In September, Samsung took the stage at IFA 2014 to announce its brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a follow up to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that had launched in the fall the year before. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 comes with a number of enticing features though it’s running an outdated version of Android dubbed Android 4.4 KitKat.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Google’s most current version of KitKat, but even Android 4.4.4 KitKat is old news. In November, Google started rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android 4.4 KitKat’s successor, and an update that’s going to be rolling out to a number of Samsung Galaxy devices in the future. It will represent the first major update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
As many of you know, Samsung’s Android update roll outs are long and arduous. Most take months, some have taken more than a year to complete. It can be a frustrating journey at times. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update in particular. And this week, we’re doing our best to answer as many of those questions as possible.
Today, we want to play psychic and take another look into our crystal ball in an effort to set consumer expectations. Here, we take a look at what we expect now from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update in 2015.
Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Next
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date is confirmed for early 2015 and all signs point to a release directly after the Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Lollipop update is just now starting to push out to more countries and we’re fully expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to be next in line. There are a few reasons for that.
First, it’s a current flagship. Current flagships are almost always fast-tracked to the latest software. We’ve seen it happen numerous times before and not just with Samsung either. Second, French carrier SFR noted that it plans to roll out the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates first. This falls in line with the details that we saw emerge at Samsung Denmark. Samsung Denmark says that those two updates will be among the first to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
We also saw intel from a Samsung Mobile employee suggest that the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 will be the first to get the software in the U.S. Nothing is confirmed but all signs point to an arrival after the Galaxy S5 Lollipop release. We fully expect the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 update to deploy next, it’s just a matter of when.
Silence from Samsung
Do not expect Samsung to relay any early details about timing though. Samsung almost never makes early Android update announcements and in the few times that it has, it has provided vague details. So those of you with international Galaxy Note 4 models are going to want to temper expectations, remain patient and above all, stop asking Samsung about its plans on social media. It’s not going to go anywhere.
Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Roll Out to Take Months
If you’ve been through a Samsung Android roll out before, you know the drill. If you haven’t, here’s what to expect. Expect Samsung to take several months or more to roll out the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update. That early 2015 release date will apply to some people but there’s a good chance that it will not apply to a majority of Galaxy Note 4 users.
This roll out will take time. There are a number of Galaxy Note 4 models in over hundred different regions around the world. Samsung must test those updates behind the scenes, prepare them with carrier partners, get them certified, and then push them out. It’s not a quick process and each update comes with its own set of challenges.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is its most powerful flagship phone and because its a powerful flagship, we expect Samsung to work hard to get the software out in a timely manner. It will be a priority thought we still expect the roll out to take place over six, seven months or more.
New Release Date Details to Emerge Soon
With a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release on the horizon, we expect more release date details to emerge in the near future and more specifically, this month. We’ve already seen a couple of carriers announce Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop details ahead of time, most recently Vodafone Spain, and we expect to see some of the usual suspects push out their details early for Galaxy Note 4 users.
As we’ve noted many times in the past, Australian carriers love to keep their customers informed and Canadian carrier Rogers always announces updates well in advance. Look for these, and perhaps a release date leak or two, to emerge in the near future as Samsung makes progress with its highly anticipated Android 5.0 update.
U.S. Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update to Start Pushing Soon
That leaked intel suggests that Samsung is looking to push out a Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update in the United States starting in January. While that remains unconfirmed, we do expect the United States, one of Samsung’s key battlegrounds, to be among the first to the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 update. There is precedent for this so let’s have a look.
The U.S. was among the first to the Galaxy Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. It was among the first to Galaxy Android 4.4.2 KitKat. And it was among the first to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. That’s an extremely solid track record. Pair that with that credible intelligence from the Samsung Mobile employee and it’s clear that the U.S. should once again find itself among the first regions to get a major Galaxy Android update.
We’d put a lot of money on the U.S. release being included in the first wave of carrier-branded updates.
Continued Silence from Major & Minor U.S. Carriers
Just don’t expect U.S. carriers to talk about their Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop release plans. U.S. carriers, including regional and pre-paid carriers, rarely talk about their plans ahead of time. They usually wait for Samsung before saying anything if they say anything at all. Don’t expect anything different here from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update.
You can ask them on Facebook and Twitter all you want but expect the same generic answer all the way up until the actual roll outs begin. Like Samsung, they don’t want to set consumer expectations.
Few Leaks, If Any
We’re not expecting many, if any, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update leaks between now and the start of the roll out. Samsung and its carrier partners have clamped down on leaked test builds and we’ve only seen a few Android 5.0 files leak out to the public so far. We’re not expecting much more and that’s probably a good thing. Test software can wreck havoc on devices.
Varied Change Logs
You should expect the Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update change logs to vary across U.S. and international carriers. They will all be similar to the Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop update that we saw leak a few weeks ago though carriers are almost certainly going to attach their own fixes and enhancements onto these updates. Carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon always do.
Android 5.0.1 Lollipop or Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Google has two new Android 5.0 Lollipop updates out, an Android 5.0.1 update and an Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update. An early Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop leak showed an Android 5.0.1 update in action but it looks like Samsung might be shifting over to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It’s not clear if that will delay the roll out but it does mean that the update should come loaded with bug fixes.
SamMobileclaims that Samsung is testing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop behind the scenes and that it should come to its flagships in the future. Details are scarce but we assume that the update will come with enhancements meant to stabilize the software. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be bugs, we expect tons of those to pop up, but it should mean that the software will be a little more stable than it might have been.
Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop Release Close Behind
If you own the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge version of the Galaxy Note 4, know that your update is probably going to be close behind. The leak from the Samsung Mobile employee suggested that the Galaxy Note Edge would be close behind the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 in terms of timing and given its presence as a flagship model, we don’t expect it to get the short end of the stock when it comes to timing.
We do not expect it to beat out its Galaxy Note 4 counterpart but we do expect the start of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Lollipop release to start within the next couple of months as Samsung works to get its current models outfitted with the current Android software.