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Google and Samsung: French Kissing Again

Stocks in this article: GOOG T BBRY QCOM

I have asked Google for clarification as to how this will work on the Nexus version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 hardware. As of this writing, I have not received anything more than "Nobody seems sure; we're looking into who might know the answer."

There are three main alternatives for how this hardware-software conflict could be resolved:

  1. Samsung could re-spin the hardware, simply removing its buttons and allowing the Nexus software to work on the screen, just like any other Nexus.
  2. Samsung could keep the hardware but "double up" with the three Nexus buttons on the screen. Would look a bit inelegant and goofy, but it would work.
  3. Samsung could alter the Nexus software so as to fit with its existing three buttons. This would "work" but would it really be a 100% Nexus at that point?

I wouldn't be totally surprised if I find out the answer to this pressing question even before this article has been published. Somebody from Google will probably clarify this soon enough.

The other question that arises here is: How does this Nexus compare to the current Nexus -- the LG Nexus 4?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is $649, versus the $349 for the 16-gig version of the LG Nexus 4. How is the $300 -- nearly 100% premium -- price difference justified?

The Samsung Nexus has, compared to the LG Nexus:

  • Expandable storage (MicroSD card)
  • Removable backside (removable battery)
  • Bigger battery (2600 vs 2100 mAh)
  • Functioning LTE, although that could change -- in part -- on the LG, with a potential future software upgrade that is far from a given, and if so, only on T-Mobile, not AT&T.
  • Bigger and better display: 5 inches, 1080p vs. 4.7 inches, 720p
  • Faster CPU/GPU: Qualcomm (QCOM) 600 vs. previous-gen Qualcomm processor
  • Better camera: 13 megapixel vs. 8

In particular, I appreciate the bigger battery in combination with the plastic removable backside. Clearly, the Samsung is the vastly superior hardware. Does it justify the extra $300? Not yes, but hell yes! No doubt about it, in my view.

If you are in the market for an Android smartphone, and you don't need a BlackBerry (BBRY)-style hard keyboard, this looks like it will be the device to get -- by a wide margin -- when it becomes available on June 26 for $649, SIM-unlocked, contract-free. Get it directly from Google online.

See, that was easy, wasn't it? Thanks to Google and Samsung for listening to my demands.

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

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

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