Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What to Expect

Samsung might still be pushing out Android 4.4 KitKat updates to its Galaxy smartphones and tablets but that doesn’t mean that the company’s forgotten about the all new Android 5.0 Lollipop update from Google. With Samsung rumored to have several Android 5.0 updates in testing, we want to take a look at what we expect from the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update and its release.

In January, Samsung started rolling out its Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. The company’s first update landed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which, at the time, was one of its flagship smartphones. Samsung’s KitKat roll out took place a few months after Google pushed out Android 4.4 KitKat for its Nexus devices and right around the time that other Android manufacturers started making moves of their own.


It’s now the middle of November and Samsung’s Android 4.4 KitKat deployments are still going strong. In fact, we’ve see numerous Android 4.4 KitKat details emerge in recent weeks for top devices including two Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates that recently rolled out for Samsung Galaxy smartphones in the United States. In the wake of these Android 4.4 KitKat updates, we’ve seen a number of Samsung Android 5.0 Lollipop update details emerge. Android 5.0 Lollipop is the update that, at some point, will replace Android 4.4.


Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop details have been surfacing at a fairly steady rate despite the fact that Samsung itself remains silent about its plans for Galaxy smartphone and tablet users. With details swirling and Galaxy smartphone and tablet users looking for guidance, we want to take a stab at predicting Samsung’s Lollipop future.


Today, we take a look at our expectations for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 users and detail our Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update expectations. Our goal is to get you better prepared for the days, weeks and months ahead.


Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release Date Late 2014 or Early 2015

Let’s start with a big question, the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date. Samsung still hasn’t confirmed anything but that really doesn’t make a difference. We’re armed with rumors, history and some good ole gut instincts.

SamMobile, a trustworthy source when it comes to Samsung Android updates, claims that the Galaxy Note 4 might get the Android 5.0 Lollipop update in November or December alongside the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5’s update is heavily rumored for December but nothing is set in stone. While this isn’t confirmed, the timing makes sense.


Newer devices tend to get the latest updates first and the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 are Samsung’s latest devices. Samsung also likes to upgrade its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note around the same time. For instance, the Android 4.4 KitKat update hit the Galaxy Note 3 in January and the Galaxy S4 in February. So, the Galaxy Note 4 shouldn’t be too far off the Galaxy S5’s pace.


So, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to land in December, January and at the latest February. December and January seem to be the most likely at this point, especially given that Samsung’s already teased a Lollipop update for the Galaxy Note 4. Expect this update to touch down in the next few weeks to help bolster Galaxy Note 4 sales.

U.S. Carriers Among First to Android 5.0 Lollipop

While they weren’t first to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, we fully expect U.S. carriers to be among the first to offer the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. There’s precedent here.


U.S. carriers were among the first to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for Galaxy smartphones and tablets. They were among the first to the Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates from Samsung. And they are among the only carriers offering Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The U.S. is a critical market and it’s been in focus for quite some time and we’d be surprised if U.S. carriers, and Samsung, made Galaxy Note 4 users wait deep into the roll out.

Look for U.S. carriers to be first, or at the very least, among the first to this very important upgrade to one of the best devices on the market.


Sprint First to Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop

Let’s get a little more specific. We expect Sprint to be the first, or among the first, U.S. carriers to deliver the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update in the United States. Again, this prediction is based on Sprint’s track record. Not just with Samsung devices but with Android devices in general.

The carrier, for reasons unknown, has really stepped up its software game in recent years. Sprint is extremely communicative with its customers when it comes to Android updates. Its also been one of the fastest to Android software update releases. For instance, Sprint was the first carrier in the world to release the Galaxy S4 KitKat update. We would be surprised if Sprint lagged with this update. It’s remained pretty consistent over the last year or so.

Staggered Approach in Silence (U.S.)

If the Galaxy Note 4 is your first Android smartphone, and more specifically, your first Galaxy smartphone, let us be the first to welcome you to the Android update fun. That’s sarcasm. Galaxy Note 4 users should expect U.S. carriers to take the approach that they always take when it comes to Samsung Galaxy Android updates and Android updates in general.

note-4-review 3


U.S. carriers typically remain silent up until their actual release date and they usually roll out their updates over the course of a few days or so. Sprint, for instance, likes to slow roll its updates so that it can catch potential issues. We also tend to see several release dates rather than a single release date. Everything but the silence is easy to deal with.

We always see tons of Galaxy smartphone and tablet users ask carriers tons of questions about update timing. And every year, we see U.S. carriers offer vague responses to those questions. We expect the exact same thing here. Carriers don’t want to set Android 5.0 Lollipop release date expectations which is both a gift and a curse. A gift because they don’t set expectations and a curse because they don’t say anything at all.

Early Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Details for Other Carriers

Those of you on European and Australian carriers should expect them to release their usual Android update schedules and confirm Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update details early. Carriers like SFR, Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone often confirm updates weeks, sometimes months in advance. Even Canadian carrier Rogers likes to confirm updates early and keep consumers in the loop. Samsung and its U.S. carriers still don’t subscribe to this philosophy and they probably never will.

We probably won’t see a ton of Android 5.0 Lollipop details roll out early but don’t be surprised to see Android 5.0 Lollipop release information detailed well in advance. Just remember, ETA’s are often pushed back due to testing behind the scenes. We saw several Galaxy Note 3 KitKat updates pushed back due to issues in internal testing. We could see the same here.

Lengthy Roll Out

We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out itself to take several months, at least. Samsung has an absurd amount of Galaxy Note 4 variants in an absurd amount of territories (140+) around the world. These roll outs take time. Just look at Android 4.4 KitKat, an update that first landed in January and is still rolling out to devices in full force.

The Galaxy Note 4's back cover and pen garage

The Galaxy Note 4’s back cover and pen garage

If we had to take a stab at the overall time frame, we’d say that the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update roll out is going to take four months or so to complete. There are always stragglers and there are always delays behind the scenes. We’re expecting a slow methodical Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out from Samsung and the Galaxy Note 4.

New Features & Bug Fixes

We still haven’t seen the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update leak out but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have any idea about what to expect from it. We imagine that the update will mirror what we’ve seen from the Galaxy S5, minus the features that are already on board the Galaxy Note 4. We also expect the device to get the full Samsung Android 5.0 feature suite given that it’s the company’s latest flagship. New devices always get the biggest updates.

We also expect the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update to come with a ton of bug fixes. Samsung will load up fixes for TouchWiz issues and we expect individual carriers to put their own spin on these updates with some enhancements and fixes of their own. This always happens with major Android updates and we see no reason why it won’t with the Galaxy Note 4.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

We also expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to deliver some problems of its own. Major updates like Android 5.0 almost always bring bugs and hiccups. Android 4.4 KitKat was problematic for many Galaxy S and Galaxy Note users and there’s almost no chance of Android 5.0 Lollipop being free of bugs.

note-4-review 1

While we can’t predict the exact nature of these Android 5.0 problems, we can say that we expect there to be loads of smaller issues and maybe a few bigger problems that need to get worked out. You’ll need to be prepared for the release. Carriers will release bug fix updates though those typically take a few weeks, or months, to roll out.