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Samsung Galaxy S4 Review: The Best Android That's Not Nexus

Despite these software flaws, I pick the Samsung Galaxy S4 ahead of the HTC One because of the superior hardware situation. The Galaxy is not as slippery and it is repairable. In addition, it's got that superior case, a function of the removable back.

What about the comparison with the Nexus? Long-time readers of this column know that when it comes to Android, I prefer a Nexus almost every time. The current Nexus doesn't have as good hardware as the Samsung Galaxy S4, but the Nexus is also over six months old and will be replaced perhaps soon.

Despite the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the best hardware in the industry right now, I continue to recommend the Nexus to anyone who is buying Android. If you wait a little bit, you will also be rewarded by an improved Nexus that could narrow or even close the hardware gap currently in the Samsung Galaxy S4's favor.

Equally important in the Nexus' favor: the way it is sold. You buy the Nexus without any carrier-specific software ("crapware") and it is SIM-unlocked. You can then trek into your nearest Wal-Mart (WMT) and pick up a SIM card from T-Mobile that gives you data, SMS and 100 minutes for circuit-switched voice for $30 per month, with no contract. This will save most people well over $1,000 over the life of the two-year contract.

Here is what Samsung should do: Make a Nexus version of the Galaxy S4. That would be the ideal smartphone in the Android world today. Until then, we buy the Nexus that actually exists.

At the time of publication the author was long GOOG, AAPL, FB, BBRY and NOK.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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