Jan 10 AT 3:23 PM Dima Aryeh 21 Comments

Samsung Galaxy S4 leaked KitKat build with UI improvements

Samsung Galaxy S 4 leaked KitKat

Samsung has been fairly good at updating its devices in the last year; Android 4.3 is on many of its older phones. The Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and even a few of last year’s lower end models have gotten the update, which is an achievement on its own–most manufacturers abandon phones after a new one comes out. But KitKat hasn’t graced a single Samsung phone, and it looks like we’re close to seeing it.

A new build of KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy S4 has leaked, and it’s surprisingly stable. It’s a test build, so this isn’t nearly the final build that will be rolling out officially, but already there are very few bugs. What it offers, while seemingly minor, is a pretty big step for Samsung.

The company has finally moved away from the Gingerbread days just a little bit by making the battery in the status bar white. Like I said, minor but quite significant by Samsung UI standards. Unfortunately, the green highlights remain in all other parts of the user interface, so this isn’t quite the user interface refresh people are hoping for. Maybe more will be changed between now and release time.

There is also a new camera shortcut on the lockscreen, slightly better performance and benchmark scores, and an improved keyboard. It’s not a big update so far, but there is a bit of time for Samsung to change up some stuff. The update is rumored to be released sometime in February or March. Even if not much is changed, being on the latest version of Android will be an improvement in and of itself.

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Richard Yarrell

    Plain and simple nothing beats Samsung Galaxy or Note products period.

    • squiddy20

      And plain and simple, that is your *opinion* period. Get a life.

    • jerrbomb

      Still like a broken record Richard…

    • snowbdr89

      Anything NOT infested with touch wiz beats Samsung

  • AljNtEeL1

    I am living in the Middle East, but I (and people living there) haven’t received Android 4.3 for their Galaxy S III. So, cou;d you please tell us why this is happening?

  • @W

    Used to have SAMSUNG S3 >> switched to SONY XPERIA Z1 and its like heaven to hell :) No more SAMSUNG anymore!!!

    • Joshua

      You mean to say galaxy s3 was heaven and sony is hell…. Right

    • BSG

      Do that mean you like hell?

      I mean, you switched from samsung to sony and its was like heaven to hell!!!

  • John Hartley

    I just got a Nexus 5 with KitKat and the thing I dislike the most is the way SMS and my Contacts/Address Book have both been taken over by Hangouts! I was able to install a third party SMS app, which has helped, but trying to get to my contact’s details, like street addresses, etc., is a pain in the rear!

    • dinodxynez

      With KitKat, you can actually make a third party SMS application your default SMS app. As for contacts, you should be syncing all of them via your Google account anyway. Contacts having nothing to do with being taken over by Hangouts.

    • chris

      Sorry, we had to down vote your comment because the nexus 5 is perfect. Its so perfect that god himself created the whole thing. Nothing can ever beat that! Oh, and I couldn’t forget to tell u that Samsung sucks because just like everyone that has a nexus hates it, so do I!

  • misho

    i have galaxy mega 5.8
    i would like to know if this device can update to 4.3 or kitkat ????

  • Nate B.

    I say when and if a change comes, it’ll be when the S5 appears. It’s already to close to the rumored official update and leaks are coming fit anything to drastically change in the way Touchwiz looks.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Absolutely. The “revamped” TouchWiz, if it comes this year, will appear on a flagship first then eventually will be distributed to the older devices.

  • redraider133

    This isn’t surprising it is still the old Touchwiz. I would assume the new version will be held back to unveil with the s5 and then potentially update the older devices to this new version of touchwiz. If nothing else an update to kit kat is better than nothing.

  • hannan

    Hannan

  • yowanvista

    They really should consider a total TW overhaul with revamped non-greenish UI elements. It’s just too fugly in this state.

  • yogi

    Ace plus to note to s3 omg they all lags like old lady after each update they become more wores than better and samey also cheat indian coustmer ,ace plus unnone,note&s3 with exynos chipset & western virson with snapdragon also s3 with2gb ram anin india only 1gb & costlier so bey bey samey im playing with lg g pro

  • rr2009

    the status bar doesn’t look transparent though.

  • kivo

    I still have a hard time understanding why they still get so many kudos for the interface. I personally think it’s an eye sore.

  • donger

    Say no to touchwiz.