Mobile

LG and Sony join Google's quest for a purer, bloat-free Android

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Google’s family of “pure” Android devices is getting bigger, better, and more diverse.

Sony and LG have announced Google Play editions of the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3, which are unlocked, contract-free, and running stock Android. The devices join Google Play versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, which were introduced back in May.

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Above: LG’s G Pad 8.3 joins the stock Android-running Nexus 7, which is made by Asus.

Google’s Play Edition program is aimed at extending the company’s pure vision of Android to devices made by third-party hardware makers. Not only does this keep carriers and Android device makers themselves from adding software on top of Android, but it also accelerates the Android update process. That’s a good thing not only for device owners but also the Android system as a whole.

As for the devices themselves, the $350 LG G Pad 8.3 features a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 chip, 2GB of memory, and a 1920-by-1,200 pixel display. Sony’s Z Ultra, on the other hand, runs for $650, and features a massive 6.4-inch display alongside a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of memory.

In addition to the new devices from Sony and LG, Google also announced a white version of the latest Nexus 7.