When will my Android phone get KitKat?

With Android 4.4 KitKat finally in the wild, users are already wondering when their smartphones will see the update. Here's what we know so far.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
4 min read

For Android fans who don't have a Nexus 5, when they'll get KitKat is a serious and angst-inducing question. Some handset manufacturers like Samsung and HTC have already promised the update for their flagship devices, but others haven't been so forthcoming. Here's what we know so far; we'll keep updating this post as we get more KitKat news.

When will your phone break off a piece of that delicious KitKat?

The Nexus line
I'll start with the most controversial topic. The good news is that Google expects that the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices will get their respective updates "in the coming weeks."

The Nexus 4 has reportedly started its Android 4.4 KitKat update, however Google has not made a formal announcement. The 238MB file is being delivered over the air.

Now, here's the bad news. Samsung Galaxy Nexus owners are rightly peeved that they won't get Android 4.4. One reason is that the developer of the smartphone's processor, Texas Instruments, is no longer in the mobile CPU business and can't help upgrade the handset. It's a bummer, and for what it's worth, more than 27,000 people have signed an online petition hoping to change the situation.

Unofficially, the Samsung flagships should soon see Android 4.4 updates. iTechAddict

All we "officially" know is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is in line for the KitKat update, also "in the coming weeks."

Unconfirmed leaks, however, paint a slightly different picture. According to a document obtained by iTechAddict, the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 are expecting to see Android 4.4 in January. The 2012 flagship Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 should follow in March-April.

HTC was the first OEM to publicly flesh out plans for Android 4.4. Indeed, Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC America, confirmed that the company will step on the gas to get the latest version of Android out to its flagship One line.

Things got under way quickly with the HTC One Google Play Edition as HTC has already delivered the update to Google. For now it's a matter of waiting on Google to push the release out the door.

The North American and UK versions of the HTC one are expected to pick up KitKat by the end of January 2014. This comes officially from the handset maker's US and UK Twitter accounts. As for the HTC One Mini and HTC One Max, we should look for those to follow shortly after.

First Look
Watch this: What's new in Android KitKat, Google's latest mobile OS

Motorola has at least a dozen smartphones tapped with Android 4.4 updates, however no time frame has been given. The list, as one might expect, is made mostly of 2012-2013 models with an emphasis on Verizon.

Motorola device owners can navigate to the company's software upgrade page to see if their phone or tablet is due to receive KitKat. They just won't get a date on when it will arrive. Hopefully, Motorola will follow up with a "what will, what won't" blog post before long.

Sony expects to update a number of its 2013 Xperia line with Android 4.4 KitKat, starting with the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1.

Before these devices see KitKat, however, Sony will push out 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. Starting in December, the exact timing for each phone will vary by market and carrier. Keeping all of this in mind, it will likely be early 2014 before any of them get a taste of the chocolatey update.

Swing by the support page for the Xperia SP, Xperia ZR, Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V and you'll find that Sony has not closed for these models. Most are listed as "Under Investigation" and the Xperia SP shows a clear path to the upgrade.

Given that LG is the hardware maker behind the Nexus 5, I hope that the KitKat love will reach more models beyond the G2. Though a leaked document from French carrier SFR mentions only a December time frame for the G2, perhaps it's a sign that other models will be close behind.

There's always rooting and ROMs
Regardless of which smartphone or tablet you have, there's always the possibility of taking things into your own hands. A number of custom ROMs have already emerged in the few days following the release of the Android 4.4 SDK.

Rooting your device could be helpful for folks who find their beloved Android on the cutting-room floor. What's more, it's a viable option for those who don't feel like waiting for OEMs and carriers to make announcements.

If you've received the update already, how do you like the taste of KitKat? Let us know in the comments below.