Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What to Expect

Samsung’s still not talking about Android 5.0 Lollipop but that doesn’t mean that updates to top Galaxy smartphones aren’t on the way. In fact, thanks to numerous leaks and rumors, we’re starting to get a detailed picture of the company’s upcoming plans which are said to include a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop release. With that in mind, we want to take a look at what we expect from the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update and its release.

In the beginning of the year, Samsung started rolling out its Android 4.4 KitKat update. The company’s first update landed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which, at the time, was one of its flagship smartphones. We’re 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.


Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  006-X2

In the wake of these Android 4.4 KitKat update roll outs, we’ve also 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 KitKat as the operating system on many Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets. It’s just a matter of when.

Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop details have been surfacing at a fairly steady rate despite the fact that Samsung 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 3 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 3 Lollipop Release Date in 2015

Let’s start this off with our answer to the biggest question we get from Galaxy Note 3 users. While we do not know the exact Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date, we do have some idea about when Galaxy Note 3 users might get it.

While we’ve seen a few Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop leaks, none of them have come with any Android 5.0 Lollipop release date details. Maybe Samsung hasn’t decided on a time frame, maybe the sources were not in the know. Who knows. What we can say though is that we have a time frame for the Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 update.

Galaxy Note 3

SamMobile claims that the Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update will arrive in early 2015. As we’ve pointed out, the timing makes a ton of sense. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 updates are expected in late 2014 and older devices typically follow the current flagships when it comes to major Android updates. Samsung also typically pushes out Galaxy S and Galaxy Note updates in close proximity to one another. For instance, the Android 4.4 KitKat update hit the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 at about the same time and the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 at about the same time.


So, we suppose that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update could roll out around the same time that the Galaxy S4 gets its update. We expect it to get its update in Q1 or Q2. We wouldn’t be surprised if these updates, the Galaxy S4’s and Galaxy Note 3’s emerged somewhere between February and April. Look for it to arrive in and around Q1 and Q2.

U.S. Carriers Among First to Android 5.0 Lollipop

U.S. carriers were among the first to the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. They are also some of the only carriers that have outfitted the device with Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Based on that, and precedent, we expect U.S. carriers to be among the first to offer the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to owners of the aging former flagship.

Carriers in the United States 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 for various Samsung devices. 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 3 users wait. We expect major U.S. carriers to be first, or at the very least, among the first to this very important upgrade.

Sprint First to Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop

If you want to get a little more specific than that, we expect Sprint to be the first, or among the first, U.S. carriers to deliver the Galaxy Note 3 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.

New HTC One M8 vs - note3 22-X3


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 and 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. It’s also the only known U.S. carrier to have the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update in testing.

If Sprint isn’t first to this update, we’d expect it to be close to the front of the pack. The carrier’s been extremely diligent over the past couple of years and we don’t expect a let down here, not with the carrier struggling like it is.

Staggered Approach in Silence (U.S.)

If the Galaxy Note 3 is your first Android smartphone, and more specifically, your first Galaxy smartphone, let us be the first to welcome you to the fun. That’s sarcasm. Galaxy Note 3 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. Here’s what we expect.

U.S. carriers typically remain silent up until the actual software 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. It’s the silence though that can be difficult to deal with.


Every year we see tons of Galaxy smartphone and tablet users ask carriers 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. Expect this for all Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates, not just the Galaxy Note 3’s.

Early Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Details for Other Carriers

Those of you with a Galaxy Note 3 on European or Australian carriers should expect them to release their usual Android update schedules and confirm Samsung Galaxy Note 3 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.

LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 4

We probably won’t see a ton of Android 5.0 Lollipop details roll out early but don’t be surprised to see Galaxy Note 3 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.

Very Lengthy Roll Out

We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out itself to take several months, at least. Samsung has a ridiculous amount of Galaxy Note 3 variants in an absurd amount of territories around the world. Some words of wisdom: 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, Galaxy Note 3 included.

If we had to take a stab at the overall time frame, we’d say that the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update roll out is going to take six months or so to complete. That’s a bit generous given the Galaxy Note 3’s lengthy Android 4.4 push.

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 3, a roll out that could include multiple versions of the software.

New Features + Bug Fixes

We’ve already seen the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update leak so we have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the update. The leaked software isn’t final but it’s clear that Samsung is going to offer some upgrades to TouchWiz, including the Galaxy Note 4’s new Multi-Window View features, in addition to Google’s big changes with Android 5.0 itself.

We also expect the Galaxy Note 3 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 the release of major Android updates and we see no reason why it won’t with the Galaxy Note 3.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to deliver some problems of its own. Major updates like Android 5.0 almost always bring bugs and hiccups to Galaxy devices. 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.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Cameras

We obviously 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.