Google Puts Stake Through Heart Of 'Play Edition' Smartphones

We doubt that there will be many tears shed as we wave goodbye to Google's inventory of Play Edition devices, a series of expensive handsets that came with the stock Android experience. The last of these was the HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition, and while you can still find it lingering at the Google Play Store, you'll need a direct link to get you there, only to find out that it's no longer in stock.

All things considered, it was a fairly good run for the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition, which was made available in March of last year. It would receive an Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update before Google gave it a pair of cement shoes at the lake of no return, but ultimately these devices proved just too darn expensive to continue offering them. The HTC One M8 Google Play Edition, for example, commanded $700 -- even with the benefits of a clean Android experience, it's a tough sell when subsidized pricing for the standard version was so much less ($200 or under).


It's possible that Google could keep the program alive and offer another mobile device with the Play Edition moniker, though don't hold your breath. More than likely, this will go down as one of Google's many experiments that just didn't pan out. Alternately, there was talk a year ago that Google might retire its Nexus brand in favor of Play Edition devices in 2015. We haven't seen anything since then to indicate that's the direction Google will go, but it's a (slim) possibility.

So, the next time you find yourself outside with a 40, be sure to pour some on the ground for the fallen HTC One M8 Google Play Edition, and then keep pouring for the ones that came before it -- Sony Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, HTC One (M7), Samsung Galaxy S4, and Motorola Moto G.