Whenever a new software update comes out, it makes its way to the new flagship devices first. If you own a one or two-year-old device, you might need to wait for months before its knocks your door. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was released with Android Jelly Bean out of the box about 2 years ago.

The Galaxy S4 received the KitKat update the last year and now Samsung has started rolling out the latest Lollipop update to the device. Lollipop is undoubtedly one of the greatest updates and it’ll probably be the last major OS upgrade for the Galaxy S4.

It was just a day ago that Verizon broke out the news of the long awaited update roll out through a support document on its official website. Soon after, the Galaxy S4 users on Verizon reported getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop over-the-air. One queer thing about Verizon’s Lollipop update for the S4 is that the carrier has split the update into two parts. A minor OTA update (99MB) takes the device from VRUFNK1 to VRUFNK4 (KitKat) and when you take the NK4 OTA, your devices qualify to receive the actual Lollipop update with build number LRX22C.I545VRUGOC1.

Android Lollipop Features

  • All new Material design with the use of bold colors in the user interface. Floating buttons give you fast access to the most important features of the app.
  • Cool animations and effects.
  • Buttery smooth and fast performance with almost no lag.
  • New boot animation and shutdown animation.
  • Recents persist after phone reboot and now it shows Chrome tabs too. You now have parallax effect while scrolling app windows.
  • Lock screen notifications for all apps, even with a pattern unlock.
  • The lock screen has swipes to unlock to dialer (security required) and camera (no security required).
  • “Blocking Mode” in quick toggles renamed to “Do Not Disturb”

In case you have not yet got Lollipop on Verizon Galaxy S4 yet, you can go to Settings> About> Software Update and tap the Update now option to trigger the update. Please note that you might not receive the Lollipop OTA if you’re not using the device in the US and in that case, you’ll have to update your Galaxy S4 SCH-I545 manually. Below, we’ll guide you with updating your device by installing the OTA manually. In case you can’t just afford to lose root because of the new update and still want Android Lollipop on your S4, there’s a step-by-step tutorial to get rooted Lollipop too (thanks to muniz_ri!).

Install Lollipop OTA on Verizon Galaxy S4 (no root)

Note: Must Read

As I mentioned above, the Verizon has released 2 OTAs back to back. The first OTA package will bump the firmware version of your Vzw S4 from the old NK1 to NK4 and then your phone will become eligible to get the Lollipop OTA. What we have below for you is the NK4 OTA package that can be installed on the VRUFNK1 base only. After flashing this OTA package, you can install the VRUGOC1 (Android 5.0.1) OTA. Before you proceed with the OTA method, make sure your device is unrooted or fully stock.

Installing the OTA Packages

  1. Download the NK4 OTA Zip and copy it to external SD card of your Galaxy S4: update.zip (99MB)
  2. Enable USB Debugging on your phone as a precaution.
  3. Turn off your device and reboot into the stock recovery. To do so, hold the Volume Up+Home+Power keys together while the device is switched off. As soon as you see the Samsung logo with the device name, release the Power key but keep the Volume Up and Home keys pressed until you see the Android system recovery menu as shown below.
  4. Using the volume keys, scroll to apply update from external storage option and select it by pressing the Power key.galaxy-s6-recovery-screen
  5. Navigate to update.zip package and select it.
  6. Confirm installation when prompted.
  7. When the file is flashed, go back to the main menu and select reboot system now option.
  8. When your Verizon Galaxy S4 boots up, it will have the NK4 firmware installed on it.
  9. Now download the Lollipop OTA (OC1) package and copy it to your Galaxy S4: update.zip (991MB)
  10. Reboot your device into the stock recovery again and install the update.zip using apply update from external storage option.
  11. Finally, return to the recovery menu and reboot your Galaxy S4

When your S4 boots up, you’ll have the all new Android 5.0.1 Lollipop firmware running in it.

verizon-galaxy-s4-lollipop

You can also use the Verizon Software Update Assistant to update your Galaxy S4 to the latest version. Just launch the tool and follow the on-screen instructions.

Install Lollipop Firmware on Vzw Galaxy S4 Using Odin

If you don’t want to or not able to update your Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-I545 using the OTA method given above, there’s now an even easier way to do that. Thanks to muniz_ri for repackaging the-the full Lollipop (I545VRUGOC1) with KitKat (NK4) bootloader which is downgradable. A great advantage of installing this firmware is that you can downgrade back to VRUFNC5 firmware. You can also use this firmware to unbrick your soft-bricked Verizon S4.

Download Lollipop (OC1) Firmware: I545VRUGOC1_Neutered_Full_Odin.tar.rar

How to Install: Having downloaded the firmware, you’ll have to extract the .rar file to get the firmware file with .tar.md5 extension. You can install it using Odin v3.09. See our detailed tutorial on flashing stock firmware on Galaxy devices.

Install Lollipop on Verizon Galaxy S4 & Keep Root

Warning!

The FireFlash method will not trip the KNOX Warranty Void counter on youR Verizon S4 but it’ll wipe the apps and data present on the internal storage. Please, backup your apps and data with Titanium Backup app before proceeding.

Note: Must Read

If you want to enjoy the all new Lollipop with root privilege, you can install the pre-rooted Lollipop firmware using FireFlash app. Since the method uses a full firmware package, you can install it on your Verizon Galaxy S4 regardless of what Android or firmware version it has. However, to be able to use FireFlash, your device must have root access. Also, if you got TWRP Recovery installed on your Galaxy S4, you can flash the pre-rooted stock ROM provided below.

If you got an unrooted S4, you can use the following tutorial.

Preparations

  • Enable USB Debugging on your Verizon Galaxy S4. This step has nothing to do with the method given below but it could be a lifesaver if anything goes wrong.
  • Install Chainfire’s FireFlash app on your Verizon Galaxy S4. Since this new app is only available for beta-testers currently, go to the Google+ page and join the Android-FlashFire community. You must be signed into Google+ using the same Gmail ID that you use on the Google Play Store. Having joined the community, click the Play Store link to download FireFlash.
  • Download one of the stock rooted Lollipop ROMs from below:
  • Backup your apps and data.

Instructions

  1. Copy the I545_OC1_Stock_Rooted_ROM.zip to your device (internal or external SD).
  2. Open the FlashFire app and Agree to the Terms and Conditions prompted by the app.
  3. Press the rounded “+” button twice to bring up the Actions menu.fireflash-app-android
  4. Now bring the Actions menu once again and tap Flash Zip or OTA option. Select I545_OC1_Stock_Rooted_ROM.zip.
  5. Make sure that Auto-mount is unchecked under the Options menu and press the checkmark to continue.
  6. From the main menu uncheck all options under EverRoot and use default Reboot settings.
  7. When all’s done, tap the Lightning bolt icon followed by OK to begin the installation.

The screen of your phone will turn black for a while and then show the contents of your device before starting the installation. Now sit patiently while it all happens and your device reboots. It might take 5-10 minutes before your phone boots up for the first time. You have successfully updated your Verizon Galaxy S4 to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop while retaining root privilege. Enjoy!

Enable WiFi Tethering on Verizon Galaxy S4 Running Lollipop

  1. Install FireFlash app by Chainfire.
  2. Download the Mobile Hotspot mod file and copy the zip to your phone: I545_OC1_TetherAddOn.zip
  3. Now launch FireFlash and tap the “+” icon twice to bring up the menu and then select Flash Zip or OTA option.
  4. Navigate to G900A_OC4_TetherAddOn.zip file and select it.
  5. Make sure that the Auto-mount option is not selected under Options.
  6. Leave the default settings under EverRoot and Reboot options untouched.
  7. Finally, tap the Lightning bolt icon and then tap OK.

Just wait until the tethering add-on is flashed. If your phone’s screen goes black for a while, do not panic. When your phone boots up, you’ll be able to enjoy free WiFi hotspot on your Verizon Galaxy S4 running the new OC1 Lollipop firmware.

 

Credits: muniz_ri | 2 & dgutierrez04