Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop Release: 5 Things to Expect Now

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop release is making substantial progress, so much progress, that we continue to get tons of questions about the update and its roll out. Today, we want to fill you in on a few thing we think you should expect now from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update and its release in the U.S. and around the globe.

After a bit of a lull, Samsung is finally rolling out its Galaxy Android 5.0 Lollipop updates in force to several top devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, and the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop release was the company’s third major Lollipop release and it continues to make solid progress as we push on through February and deeper into the new year. That said, there’s still a long way to go before every Galaxy S4 has access to the new operating system.


On January 30th, Samsung started rolling out the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update. The update came as a bit of a surprise because it arrived ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. Historically, Samsung’s pushed out its major Android updates to flagships first before moving onto older devices. Not that Galaxy S4 users are complaining.


The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update represents the Galaxy S4’s third major Android update and it delivers a host of new features, enhancements and fixes to owners of the former Galaxy S flagship.


In the past couple of weeks, we’ve started to get a better read on Samsung’s plans. We’ve outlined many of these Galaxy S4 Lollipop details though we continue to get questions about the roll out and the update itself. While we don’t have all of the answers, we’re armed with enough information and enough history to offer another look at what we expect going forward from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update and its roll out.


Today, we want to share an updated look at what we expect from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop in the days and weeks ahead, something that should provide some insight to those that are still stuck on Android 4.4 KitKat.

Major Galaxy S4 Lollipop Update Soon

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is still very limited. It has landed for owners of the GT-I9500 in select regions and for owners of the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, a device that’s only available in a few countries. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update has not landed for the GT-I9505, though we expect that to change sometime in the near future.

To us, it’s pretty clear that the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the popular LTE model is close. According to Optima Magazine in Italy, the Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 Lollipop update is currently in service centers in Germany ahead of its public release for Galaxy S4 users. According to a German Android-centric blog, German Samsung service centers are putting the software on board Galaxy S4 models sent in for repair. We doubt that service centers would be doing this unless they were confident that a public release was extremely close.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 -  Build Quality


Now, before you dismiss it, note that the start of the LTE roll out is big. This is a variant that, in both unbranded and branded form, is found in regions all over the world. Once this roll out starts, we expect to see a chain reaction that includes the international variant and carrier-branded Galaxy S4 LTE models.

It’s hard to predict the exact release date but we’d be surprised if we were more than a couple of weeks away from this highly anticipated roll out.

International Roll Out to Quietly Continue

We haven’t seen much of a push from Samsung but we do expect the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update to continue hitting the international community in the days and weeks ahead. Just don’t expect Samsung to make a big deal out of it and issue concrete details ahead of time.

To get a sense of what we mean, we suggest taking a look at SamMobile’s firmware section. There, you’ll notice that Samsung’s made substantial Android 5.0 Lollipop progress during the month of February without making many official roll out announcements for its international Galaxy S and Galaxy Note variants. We expect this trend to continue until the company’s pushed out Android 5.0 Lollipop to all of its international and unbranded Galaxy S4 variants.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 - Features


We also expect March to be a busy month for Samsung. It’s clear that we’re on the cusp of a few massive Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Android 5.0 Lollipop roll outs and we expect a number of roll outs next month. So, if you own one of the company’s international Galaxy S4 variants, you’ll want to keep an eye out for your upgrade.

Galaxy S5-Style Galaxy S4 Lollipop Release in U.S.

We expect the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update to mirror what Samsung and its U.S. carrier partners are doing with the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release. For those that don’t have a clue about the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release in the U.S, here’s what that means:

  • U.S. to be one of the first regions to roll out the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update
  • Sprint to be one of the first to the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update
  • Release date details under wraps until the roll out begins
  • Staggered release dates with releases taking place over several weeks
  • Smaller carriers to be last in line

This is par for the course and it’s exactly what how see the Galaxy S4 Lollipop release in the U.S. playing out. Could we see some surprises? Sure. The Verizon Galaxy S5 Lollipop release came as a complete surprise. Do we expect the overall structure of the Galaxy S4 Lollipop release in the U.S. to resemble that outline? Absolutely.

Many Galaxy S4 Lollipop Updates Far Out

We don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop release to end this week. We don’t expect it to end next month. This is going to be an extremely lengthy process and non-believers need only look at what we know about Galaxy S4 Lollipop releases for carrier-branded models.


So what do we know about Galaxy S4 Lollipop releases for carrier-branded models? Nothing. Carriers, even the usual suspects like SFR and Rogers, have yet to confirm upcoming Galaxy S4 Lollipop releases. This doesn’t mean that those updates aren’t coming but it could mean that the releases are weeks, if not months away.


We usually get our first confirmations a few weeks, sometimes a few months, ahead of time. So the fact that we haven’t seen anything emerge from anyone leads us to believe that most carrier-branded Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates are far off in the distance. How far? Hard to say but we’d be surprised if this roll out ended any time soon.

You should expect this roll out process to take a whole lot of time. This isn’t a quick process. While Samsung’s great about some countries (USA, UK, other big markets), it’s been horrible about releases in other parts of the world (Australia, for instance). We’d expect a few delays to impact Galaxy S4 Lollipop roll outs so you’ll want to remain vigilant as we press onward in 2015.

Galaxy S4 Lollipop Problems

A lot of you are eager to make the move from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop. We don’t blame you. This is a massive update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 bringing new features, fixes and more. However, we expect the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update to bring something else: Problems.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop roll out has been marred by complaints in the United States and elsewhere and we doubt that the Galaxy S4, a device that’s nearly two years old, will be able to escape Android 5.0’s wrath.


Android updates are never perfect. And while Samsung and its partners will test these updates to death, we always see problems slip through the cracks. That’s we recommend taking a look at our fixes for Galaxy S4 problems now so that you can commit them to memory before your Android 5.0 Lollipop update arrives. We also recommend doing some prep work before your Galaxy S4 Lollipop update arrives. Those instructions are for the Galaxy S5 but they apply to the Galaxy S4 as well.

We expect there to be issues but we expect most of those issues to be isolated. If you prepare, you’re not guaranteeing a bug-free update but you’re definitely going to help the odds.