What is the latest Android version for Galaxy S4?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a flagship smartphone that was released in 2013. It originally launched with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and was later upgraded to newer versions of Android.

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. New major versions of Android are released annually and given names based on sweet treats. Each new version brings interface changes, feature additions and improvements. For example, Android 4.4 KitKat focused on optimizing the operating system for lower-end devices, while Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced a major visual refresh called Material Design.

Latest Official Android Version

The latest official Android version for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Samsung initially released Lollipop for the Galaxy S4 in early 2015 (1). However, Samsung has not provided any additional major Android updates for the S4 beyond Lollipop 5.0.1.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was a major Android update released by Google in November 2014. It introduced a redesigned user interface called Material Design, along with new features like lock screen notifications, priority mode for notifications, guest user accounts, and battery saving optimizations (2).

Samsung customized Lollipop for their Galaxy devices and released it as an over-the-air update for the Galaxy S4 in phases across different regions and carriers starting in January 2015. The update brought the S4 up to Android 5.0, and a follow-up 5.0.1 update fixed some initial bugs (1).

However, Samsung did not provide any additional major Android updates beyond Lollipop 5.0.1 for the Galaxy S4. So even though Google has released newer versions of Android since then, such as Marshmallow, Nougat, Oreo, and Pie, the official latest Android version for the S4 remains Lollipop 5.0.1 (3).


(1) https://www.quora.com/Can-I-use-a-Samsung-S4-in-2021-Why-doesnt-it-take-the-latest-Android-version-and-stay-in-version-5-0-1-Lollipop

(2) https://www.android.com/versions/lollipop-5-0/

(3) https://community.verizon.com/t5/Samsung-Galaxy-S-Series/latest-android-version-for-Samsugn-s4-mini/td-p/1004651

Overview of Android Lollipop

Android Lollipop (version 5.0) was a major release of the Android operating system, first unveiled by Google in June 2014 and rolled out to devices later that year. Lollipop introduced a complete visual overhaul of Android called Material Design, which featured a flatter, more minimalist look. Some of the key features included:

  • Material Design – A completely redesigned interface using fluid animations, bold colors, responsive interactions, and depth effects.
  • Improved Notifications – New lockscreen notifications with the ability to view, respond or dismiss without unlocking the phone. Priority mode for only allowing certain notifications.
  • Battery Life Optimizations – Project Volta provided tools for monitoring battery drain and extending battery life.

The overhaul in Android Lollipop was designed to provide a more intuitive and visually pleasing user experience. Reviews praised the cleaner, smoother performance and enhanced functionality of common tasks like messaging and notifications.

Installation of Lollipop

The Android 5.0 Lollipop update is available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 both over-the-air and through Samsung Kies. To install the update over-the-air, go to Settings > About Device > Software Update and check for available updates. The Lollipop update will show up if available. Tap Download and Install to start the installation process. Make sure your device is connected to WiFi and plugged in before starting the update.

To install through Samsung Kies, you’ll first need to download the latest version of Kies on your computer from the Samsung website. Connect your Galaxy S4 to your computer using a USB cable. Open Kies and it will automatically check for available updates for your phone. If the Lollipop update is available, it will show up in Kies. Click on Update to download and install the update.

The installation process will take some time as the update package is around 1GB in size. Make sure your phone is adequately charged and remains connected throughout the installation. Once completed, your Galaxy S4 will reboot into Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Changes and Improvements

Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced several notable changes and improvements to the Galaxy S4, including:

Interface changes with Material Design – Lollipop ushered in Google’s new Material Design language, with flatter icons, fluid animations, and more intuitive navigation. The Galaxy S4’s TouchWiz interface was updated with Material Design elements like new system fonts, color palettes, and subtle animations throughout the UI.

Enhanced performance and battery life – Under the hood optimizations provided faster app launching, smoother system animations, and improved touch response. Lollipop’s Project Volta also extended battery life by providing developers better tools to understand and manage battery consumption.

Notable new features – Key additions included guest user accounts, device sharing, intelligent notifications that can be acted on from the lock screen, and priority mode for filtering interruptions. Security was also strengthened through mandatory encryption and Smart Lock options like trusted devices.

Some sources cite Lollipop’s performance and battery life improvements on the Galaxy S4: Unanswered ‘samsung-touchwiz’ Questions, Real world Android 4.4.2 doesn’t handle TLS 1.2 · Issue #258

Drawbacks and Issues with Lollipop on the Galaxy S4

Like with many major Android updates, the rollout of Lollipop to the Galaxy S4 has come with some drawbacks and issues reported by users. Among the most common problems are increased battery drain, app crashes, WiFi connectivity problems, performance lag, and device overheating.

Many Galaxy S4 owners complain of much faster battery drain after updating to Lollipop, citing Android System battery usage as the main culprit. There are a few potential solutions for this issue including clearing app caches, performing a factory reset, disabling unnecessary apps and features like location services, and replacing the battery if it’s worn out [1].

App crashes and performance lag are also frequently reported, especially for memory intensive apps and games. Trying updating apps to the latest compatible versions, clear app cache and data, restart the device, or disable animations in developer options to try improving performance. Overheating issues can potentially be mitigated by removing the device case during use and cleaning out dust buildup [2].

Problems with WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth pairing, and microphone quality are other annoyances cited by some users after upgrading. Possible fixes include toggling Airplane mode, forgetting and reconnecting to WiFi networks, clearing Bluetooth device pairings and rebooting, and checking for app updates to resolve microphone glitches.

Unsupported Features

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was originally launched in 2013 with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Since then, it has received several major Android updates over the years. However, when the device was upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop, some features became unsupported due to hardware limitations.

One of the most notable unsupported capabilities is the IR blaster and WatchON app. The S4’s infrared blaster allowed it to control TVs, cable boxes, and other home entertainment devices. The preloaded WatchON app acted as a universal remote and TV guide. However, with the update to Lollipop, Samsung removed support for the IR blaster and WatchON. This rendered the remote control features useless.

Additionally, the Air View and Air Gesture features are no longer functional on Lollipop. Air View allowed users to preview information by hovering a finger over the screen. Air Gesture enabled touch-free navigation of menus and apps by waving a hand over the front-facing camera. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S4’s sensors for these features are not supported in Lollipop.

Other missing capabilities include Multi-Window multitasking, Smart Stay eye tracking, and Smart Rotation. Overall, these unsupported features demonstrate the limitations of running cutting-edge software on aging hardware. While Lollipop brought significant improvements, it also resulted in the loss of some beloved and unique functions of the Galaxy S4.

Future Updates

Since the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in 2013 and was updated to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop in 2015, it is unlikely to receive any additional version updates. The Galaxy S4 is now over 7 years old and has reached the end of its major software update cycle.

While major Android version upgrades are unlikely, there is some potential for minor bug fixes or security patches in future maintenance updates. However, Samsung typically provides updates for 2-3 years, which has already passed for the S4 line.

Overall, users should not expect any significant Android feature updates for the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the future. Instead, those looking for the latest Android version would need to purchase a newer device.


Pros of installing Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Galaxy S4 include a refreshed and modernized UI, improved notifications system, battery saving features, and enhanced security. However, there are also some cons such as decreased performance and issues with the graphics framework.

Android 5.0 Lollipop will be the last major OS update available for the Galaxy S4. As such, users who want to try newer Android features should consider upgrading to it. However, there is no great urgency, since the device remains functional on Android 4.4 KitKat.

If you do decide to upgrade, keep in mind that Lollipop may affect performance and stability compared to KitKat. It’s a good idea to backup data before updating. Only update if you’re comfortable troubleshooting any issues that may arise.


To recap, the latest official Android version available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This was a major software update from the original Android 4.4.2 KitKat version that the S4 shipped with back in 2013. While the update brought many welcomed changes like a polished interface, better notifications, longer battery life and improved security – issues around performance, stability and compatibility with older apps remained a persistent complaint among some users.

The update situation for the now ageing S4 remains up in the air. While technically capable of running the newer Android software, relatively dated hardware does hamper the experience after multiple years of use. There is unlikely to be further platform updates for the device. However, thanks to an active development community, more adventurous users can attempt unofficial custom ROMs at their own risk to try out newer Android versions.

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