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Last Updated: March 26th, 2014

Update: According to this Google+ post, pre-orders for the phone will begin later today. There's still no word on a shipping date.

Update #2: You can now press the "Add to cart" button. The phone is currently scheduled to leave Google's warehouse in 2-3 weeks:

image

One of the more interesting aspects of HTC's One M8 launch is the rapid way the company is releasing the phone, with major American and Canadian carriers getting access to the device in one day or less. It looks like HTC and Google will be doing something similar with the already-confirmed Google Play Edition of the flagship phone. The Play Store page for the One (M8) GPE is now live, though it's only "coming soon."

htc one gpe

Like previous Google Play Edition phones, you won't get any breaks on the price via a contract or subsidy. If you want the AOSP goodness that comes from a Google Play Edition device, you need to pony up: the One M8 GPE will cost a full $699. That's in line with "unlocked" prices for other flagship devices, but it's also a full $100 more expensive than the previous Google Play Edition of the One and $50 more expensive than contract-free retail versions. Sorry international readers, the One M8 GPE will only be available in the United States at launch, though that may change with time. As with previous GPE devices, the One M8 will feature unlocked GSM and LTE world bands.

    Network

    Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE

    GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

    HSPA/UMTS quad-band 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz

The updated version of the One will probably need some tweaked software to account for its dual rear cameras, something that's far from standard in Android, so it may not be running quite as close to "stock" 4.4.2 code as the previous phone. That said, the original One GPE didn't support the infrared hardware, so who knows how much or how little Google is going to customize the code for the individual device - it almost certainly won't work with the fancy Dot View cover.

If you want fast updates to the latest versions of Android without any extras, the Google Play Edition is the way to go, and plenty of people are willing to pay the premium. Hopefully having the M8 GPE page up on day one means that the phone will come sooner rather than later.

Source: Google Play Store

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

    I love the Google Play Edition program. I own three GPE devices (Z Ultra, GS4 and Moto G). With that said, this is a complete head scratcher. How on Earth could they think that it's justifiable to charge $50 more for the GPE when it offers less software features than the retail variants?

    • Kano

      I think iPhone and ipad are the best.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

        Awesome. You enjoy that.

        • Scott

          I wish we could see downvotes. I want to know just how many he has for that post.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

            I was wondering what happened to the downvotes lol

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        What are you doing here, then?

        • Rev

          Exactly what I'm thinking :D

          • Renato Paredes Araújo

            He used IOS Maps.

        • Kano

          I am reading android news. Do you have a problem with that?

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Yes I do. Why the hell would you visit an Android News site if you think that iDevices care the best? Stick to cult of Mac then or something

      • Shade

        I'm glad you came to AndroidPolice to share that. We're all with you, buddy.

    • redsnowfox

      Maybe the premium for supporting a device with not much wider audience? HTC is the one who has to do the development here not Google.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

        Good point. And let's be honest, if you can afford $649, you can afford $699. Some people will definitely pay it just to have stock Android and fast updates on the most recent devices.

    • Cael

      They're charging $100 more to scare people to the Sense variants.

    • TK

      Unlocked bootloader I guess, flash the stock Sense ROM or another and keep your warranty, but not 100% sure about that. Is the GPE S-off?

  • Kcls

    Reason #1 why I buy Nexus Devices only: They're so damn cheap!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Reason #1 why I don't buy Nexus anymore: They're so damn cheap (feeling)! Once the GPE program came around, I basically lost all interest in Nexus phones because I finally had the option of getting stock Android on devices that were top shelf on the inside and outside. You certainly can't argue with the Nexus 5's price, but the thing is like taking a V8 engine and putting it into a VW Beetle.

      • htowngtr

        I think you're being overly harsh on the N5. I must be one of the few that likes the design and the materials. It's a $350 phone with $600 guts. If having a pretty phone is what you need then by all means pay the difference.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Well, it's not that particularly. I agree that the guts are great, but like all Nexus phone cameras before it, the N5's camera leaves a lot to be desired, and yeah, when you hold it, it just feels more like a toy. I like devices that are awesome both inside and out.

          In the end, I think we can both agree that in mobile tech, you get what you pay for. And at the Nexus 5's price point, they had to make concessions somewhere, and they did so on the aesthetics, which is fine. For people who care more about the hardware than the look, there's no way you can go wrong with the Nexus 5 at that price. No doubt.

          • Matt

            >concessions somewhere, and they did so on the aesthetics

            And camera...and battery life. Those are probably the two biggest pitfalls of the Nexus smartphone program in general (since the Nexus S at the very least).

          • Stylus_XL

            "the N5's camera leaves a lot to be desired"

            You're just regurgitating the same old hackneyed criticisms that are applied to the Nexus range. In practice the Nexus 5's camera is at the very least 'average' when compared to phones that cost twice the price. It's not breathtaking, but it's *far* from unfit for purpose - and it's a huge improvement over the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy Nexus cameras.

            The camera app itself is poor though, that's undeniable.

          • Barnassey

            Oh god i second that on the camera. I got one with tmobile during the blackberry special and even after rooting and tweaking the camera doesnt do as well as my galaxy note 2.

          • Chris Talty

            The N5 camera is actually quite good, significantly better than the Galaxy S3's, less finicky to use than the S4's, and better than the HTC One's. If you're talking about camera, it's pretty damned good post 4.4.2 update.

          • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

            The camera on the N5 is better than the camera on the M8. Moreover, I own a SGS4 and I've extensively handled an M7, and to be honest the N5 feels better in the hand than both.

      • Stylus_XL

        I own a Nexus 5 and it feels solid in the hand and well built. I guess unless a phone is built out of aluminium and glass (neither of which are premium materials) it will always "feel cheap" to some people. It's the iPhone 4 effect.

        My Galaxy S3 felt cheap, my Nexus 5 doesn't.

        • redsnowfox

          If aluminium and glass are not premium(feeling) materials then what is?

          • Chris Talty

            Stainless steel, designer woods, high end plastics, leathers, bronze/other expensive metals are traditionally thought of as premium in other markets. Cheaper woods, plastics, aluminums and ceramics are generally not. But that doesn't mean that is the case in mobile. I do think the premiumness of Aluminum is significantly overstated though, and the Nexus 5 feels less cheap than the N4 despite being made of more plastic and less glass.

      • Pedro Peguero Jr

        And what's wrong with putting a V8 engine into a VW bettle? You are basically paying DOUBLE just so that it feels "better" ? That is I'll rather buy that V8 engine, and put it into a body of something that is mediocre, because honestly, it's all about how fast and smooth the thing will run, not the looks!

        Would you buy a Lambo with a stock VW bettle engine?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Certainly not. The point I'm trying to make is that I owned the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 in the past because it was the only way to have a decent device with stock Android. That isn't the case anymore thanks to the GPE program. The Nexus 5 is the first Nexus device I don't regret not buying, and that's because there are much better quality phones available on the GPE side, even if you pay more for them. To each his own.

          That said, you'll pry my Nexus 7 LTE and Nexus 10 from my cold, dead hands. ;)

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Let's also not forget how in case of Nexus One and Nexus S/Gnex we are dealing with HTC and Samsung respectively.

        Don't forget that HTC wanted to level out their own income before they basically added a trackball and Sense to create the original design
        And that Samsung was on roll with the two Galaxy S phones, how Galaxy Nexus was bringing the new era of Android with 4.0.4, and how there were still pricier devices because the biggest % of income went to Google, not Samsung (or HTC)

        LG seems to be the first actual Nexus partner that made a decent phone, with a Nexus branding, with a great design, AND pushed decent hardware into the 400$ price tag

      • Forget_you

        and you think the gs4 is top shelf on the outside?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          No, but I'd take the GS4 over the N5 in a drop test any day of the week. And are the HTC One and Z Ultra "top shelf on the outside"? You bet your ass they are.

          • Forget_you

            I know. I have an HTC one. Best phone I have ever owned.

    • vyktorsouza

      on your country, at launch, Nexus 5 was at the same price as GS4 in here, same thing happened to the Nexus 4 and GS3, I hate it when people forget that

  • Dani R.

    It's a great phone, but 699 is ridiculous. Nexus all the way!

    • Barnassey

      It wont improve the experience camera-wise since they dropped OIS. Which to me should be in ALL smartphones.

  • htowngtr

    700 bones is just completely crazy

  • Gen-Nam

    And once again, no GPE devices for the UK :/

    • David

      Have they officially confirmed this?

      Just picked up the M8 but still hesitating between my N5...

      • Gen-Nam

        There are no mention of any plans to release the phone in other markets. This may change in the future, but currently no GPE for UK

    • Dave

      Very frustrating, as always. But at the very least, it does mean that there should be mostly stable stock ROMs out pretty soon.

  • krazyfrog

    The description does mention the Duo Camera feature so they did manage to make it work somehow.

    • htowngtr

      HTC mentioned that they released the camera API's to 3rd party. Basically means it will be a full fledged app in the Play Store as well as allow 3rd parties (google) to use their API in the default camera.

  • TY

    What's the size of storage? 32GB?

    • dude

      16 and 32GB but it have microSD support.

  • http://si97.com/ Saif

    It's probably 32 GB, that's why $50 more.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dsilinski Darren

    Why can a tablet only cost $350-$400 off contract but a phone costs $700? That's ridiculous. The radios can't cost THAT much.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      It has to do with the fact that you're packing all that technology into a much smaller package. It might not seem like it, but the engineering and manufacturing costs skyrocket when you're dealing with phones as compared to tablets where you have a lot more room to work with. It's a lot more than just radios.

      • syxbit

        That's actually not true.
        Manufacturing costs of a 5" device do not skyrocket over a 7" device.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Perhaps "skyrocket" was the wrong word, but it certainly costs more to manufacture smaller devices than it does to manufacture bigger stuff. Plus, there's more engineering time, which means more salaries to pay, more R&D, that kind of thing. It's not as cut and dry as it would seem.

      • duse

        No, I think it has more to do with the market, plain and simple. $500 is the going rate for top-end tablets, due to the iPad. For that reason Android tablets can't cost more than that, and most have to cost less. It's the same thing here. iPhone is still setting the norm at $649, and others are following. It's a joke HTC thinks this should be priced even MORE than that.

        I'm sure it costs a bit more to make smaller devices, and more R&D is going into this than tablets, but let's be honest, consider the price of laptops, ultrabooks, tablets, TVs, everything else - this ain't worth 700 bucks. 400-500 would be much more correct.

  • Mystery Man

    LTE 700 so the edge to LTE tmobile thing will work on this device?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Nope. It has no support for band 12. The only 700 LTE it supports is band 17, which is AT&T.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Is this device worth almost twice the cost of a Nexus 5?

  • Sam

    Will this work on T-Mobile HSPA+?

    • motoridersd

      According to the specs, yes. Not sure where Android Police got the specs above, but the ones on the Play Store are a little different:

      Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE
      GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
      HSPA/UMTS quad-band 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz
      3G (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
      HSDPA 21, HSUPA 5.76
      4G LTE (700 MHz, AWS)

      Only two LTE frequencies (The main T-Mobile one is included) are listed and it does not seem to support 3G (WCDMA) on AWS, only HSPA/UMTS? Also, bare in mind that this does NOT support 42 Mbps HSPA, meaning it won't be able to take advantage of the 42 Mbps network T-Mobile has in some markets.

      • KingofPing

        "bear in mind"

        You are carrying the thought in your head, not mentally undressing it. :-P

        Well, actually...I suppose that depends entirely on what's on your mind...

        *grin* (Not being a grammar nazi...just playin)

        • motoridersd

          LOL, thanks for the correction. I guess I have other things on my mind :P

          • KingofPing

            I laughed to myself at the thought...figured I'd share it with others. :)

            Sometimes getting it wrong makes it so much better.

          • motoridersd

            Hahaha yes! I did that on purpose, yeah, for comic relief :P

          • KingofPing

            Well, obviously. :)

  • Forget_you

    damn with tax that is like 758.00. no thanks. I will wait to buy it used off craiglist later on :-p

  • AbbyZFresh

    I can't believe this price.

    This is why I'm sticking with the Moto G.

  • Hassan AlSaffar

    I have a question, is the Google play edition is the same AT&T one? I mean it supports the same LTE bands that At&T supports? Because I am traveling to the middle east and only ATT edition would support LTE networks here in the US and Middle East at the same time.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Yes. It supports bands 2/3/4/5/7/17. That's full support for AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, and should be able to roam on some LTE networks internationally as well.

      • Hassan AlSaffar

        Thank you so much. That is amazing news.

        • h4rr4r

          Slightly less amazing is the lack of 1700Mhz support.

  • Jalok Xlem

    Fudge! I can't afford this! If only the Nexus phone series would of included a micro sd card slot.

  • Severo Rivera

    Too much money! Nexus 5 ftw!

  • NaHiM

    I preffer to wait the OnePlus One

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    Well that's only $500 more than my Moto G. I think I'll wait for something else cheaper.

  • Ben Baranovsky

    I recommend waiting and converting the carrier-subsidized phone to the GPe when the software is available.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Not worth it at ALL.

  • The1in9.2quintillion

    Since it supports wcdma bands does that mean you could buy it from the play store and use it on verizon?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      No. Don't confuse WCDMA (GSM/HSPA+ technology) with CDMA2000, which is what Verizon and Sprint use.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        But the LTE bands seem to be compatible with Verizon's LTE offerings. Assuming it takes a Verizon SIM that's already activated, anyone knows if it will work over the Verizon LTE network?

  • Alawn

    These bands do not match the bands on the Play store. Where did they come from?

    "GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    HSPA/UMTS quad-band 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz
    3G (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    HSDPA 21, HSUPA 5.76
    4G LTE (700 MHz, AWS)"

  • [S]unjay Burn[s] Red

    Overpriced. Just get the normal phone for less then install AOKP.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    LTE 700/AWS? So, popping in an activated Verizon SIM card would work as long as there's LTE signal?

  • PuzzledObserver

    Repetition #100+ of what had been said below: Overpriced.
    Personally, even at $500 I won't buy it.

  • http://si97.com/ Saif

    LTE bands dont match the ones listed on Play Store. Are you sure?

  • dude

    Why is no one criticizing the length of this phone?

    • PoisonApple31

      I thought that black bar with the HTC logo was a win-win for everyone?

  • Rob Byrnes

    No GPE devices in Australia ..... :(

    • Rami

      Neither in Italy :(

  • h4rr4r

    No 1700Mhz?

  • Alawn

    These bands do not match the bands on the Play store. Where did they come from?

    Article:
    "GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900
    WCDMA: 850/AWS/1900/2100 with HSPA+ up to 21Mbps
    LTE: 700/850/AWS/1900 (B17/B5/B4/B2, carrier aggregation B4+17;B2+17), + roaming 2600/1800 (B7/B3)"

    Play Store:
    "GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    HSPA/UMTS quad-band 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz
    3G (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    HSDPA 21, HSUPA 5.76
    4G LTE (700 MHz, AWS)"

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Sorry about that, we wrote the story before it went live based on a tip. It should have the correct bands now.