The new Google Edition smartphones went on sale today and if you are considering picking up the latest hardware running stock Android, here’s something to make you pause.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One will both ship with stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but they both have different Android kernel versions. AnandTech compared the About Device settings page on the Nexus 4, Galaxy S4 and HTC One and found three differing versions of the Android kernel. The Galaxy S4 runs kernel version 3.4.0, while the HTC One has kernel version 3.4.10. Nexus 4 also has 3.4.0, but it's a different build. It makes sense for Google to not have the same kernel version for the two Google Edition phones. Samsung and HTC would best know their own hardware and can customise the kernel based on it. Since kernel updates will be seeded by Samsung and HTC, the OS updates will also follow from them.

Updates could be slightly delayed

Android updates could be slightly delayed

What this means is Google will have to seed the update to Samsung and HTC, who will then push out the updates over-the-air. Google cannot directly send the update because of the different kernel versions. This could result in a slight delay in getting the updates for the two Google Edition phones, although this could be nullified if Samsung and HTC get early dibs on the next OS version and are ready to roll out an update at the same time as Google. If that's not the case, then let's hope Samsung and HTC can update their kernel versions in quick time to deliver future Android updates on time.

The Google Edition S4 and One went on sale at the US Google Play Store today. While the S4 is priced at $649 (Rs 39,000 approx), the HTC One with stock Android can be had for $599 (Rs 36,000 appox). Confused about which one to pick? Check out our Catch-22 article.

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