The Galaxy S4 is the current flagship device from the Korean manufacturer Samsung. It was officially announced at the Samsung Unpacked event in New York on March 14 and began shipped by the end of April. The S4 is being seen as the most powerful contender for the best smartphone of 2013, but to win the crown it’ll have to wrestle neck to neck with the HTC One.
If you already have the Galaxy S4 and wish to avail the latest software update for your phone, you can do it in a number of ways. By keeping your phone’s firmware up-to-date, you can enjoy many advantages as with each new firmware version Samsung introduces fix to the bugs found in the previous version and new features as well. Sometimes, new updates bring OS upgrade and thus lots of new improvements and enhancements.
The international variant (GT-I9500) of the Galaxy S4 Exynos 5 Octa (octa-core) system on a chip (SoC) chip containing the first ARM big.LITTLE heterogeneous architecture central processing unit (CPU). The Galaxy S4 variants for North America, most of Europe, LTE models and other countries has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 SoC containing a quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 CPU and an Adreno 320 GPU.
With the help of the present tutorial, you can update the firmware of any variant of the Galaxy S4, given the fact that the firmware for that model is available for download.
As I mentioned above, you can update your Galaxy S4′s in more than one way. The most preferred and safest method among users to get the latest update on their Android. If you have a good data or WiFi connection Over-the-Air update is the best way to avail new software. Here are 2 ways you can receive the OTA firmware update. Both the ways require a working internet connection on your computer or Galaxy S4.
Download and install the latest Samsung Kies on your computer. Launch it and connect your device to computer using USB cable. Kies will automatically show the current firmware version on your device and notify you if a new update is available.
You can also update the firmware of your Galaxy S4 without taking aid of a computer. To get latest software update notification on your phone, make sure you are signed in on your Samsung Account. To check the availability of the latest firmware for your device, open phone Settings> More tab> About and then tap on Software update option. If an update is available, just follow the on-screen prompts and you’ll have the latest version of firmware on your Galaxy S4.
Personally, I do not like the OTA way because I do not have great amount of patience to wait calmly and helplessly for the latest update to knock my doors. I prefer to grab the very first firmware that rolls out for my Samsung device model and install it manually.
Since OTA updates are made available in phases, you might have to wait for it to arrive your country or region. The sad part of the story is that sometimes the wait never comes to an end and you might be forced to remain with the older software on your device when it is already available for other countries. This might be a sound reason for you to install the update manually.
Another reason why you might prefer to chose the manual ways is because you have either rooted your Samsung Galaxy S4 or have installed a custom ROM on it. In any of these cases you might not be able to get the OTA till you unroot your phone. If you do not know how to unroot your rooted Galaxy S4, read the following tutorial;
If you ever wish to root your Galaxy S4 after updating the firmware, do not forget to refer to our easy and step-by-step rooting tutorials.
Now, there are 4 ways you can install an updated version of firmware on your Galaxy S4 and we’ll see them all one-by-one:
The Galaxy S4 is a costly phone and being its owner, you will certainly not even dream of putting your device into danger. Remember, there is a fine line between a successful firmware update and a bricked device. If you are careful and follow the rules obediently, there are no chances that any damage will be done to your phone.
At the center of most unsuccessful tales of phone-bricking lies the simple but surprising fact that some people do not even match the phone model and the firmware they are going to install! Take care of the following things while choosing a firmware for your device.
Here is a list of country/region codes for Samsung Galaxy devices’ firmwares:
You can easily find out which firmware is latest by taking note of the last two Alphabets/digits of a firmware name. These 2 alphabets denote that date and month of the firmware release. Look at the examples given below:
In the above CSC part of a Samsung firmware name the first of the last 2 alphabets shows the month. “D” is the 4th letter in alphabet and it denotes the 4th month of the English calendar, that is April. In the same way, “K” shows the date (K is the 11th letter), that is 11. Thus the date of the first firmware is April 11. Thus, the second firmware’s release date is April 06.
Finally, here the spots from where you can download the latest firmware for your Galaxy S4. Click the device model number below to download the latest firmware for your phone.
Note: Since firmwares for Verizon Galaxy S4 are not available for download yet, the owners of this device can download the following firmware. It is also official and has been pulled out from the device itself and has been prepared to be installed with Odin. Installing any of these files might wipe the system and internal storage of your device and it’ll boot into factory state. Backup your phones data before installing.
Android 4.2.2: SCH-I545_VZW_1_20130613171315_24s13crny1_fac.zip
Android 4.3 (wipes data): SCH-I545_VZW_1_20131023084910_v4vth34m5z_fac.zip
Android 4.3 (no wipe): SCH-I545_VZW_1_20131023084910_4t7oj0w5gv.zip
To install the Android 4.3 firmware, use Odin v3.09, and click AP button to select the firmware file. Make all preparation for Odin installation as described below.
SHV-E330S (Korea LTE-A)
This method is not very common as it is not very easy to find the OTA update package that contains the new files. One important thing that you should know before attempting to install an update.zip is that it is Baseband and CSC specific. In other words, you can install it only over a base firmware that has the required baseband and CSC info. For example, if you get an update.zip (Android 4.2.3) for Galaxy S4 Germany and you have an S4 with UK firmware (4.2.2), you will have to install the German firmware with lesser version (Android 4.2.2) on the device first.
Here is how you can install an firmware update.zip file via Android stock recovery on your Galaxy S4:
Your phone will now boot and it will take a little more time that it takes usually to boot up. Wait till you are able to see the phone’s lockscreen. Done!
This is the most popular and familiar method among users for installing complete firmware package on their Galaxy devices. Most commonly the firmware for Galaxy devices come with .tar.md5 extension. If the firmware you downloaded is a zip file, you’ll have to extract/unzip it first with the help of a Zip extractor program to find the file with .tar.md5 extension.
Here are the steps that can be used to install firmware on any Samsung Galaxy device, whether a phone or tablet. This method works only with Windows PC.
Your Galaxy S4 should now have the newly installed firmware on it. You can confirm this from Settings> More> About.
Note: Mobile Odin Pro currently supports the following models of the Galaxy S4. The compatibility for other models will be added soon.
Since the Odin tool is not yet available for Mac and Linux computers, the Odin3 method of installing a firmware on a Galaxy device has become a hard nut to crack for the users of these operating systems. It’s here that the Mobile Odin app becomes a life saver! This wonderful app for Samsung Galaxy phones is capable of installing the firmware on supported Galaxy devices very easily.
But there is a little twist to this easy-sounding method. You need to root your Galaxy S4 before you can install and use Mobile Odin Pro. If you have not a rooted Galaxy S4, you can root it easily with the help of our handy rooting tutorials:
Download and install the Mobile Odin Pro app developed by Chainfire from the Google Play Store-
Now when you have Mobile Odin installed on your Galaxy S4, follow the steps below to install the official firmware on your device.
Finally, here ends our detailed tutorial on installing the latest firmware on the Samsung Galaxy S4. I just hope it helps our visitors. If you have any question related to this topic, do not forget to drop a comment below.
Sometimes, it happens that your device might not boot properly after installing a new firmware and it is stuck at the “Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9500″ logo. To get out of this situation, pull out the battery and place it back after about a minute and try the steps given under Method 1 in this tutorial. You can also try reinstalling the firmware.