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.

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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-Galaxy-S5-vs-Galaxy-S4-vs-Galaxy-S3-Design-620x232

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.

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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.

41 Comments

  1. Jayred

    02/12/2015 at 1:30 pm

    Anyone else getting the bug where the top pull down menu (with all the settings) just stops working? Turning the phone off and on again made the pull down menu work again for a few hours, then became intermittent and now won’t work at all again. So infuriating as can’t turn on/off wifi, rotate screen, etc!!!!

    Reply

    • G

      12/01/2015 at 12:10 am

      Yeah I am having that issue except it pulls down the menu and then goes to date and time.

      Reply

  2. John Geary

    02/13/2015 at 1:31 pm

    Downloaded 5.1 last night 13th Feb no problems

    Reply

  3. George

    02/13/2015 at 3:34 pm

    Will Galaxy s4 GT-I9505 take this lollipop update?

    Reply

  4. raghav

    02/14/2015 at 5:13 am

    No problems till now. Got on 13th Feb. Nice .UI. battery may drain fast

    Reply

    • Arpit

      03/08/2015 at 12:38 pm

      Kese kiya bhai update

      Reply

  5. Sahyl

    02/15/2015 at 10:41 am

    While using gallery for more than 5 minutes causes hanging of phone…which is solved by removing the battery and turning the device ON again.

    Reply

  6. Raza

    02/17/2015 at 2:26 pm

    Hey. I have just installed the lollipop update on my Galaxy S4 (GT 19500). Its sad to say that the lollipop update is a mess. I hard reset my phone 3 times cleared cache aswell after the update but my phone is performing worst than ever. The battery would drain in a matter of hours with no use. And with no applications installed my RAM usage would be 1.58 GB out of 1.82 GB. The phone has become extremely laggy and slow. I was a fan of samsung but with every next update samsung just demotivate the users like me. If lollipop was not good for the S4 why did they even rolled it out? I wish i could go back to KitKat. KitKat was way smooth which would give me atleast 28hours of battery with normal use. And a max of 1.18 GB of RAM usage was all i have seen with aggresive work on the phone while multitasking on different apps.
    Guys eveb if you get the update. Dont install please. You will regret.

    Reply

  7. mohammed

    02/19/2015 at 2:53 am

    Guys plzz dont update your mobile with lollipop version.its so dumb so disgusting.the mobile hang twice a minute.the battery would drain with in hours.it heats u r phone.games got crack continuously.kitkat was good i wish i could go back.

    Reply

  8. Partha

    02/19/2015 at 5:12 am

    I installed Lollipop 5.0.1 on 1st of February with lot of expectations. But I’ll have to say that its mess with lots of bugs. Battery life is poor, frequent crashes of the aplocations mostly Google now, wallpaper spontaneously changes back to blank blue one, sometimes felt little lag in starting aplications or less responsive to touch, overall lag etc. Worthy people at Samsung kindly correct these problems.

    Reply

  9. Pratik

    02/20/2015 at 8:35 pm

    Hey guys i have a S4 & i live in India . I was very excited about the lollipop update when it started rolling out but after updating the phone has become shit . It is really slow , there is no battery power improvement , all apps crash while being used , lots of bugs .. it is pretty dissappointing , makes me miss kitkat . My friends also have these problems

    Reply

  10. alex

    02/21/2015 at 1:47 pm

    The best or correct mode to update is waiting to official update via OTA i have a galaxy s4 ( gt-i9506) and i waiting for this spain is the last country of europe in technology :( and the last in give update :(

    Reply

  11. ankush

    02/25/2015 at 8:30 am

    I m using s4 after the update of lollipop wi-fi direct isnt working.n the other thing is whenever i set a wallpaper its bak to the blue screen .
    Is the kind of the bug is faced by just me or any one of u also?

    Reply

  12. kennedy

    02/28/2015 at 10:11 am

    Guys…please dont download lollipop update..lots of bugs in it..wallpaper changes to blank blue screen..my applications gets closed while using data..battery drain soon..over heating..download speed decreased..my phone restets automatically while using net closing every rinning app even browser gets closed often..seriously lollipop is a mess..i hate it..

    Reply

  13. kennedy

    02/28/2015 at 10:11 am

    Guys…please dont download lollipop update..lots of bugs in it..wallpaper changes to blank blue screen..my applications gets closed while using data..battery drain soon..over heating..download speed decreased..my phone restets automatically while using net closing every running app even browser gets closed often..seriously lollipop is a mess..i hate it..

    Reply

  14. kennedy

    02/28/2015 at 10:13 am

    Wait for another update..maybe 5.1..lollipop really made my phone a garbage piece..

    Reply

  15. Naresh

    03/01/2015 at 1:06 am

    lollipop upgrade made my samsung s4 phone into worst condition. And i lost all my memory card data after the upgrade.. when i go to my memory card ..it says its full ..but no data.. :-( .. how should i get my data back..i was frustrated with this upgrade.

    Reply

  16. janmeet singh

    03/01/2015 at 8:32 am

    Well for me
    this update is beta i guess thats why we are facing way too many problems
    i would recommend users to stick with kitkat for now until samsung arrives with some major bug fixes updates
    the problems faced by me were-

    1 Battery Drain
    2 contact app stops working
    3 various apps are crashing
    4 recommend apps not works when i plug in headphones
    5 it does take up the storage and Ram
    6 also i feel some lags

    The most important is that when i press the home button it just takes 2-3 seconds for clear apps window to come up

    Well on the other side we do get Beautiful looking new UI
    and more features and stuff in music player, calender, clock and much more

    Reply

    • RS

      04/16/2015 at 4:57 am

      Same issues at my end too. The lag is not too much, but contacts/recommended apps/installed apps had all started crashing randomly. The biggest nonsense was S health- I got an alert every minute which asked me to “tap here to start using S health”, but when I pulled the menu down, the message disappeared!

      I eventually disabled S health, and somehow that fixed the problem. The Watch-on (only bloatware I ever used) stopped working after the update too, thankfully Samsung rolled out an update that fixed the remote control in the phone.

      Most issues seem to be gone now, but some are still bugging me:
      1- the home screen wallpaper suddenly disappears
      2- apps close on their own – randomly, but it happens at least a few times in a day
      3- S health is perhaps locked – I cant edit my workout details manually, and the peadometer has gone nuts. It shows me as walking even when I am sitting on a chair or in a car!

      All in all, it was an avoidable update for me. The UI looks great now, but it broke a lot of things that used to work earlier.

      Reply

  17. Nemat

    03/01/2015 at 9:15 am

    Hi. I upgraded the Russia firmware 3-4 days ago, and it’s working good so far. I just noticed that battery drain is a little faster than my kitKat, then I realized that saving power was off. just waiting for results of saving power option.

    Reply

  18. avi

    03/03/2015 at 5:27 pm

    Hey i m also s4 user in india ..upgraded to 5.0.1 facing so many problems like i wanted to downgrade to kitkat. My device is slower , battery frains faster, UI is slow, contacts stopped, disabling g+ helps with dealing contacts..
    Lets find when we get removed from this shit…

    Reply

  19. ranjan

    03/04/2015 at 9:26 am

    After updating my s4 i9506 my phone is lagging when opening camera,gallery or any other apps.wallpaper is also changed to plain black and adjusted to its current wallpaper after some fraction of seconds but still effect is noticable while pressing the home button when running the apps or camera.Also as stated in the lollipop update there is no provision of not interrupting the game play.small window notification is not available during incoming calls while playing games.samsung need to bring another update soon. Other Than these issues I am not getting other considerable issues.

    Reply

  20. Jordan

    04/10/2015 at 9:07 am

    I miss having the notification icons appear on the notifaction bar when the phone was locked and unlocked. I don’t like having my notifactions appear all on my lock screen at ALL! Please fix this, I want it back.

    Reply

  21. Roy

    04/18/2015 at 12:06 pm

    Uploaded this and i now can’t open my text messages. Would appreciate any advice if anyone firstly has had this problem and hopefully been able to rectify it.

    Reply

  22. Hassan

    04/20/2015 at 6:12 am

    I’ve updated my S4 to Lollipop 2 weeks ago, and frankly, I like the new Touchwiz UI. I’ve also seen a performance boost, but a very small one, nothing major. In general, the update leaves me disappointed because I’m now having the following issues:
    1- Battery drains quickly even with light usage, it hardly lasts 8 hours compared to 16 hours on Kitkat.
    2- Widgets randomly disappear and both the gome screens and app drawer go blank, leaving my phone almost unusable.
    I tried everything to try and fix these problems, from a tweaking the settings to performing a factory reset, but the problems still persist. The drawbacks of this new software outweigh the benefits so I’d advise you to AVOID THE UPDATE until Samsung release a bug fix or stability update package, it’s for your own good guys.

    Reply

  23. Dave Edwards

    04/20/2015 at 7:10 am

    Just downloading the lollipop 5 for my S4. Will not install it till i do more research. Good reading your comments.

    Reply

  24. Brenda

    04/26/2015 at 4:58 pm

    Just upgraded my S4 to lollipop. I really wish I would have read some of the your inputs before, I would have never done it. I lost my sound for notifications and ring tones. Tired changing my settings for that, still nothing. Phone lags and icons huge. I don’t like this so called lollipop crap. Wish I could go back to what I just had. At least everything worked and run perfectly and didn’t drain my battery. Who ever rolled this crap out. FIX IT NOW or I change to a different phone…

    Reply

  25. tom

    04/28/2015 at 3:48 pm

    I’m really annoyed with this update. My battery life is worse, the phone overheats with the screen off, sluggish performance even after doing tons of optimization, and horrible wifi web page loading. 4G seems to load faster than any wifi connection atm. Pathetic. My Nexus 7 2012 is outperforming my G3 now by a huge amount. NONE of these issues existed prior to 5.0.

    Reply

  26. buninayd

    05/07/2015 at 10:31 pm

    Just updated my s4 to android lollipop 3/08/15

    Seems to be working fine… i really like it now ☺

    Reply

  27. pissedoff

    05/08/2015 at 4:37 pm

    Uk. Galaxy s4. Lollipop5.0.1 upgrade
    don’t understand how this can be called an upgrade…..
    Ever since installing, it feels like I’m using a Spectrum!!!!
    Apps close at random, low-res videos go out of sync after a few seconds, app launch presses take 10-15 secs to launch, battery use has nearly doubled. …. all this with at least 6gb of free space!

    Reply

  28. Sue

    05/11/2015 at 4:33 pm

    Well I’d say Lollipop has hit the Galaxy S4 in the US now and I hate it. With minor use of the phone nust at home today I’m about to have to plug in for the 2nd time. When I do Google searches the default browser has locked up multiple times today. As if that is not annoying enough, the graphics with the ugly white backgrounds and goofy colors look like a child’s playroom to me. Gone is the classy look of my black backgrounds.

    Reply

  29. Street

    05/14/2015 at 11:55 am

    I called Verizon and they asked if I updated all my apps after updating since my battery was horrible also and the stability was questionable. I hadn’t because some apps like Facebook reviews say it is horrible. So I followed their suggestion and Booted into SAFE MODE where all apps are disabled and ran it for a day that way as a baseline. It ran much better and the battery lasted all day again. Needless to say, once you reboot it goes back into regular mode and then I had the issues again. So I believe it is an app/apps that are the issue. However battery doctor says the android system is like 80% of battery use, I still think it is an app or a few using the android system improperly causing the issue. I don’t have the time or patience to remove each app one at a time and figure out what the real one is causing problems. I also haven’t done a factory reset. Just sharing my experience and it tells that Android alone isn’t causing the issue. Try safe mode before factory reset – I think you reboot and hold down volume down when you see logo and it pops up a menu. If someone has the time I bet some app or apps can be weeded out as the main issue with battery life. Hope this helps. I can’t wait for 5.1!

    Reply

  30. jonathan

    05/15/2015 at 12:10 pm

    I was wondering if it’s possible to update my deactivated(att) s4 to the new software 5.0 version. Because for the last week I’ve been trying to but each timr it says my software is up to date (4.4.4). Any help will be apreciated thanks

    Reply

  31. Mnope

    06/01/2015 at 1:45 pm

    So laggy I’m considering switching to iPhone – which has a big enough screen now…
    DO NOT UPGRADE

    Reply

  32. Doug Gustafson

    06/08/2015 at 5:37 pm

    Ever since I upgraded to the new system I cannot connect to my email on my phone. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Reply

  33. Conor Hastings

    06/08/2015 at 7:49 pm

    I have had some of the issues you all have mentioned like apps closing in the background and the phone restarting while you are using it. But I was wondering, have any of you had the problem of your home screen pages disappearing? Or like 2 pages condense onto each other? Cause I’ve had a page dissappear and the apps that were on it were underneath the page to the left of it. Like apps were actually under the other apps, like if you held one down to move it the other one would be right under it. Also I’ve had the page just dissappear in general. This is happening like every other day now and it’s very frustrating. I usually keep s notes on that page and every time I get the widget back out and put the memo thag was there back on it, it says that memo is already in use. If anyone has experienced any of these problems, please let me know. Because I feel like I’m the only one who’s had this problem cause nobody else has mentioned it. I want to bring attention to it so it gets fixed. Overall though the update is ok I suppose. I’m liking a few of the new changes.

    Reply

    • Naimara

      06/18/2015 at 10:05 am

      Hi Conor, believe me you are not the only one experiencing problems. Me and my flatmate have the same phone and since we both updated to this new Lollipop 5.0.1 things got reaaaaally bad, the colour is disgusting and you cannot change it to a preferred one, there are several apps that do not work properly, the screen frozes constanly, and in my case …. wich is even worse …. it does not display the caller or the answer button so if someone calls me I have to wait for them to hang up for me to see who was actually calling…. if I’m lucky. .. because if it is from an unknown number I will never know who is calling. It defeats the purpose of having a mobile phone. It is such an expensive phone to only bring you trouble. And it is not even faster as they say…. I have decided I will move to competition. … it is expensive but at least they do focus on the customers need. So disappointed with Samsung right now after 7 years of having nearly all types of Samsungs I came to the conclusion they have not improved….

      Reply

  34. Naimara

    06/18/2015 at 9:54 am

    My Samsung S4 has automatically update to this software Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and it was the worse thing that happened to me. The colour scheme is schoking and limited. I had the text background in black now I’m force to decrease the brightness to the minimum because the bright white background hurts ones eyes and you cannot change to what you want as there are only 4 colour schemes available (one more disgusting than the other). The icons seem very cheap and now some functionalities do not work …. for example when someone calls me the phone rings and vibrates but does not display the name of the caller so I do not know who is calling and where to answer as the answer button also disappeared. … I’m so disappointed with Samsung that me and my flatmate, whom I so much recommend this phone when I first bought it last year, have decided to change to any other device… I even though buying my so hated Apple …. I defended so much Samsung but this time they had no consideration for the customer… as much as I used to complaint on my old Apple I have to admit they did take into account their customers and their preferences. I don’t think Samsung will be the same again..I’m extremely disappointed and disatisfied :, (

    Reply

  35. Geoff

    06/25/2015 at 7:43 am

    I have S4 GT 19515 – 16GB version and have just received the offer of the upgrade to 5.0.1. I decided after reading all the reviews not to install the upgrade but can’t get rid of the update notification reminder. The options are to either install or delay – the maximum delay time is 3 hours and then it pops up again. Getting bored with it coming back 4 or 5 times a day. Anyone know how to get rid of the reminder permanently please

    Reply

  36. ian

    11/03/2015 at 10:33 am

    I hate the new colour schemes and the white backgrounds. The old colours and dark option were far easier on the eye. It makes the phone look really cheap now instead of professional. Stop trying to make it look like an iphone. If i wanted that look id buy the real deal.

    Reply

  37. Phildo

    03/15/2016 at 5:46 am

    No complaints from me.
    I had to do a factory reset my s4 I9505 because of bluetooth problems,then it updated from 4.3 that it was on to 4.4.2.After that my phone had many problems,the worst was that it rebooted about up to 20 times per day.
    I was able to do the 5.0.1 update via Smart Switch.
    No problems with the phone now and i’m getting used to the setup of Lollipop

    Reply

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