Two new devices have been given the Nexus Experience: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and the LG G Pad 8.3, which were recently announced as the latest Google Play Edition devices.
Google added the devices to the Google Play Store on Wednesday. Notably, Sony’s device has been rebranded as the Z Ultra Google Play Edition; the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition keeps its original name.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions before them, the Z Ultra and G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions run the latest stock Android system, which currently is Android 4.4 KitKat. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions recently updated to Android 4.4 KitKat themselves. Once newer Android iterations are released, the new Google Play Edition devices will be among the first to get updates. Keep in mind that Google Play Editions may not update at the exact time as Nexus devices, as manufacturers must fit a new system’s code to their devices before sending the update back to Google to roll out an update.
Google’s stock Android firmware appears on Google Play Edition devices as the Mountain View, Calif., company originally developed, with no overlaid user interfaces added by device manufacturers. Stock Android was once exclusive to Google’s Nexus brand devices, but now Google Play Editions not only feature the clean Nexus Experience interface, but are also sold SIM-unlocked and bootloader-unlocked for full user control.
Currently the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions are only available in the U.S.; availability in other countries has not yet been determined.
The Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition sells for $649.00 and ships within one to two business days. Its features include a 6.4-inch 1920 x 1080 display at 342 ppi, 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors, 16GB internal storage and 2GB RAM, a 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, 3,000 mAh Lithium polymer battery and the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.
The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition sells for $349.99 and also ships within one to two business days. Its features include a 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 Full HD display at 273 ppi, a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 16GB internal storage with Micro SD expansion up to 64GB and 2GB RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, compass, ambient light and gyroscope sensors, a 4,600 mAh Lithium polymer battery and the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.
The first Google Play Edition devices, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, were released in June. With the introduction of the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions, it is likely that we will see even more Google Play Edition devices in the future.
Will you purchase the Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition or the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.