And they had been doing it all along, just as I said. The only hardware Google ( GOOG) announced at its annual developer conference Wednesday was a Nexus version of the much-beloved Samsung Galaxy S4. So much for Google and Samsung not getting along! Recently, I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the headline was "The Best Android That's Not Nexus." The article ended with the following paragraph: "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." Little did I know that Google would announce just this product the following day! It will be available June 26, and it will work on LTE on both T-Mobile and AT&T ( T) -- and of course every other GSM-based network in the world. The price is $649, which is identical to the 16-gig version of the iPhone. The one difference here is the Nexus version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has expandable storage, in the form of the industry-standard MicroSD card. Based on everything else that is in the market today, there is no need to review this product. Why? Because it's obvious that it is going to be the best Android in the market -- however temporarily, and assuming no other relevant flagship Android device being introduced before June 26.
As I wrote in my review of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it is the best Android hardware in the market today. The problems with the device are the inferior Samsung software, plus the way it's sold (SIM-locked). I wrote that if you could just pair this industry-best hardware together with Nexus software, you would have the ideal Android smartphone imaginable. In other words, Samsung and Google listened and decided to make it! The only remaining question is this: The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a hardware button, flanked by two software buttons: a menu button (on the left) and a back button (on the right). This arrangement is, per definition, inconsistent with Nexus software. Nexus software has three software buttons -- a home button in the middle, a back button on the left, and a multitasking button on the right.