Looks like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 may soon be joined by a third "Google Edition" smartphone. According to reports from Android Central and AndroidGeeks, Sony is working on a version of its Xperia Z that features a "Nexus user experience" that is expected to feature vanilla Android. Details on the device's availability are still light, but the Google Edition Xperia Z will reportedly be offered to U.S. customers through the Google Play Store sometime later this year, just like its One and Galaxy S 4 counterparts.
Announced at CES 2013 back in January, the Sony Xperia Z features a 5-inch 1080p touchscreen and 2-megapixel shooter on its face, as well as a 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor on its rear. The whole package is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and Sony has also included 16GB of built-in storage and a microSD slot. Rounding out the Xperia Z's list of features is a 7.9mm-thick body with tempered glass on its front and rear as well as resistance to both dust and water.
Sony has become more friendly with plain ol' Android as of late, working with developers to offer binaries and other software to get the Android Open Source Project up and running on several of its high-profile devices, including the Xperia Z. A new Google Edition of the Xperia Z would be a nice continuation of Sony's efforts, and I'm sure that there are several folks that'd be happy to snap up a device that features the combination of the Xperia Z's hardware with vanilla Android. As with the Google Edition versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, it remains to be seen how the Xperia Z will perform while running stock Android rather than Sony's skinned software, but it's great to hear that we may soon get to find out.