Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release: 5 Things You Need to Know

The start of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release is finally here which means that Galaxy Note 4 owners all over the world are now on high alert. With a Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update starting to deploy, we want to take a look at five things we think Galaxy Note 4 users need to know about their first big Android update.

In September, Samsung took to the stage in Berlin, Germany to announce its all new Galaxy Note model. The company calls its current flagship the Galaxy Note 4 and it features a number of high-end features including a Quad HD display, Snapdragon 805 processor from Qualcomm, an enhanced camera with Optical Image Stabilization, and more. At the time of launch, the device was running Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat update.


In December, shortly after the Galaxy Note 4 release, Samsung released Android 5.0 Lollipop which serves as Google’s new operating system. The first Android 5.0 Lollipop update went to the flagship Galaxy S5 and many expected the Galaxy Note 4 to be next in line given its flagship status. Instead, Samsung pushed out Android 5.0 upgrades to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 leaving Galaxy Note 4 users scratching their heads.

Over the past few weeks, it became clear that a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release was imminent. Samsung rarely announces roll outs ahead of time so users were made to wait in the dark.



Today, after a short wait, the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update is rolling out. The Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update is the fourth from Samsung following its upgrades for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update is the Galaxy Note 4’s first major update and it brings a whole lot to the table in terms of features, enhancements and more.


With the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release now in bloom, we want to take a look at the five most important things to know, right now, about Samsung’s brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop release. If the Galaxy Note 4 is your first Android phone or first Galaxy device, this will also fill you in on some of Samsung’s well known practices.

Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Release is Limited

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rolling out right now, yes, but it’s not rolling out to everyone. If you don’t own the Polish version of the SM-N910C, stop checking for an update. There isn’t one available.

Right now, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release is limited to users of that model in Poland. This is similar to what Samsung did with the Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out. It pushed the update out to one international variant in Poland before moving onto other devices.

The Galaxy Note 4 is currently getting Android 5.0.1 Lollipop which isn’t Google’s current version of Android, that distinction goes to Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.1, and it brings tons of new features including Google’s new Material Design. This is a massive update and it should help to improve the Galaxy Note 4’s performance.


If you do live in Poland, check your settings. There’s a good chance that the update will be there. If it’s not there, it will roll out at some point in the near future assuming this unofficial beta test goes according to plan.

Samsung’s Roll Outs Are Random & Unpredictable

If you’re new to the Galaxy Android update game, and we know some of you are, there are a couple of basic rules that you need to know about now that the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update has begun.

The first thing you need to know is that Samsung’s Android roll outs are extremely unpredictable. That is to say that there’s really no telling where the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update will land after Poland. We can guess, typically Korea and other more prominent countries see major updates first, but there’s really no way to confirm Samsung’s plans ahead of time. They’re usually very random.


This initial roll out is essentially an unofficial beta test. Samsung keeps the initial roll out isolated so that it can ensure there are no major issues on board. If the update is working out in Poland, the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop roll out will start picking up the pace.


We usually see a gap of two weeks between the initial release and the next update so owners of the international Galaxy Note 4 will want to keep an eye out during the month of February.

The Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Roll Out Will Take Months

The other thing that you Galaxy Note 4 users need to know is that this is going to be an extremely slow process. If you’re coming over from the iPhone, note that Samsung doesn’t roll its updates out in a single day. Instead, this company is going to take months to get this update rolled out to every single Galaxy Note 4 variant on every single carrier. Some carriers will get it within a few weeks, others will probably not get it until the summer or perhaps later.

This is how every single Samsung Android update works. Just look at Android 4.4 KitKat. Samsung’s first KitKat update started pushing out in January of 2013. The update is still rolling out to Galaxy users with recent updates landing for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Galaxy Note 4 users, especially those of you on specific carriers, will need to remain patient as Samsung works to deliver hundreds of updates to users around the world. It’s a process that takes time.


One Carrier Says February

Know that over time, we’ll start to see carriers relay Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release details. Samsung almost never relays early details for unbranded international variants but some carriers love to keep their customers in the loop when it comes to Android software update releases.

Thus far, French carrier SFR is the only carrier (that we know of) to relay specific Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release date details. The carrier claims that it will be releasing a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update in February. It does not provide a specific date to its users.

Now, this could mean that other carriers outside of France are planning updates for February as well. SFR is typically not one of the first to issue major Android updates. It’s also important to know that these early release details from carriers like SFR serve as Estimated Times of Arrival (ETA) and not concrete release dates.

The Galaxy Note 4's back cover and pen garage

The Galaxy Note 4’s back cover and pen garage

So if your carrier announces a February or March or April timeframe for your Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release, know that that doesn’t necessarily confirm an update for that window. Everything is dependent upon the testing process and when it comes to carrier-branded models, it takes two to tango. Samsung must do its own testing before it hands off the software to the carrier itself for additional testing.

Often we see Android updates hit snags in internal testing and snags lead to delays. Keep this in mind once we start seeing more Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release info emerge. We will see new details emerge soon.

Most Carriers Are Silent

Just not for everyone. While some carriers love to relay details about Android updates, others don’t like to set expectations. Know that U.S. carriers are notorious for their silence. For instance, the Sprint and Verizon Galaxy S5 Lollipop updates came out of nowhere. That’s probably how the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update will work as well.

The Galaxy Note 4's 16MP Rear-Facing Camera

The Galaxy Note 4’s 16MP Rear-Facing Camera

As of right now, most carriers, even the vocal ones, are quiet about the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. SFR is the only carrier that we know of that’s confirmed both the update and a release time. Rogers Canada, another carrier that likes to release details early, has only confirmed the arrival of the update. A release is currently “TBD.” What this means is that we’re likely several weeks away from a Canadian Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop upgrade.

Still “TBD” is going to be more than some Samsung Galaxy Note 4 users get, even as the update starts pushing to more variants and more users around the world.