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With KitKat about to land, Samsung began updating the LTE version of the Galaxy S4 to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Update, October 18: According to Sam Mobile, Samsung has also kicked off the Android 4.3 rollout for the Exynos Octa-based, non-LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500). The update is now available via Kies in Russia (SER), with more markets to follow. The change log is identical to that of the Galaxy S4 LTE (GT-I9505).

The unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE (GT-I9505) is the first device to receive Android 4.3, joining the Galaxy Note 3 in the latest version club. For now, the new I9505XXUEMJ5 firmware is only available in Germany (PDT) via Kies, but the update should become available to more markets soon. As usual, Samsung will roll out the update to unlocked models first; carrier models require additional testing and certification, so patience is advised.

According to the change log for the update (which is in Dutch, for some reason), Android 4.3 brings the following changes to the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE (GT-I9505):

  • New features added, including KNOX
  • Galaxy Gear compatibility
  • Improved performance: graphics, multimedia, Bluetooth
  • Improved stability of the user interface
  • Changes to the user interface, including icons
  • Improved security

The change log says that, due to security, users won’t be able to downgrade after applying this update, which may be a problem considering rumors about the extension of region locking to more devices.

Last week, the folks at Sam Mobile got their hands on a near-final build of Android 4.3 for the GT-I9505 and reported that performance and stability are visibly improved.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new markets where the update rolls out, as well as on information regarding the update for the non-LTE version (GT-I9500) of the Galaxy S4.

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