Samsung Galaxy Lollipop Release: 10 Things to Expect Now

Samsung’s already making a massive Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop push in the month of February and we’re only a week into the month. With updates rolling out and new details emerging by the day, we want to take a look at 10 things we think you can expect from the Samsung Galaxy Lollipop release for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 4, and others.

Back in December, after several weeks of silence, Samsung made its first move. That move, a single Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. The roll out was big for Galaxy S5 owners and it was big for other Galaxy smartphone and tablet owners as well because it signaled the start of what should be an absolutely massive worldwide Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out.


In the weeks that followed the initial Galaxy Lollipop release, Samsung’s started to lay the foundation for a major push. The Galaxy S5 Lollipop update has made significant progress since that day in December landing for several different variants including two models in the United States. We’ve also seen Samsung start pushing the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates to select users. This is just the beginning and the future is looking bright for those looking to make the move from Android KitKat to Android Lollipop.


In the past month or so, we’ve started to see new details pop up at a breakneck pace, teasing Galaxy smartphone users on several different carriers. These details, and the roll outs themselves, have piqued the interest of Galaxy smartphone and tablet users all over the planet. And those people are looking for answers. Unfortunately, we don’t have them all.


Today, we want to take a look at what we do know and offer up our own outlook on the Samsung Galaxy Lollipop release for those that might not be following along on a day-to-day basis. Not everyone is a power user. Here’s what we expect now from the Samsung Galaxy Lollipop release for key devices like the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and others.


More Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop Releases in February

We expect Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop to continue to make a strong push in the near future. We’ve already seen it head out to several new variants this month and we’ve started to see carriers confirm upcoming arrivals. Last week, Canadian carrier Rogers announced that the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update is “coming soon” to Canada. Canadian carriers typically roll their updates out in close proximity to one another.

We also now know that French carrier SFR is planning to push out its Galaxy S5 Lollipop update by the end of February. Now, we can’t say for sure but we’re confident that these two international carriers aren’t the only carriers with Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 updates in the pipeline for the near future. We expect a number of other carriers to get their updates out sometime this month as Samsung looks to make a strong push ahead of the Galaxy S6’s arrival in March.

U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop Push to Continue Soon

We also expect the U.S. Galaxy S5 Lollipop push to continue soon. We’ve already seen Sprint and Verizon roll out their versions of the massive Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 update and their rivals typically aren’t too far behind. We would not be surprised if AT&T, T-Mobile or U.S. Cellular got the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update out sometime this month. We’d be shocked if users were waiting deep into March for the next update to arrive.



Sadly, U.S. carriers rarely communicate with their Android users so Galaxy S5 owners on these carriers are likely going to be waiting in the dark up until the actual release date. That’s precisely what happened with the Verizon Galaxy S5 Lollipop update and the Sprint Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. Both updates just kind of appeared.

Small Carriers Last to Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Update

If you’re on a smaller carrier like MetroPCS, and you own a Galaxy S5, you should expect to see your update follow behind the updates for major U.S. carriers. We almost always see smaller carriers (not named Virgin or Boost) roll their updates out after the push to major carriers is complete.

We’re expecting carriers like MetroPCS, Cricket and others to behind carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. It would be a pleasant surprise if they were to somehow beat these major carriers to the punch. So if you own a Galaxy S5 on a smaller regional or pre-paid carrier, temper your expectations.

Galaxy S4 Lollipop Update to Spread Soon

The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is picking up the pace. Just last week it started rolling out to the Galaxy S4 LTE-A model. With the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update moving onto another variant, it should only be a matter of time before the update starts spreading, en masse, to Samsung Galaxy S4 users around the world. After all, this is exactly how Samsung’s Android updates work.



For those not familiar, here’s how Samsung’s Android roll outs break down. First, Samsung rolls out an initial update in a random country (in this case, the international Galaxy S4 in Russia was first) as a sort of beta test. If the company determines that the update is solid, the update starts to spread. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is following this pattern and with no major issues to report, we expect it to start rolling out to other users and variants very, very soon.

Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop Update to Pick Up Steam

Same goes for the Galaxy Note 3. We’ve only seen it roll out to one model so far but we expect the software to start heading out to other devices sometime soon. Perhaps, a soon as February. We haven’t heard about any major Lollipop issues with the Galaxy Note 3 and we expect it to start picking up the pace alongside the Galaxy S4 very, very soon.

It’s clear that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 update is inching closer in the United States. We recently discovered the update lurking on Sprint’s website, a sign that it’s in testing behind the scenes. The appearance doesn’t mean that the update is going to roll out tomorrow but it does mean that Sprint is making substantial progress behind the scenes and that a roll out is on the way.

Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Close

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update hasn’t started rolling out just yet but it’s clear that it’s in the cards for the early part of the year.


We’ve already seen Samsung move to update its user manuals to reflect the arrival of Android 5.0 Lollipop. It wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t confident about a release date. It’s also worth noting that French carrier SFR is sticking to a February roll out for the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. While that’s an ETA, it means that carriers aren’t anticipating a roll out months from now. More like weeks.

Best of 2014 - Galaxy Note 4 review

It was a bit of a shock to see the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates roll out before the Galaxy Note 4’s and we expect Samsung to work hard to get its current flagship up to speed in a timely manner. We would not be surprised if Samsung started rolling this update out, to the international version at the very least, in February.

…Not For Everyone

Now, it’s important to note that while we do expect these roll outs to pick up steam for certain variants in certain regions, not every Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note 3 Lollipop update is close. You should expect all of these roll outs, and all of Samsung’s upcoming Android 5.0 roll outs, to take several months to complete.

Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update that’s been rolling out since December. Take a look at Samsung’s history and you’ll find that Android 4.4 KitKat is still rolling out. Samsung started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat over a year ago. It’s a very slow process and it’s dependent on Samsung and carrier testing. And as many of you know, this testing can lead to unexpected delays.

Samsung’s updates typically start with the international models and then make their way to carriers in big markets like the United States. Smaller carriers in less popular parts of the world typically get the updates months after the rest of the pack.

Some Updates Months Away

Speaking of timing, we expect some of Samsung’s Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to be months away. While the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop updates should make substantial progress in the next two months, others will be lucky to have even started rolling out.


Lesser known models and devices that aren’t considered flagships typically play second fiddle to flagships when it comes to Android update timing. For instance, don’t expect the Galaxy S4 Active or Galaxy S5 mini Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to be right around the corner. Even updates for devices like the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note Edge could be weeks out.

If you don’t own a flagship model, you need to expect delays, especially if you’re on a carrier.

More Carrier Confirmations

Expect to hear some about these updates, and others, ahead of time though. Carriers will often confirm Galaxy Android updates, and ETAs, well in advance. We’re already seeing some carriers do that now and you should expect more to do so in the future. Carriers like Vodafone Australia, Optus and Telstra still haven’t offered any Galaxy Android 5.0 update details though we expect to see some trickle out in the near future as they enter their labs for testing.

Android 5.0.1 Lollipop

Finally, at this point, you can expect Android 5.0.1 Lollipop to be the version that hits most Galaxy devices. Android 5.0.2 Lollipop is out and Android 5.1 Lollipop is seemingly on the way but it looks like Samsung is committed to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and its set of bug fixes.


We’d be surprised if Samsung started rolling out several different versions of Android 5.0. That and a change to something else would lead to lengthier delays due to testing. It could happen but we’d expect Android 5.0.1 Lollipop for most devices.