Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition pops up, still no Lollipop

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Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is still making its way to some markets, an unexpected variant of the Samsung flagship has appeared almost out of nowhere. The Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition, compatible with Verizon's network, has shown up in the manufacturer's online store. But as much as this developer-friendly smartphone is a welcome surprise, its existence does bring up some of the more pressing questions regarding Samsung's frontliners, especially when it comes to the latest Android Lollipop version.

Developer Editions of Android smartphones are a rather special and unique bunch. They are like a crossbreed between a regular OEM model and a Google Play Edition version. On one end, owners are promised unlocked bootloaders that make it a lot easier to set the device up for development and modding. On the other end, you won't have to give up using the OEM's custom skin, which, in the context of Samsung's TouchWiz, might be a difficult concept to grasp. In short, there is no practical difference between a regular Galaxy Note 4 and this developer edition except for an unlocked bootloader and the absence of carrier subsidy.

The arrival of this developer edition does trigger some thoughts about Samsung, developers, and Android 5.0 Lollipop. This developer edition still comes with Android 4.4 so we are again left wondering when Samsung will roll out Android Lollipop for the device. It already hinted at that future, though, unlike Motorola, Sony, or HTC, it has not given any hint or estimate as to when. And perhaps it may also raise the question about the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition, yet another developer-friendly variant that has been teased twice but never revealed.

In any case, developers who might be itching to use the Galaxy Note 4 as a test device might be interested in giving this one a chance, even without Android Lollipop. That said, though the phone will work on Verizon's network, it does not carry the carrier's pricing scheme, so buyers will be left with the full price of the device, which in this case is a rather hefty sum of $662.53

SOURCE: Samsung