The Google Play Edition of the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 have each received the Android 4.3 update. This is exactly the reason why certain smartphone users are willing to pay full price for these handsets when subsidized versions are available. Since these phones are unlocked, carrier testing of the Android 4.3 update (and future updates as well), do not need to be made. This allows updates to be available for these phones faster than for carrier branded phones.
The OTA update weighs in at 150MB for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and 180MB for the HTC One. Among the changes in the new build are larger icons sizes for the widget panel on both phones, working infrared on the HTC One, Bluetooth tethering on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and a new background color on the latter for settings. We knew that the update was coming for the Galaxy S4 since the same JWR66V build had been tested on a Samsung Galaxy S4 on the AnTuTu benchmark site.
Google has kept its word so far for speedier updates on the phones. For those who opted for the Google Play Edition of the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4, was it worth it to buy this version of the phone instead of paying the subsidized price for the carrier branded model? The Google Play Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is $649 from the Google Play Store while the Google Play Edition of the HTC One is $599.