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HTC One Google Play Edition Unboxing and Overview

htc one google play edition

We now have our first of the two Google Play Edition devices in house, so to give you all a quick overview, we thought a standard unboxing, hands-on, and initial impressions would be fitting. This is the HTC One Google Play Edition, which is now available for pre-order through Google Play for $599, with an expected ship date of July 9 (this Tuesday). We’ll take a look at the Galaxy S4 GPE as we have it, but for now, it’s all about the HTC One. 

So what are we looking at? Well, it really is just an unlocked HTC One that runs stock Android 4.2.2 instead of Android with Sense 5 on top. That really is the most basic way to describe it. The hardware is identical. It still has the UltraPixel camera, 4.7″ FHD display, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, Snapdragon 600 processor, and BoomSound front speakers. The only difference, again, is in the software.

For those not familiar with Google Play Edition devices, think of them as “Nexus like” phones in that they run 100% stock Android and should receive updates in a timely manner. They aren’t called “Nexus” because there is some manufacturer input here, but they are about as close as it gets. For years, Android enthusiasts have asked for the top-of-the-line hardware without the custom manufacturer skins and now we have two options.

Jump below to check out our thoughts in a video overview. More to come.


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  • wow! look, very very beautiful , i like samsung

  • HTC One Google Play Edition Unboxing and Overview. really beautyful

  • i love it, that’s awesome..

  • subkefee

    I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, http://www.Pro67.com

  • Johny Merg

    I have the regular S4 and put cyanogen mod 10.1 on it and it improved my phone so much. Getting rid of the touch wiz and all the Samsung apps boosted my battery life. I can run 2 days without having to charge my phone

  • Tom Luley

    Is there that ANNOYING AOSP phone lock lag like on all other phones? I remember that from my Galaxy Nexus days and it STILL is a bug on my GS4.

    • NYCHitman1

      What lock lag are you speaking of?

      • Tom Luley

        As far as I know, it is a known AOSP bug. Every AOSP rom I have loaded on my GS4, and previously my GNex, there is a slight delay when locking the phone and when the screen actually shuts off, leaving me to hit buttons as I am putting the phone in my pocket. This is not the case with TouchWiz. I have been on AOKP, Liquid, Carbon, CM 10.1, PACMAN, among others, all with the same problem.

        I remember it being a problem on my GNex when it was stock too, but I thought it could have been hardware related. That is definitely not the case with the GS4 or for the HTC One for that matter. Although, I can’t speak for the HTC One on an AOSP rom, I have never used one.

        • NYCHitman1

          Just curious because I’ve never experienced it on my SGS3.

          • Tom Luley

            Are you rooted and rom’d? TouchWiz doesn’t have this problem which is why I am on Hyperdrive’s TW ROM for my SGS4.

          • NYCHitman1

            Yeeeeeep. I don’t do TouchWiz. That fugly p.o.s UI. AOSP all the way.

          • Tom Luley

            Yeah luckily Hyperdrive is themed…My coworker has a GS3 as well with Liquid on it and his has the lag as well. Weird!

          • Tom Luley

            Yeah luckily Hyperdrive is themed…My coworker has a GS3 as well with Liquid on it and his has the lag as well. Weird!

  • How good this article is! I like it. I will share with my friends. I hope that many people also have hobby the same as me.

  • Armorthane

    I’m still kinda skeptical about the battery being non-replaceable. Is there any improvement on this version versus the other model you have running Sense?

    • Chris

      I get though a days worth on my EVO LTE. Replaceable batteries are a huge gimmik,

      • Ian

        How so? As someone who likes to keep a phone for about 2 years, the battery life can get strained after about a year and its nice to pick up a new battery. Plus when I travel I take my standard capacity battery and 2 high capacity batts. You’ll never see me hovering around the outlets of an airport with the iPhans.

  • Akashshr

    Kellen! Awesome unboxing, but did anyone else notice the app drawer, the icon grid is 4×5, where as on the nexus 4 its 5×5!

    Eagle eye watcher! 😀

    • zurginator

      N4 is 16:10, One is 16:9. The narrower aspect ratio is the reason for the tweak.

  • icyrock1

    The Google Play edition devices aren’t really running AOSP. The HTC one GPE is pretty much running Sense with the Sense taken out. The Sense architecture is still there. Same with the S4 GPE. It still has the touch wiz architecture, just with the touch wiz hidden.

    • mickey4mice

      Having Sense framework embedded is not exactly the same thing as being forced to use Sense interface. In fact, it might even prove positive if a few useful Sense apps like Camera eventually gets ported to the GP version.

      Of course, I’d be happier if it’s pure AOSP inside out with Google pushing out the updates directly, but I don’t see having Sense framework around as big negative.

      • icyrock1

        It makes it harder for Custom ROMs to be made, though (due to the closed nature of those architectures).

        • mickey4mice

          Perhaps. But if you really want to fiddle with custom ROMs, GPe phones are not good choice, I’d go with developer edition instead.
          I’ve the HTC One GPe on order and I don’t plan to put any custom ROMs on it, I want a rock solid daily driver with near-pure-Android experience. I’ve been through 2 Android phones (S2 & Optimus G), and as much as I love and appreciate Dev work and all the ROM choices out there, there just hasn’t been one that works 100% without eventually running into some kind of issue.

      • JMonkeYJ
    • DainLaguna

      so….instead of hiding sense with a launcher, they are hiding sense with stock android? that makes no sense.

      i thought what didnt make them aosp was the fact that certain features (boomsound, beats etc) were still active.

      it seems like theyd have to go out of there way to still have sense hiding someplace in there.

  • HerouvCanton

    once again, Verizon customers are SOL.

    • Chris M.

      I hate how people write about it as if it was unexpected. Stop whining about it and drop Verizon. You’ll be completely satisfied and we wont have to continue reading these posts 🙂

      • tharealoc

        You can never be completely satisfied after dropping unlimited data…although I am contemplating it…

        • Chris M.

          TMOBILE completely unlimited used 16gbs this month ZERO throttling. Now it isn’t as fast as VZW but 23mbs down isn’t bad!

          • Radgatt

            Some of us also live where tmobile doesn’t work and verizon has LTE. Can’t drop verizon as much as it would be tempting.

          • interstellarmind

            Here in NYC, my tmo 4g (~2.5 kB/s) is actually faster than VZW’s LTE (~1 kB/s).

            Tmo gives me unlimited 4g and I save $20 a month.

            Switching to tmo from vzw was the best move for me.

            (Not to mention the added bonus of being on a GSM carrier which opens up the ability to bring unlocked devices – such as pure AOSP nexus 4)

          • kg2128

            I hope you mean ~2.5 Mb/s and ~1 Mb/s per second, even then your speeds are poor for both Verizon and T-Mobile. Assuming both are that crappy I would switch to the cheaper one too, but in most of the country T-mobile is still cheaper for a reason.

        • KleenDroid

          There is no good reason to give it up.

      • richie97

        Exactly. It gets old real quick.

      • I’d love to drop Verizon, if I could afford a new HTC One on T-Mobile. I have bad credit, so I have to pay $280 instead of $99 Dx

    • PhoenixPath

      Once again, a Verizon customer states the obvious…

  • Nexus_FrEak

    I love the stock look so much but couldn’t handle the pics the camera was taking. Thanks to GEonSENSE ROM my life is complete!!

  • BRIM

    How I wish HTC would’ve given the One some modern bezel size.

    Those thick bezels look like Motorola from 2010.

    • master94

      At least the bezel has a good purpose. Boom sound

  • Ray Gray

    thanks for putting in work on a Sunday Kellen!

    • abqnm

      Other than setting up the camera and posting the video, I don’t see much work. Looks more like a nerd playing around. (Not a bad thing.)

      • tyguy829

        playing with the actual device, shooting video, taking pictures, doing the writeup, and then posting it all to the site takes time. it adds up, trust me. I appreciate it Kellen, I know it is a lot of work for a Sunday.

        • abqnm

          Oh I appreciate it too. Just seems like a bit more fun that “work.”

          • It is a bit of fun and work. Couldn’t wait to put it up on the site, so I’m glad some of you were able to see it on a Sunday summer afternoon. 🙂

          • Kimm Ryland

            what Sarah implied I’m taken by surprise that someone able to profit $6755 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this web page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

          • michael arazan

            It’s not work….If you love what you do

          • THATguy

            I feel like you’ve never had a job before. No matter how fun it is, working on the weekend is still working on the weekend.

          • abqnm

            Heh. 90+ hour weeks for the last 5 years – I guess isn’t a job. Oh well. Off to that place that pays me to work that isn’t a job.

      • piwifaquzehy

        мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

        I love the stock look so much but couldn’t handle the pics the camera was taking. Thanks to GEonSENSE ROM my life is complete!!

      • 6stringslinger

        I appreciate it too, Kellex.

    • Sean Royce

      It was Monday in Australia. ;P

  • thanks a ton for doing this kellex. looking forward to the photo comparison. I just ordered the HTC one gpe. hoping i dont regret it! 😉

    • Haven’t had much of a chance to do photo work, but will in the next day or two. I did snap a couple of quick pics though, and it certainly crushes the Nexus 4.

      And by the way, fully stock Android on this phone is exactly like you would expect – it’s awesome.

      • DainLaguna

        kellen i noticed a hint of lag when opening up the app drawer…just doesnt seem as fast as on the n4. was that just first start up jitters?