Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 Update Review (AT&T)

The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update delivers a smooth and fast user experience with a collection of bug fixes that users will enjoy. After spending a month testing the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update on AT&T, it is easy to say that this is a worthwhile update that is worth installing.

While there are still many users waiting for a Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update to arrive, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile customers can already download the new update and experience the latest version of Android.

Android 4.4.2 is a small, but important update that fixes a GPS issue on the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 and delivers a variety of small changes to the lock screen. With this update Note 3 owners also gain small changes to the overall Android operating system. Keep in mind that this is still running a version of TouchWiz, Samsung’s software, on top of Android so users will not see the same look and feel as a Nexus.

With the Android 4.4.2 update the Galaxy Note 3 is running the same version of Android as the new Galaxy S5, but this is not the same software. Samsung changed the look and feel of TouchWiz for the better with the Galaxy S5, but users will need to wait, and hope, for a future update to get the faster access to Google Now and other features.

Google is already working on an Android 4.4.3 update for the Nexus 5, which will likely spill over to other devices, but Galaxy Note 3 users may need to wait until this fall for a major update. Google I/O is this summer where an Android 4.5 update may arrive, which would likely be the next major version of Android to arrive on this device, and likely what a Galaxy Note 4 launches with.

Performance

The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update is worth installing for most users.

The Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update is worth installing for most users.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 performance is still very good after a month of use and installing multiple apps and accounts. After installing the Android 4.4.2 update on the Galaxy S4 my device experienced a lot of lag, which forced me to reset the phone to fix the problem. I did not experience that same problem on the Note 3, but I also had to reset the phone a week before installing this update while testing the device so this is closer to a fresh start than most users.

Speed

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 flies on Android 4.4.2, with no slow down throughout my daily use. The phone responds fast to home button presses, multitasking is quick and apps launch fast as well. Overall the performance on my AT&T Galaxy Note 3 is wonderful.

I tested Multi-Window mode on the Galaxy Note 3 and this remains easy and reliable to use with good performance even with multiple apps open at the same time.

Apps

Thankfully the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update was a smooth experience for my apps. I did not need to re-login to all of my apps after the update, like I did on the Galaxy S4. While small updates like this do not typically cause any app compatibility problems I did test out a variety of my favorite Android apps to make sure that they do work. I also tested the ability to use a Google Play app to copy files to a Micro SD card, which is a problem for some apps on the Galaxy Note 3 with Android 4.4.2 thanks to changes made by Google.

During the last month I tested entertainment apps like HBO Go, Hulu Plus and Spotify, productivity apps like Google Docs and a variety of communication apps like Hangouts, Gmail and others without any problems.

Read: 25 Galaxy Note 3 Tips & Tricks

Some apps cannot access the Micro SD card to write files to it, which is a major problem for users. I am not able to use just any app to write to the SD card, but the ES File Explorer app works well for me.

I was looking forward to installing Google Wallet and using the new Tap & Pay feature in Android 4.4.2, but Google is not supporting this feature on the Galaxy Note 3. This means it is not possible to use the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 to make mobile payments at NFC enabled cash registers.

Battery Life

Overall the Galaxy Note 3 battery life remains the same as it did during my initial impressions. The large battery helps deliver long battery life even with use as a personal hotspot. I accidentally left the Note 3 in a bag before heading to a hospital waiting room for the day and was surprised to see that the standby battery life was good enough that the phone still offered about 75% battery life after spending about 18 hours in my bag.

Several Gotta Be Mobile readers report bad Galaxy Note 3 battery life on Android 4.4.2 with multiple reports of the battery draining faster. If you experience this, you may want to perform a full reset in an attempt to fix the battery life.

Connectivity

Another area that I pay particular attention to with small updates like this is connectivity. A small bug can ruin WiFi connectivity or make cellular connectivity a problem. My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 connects fine to multiple WiFi networks, to AT&T 4G and 4G LTE and acts fine as a personal hotspot.

At least one Gotta Be Mobile reader is experiencing WiFi connectivity issues after the update, so there is a chance that something could go wrong, but those with problems are in the minority.

Is it Worth Updating to Android 4.4.2?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update is worth installing thanks to the GPS fix and to other small enhancements. There is a chance of some Android 4.4.2 problems impacting battery life or connectivity, but these issues do not appear widespread.

For users that do run into these Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 problems, a reset is often an inconvenient, but quick way to fix them. Keep in mind there is no easy way downgrade from Android 4.4.2 to Android 4.3.

Even with a collection of small issues, there is no major reason to avoid the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 update on AT&T, and likely on other carriers.

  

Comments

  1. Barney says

    Disagree. Major reason reason not to upgrade is the changes made to sd card functionality. It heavily restricts your access to the sd card. Just Google it

  2. Mark Christopher says

    I would STRONGLY advise against updating, the Note 3 4.4.2 update DOES affect battery life, for myself, my brother and a friend of mine all whom have the Note the N9005 (latest) edition. DO NOT UPDATE until the 4.4.3 fix is released, which seems like Samsung will just delay again and again until they can fix it, if ever. Battery drain issue happened to 3/3 devices, so I would say it is widespread definately, do not update!!!

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  4. Mad@Samsung&Google says

    The battery drain is much worse! Before I had 40% to 50% at the end of two days, now it’s down to 10% or totally dead! This article doesn’t mention the other changes! Before I could just turn on GPS, but now it is called Location, because now it tries to turn on Google Location and GPS! Google already knows too much about me!

    • Tom hates Google "Location" says

      Totally agree. I even tried to let it follow me around and maps GPS guidance still does not work right – meanwhile it burns data and battery life like an iphone 1.

  5. T says

    THE BATTERY LIFE OF THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 IS NOW A FRACTION OF WHAT IT WAS BEFORE THE 4.4.2 UPDATE. Spread the word and perhaps an update will be provided in a more timely fashion.

  6. steph says

    every since my phone updated to this version. it freezes and turns itself off. I work with 4 girls that all have the same phone and we all have different carriers. All having the same trouble with their phones. We need a new update to fix the piece of shit update that we just got.

  7. Flavio says

    Infelizmente eu cai na asneira de atualizar meu Galaxy Note 3 para o Android 4.4.2
    Minha bateria agora não dura 5 horas. O impressionante que eu entro em contato com o suporte da Samsung para reclamar desse problema e eles me dizem que fui o primeiro a relatar tal fato. Será que ninguém reclamou mesmo?????? Pelo que observei neste site há vários proprietários desse aparelho com este problema. Reclamem pessoal!!!!!!!! Abraços.

  8. Ashley says

    The look from the update is nice but performance wise, my Note 3 keeps freezing and a message keeps popping up every other time I text stating that the keyboard isn’t working and no longer responding.

    I’ve pulled my battery and let my phone site for about 5 mins. And now I haven’t had any issues yet! Try pulling your battery after updates!! Sometimes your phone needs that.

  9. Roxanne Thomas says

    I am having some of the same issues, mine freezes and says my internet has stopped working and my battery life has not improved at all!!

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