Galaxy S4 Lollipop Release: 5 Things You Need to Know

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is currently rolling out which means that Galaxy S4 owners all over the world are now on high alert. With a Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update starting to pick up the pace, we want to take a look at five things we think Galaxy S4 users need to know about their next big Android update.

In 2013, Samsung rented out the Radio City Music Hall in New York City for an Unpacked event. There, the company took the curtain down from around the Galaxy S4, a successor to the popular Galaxy S3. At the time, the Galaxy S4 was a spec showcase. It delivered a beautiful display, fast processor, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which, at the time, was Google’s most current version of Android.

Nearly two years have passed since the Galaxy S4’s release and since then, the device has been upgraded several times. While most users sit on Android 4.4 KitKat, Samsung’s begun rolling out a brand new operating system that brings sweeping changes to the Galaxy S4 and the company’s other big name smartphones.

In December, Samsung released Android 5.0 Lollipop, an update that serves as Google’s new operating system. The first Android 5.0 Lollipop update went to the flagship Galaxy S5 and since then, the update’s landed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and yes, the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung’s aging wonder.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop release began on January 30th and it’s currently rolling out to select Galaxy S4 users. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update is the Galaxy S4’s third major update and it brings a whole lot to the table in terms of features, enhancements and more. That’s the reason why the update is about 1GB in size.

With the Galaxy S4 Lollipop release now in bloom, we want to take a look at the five most important things to know, right now, about Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop release. If the Samsung Galaxy S4 is your first Android phone or first Galaxy device, this will also fill you in on some of Samsung’s well known practices, something that will help you keep a level head moving forward.

Galaxy S4 Lollipop Release is Limited

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is rolling out but it’s still extremely limited. Right now, by our count, it’s hit three major Galaxy S4 variants. The GT-I9500 in Russia, the GT-I9500 in India, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A which is also known as the GT-I9506. The Galaxy S4 LTE-A Lollipop update is currently available in Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia. Owners of those three models can check in their settings. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update should be sitting there waiting to be installed.


Samsung’s Galaxy S4 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. While it may not be the newest update, it brings tons of new features including Google’s new Material Design.

The update’s that we’ve seen are nearly 1GB in size, massive for an Android upgrade, and they require 3GB of space before they can be installed. For those with the 16GB model, that might prove to be a little tricky to navigate so it’s worth preparing now, ahead of the Galaxy S4 Lollipop release for your device. That way, you’re not caught off guard.

Roll Outs Are Random & Unpredictable

If you’re new to the Galaxy Android update process, and we know some of you are, there are a couple of basic rules that you need to know about now that the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is rolling out. These are unwritten rules but they are worth keeping in mind as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop release starts to grow in age.

The first thing you need to know is that Samsung’s Android roll outs are extremely unpredictable. There’s really no telling where the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update will land after India, Russia and the others. We can certainly guess, Korea and other more prominent countries usually see major updates first, but there’s really no way to confirm Samsung’s plans ahead of time. The roll outs are random and dependent on testing.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 -  Size

These initial roll outs essentially serve as an unofficial beta test. Samsung keeps its initial roll outs isolated so that it can ensure there are no major issues on board. If it determines that these Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates are running fine, then it will start picking up the pace.

We usually see a gap of two weeks between the initial release and the next set of updates so owners of the international Galaxy S4 will want to keep an eye out during the month of February.

The Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Roll Out Will Take Months

The other thing that you Galaxy S4 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 takes several months and that means that some Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates are probably months away. Some carriers will get it within a few weeks, others will probably not get it until the summer or perhaps later given that this is an older device.

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 updates still pushing for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.

Galaxy S4 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 a lot of time.

Carriers Are Silent

As for Galaxy S4 Lollipop release dates, we currently have nothing. We haven’t seen a single carrier outline any plans for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop update which is a bit odd given that it’s rolling out right now. Usually, carriers like SFR and Rogers Canada deliver update information well in advance.

What this could mean is that carrier-branded Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates are still a ways out. We’ve seen some carriers outline their Android plans through the month of March and with Galaxy S4 Lollipop details missing, some users could certainly be in for a long wait.

Know that over time, we’ll almost certainly start to see carriers relay Samsung Galaxy S4 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. That’s why we’re a little bit surprised that we haven’t seen someone offer clear cut information.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S4 - Cameras

It’s important to know that these early release details from carriers like SFR serve as Estimated Times of Arrival (ETA) and not concrete release dates. You can’t hold carriers to these release windows and here’s why.

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 S4 Lollipop release info emerge. We should see new details emerge now that the update is gaining speed.

This Is A Massive Update, Proceed with Caution

The Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is going to be a tempting proposition for Galaxy S4 users around the world. It brings new features, enhancements and even bug fixes for Android 4.4 KitKat problems. When your update does arrive, there’s reason to feel giddy. However, there’s also a few reasons why you should contain your giddiness, at least for a few days.

We’ve been tracking Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop updates. And while the feedback from some users is good, we’re also hearing about the problems plaguing these devices in the aftermath of the updates. In particular, Samsung Galaxy S5 users are complaining about a series of performance issues including abnormal battery drain.


We haven’t heard too much about the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update, probably because it’s limited to countries outside the United States, but there’s a good chance that the Galaxy S4 Lollipop update will also bring some problems along with it. If the current Galaxy S flagship is experiencing issues, it’s safe to assume that a phone from two years ago with lesser hardware is probably going to exhibit some problems post-release.

We can’t predict what those problems will be but what we can say is that you need to know that it’s probably in your best interest to wait a few days before installing. That way, you can gather feedback, look up potential fixes for potential problems and so on and so forth.

It’s clear that Samsung’s latest upgrade isn’t bug-free so the last thing you Galaxy S4 users will want to do is rush into the upgrade. When your update arrives, know that you can pass on installing it.