Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 Compared

November 24, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Every time Google updates Android there’s always quite a process for most phones to receive these updates.  Nexus devices usually get them first since they get updates straight from Google, but Motorola has been outshining Google in this area for both the Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop updates.  Companies like Samsung who have a considerably larger library of devices and many more custom features require a little bit more time to get the latest update out, and that doesn’t take into consideration US carriers like Verizon or AT&T who have been known for their stringent testing requirements before pushing out an update. Nevertheless it looks like the folks at Samsung have been hard at work getting Android 5.0 Lollipop onto both the Galaxy S5 and even last year’s Galaxy S4.  Let’s take a look at the video below and discuss some key differences seen.

First off you’ll notice that there are quite a few big changes for the Galaxy S4 in the Lollipop build of TouchWiz, namely that it now shares the same look and feel of the Galaxy S5; something that’s been unprecedented in Samsung history.  Usually the newest phone features its own visual style and no older phones ever receive an update to that visual style, but Samsung looks to be changing all this with Android 5.0 Lollipop.  Working through various apps you can see this is obviously an early build that’s still being worked on, as there are some wild inconsistencies between phones depending on the app.  Minor differences like the status bar not being tinted on the S4 build yet will get fixed, and other design differences like the material design-esque plus button on the clock app are present on the S4 but not the S5.

What’s important to see here is that Samsung is finally starting to move more toward a standard Google style design rather than the very different design language that they’ve used for years.  This is a breath of fresh air as it carries the positives of Google’s design language in terms of usability and simplicity, but still features Samsung’s visual style and color palette.  Check out the video below for a demonstration of the differences and look forward to the impending release of Lollipop for these phones.  We’re just hoping Samsung gets those libraries updated so that we don’t see some bad stability issues once these updates hit the streets!