Samsung has a Developer Edition of the Galaxy S5, just as it did for the Galaxy S4 and SIII before it, and as usual it’ll have its unlocked bootloader and come at the full, unsubsidized price of around $650 or so. Thus far, the dev edition S5 is listed as a Verizon device only, in Charcoal black with “coming soon” as the only release date.
The Developer edition makes it possible for advanced users to more easily root their phones and load custom ROMs, which makes it possible to get close to a stock Android experience in addition to allowing you to get rid of TouchWiz and carrier bloatware if you so choose. It’s still a specialized tool for a specialized audience – most will be fine with the standard version offered through their carrier, and that’s the only choice you have if you want the subsidy price of $200 anyway.
No word yet on a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S5, but considering the S4 got that treatment and the HTC One M8 also has a version for Google’s Nexus-like PE program, we should see one at some point. The Developer Edition can get you close to stock with some elbow grease, but the Play Edition, should it arrive, will likely cost the same and offer near-stock Android with timely updates for the same price.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is on sale in the U.S. with all major carriers starting today.