Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update: 10 Things the U.S. Can Expect

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update continues to roll out in countries not called the United States. But that doesn’t mean that the Galaxy S5 Lollipop won’t eventually make it stateside. We’ve been getting tons of questions about our opinion on the U.S. roll out and today, we want to take a look at what we expect from the U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop update and release.

At the very end of last year, Samsung started pushing out its highly anticipated Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update users in one very select region. The update delivered a number of big time features including performance improvements, revamped core TouchWiz applications to match Google’s new Material Design, and more. The update represents the first major update to the Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that arrived with Android 4.4 KitKat on board back in April of last year.


In typical Samsung fashion, the Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out has been extremely slow. So far, the update’s spread to just a few regions including the United Kingdom though it has failed to reach one of the biggest markets on earth.

Galaxy S5 Review - 1

The U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop update remains missing in action despite rumors that put its release during the early part of January. Samsung Galaxy S5 users on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and so on continue to wait in silence. It’s a silence that’s killing some Galaxy S5 users here in the United States, especially those dealing with Android 4.4 KitKat problems.


With a Galaxy S5 Lollipop release now several weeks in, we’ve been getting a ton of questions about the update itself and the roll out. While we don’t have all of the answers, we do have some opinions on the matter and today we want to take a look at what we expect from the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update and release inside the United States.


These are our own predictions, based on years and years of covering Samsung’s software upgrades, and our goal is to help set some basic expectations for Galaxy S5 users in the U.S.


U.S. carriers haven’t announced anything regarding the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update or any Samsung Galaxy Lollipop updates for that matter. Don’t expect them to. Most of these roll outs, big carrier or small carrier, will likely be rolled out without any warning. We fully expect a majority of these updates to be announced on the day that they start rolling out.

This isn’t anything new. U.S. carriers rarely pass along Galaxy Android update details and Samsung USA executives have yet to take HTC’s lead. So, we’re left with a confusing situation and one that will almost certainly remain mysterious up until the actual roll outs begin. Stay patient and know that these updates are on their way.

U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop Update Soon

If we had to guess, we’d say that the start of the U.S. Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out is probably close. Rumors put the roll out in early January but that clearly failed to pan out. We’re not sure why but our guess is that is probably has something to do with an updated version of Android 5.0. Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2.


Samsung’s reportedly testing new versions of Android 5.0 behind the scenes and if that’s the case, the company probably required extra testing to ensure a smooth delivery. Extra testing takes times. Again, this is just a theory but it does make sense. At least in our minds.


Now, we very rarely see the U.S. lag behind the international roll out so with several weeks now down, we’d bet a whole lot on the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update being close for U.S. users. Not all U.S. users but some. We’d be shocked, shocked, if the month of February went by without an update for Galaxy S5 users in the United States.

If you look back at Samsung’s roll out history, you’ll be hard pressed to find a gap that spans several months or more. The only exception will be Android 4.2, an update that was canceled for several Samsung Galaxy devices.

Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2

That said, we’re expecting Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2. Both are possible. It makes sense for Samsung to release one or the other given that they come with tons of bug fixes. Why release a buggy version of software when you can take a little more time to release a far more stable update? There’s no rush here whatsoever.


Expect U.S. carriers to push one or the other to the Galaxy S5 instead of Android 5.0. The only scenario where we don’t see Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2 is if Samsung and its partners bake the fixes into an Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Either way, expect at least some of Google’s fixes to emerge for the U.S. Galaxy S5 variants.

Staggered Release Dates

As far as the release dates are concerned, it’s hard to predict exact days. Carriers always start pushing out their updates on weekdays. The day is random and unpredictable, so is the exact time. We’ve seen updates push out in the morning and we’ve seen them push out in the late afternoon. This is not Apple we’re dealing with here.

iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 Specs

What we can say is that U.S. carriers typically don’t release software updates all on the same day. It’s very rare that we see multiple roll outs start on the same day. Again, the release is dependent on the testing process and carriers tend not to cross the finish at the same time.


We fully expect to see some U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop updates to cluster around one another but we’d be shocked if Samsung and its partners grouped them all together. That would take some incredible luck.

Sprint Near the Front, Smaller Carriers Lag

Sprint’s got the track record so it’s hard to bet against it being first to the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. Sprint’s Galaxy S5 Lollipop is also the only update to have been confirmed, and leaked, ahead of its roll out. There’s a good chance that it will be first and we would not expect it to be last. Hard to say who will be last among the big five but T-Mobile or AT&T would be our guess.

We fully expect smaller carriers like MetroPCS and Cricket to be behind the major carriers in terms of overall timing. Smaller carriers typically follow closely behind the larger ones. Priorities.

Staggered Roll Outs

Expect these carrier roll outs, and the overall U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out, to be staggered. What we mean by that is, expect carriers to push out their updates over the course of a few days to ensure that everything is good to go. Carriers have been forced to halt updates in the past due to issues. That’s why they don’t roll out the software all at once. They’d have a much bigger problem on their hands.

There are also several Galaxy S5 variants in the United States including the Galaxy S5 Sport on Sprint. Expect those devices to get the Lollipop update after the regular model. That’s what we mean by staggered overall roll out.

New Features + Enhancements

No brainer here but a reminder. Expect the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to deliver a ton of new features including parts of Google’s new Material Design. Android 5.0 for the Galaxy S5 is a substantial update, the biggest that it has ever received.

We also expect carriers to tack on their own enhancements for their own features. This is a large update so we’d expect the change logs to be pretty full and we expect them to be full of carrier-specific changes.

Bug Fixes for Android 4.4 Problems

You can expect carriers to dish out fixes for Android 4.4 KitKat problems as well. We’ve spoken to a number of Galaxy S5 users on all of the top U.S. carriers and many of them are dealing with Android 4.4 KitKat issues. Android 5.0 Lollipop will probably fix some of these issues but just don’t expect it to fix everything. Android updates never do. You’ll need to be extremely proactive if you want to solve every single problem.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

Android 5.0 Lollipop will almost certainly bring problems of its own, even if Samsung does decide to roll out Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2 like we expect it to. Samsung and its carrier partners will do their best to weed out the major bugs on board but we almost always see issues slip through the cracks and make their way to the public release. Software is never perfect. Android 5.0 won’t be perfect.

Android 5.0 Bug Fix Updates

Don’t expect Samsung or its U.S. carrier partners to let bugs linger. We typically don’t see a flood of bug fixers emerge but we will almost certainly see sporadic bug fixes emerge in the weeks after the Android 5.0 Lollipop release in the United States. This will especially be the case if a major issue is discovered on board after the roll out.

Release dates and change logs are and will be unpredictable so you’ll just need to remain patient if you do happen to run into a bug or two after getting the software on board.