By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 26, 2013 09:45 PM EDT
The Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition is now available for purchase with a $649.99 price tag, directly from Samsung.
At $650 the smartphone is definitely not cheap, but many developers may find the experience to be worth the full retail price. This version is the same 16GB version of the SCH-I545 model, i.e. Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S4. As expected with developer edition phones, however, this version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes carrier-unlocked and, most importantly, it has an unlocked bootloader.
An unlocked bootloader is Samsung's way of appealing to users who want to hack, root and use custom ROMs on their handsets more easily. Although various root methods are already available, sporting a guide for developers to bypass the locked bootloader on the retail version, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition aims to provide a better, hassle-free developer experience.
It's interesting, however that the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition is not available on Big Red itself, at least not yet. The carrier sells the regular 16GB model for $199 on a two-year contract, while the price goes up to $649.99 off-contract. That's the same price that Samsung is charging for the Verizon Galaxy S4 Developer Edition, and the same price expected for the Google Edition of the smartphone.
Verizon will likely start selling its Developer Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 as well, but for now this version of the smartphone is available only from Samsung's website. The AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition, meanwhile, is missing in action and there's no word on when it will actually launch.
Other than the unlocked bootloader, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition sports the same specs and features that made the flagship smartphone so popular in the first place. That includes a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, a powerful quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera with simultaneous dual photo capture, Air Gesture, Air View, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and much more.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, meanwhile, is expected to become available soon as well, boasting a pure, unadulterated Android experience. That means more memory for the user, as the manufacturer's own user interface and preloaded applications will no longer take up valuable space in the phone's internal storage.
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