyone and everyone use their networks at wholesale prices, Google would not be able to compete as a wireless carrier.

        • possomcrast

          They are trying to obtain said spectrum or make deals with other companies.

  • umataro42

    “Our only chance for a “Nexus experience” on Verizon, is one that is
    VoLTE and doesn’t have to touch their CDMA network at any time. But who
    knows how many years away we are from that happening.”

    Hopefully not more years than my Galaxy Nexus will last, because that’s what I’m holding out for on Verizon.

    • JDub

      The only problem with that is Verizon still chooses what phones it will allow to activate on their network. Even if the phone has the right radios, we are screwed without their approval.

      • florious80

        Absolutely. You can bet your bottom dollar that even with VoLTE, verizon will find a way to lock out their phones/network. There’s no incentive for them to allow you to purchase a phone outside of their control.

        • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

          If they did they would be jeopardizing their access to the spectrum. One of the stipulations of being able to bid for and hold the spectrum is that they cannot restrict it. Right now they are able to because those devices also touch their closed CDMA network as well but once a device is LTE only Verizon cant choose not to whitelist it or else face getting their licensing revoked.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Ah, but you forget the wonderful loophole that they can take “reasonable measures to ensure the security of their network”, which they can probably warp to make it legal to not only SIM lock their devices, but disallow any device not SIM locked to their network to have access.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

        Not for LTE devices…. they have to let any device compatible with the network on their network – it’s part of their license from the FCC for the Block C 700 Mhz spectrum. They don’t for CDMA, so any open device is out any kind of voice calls or text messaging, unless they use VoIP over the data connection.

        Such an “open” device has yet to be made.

    • EC8CH

      Once VOLTE eliminates the need for a CDMA radio, VZW shouldn’t be able to prevent them from being activated on their network.

      Then again they shouldn’t be able to block Google Wallet.

  • Mordecaidrake

    God I wish other carriers networks didn’t suck. I want off Verizon so god damn bad :(

    • umataro42

      If it wasn’t for that, and the unlimited data grandfathering, I’d leave them too.

      • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

        Same here. My only chance now to get something remotely like stock is the Moto X.

        • kg215

          It’s not that bad, with the non nexus experience Galaxy S4 the bootloader is easily bypassed with Loki. If the HTC One does come to Verizon someday, that one can have the bootloader unlocked.

      • dhirensavalia
        • brkshr

          They throttle you somewhere after 1.5 – 2.5GB’s. I’m talking 15kb/s here (2G speeds). That cannot be considered unlimited. Their T.O.S. also states that they can kick you off of their network any time they want & you lose your # porting ability. Yes, I had them for awhile & was throttled.

          • 4n1m4L

            this.

          • TylerCameron

            New Straight Talk SIMs use T-Mobile’s network.

          • dhirensavalia

            I guess they thought I was spam, that’s why it was deleted? Ohh well. Thanks for the extra info!

        • 4n1m4L

          Coverage still sucks.

      • JRomeo

        don’t let unlimited data the only reason for you to stay on verizon. Tmobile has unlimited data for all their customers who choose that plan.

        • umataro42

          Yeah, but is T-mobile’s 4G network really as reliable?

          It’s not the only reason though, I still haven’t seen a phone I want instead of my GNex.

          • Tyler

            Hoping to find something worthy of replacing my gnex by the end of the year.

          • PhoenixPath

            Depends on your area. T-Mo is actually more reliable in my area than VZW, for example (Dropped calls, lost data connections…happened on VZW all the time…not once on T-Mo so far).

            Definitely worth trying it out (at least it was for me…)

          • JRomeo

            a phone you would want instead of your GNex? look no further than the Nexus4….. longer battery life, better camera……… and it’s still a Nexus…. or wait until October when the New Nexus is released. T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ Coverage is EXCELLENT if your city is covered. and if you travel to other cities then just check the coverage, and if all is good, then making the switch is a no brainer.

          • umataro42

            There were 2 things I learned about the Nexus 4 that make it not something I want instead of my GNex. If the Nexus 5 does better, I’ll consider switching.

            1) The biggest one is only 16GB. I have the 32GB GNex and I’m down to about 6GB free, so if I went with the N4 I’d have to be even more selective with what I keep on my phone. Besides a phone, it’s also my portable gaming device and the games keep getting bigger and bigger. I also like to keep a certain amount of music on my internal memory so I don’t have to rely on having a connection.

            2) No OTG support. If you’re going to have a phone with internal memory only, and only 16GB at that then it should be an absolute requirement to support OTG so I can watch videos off a flash drive if I’m traveling.

        • Vince

          T-mobile has LOUSY coverage. If you are outside of a major metropolitan area, you’re screwed. I’m still grandfathered in to Verizon’s unlimited and I get coverage pretty much EVERYWHERE with just very few holes. I can go through the mountains of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennesee and never drop (and even have 4G in most of it now). T-mobile drops when you leave off the major Interstates. Atlanta, Greenville, I-75, I-85, Chattanooga, etc are okay, but once you get more than 5 miles off 75 or 85 you’re dead.

      • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        ^^^THIS TOO. {{v_v}}

    • LiterofCola

      If the Moto X isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, then I’ll probably be dropping my unlimited data on Verizon and going to the evil blue. As much as I hate them, they have such damn good phones

      • Mordecaidrake

        I was just weighing that, problem is for the amount of data I use (average 12gb) a month I’d be spending way too much money.

        • rodney11ride

          im with you… im somewhere between 10-15 gb a month average..

          • Mordecaidrake

            Last 6 months I’ve averaged 8gb, past 2 were 15gb and 12gb. Hooray Google Music. If I was to get a normal plan that would cost me $130 a month just for data? Go F yourself Verizon haha

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

            Holy crap, Google Play All Access loves to suck the data more than a Hummer sucks gas.

      • rodney11ride

        you know this is what we all said when the OG droid came out… i mean how many of us dropped ATT for verizon because yes verizon had the best phones at the time… … also the S4 isnt a good phone?

        • LiterofCola

          Never said that the S4 isn’t a good phone. But as far as phones who’s build quality are as aesthetically pleasing as the HTC One, or Sony’s Xperia line and will probably never go to Verizon, AT&T is looking more and more tempting. The S4 doesn’t physically look all that great to me.
          And yeah, if you use a huge amount of data a month, then Verizon’s unlimited would be your best bet, but checking my data usage for the past two billing cycles, I’ve never gone over 3 gigs.

          • rodney11ride

            i guess its all in what you like… I am not a fan of the HTC One with out the on screen nav and the large top and bottom speaker bezels.. im with you on the S4 because i hate a home button. for all these reasons ill prob buy a brand new Maxx HD as my next phone. gonna miss my “clean curved” face of my Gnex one day..

          • MicroNix

            Build quality….lol. For a phone you’ll be throwing out in a year or so. Its not a car!

          • LiterofCola

            If you’d rather have a phone that looks like a worn shoe, just as long as it has good software then that’s on you.

        • Tyler

          One phone doesn’t make a network. I need options.

      • MicroNix

        Not if the evil blue was the last mobile carrier on earth! No way. No how. I will never deal with them again!!

        • LiterofCola

          I agree with you there though, I HATE At&t

    • Tony G.

      my company uses sprint, so it’s free. but i miss the s*** out of verizon :(

    • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      ^^^THIS. {{v_v}}

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Kellex, give me your HTC One that will be a paperweight, please. :-)

    • CaptainHowdy13

      Damn beat me to the punch. But I live in Portland (area) so I could get it easy :P

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.goldschmidt Lee Goldschmidt

        You’d have to race me then!

        • Justin W

          I’d fly out there to get it. I’d just have to know when the fight begins, about 6 months or so in advance so I can get a cheap ticket :)

  • duoexo

    I really dislike Verizon’s great coverage & unlimited data i have right now (10GB used as of this post. I guess i’ll hold on to my GNEX till i can’t take it no more. -___-

  • Greg Morgan

    Updates: According to the HTC Blog post, updates for the GE will come from Google.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Edit: I see it. Thanks! Missed that note. Updated post.

      • aaroninky
      • El_Big_CHRIS

        It’s all fine and dandy but if vzw/vivamovil doesn’t get it, then it really doesn’t matter, until the other carriers match VZW’s footprint, which may take years

        • MicroNix

          How true. Its not a level playing field that is for sure. You can have crap service and a selection of devices or you can have a more narrow range of choices and a bulletproof network. Sorry to those that down voted you but network reliability still rules.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      I call marketing on this. I’ll believe it when I see a screenshot of the About Phone screen and see a 5- or 6-character Google build number.