Check the Devices section of the Google Play Store and you should see more options. On Tuesday, Google Play Editions of the LG G Pad 8.3 tablet and Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone launched, along with Google’s own Nexus 7 now available in white. The latter tablet is the same as the current Nexus 7 — just in a different color, of course — while the former products are the first “pure” Android versions of devices from LG and Sony.
Google launched its Play Edition program in May at its I/O developer conference to accomplish two objectives. First, it gives Android device owners a single online store to buy Android phones and tablets. Second, it provides customers a basic Android experience, similar to the Nexus line of products, on hardware made by Google’s partners. Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and HTC’s One were the first such Play Edition devices made available.
The common theme to all Play Edition smartphones and tablets is a base version of Android; there’s no extra software from carriers or device makers. These can also expect Android software updates sooner than the carrier-branded versions as there’s no network operator involvement.
For those interested in the new Play Editions, Google is selling the 16 GB Wi-Fi edition of LG’s newest 8.3-inch tablet for $349. The slate has a microSD card slot for additional memory, uses a quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 chip, 2 GB of memory and crams a high-resolution 1920 x 1200 pixel panel on the front.
Sony’s Z Ultra smartphone will cost $649 although it’s more like a tablet too thanks to its 6.4-inch display with full HD resolution. It boasts a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 and 2 GB of memory, along with 16 GB of storage that can be expanded.
A 32 GB version of Google’s Nexus 7 in white — Wi-Fi-only — is also available for $269. The Play Store shows an option for 16 GB but says that configuration isn’t currently available.