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Samsung Galaxy S4 and Android 6.0: Will They Ever Meet?

To many Samsung fans, the story of the Galaxy S4 and Android 6.0 seem to be like a tragic play that involve characters like Romeo and Juliet and other star-crossed lovers, whom will never have a happily ever after.


This is fueled by the opinions of many tech experts, who believe that the S4 will not receive the Marshmallow update. These experts point to the fact that the handset (which was released in 2013) is already three years old and that it’s built on older technology. Specifically, it comes with an Exynos 5410 Octa chipset, a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 and quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, and a PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU. Some of its variants have only 16 GB of internal memory, although other variants have 32 GB and 64 GB.

Because of its age, the Galaxy S4 is technologically behind its more modern siblings, and its older specifications may mean that it’s not capable enough to handle the advanced features of Android 6.0. Take, for example, its lack of a fingerprint sensor; without this, it won’t be able to take advantage of the fingerprint API that’s included in Android Marshmallow. Users, in turn, won’t be able to enjoy Android Pay, which uses the fingerprint API. Android Pay may not be as popular as Samsung Pay, but it has the potential to become one of the top touchless payment systems in the future.

Another clue that the Galaxy S4 may not receive Android 6.0: Samsung has not yet announced when they would release the Marshmallow update the device. This may be taken to mean that 1) they’re still unsure whether they’d roll out the update the device or not, 2) they’re working on the update and want to keep it a surprise, or 3) they really don’t have plans to release Marshmallow for the Galaxy S4.

Still another clue: Android N is just around the corner and will reportedly be released this summer. With this in mind, it makes more sense to think that Samsung is focusing their resources on preparing their devices for Android N instead of rolling out Android Marshmallow for older models like the Galaxy S4. The closer Android N’s release date gets, the more likely it is that the S4 won’t get Android 6.0.

This can be depressing for Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, who face two major choices: buy a new smartphone that can run on Marshmallow, or use a ROM to upgrade their S4 to Android 6.0. Those who choose the latter must be aware that not all ROMs are safe to use and that they may run the risk of bricking their phone when installing one.