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No 4G support for "Nexus" HTC One and Galaxy S4 in Australia

  • Google releases Nexus versions of HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Great price, stock operating system but no 4G Support for Australia.
  • What options are there if you want a stock Android phone?
Written by James Sandri

Sidelining both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 revealings was the news that Google would release their own versions of the handsets. Google’s offerings would bring the stock Android Jelly Bean to the phones and direct access to the latest updates from Google. A great option for those that appreciate the hardware of HTC’s and Samsung’s devices but prefer the stock Google user interface. Along with the minimalist Nexus experience, the lowered price tag Google is offering for these handsets has attracted many people. Unfortunately this may not be a viable option for Australian customers.

While buying the phones from the Google Store might save Australian customers money it will unfortunately result in a lack hardware support for our 4G networks. Google has so far announced support only for the 4G frequencies in the United States, rendering the handsets incompatible with the 4G networks offered by Optus, Telstra and soon Vodafone. With the 4G networks in Australia quickly expanding in coverage, the lack of compatibility for the technology is a stake through the heart for these handsets in the Australian market.

Google’s own Nexus 4 handset released last year faced a similar fate. The lack of a 4G antenna in the device cost Google what could’ve been massive popularity for the low cost handset. Arguably the cost of getting the phone regulated for 4G networks around the world would’ve pushed the price tag upwards but nonetheless the moral of the story is evident.

It could also be said that the choice to only support a small section of the world’s 4G spectrum while driving a lower price tag might be a secretly smart move by Google. Even without official support for 4G the feature could be unofficially added with a custom ROM, which the unlocked bootloader of Google’s iterations allow for straight out of the box. Those with the know-how to perform the hack can essentially get the handsets at a cheaper cost than everyone else. This means Google can make a bit of easy money while also keeping their more technically proficient fans happy without too much work.

Fortunately the future of Google’s “nexus” iterations may not end here for Australia. The recent releases of the Nexus HTC One and Galaxy S4 are primarily targeted at the US markets. If the sales go well for Google’s foray into OEM handsets in the United States they may see a release for Australia in the near future. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are currently on sale with Optus right now with 4G support and  the original manufacturers interface.

Want an prepaid unlimited plan for your smartphone? Check out Optus $2 Days. Unlimited Calls, Texts and Data. Give Optus a call on 1300 359 437!


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