Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: 10 Things We Expect

With a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop release now confirmed and details continuing to emerge, we’ve been taking a look at Samsung’s upcoming Lollipop update. Last week, we broke down what we currently know and today, we want to take look at what we expect as Samsung moves forward with its Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop release in the United States and elsewhere.

At the tail end of 2013, Samsung took the stage in Berlin, Germany and announced a brand new version of the Samsung Galaxy Note. The device, the Galaxy Note 3, a device that came with an assortment of powerful upgrades including Google’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system. At the time, Android 4.3 reigned as the company’s most current OS.


In the months since the Galaxy Note 3 release, the former flagship has been updated a number of different times. First, it got Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Then, later in the year, Samsung and select carrier partners rolled out Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates with bug fixes and security enhancements. The device remains on Android 4.4 KitKat but it won’t stay there forever.

Samsung’s confirmed a Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update for arrival in the weeks ahead. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given that Samsung typically keeps its devices updated for 24 months before kicking them to the curb. The Galaxy Note 3 is barely a year old and it has only seen one major Android update.

LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 4


As many of you know, Samsung’s Android roll outs take awhile. Most take months, some take more than a year to complete. It can be a frustrating journey at times but the company always completes its roll outs. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update in particular. And this week, we’re doing our best to answer as many of those questions as possible.


Last week during CES 2015, we broke down what we currently know about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop roll out. The update is currently stuck in labs behind the scenes though we do know quite a bit about its release thanks to Samsung and thanks to various bits of information.

Today, we want to play psychic and take another look into our crystal ball in an effort to set consumer expectations. Here, we take a look at what we expect now from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update in 2015.

First Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Update Weeks Away

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop is confirmed for early 2015 though we suspect that the first Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 push is still several weeks away at the very least. There are a few reasons for that.

First off, the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update appears poised to arrive next. Samsung almost always delivers updates to its current flagships before delivering them to its former flagships so if true, it would make a lot of sense. We would expect Samsung to put a little bit of space between the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update and whatever is next.


Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  005-XL

Second, we haven’t seen any carriers hint at any Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update timeframes. We typically see this happen a few weeks before an update rolls out and thus far, carriers have been silent.

We also saw intel from a Samsung Mobile employee suggest that the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 will be the first to get the software in the U.S. Nothing is confirmed but all signs point to these updates rolling out sometime in the near future with the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 following closely behind.

We would not expect the wait to last until summer but we would not expect this update to emerge in January. February, March and April are much safer bets for the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release.

Silence from Samsung

Do not expect Samsung to relay any early details about timing. Samsung almost never makes early Android update announcements and in the few times that it has, its provided vague details.


So those of you with international Galaxy Note 3 models are going to want to temper your expectations, remain patient and above all, stop asking Samsung about its plans on social media. The company is going to continue to pass along generic information in the build up to its release so that it doesn’t set any expectations.

Release dates can always change. Versions of software can always change. Everything is dependent on the testing process behind the scenes. Don’t expect Samsung to fill anyone in on its progress.

Roll Out to Take Months

If you’ve been through a Samsung Android roll out before, you already know what we’re about to tell you. If you haven’t, here’s what to expect.

Expect Samsung to take several months or more to roll out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update. That early 2015 release date will apply to some people but there’s a good chance that it will not apply to a majority of Galaxy Note 3 users. Most users will see the update cruise out in the later stages of the year, weeks after the initial release date.


Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  006-X2

There are a number of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variants in over a hundred different regions around the world. Samsung must test those updates behind the scenes, prepare them with carrier partners, get them certified, and then push them out to users. It’s not a quick process and each update comes with its own set of challenges.

We expect Samsung to work hard to deliver the update in a timely manner but we do expect the roll out to take six months or more. So Galaxy Note 3 users will need to remain patient.

New Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Release Details Soon

We’ve started to see Samsung Galaxy Android 5.0 news emerge almost daily and we expect that pace to continue as we march on towards Samsung’s upcoming roll outs. We haven’t seen any carriers announce anything just yet but if the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update is truly going to roll out in early 2015 like Samsung says, we expect to see the release start to firm up in the days ahead.

As we’ve noted many times, Australian carriers love to keep their customers informed. Canadian carrier Rogers always announces updates well in advance. Look for these carriers to announce details, and perhaps a release date leak or two, in the near future as Samsung makes progress on its highly anticipated Android 5.0 update.

U.S. Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Release Near the Front

The United States is an extremely important market and one that’s been in focus during the past few Samsung Galaxy Android updates. We fully expect the United States to once again be a focal point for Samsung as it looks to upgrade its top smartphones and tablets with Google’s latest operating system. Anything to convince consumers to jump in with it.

Don’t believe it? Consider Samsung’s history. The U.S. was among the first to the Galaxy Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. It was among the first to Galaxy Android 4.4.2 KitKat. And it was among the first to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. That’s an extremely solid track record. Pair that with that credible intelligence from the Samsung Mobile employee and it’s clear that the U.S. should once again find itself among the first regions to get the Galaxy Note 3 release.

Silence from Major & Minor U.S. Carriers

U.S. carriers, like Samsung, don’t like to speak out ahead of a major Android update release. Traditionally, carriers announce the release on the actual release date itself. Or, if we’re lucky, a few days ahead of time. We almost never see carriers offer specific details in advance.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Cameras

We expect the same here. We expect carriers like AT&T and Verizon to stay silent about the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop release date. You can ask them all you want on social media but we guarantee that you’re going to come up empty handed. They do not like making promises they can’t keep and release dates often shift based on testing.

Few Leaks

We’re not expecting many, if any, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update leaks between now and the start of the roll out. Samsung and its carrier partners have clamped down on leaked test builds and we’ve only seen a few Android 5.0 files leak out to the public thus far. We’re not expecting much more and that’s probably a good thing. Test software can wreck havoc on devices if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Point is, don’t expect a leak for AT&T, a leak for Sprint, a leak for U.S. Cellular, a leak for T-Mobile, and a leak for Verizon. We might see one, or maybe two, but there’s also a good chance that we won’t see any at all. We aren’t expecting much ahead of the public release.

Varied Change Logs

Galaxy Note 3 users should expect the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update change logs to vary across U.S. and international carriers. They will all be similar to the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update that we saw leak a few weeks ago though carriers are almost certainly going to attach their own fixes and enhancements onto these updates.

This means updates to bloatware. This means carrier-specific enhancements. This means carrier-specific bug fixes. All of those will be on board the Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update when it arrives.

Android 5.0.1 Lollipop or Android 5.0.2

Google has two new Android 5.0 Lollipop updates out, an Android 5.0.1 update and an Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update. An early Galaxy Note Lollipop leak showed an Android 5.0.1 update in action but it looks like Samsung might be shifting over to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for the its upcoming Android updates. It’s not clear if that will delay the roll out.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Screen Quality

SamMobile claims that Samsung is testing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop behind the scenes and that it should come to its flagships in the future. Details are scarce but we assume that the update will come with enhancements meant to stabilize the software. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be bugs, we expect tons of those to pop up, but it should mean that the Galaxy Note 3’s software will be more stable than it would have been if Samsung had rolled out Android 5.0.

Other Galaxy Note 3 Variants Get It Late

Finally, if you own a Galaxy Note 3 variant like the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, expect your update to come after the arrival of the update for the regular model. Samsung always updates its most widely adopted models first before moving on to lesser known variants like the Galaxy Note 3 Neo. Details for that device will likely be very scarce in the build up to update’s release. An update for the Galaxy Note 3 Neo is still not confirmed.