Home Android Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update: Impressions & Performance

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update: Impressions & Performance

The Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update is finally here, bringing Android 5.0 to the Galaxy note 4 on Verizon Wireless and offering a plethora of new features that make the Galaxy Note 4 smarter and it delivers new looks for the software and for many Android apps.

After a decent wait the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update is rolling out to users over the air and we want to take a quick look at how the new Verizon Note 4 Android 5.0 update performs on this recently released device. This is especially important after a number of Galaxy S5 Lollipop problems that appeared after that update arrived.

We saw some Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop problems with the AT&T model, which is one of the reasons we take such a close look at updates like this when they arrive on devices — even new ones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

What you need to know about the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update.
What you need to know about the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update.

The Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update is a major upgrade that changes the visual look of Android on the Note 4, adds new features like Smart Lock so you don’t need to use a lock screen code when you are at home or connected to a specific Bluetooth device like a headset or Android Wear. The Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update also adds support for Advanced Calling 1.0 that can deliver better sounding calls, new video calling options and allows for simultaneous voice and data use on the Galaxy Note 4.

This is still one step behind the Android 5.1 update that is available for some devices, but it is a major change that many Galaxy Note 4 owners have been eagerly waiting for.

After spending several days using the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update, including using it with Android Wear on the Moto 360, I can share my initial feedback with Galaxy Note 4 owners. This is my early Note 4 Lollipop review, that I will expand on after longer use.

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Installation

The Verizon Note 4 Lollipop installation went as smooth as any Android update I’ve performed. This is a two-part update so you’ll need to install a small update to enable Advanced Calling on the Note 4 and then the device will identify a second Android 5.0 Lollipop update to download and install.

The Verizon Galaxy note 4 Android 5.0.1 update installation was smooth.
The Verizon Galaxy note 4 Android 5.0.1 update installation was smooth.

Installing the first update took less than 10 minutes. Verizon warns that the Note 4 Lollipop update takes about 16 minutes to install, during which time you cannot use the phone. It took almost 20 minutes for the installation to complete, including the process where Android checks and updates apps to work on the Note 4 Lollipop update.

With some earlier updates on other Android devices I ran into problems where some apps disappeared from the home screen or the device hung up during the last phase, but this upgrade was smooth. Just make sure you can survive without your phone for about 30 minutes.

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Performance

After spending the weekend using the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update there are some clear advantages to the upgrade and so far the overall performance is good. Keep in mind that your experience may vary based on how you use the phone and the apps that you rely on every day.

Although there is a lot of power in the Galaxy Note 4, it is not a device that I use for a lot of gaming and i don’t use any special apps for work that may or may not work well on Android 5.0. You don’t need to install the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update as soon as it appears on your phone. If you aren’t sure about it, you can wait until we share a final Note 4 Lollipop review with extended use.

Galaxy Note 4 Apps

The Note 4 apps work great on Android 5.0 Lollipop and the home screen remained unchanged.
The Note 4 apps work great on Android 5.0 Lollipop and the home screen remained unchanged.

You can check out our best Galaxy Note 4 apps list to see which apps I keep on my Verizon Galaxy Note 4. I use a core set of apps including Facebook, Android Wear, Twitter, Gmail, Google Maps and others almost every day. Spotify, Netflix and HBO Go are also often used. All apps that I tested are working fine on Android 5.0 on the Galaxy Note 4. Most apps are updated to Android 5.0 already because Google released the initial version last year. Make sure you update apps, and if you do run into a specific problem it may be due to some Samsung customization, so a developer may need to make a small change.

After the update all apps on the home screen remained in place and the icons and shortcuts all worked. Occasionally the upgrade process breaks some of the home screen placements and links to apps, but that was not a problem on my Verizon Galaxy Note 4.

I will continue to monitor this and to use more Note 4 apps, as there is a chance that some hiccups will appear after extended use.

Note 4 Lollipop Battery Life

There are reports of Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop battery life problems on the AT&T Lollipop update, so there is a chance that users will see similar problems on the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 update. We heard similar Verizon Galaxy S5 complaints soon after that update appeared.

After using the Galaxy Note 4 over the weekend the Note 4 Lollipop battery life remains good. That doesn’t mean that no users are experiencing Verizon Galaxy Note 4 lollipop battery drain problems, or that our device is out of the woods, so I will keep a close eye on it as I use it throughout this week.

If you experience bad Note 4 battery life after installing Lollipop, use this guide to fix bad Galaxy Note 4 battery life.

WiFi, LTE & Bluetooth

After installing the Galaxy Note Lollipop update from Verizon I am still able to use the connectivity features as I had on Android 4.4 Kitkat.

Voice and data now work at the same time and there are new video call options.
Voice and data now work at the same time and there are new video call options.

Verizon LTE is still very fast and reliable. The WiFi connection works at home and at my grandparents where it automatically connected to the network so I could use the device in their basement at Easter. Bluetooth connectivity is also working well so far.

With Advanced Calling 1.0 turned on I can make a video call, use the web and talk at the same time and make a one way video call. The voice and data works with any call, but the HD voice and the video call options only work to other Advanced Calling devices.

Bugs & Issues

It is still early and often bugs or issues present after extended use, but the good news is that after a weekend of heavy mobile use I did not run into any Verizon Galaxy Note 4 lollipop bugs or problems. We could not find a long list of other bugs or issues. If you experience problems, you can post in the Verizon Wireless Galaxy Note 4 forums for help.

Speed

Speed is impressive with the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update.
Speed is impressive with the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update.

The speed of a device is always a question after an update like this, even on a device that isn’t very old. I am happy to report that the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop speed is great on Verizon and I am not experiencing any lag at this time.

Everything from opening apps and switching apps to using the phone to check weather, Facebook and NCAA Final Four scores was quick and fluid.

Should You Install the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update?

Who should install the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update now, and who should wait.
Who should install the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update now, and who should wait.

If you cannot wait to use the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update or you need a fix for Note 4 KitKat problems that are annoying you, the Note 4 update looks like a solid option for many users.

For other users who don’t need to fix a problem or be first to get an update waiting a week might be a better option. By that time we’ll have our full Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop review complete and we’ll also hear from more users who installed the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update to get a wider look at potential issues and problems.

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22 Comments

  1. oliver

    04/06/2015 at 2:16 pm

    I’m not liking the update. I have found some annoying bugs.

    Reply

    • Steve

      04/06/2015 at 5:14 pm

      If you found bugs, Oliver, maybe you should consider sharing them?

      Reply

  2. Clint

    04/06/2015 at 6:13 pm

    Lollipop reduced lag time significantly. I have noticed a possible drop in battery life but other than that lollipop is performing better than I was expecting. In 48hrs I have only run into one glitch. Messages+ wouldnt open when I received a text. I closed all apps and everything went back to normal.

    Reply

  3. Trey

    04/07/2015 at 6:57 am

    I’m experiencing significant battery drain, random reboots, apps force closing, overheating, and the heart rate monitor staying on constantly.

    Reply

  4. Rich

    04/07/2015 at 9:21 am

    I am experiencing faster than normal (pre-lollipop) battery drain on my Verizon Note 4. It is pretty significant. Where before I wouldn’t need to charge at all in the day. Now it appears that I need to. I think it’s due to wireless and data network running together. I noticed that while on wireless (strong signal) my 3G/4G lighting up every so often, and no, I’m not using download Booster. I’m pretty disappointed. Everything else seems ok.

    Reply

  5. Shaun

    04/07/2015 at 9:27 am

    I’m experiencing issues with my Vibration settings with different notifications. Before I had different vibration patterns set up for Emails, calls and Texts. Now they are all the same long vibration pattern. Anyone know of a fix worked out for this yet?

    Reply

  6. Geoff

    04/07/2015 at 9:39 am

    There are absolutely no advantages I can find unless, as the author points out, you’re having problems with 4.x. The do not disturb and related changes are quite disturbing, complicated, and less useful (can only allow favorites or all contacts). Floating buttons for often used functions? Folks, it took me a while to figure out what this was, as I looked for something cool and helpful like floating buttons offering useful functionality. Then I finally realized they moved the “+” button from one part of the screen to another. But I have to admit, the fact that it is now round is borderline genius. The hi def calling might be helpful a couple years from now when we all might have Galaxy Note 6, in the meantime I’ve had two live calls 10 minutes into the conversation switch over to a fax type sound. More than annoying and inconvenient , it was embarrassing. Regarding other impacts, both cell and WiFi reception is quite noticeably impaired. I have 2 bars of 3g in a spot I spend several hours every day and routinely showed 2 bars of 4g. The WiFi is 2 bars compared to 3-4. And if this isn’t enough, my phone now spends roughly 1 out of every 5 minutes searching for its location, even if it hasn’t moved at all. Lastly, battery life is being drained 20% faster, but I don’t care too much about that.

    Reply

  7. jose

    04/07/2015 at 7:03 pm

    When does the update release for the tmobile note edge ??

    Reply

  8. mel

    04/07/2015 at 7:06 pm

    Well I had the update since Friday I thought the battery was draining at first. Then I took the battery out for 2 mins and put back in it’s been working great been to work and it’s just a little less I have 78 percent after 10 hours now 73 percent today. I found the text and other things lot smoother all around. Love it.

    Reply

  9. David

    04/08/2015 at 7:09 am

    I agree with all these posts. I stupidly jumped at upgrading my note 4. I found the 4g on while connected to WiFi and that bothered me. In the past that’s been caused by Verizon bloatware…So I factory reset and went through all of that fun to restore to find; that with lollipop and advanced calling, both mobile data and WiFi stay on. I did a fair amount of tweaking and my battery is finally not draining. It’s an OK update. The only feature I like is the smart lock where it knows I’m home and doesn’t make me unlock my phone like I would when I’m out. Is that worth these other headaches?

    It’s not as clean as far as QA went with KitKat. The overheating is fairly annoying, along with my sdcard getting hot, are not something I expected when upgrading firmware. I can say though.. There has been no real benefit to updating. I agree that you should wait if your phone is running fine on kitkat.

    Reply

    • Rich

      04/08/2015 at 11:48 am

      If you turn off advanced calling, does the system not use both WiFi and data?

      Where do you set smart lock? I have heard about this feature and searched my Note 4 and did not find it.

      Thanks

      Reply

      • David

        04/08/2015 at 3:39 pm

        Location, My places for smart lock.

        Once you activate advanced calling it associates your phone with VoLTE and you’ll have both on if you are in a LTE zone. Regardless if you turn the feature off or not.

        Reply

        • David

          04/11/2015 at 7:26 pm

          Sorry I mistyped smart lock works with Bluetooth and NFC devices being connected.

          Reply

  10. joshua valle

    04/08/2015 at 12:20 pm

    Im on a Verizon note edge and I still haven’t received the update

    Reply

  11. Netta

    04/09/2015 at 11:33 pm

    The battery is draining quite a bit. The phone gets hot constantly now. And the upgrade knocked out the notifications for my LG G watch & know the watch isn’t working quite as well. I’m not satisfied with this & need to know how to fix these issues.

    Reply

  12. Jacari

    04/10/2015 at 11:54 am

    The update looks very nice. I love all of the animations and transitions. Very fluid. I don’t think the phone is any smoother and it still lags here and there but nothing major. The best part of the update is the new lock screen and notification shade. Looks much nicer and is more functional.

    Problems: battery life. Whereas I used to get between 4-5 hours of on screen time, now I’m getting an hour less at 3-4. Unacceptable in 2015 with a 3220 mah battery. Another issue is I can’t use the “OK Google” command from any screen anymore. The option is greyed out and I can’t select it no matter what. Also, my heart rate sensor is on all the time now. Annoying as I never use this feature. I only noticed it was on because I was holding my phone while reading at night and I noticed the red light coming from the phone. And whenever I restart my phone for some reason the music player is activated.

    My keyboard acts a little funny every now and then now, too. It was fine before the update. Last thing, overheating. I’ve had this phone 6 months and it NEVER gets super hot. Even when I’m gaming or using multi window or watching videos. It usually gets warm but not hot. Now it gets ridiculously hot after about 15 minutes or so. I hope they figure this out and fix all of these issues quick.

    Reply

    • Trey

      04/10/2015 at 2:57 pm

      I too was experiencing the problem with over heating and the heart rate monitor being on constantly, but I found a fix. Uninstall Google Fit from your phone (you may have hidden it in your app drawer) and then restart your phone. This really helped with battery life and heating problems. Also try using Google’s keyboard (available from the app store).

      Reply

      • Jacari

        04/10/2015 at 3:04 pm

        Cool I will try this. Thanks

        Reply

  13. Chris

    04/12/2015 at 1:35 pm

    After upgrading, people are complaining that I’m not answering my calls or texts. I reboot the phone and the. I’m flooded with text messages. Happens every day now, not sure what to do

    Reply

  14. richard

    04/12/2015 at 4:44 pm

    I had a severe battery drain problem after installing update. I’m talking 80% after 4 to 5 hours. I ended up doing a factory reset which appears to solve problem. Before phone would drain a good 50% during 8 hr sleep in sleep-mode. Now only 5% during 8-hr night sleep-mode.
    Further, advanced calling needs work. Many dropped calls. And convinced it even screwed up my Skype calls. Had to disable advanced calling for time being. I’ve been using smart phones before they were called smartphones. Either they fix it, or you return to kit-kat or you do a factory reset. Those are your options.

    Reply

  15. Richard Seager

    04/13/2015 at 3:05 am

    I have also noticed my cell signal has dropped . Was getting 4G in my house now its 4g/3g all the time bouncing back and fourth. Once enabled Advanced calling now I get dropped calls have had 4 in past two days. My contacts has been crashing. Other then that the phone looks great.

    Reply

  16. Watchdog

    04/17/2015 at 11:18 pm

    So how do you stop the notification for updating if you want to wait without being annoyed?

    Reply

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