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4 min read 64 comments

7 reasons why KitKat is still better than Lollipop

Wanting an upgrade to the latest version of Android is understandable — after all, in theory it should be the one with the best features and the fastest performance. In practice though, that's not always the case, and there are several reasons why you might want to hold off on a Lollipop upgrade. Read on for our KitKat vs Lollipop comparison — and why Android 4.4 KitKat is still better.

androidpit samsung galaxy s4 android kitkat
Lollipop is here — but is KitKat better? / © AndroidPIT

That's if you have the option of course: Your handset might not be getting Lollipop, or it might have been waiting for a very long time. Whatever the situation, here are seven areas where we think Android 4.4 KitKat beats out Android 5.x Lollipop — let us know if you agree in the comments.

1. Battery life

Lollipop brings its Project Volta optimizations and promises of a better battery life for your device, but that doesn't necessarily work out in the real world: In the tests run by GSM Arena, the Nexus 5 and the LG G3 actually suffered from worse battery life after the upgrade. At the very least check the benchmarks for your handset before pushing the upgrade button.

androidpit android kitkat battery
Your battery might do better on KitKat. / © AndroidPIT

2. Streamlined lock screen

As you may know if you've searched through the feature lists, Android Lollipop brings notifications to the lock screen — that means anyone picking up your phone can see your alerts (though sensitive content can be hidden). If you want a more streamlined, less cluttered lock screen, then you're better off sticking with KitKat for the time being.

androidpit android kitkat lock screen
Android KitKat: For a cleaner lock screen. / © AndroidPIT

3. Better multitasking

Google has made some tweaks to the way multitasking works in Lollipop which may or may not be to your tastes. Each browser window and open document counts as an extra pane on the multitasking screen, so it gets more crowded more quickly, and the open apps stay open even after a reboot so you can't quickly clear everything out from the memory.

androidpit android kitkat multitasking
The old-style multitasking screen. / © AndroidPIT

4. No silent mode

One of the most baffling decisions made by Google in Lollipop was the removal of the silent mode shortcut — accessed by a long press on the Power button — that let you quickly mute your phone. You can of course mute a Lollipop handset but it's a much more complicated process and the old Power shortcut has been cut for no apparent reason.

androidpit android lollipop no silent mode
The silent mode option is missing in Lollipop. / © AndroidPIT

5. Interface tweaks

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as far as OS design goes but not everyone is happy with Lollipop's revamped navigation buttons and the white apps drawer that you can't edit without installing an alternative launcher. The Material Design has been widely heralded as an improvement by most, but for some it looks a little garish and cartoonish.

androidpit android lollipop app drawer
The white apps drawer in Android Lollipop. / © AndroidPIT

6. Lock screen widgets

If you're a fan of lock screen widgets then you won't like the Lollipop upgrade — they're no longer supported. Why Google decided to give them the chop isn't clear, but maybe the new lock screen notifications have something to do with it. If there are certain lock screen widgets that you rely on, then you're better off sticking with Android KitKat for the time being.

androidpit android kitkat lock screen widgets
Lock screen widgets are missing in Lollipop. / © AndroidPIT

7. App compatibility

Of course Google has been quick to update its official apps for Android, and many of the big names have done the same, but smaller and older apps can throw up bugs and complications when running with the new-look Lollipop. If a handful of your favorite apps haven't been updated to be fully compatible with Android 5.x, you might want to hold fire on upgrading.

androidpit android kitkat apps
Have all your apps been upgraded? / © AndroidPIT

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64 comments

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  • It depends on the flavour of the manufacturer, maybe they removed somehing you like or didint like, instead try buying a pure google nexus and you will see what is the pure difference when it comes to lollipop.


  • I would be happy with lollipop if someone could tell me how to get rid of the garish ugly colours in messages and to put the phone keypad back the way it was. I detest the white background and kindergarten colour schemes.


  • Its very difficult to change your habit


  • If you have an older phone..... well then guess what? Kit kat is an older os and is going to be more fluid. There is absolutely no reason to downgrade on a newer phone, and you would be killing your phone's performance. I much prefer lollipop on my galaxy s4 as well. The note 5 is amazing with lollipop. Most complaints I see about updates come from people who can't properly operate their technology, or are updating an older, lesser used brand of device. If you have a galaxy s4, and you prefer kitkat over lollipop because of lock screen notification (which is totally the user's fault for not just changing that in the settings,) then maybe you should consider switching to apple.


  • Its true that compare to lolipop, kitkat much more even better.. obviously lolipop drain battery more fast than kitkat. I just downgrade my s4 to kitkat 😊


  • Haiken Mar 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Silent mode via power off exists.. So does widgets on lock screen


  • Just bought a new Honda Civic and Android Auto does not run on KitKat. Only Lollipop.


  • Android Lollipop vs KitKat Features Preview!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dEcT867X74


  • Nice


  • At first I wondered what Google was thinking when they replaced the blue theme from Jelly Bean, but now I think the white theme and transparency makes KitKat even better than Jelly Bean and Lollipop.


  • HOW??? All this info and no how-to
    How do I choose kit kat or lollipop
    How does one do it manually?


    • Both KitKat and Lollipop can be installed by extracting factory images and installing the files in bootloader/fastboot mode.


    • If you have a Nexus device Download Wugfresh Nexus toolkit. It will set up the interface and you can select ANY factory image and it will download and install it for you, it's very user friendly and even will set up the ADB drivers for you. I have been to lollipop to kitkat to marshmallow and back to kitkat useing the toolkit so many times. Kitkat is still the best. There are a few core apps I use that lollipop and marshmallow just don't play well with.


  • Upgraded my s4 from at&t to lollipop and thus far not a fan, no longer have the facial recognition option for the lockscreen, Not a huge fan of the open apps list being accesaable from the home button instead of settings button nor the new tiered view as it looks like cascading windows and it seems like their is just less customization options via settings overall.


  • Woland Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    I have galaxy s4 with kitkat 4.4.2 and currently being offered a lollipop (yes mother did warn me about this).
    As someone who does not give a flying feck about eye candy, only functionality and simplicity (which is near impossible to find anyway), I'm inclined to decline the offer.
    Any good reasons to reconsider?


  • Android lollipop has better battery backup but not smooth as kitkat
    Nd exposed framework also not compatible with this android version


  • When is Google genuinely going to support Indian languages natively in the OS? India cannot be represented only by the Arab origin language Hindi alone, Indian languages seriously need to be supported. WE NEED INDIAN LANGUAGES, not just the Indian tax payer looted Indianized Arab origin language Hindi alone.

    Google supposed to have announced native support for major Indian languages Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu per the press releases, but even close to 1 year after Lollipop phones in the market, we dont see UI in Indian languages, it is only limited to the Arab origin language Hindi alone.

    It appears that the Google's main policy is duplicate the racist Indian government's language policy of Arab language Hindi imposition and denial of Indian languages. Only Manufacturers like Samsung are providing some type of Indian language support, Google is stagnating.

    Google customer support in India also is only restricted to the Arab origin language Hindi and not supporting Indian languages.

    It looks like Cyanogen OS is at least giving more fair treatment for Indian languages. Google is not appearing to go anywhere for last 3-4 years as far Android Indian language support. Android's hype is really getting tiring as far as Indian languages is concerned. Cyanogen probably is ray of hope.


    • Woland Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

      I take your point, but hindi is in fact indo-european not semitic. Descended from sanskrit which was a contemporary relative of greek and latin.


  • I have a moto x 2014, and i liked kitkat a lot. It was suited for the phone. I updated directly to 5.1, very smooth and fast but i have a slight preference for kitkat. I dislike completely the new notification system.... !


  • My Note 3 hangs and restarts a lot after updating to Lollipop.
    Can anybody rectify my problem?
    When is the next version of android coming?
    Am really fed up with this lollipop and frankly speaking....it has sucked me.

    Kitkat was far far far better


    • Wipe your phone completely, do a FRESH installation of the ROM you are using (I recommend OF3), and then come here and say how the phone is reacting. A lot of people go for that OTA route, God knows why!


  • After updating to lollypop, phone has become slow. Applications open up slowly. Also, I don't understand y I have to press the lock icon to get the unlock screen. Previous was better and easy. Battery life is also not good after installing lollypop. KitKat was much much better. I use a moto g first generation. I would say lollypop is the worst update ever. I like Google. Hope they will rectify all the bugs.


    • star64 Jul 13, 2015 Link to comment

      I totally agree. If i could return to kitkat I would. My phone is a lot slower and battery life is worse.


  • Why are you writing "If you want a more streamlined, less cluttered lock screen, then you're better off sticking with KitKat for the time being."?

    People who don't want notifications on the lock screen, can simply disable this optional feature in Android settings.
    Not a reason to stick to KitKat!


  • John B May 22, 2015 Link to comment

    Aside from having no restart option, just a power off option the OS of 5.1 has been running flawlessly on my Nexus 5, I get great battery life. But I'm not playing games on it all day long wither, I adjust my screen brightness to low untilI am outside where I adjust it to a higher setting to see. It all boils down to how you make your settings. Yes the first version 5.0 had issues as do all new OS's. But this is a far better OS than kitkat was, imho...


  • I just bought a new Samsung Galaxy S5 because my S3 was lagging badly, no matter what I did. I love the new phone, which is on Lollipop I believe. I loved Jellybean and hated Kitkat (when my original S3 was stolen I purposely did not upgrade to Kitkat) but so far am liking Lollipop. The battery life is much better; I only have to recharge every second day and I am using the new phone exactly the same amount. It has the same intuitive txt suggestions that Kitkat did not seem to have. I dont have any issue with the changed layout so far. :-)


    • You actually must have bad taste if you think that Jelly Bean and Lollipop are better than Kitkat.

      Kitkat was one of the best OS I´ve tried. Jelly Bean is good, but Kitkat is more complete. Lollipop is crap. Less battery life than Kitkat, bad RAM management, phone got heated up a lot...

      Those things didn´t happen in Kitkat.

      I use a Moto G LTE.
      Kitkat 4 life.
      Lollipop sucks a lot.


  •   8
    Deactivated Account May 17, 2015 Link to comment

    The truth is both KitKat aka Kitkrap, and Lollipop aka Lollipoop or Lolliflop, have their problems. You would think Android's lords and masters at Google, with all the resources and expertise at their command could get it right? Apparently not. Poor Android, it had so much potential before Google bought it.


    • You're kidding right Google made an awesome thing out of android plus when Google got a hold of it in 2005 the company was still in its infancy without direction really and one of the founders was out of money basically


    • Kitkat is one of the best OS ever created. Lollipop is pure crap.


  • You forgot to mention the important security improvement that Webview is now part of the operating system instead of in firmware. The old Webview has security problems. So, Lollipop should be preferred or a mod which voids the warranty.


  • What kind support for sdcard on lollipop 5.0? Atleast on 4.42 I've got some use for certian apps and apks.


    • On the Kitkat on S5, I could only use the SD card with the Samsung file manager. I could otherwise only access the section of the SD that was allocated to the app. With Lollipop, it asks for permission to use the entire SD card. I wish that there was an in between one where I could continue to limit it to the application portion of Android folder.


      • And yet another reason to root your phone and stay on KitKat 4.4.4 (full discretionary SD card access) instead of going to Lolliplop. :-)


  •   8
    Deactivated Account May 14, 2015 Link to comment

    I have Kitkat 4.4.4, the wifi is not the best nor using the internet. I cannot use my beloved firewall app, my favourite launchers or l.e.d app. If I have them on my phone it has a major hissy fit, usually requiring me to perform a full factory reset which I've now done so many times I've lost count! Have my doubts Lolliflop would be an improvement.


  • My data on/off app no longer works and that is unforgivable. My wifi now sucks too (at home) but that may be comcast.


  • Nathan May 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Just stock things. Also, you can turn the option off for Chrome windows to be added to the multitask screen.


  • Lollipop, KitKat... Feels like a lot of focus on (eye) candy.

    I had hoped to convince my wife to try Android, until Lollipop came around.

    What happened to celebrating the freedom of form and function like Android used to?

    My old phone is on KitKat and honestly, using it feels like an upgrade.

    While Apple add useful feature after feature, we sit around revamping design elements.


  • Fortunately my tablet isn't compatibile with android L. And to make it look like, i have changed The: Icons, status bar, Google play UI, wallpaper.. And its my favourite android version: The 4.4.2! 😎


  • How can i go back to Kit Kat ? i mistakenly thought lollipop was better. But was perfectly happy with 4.4.2 on my phone! Don't notice any improvement in 5.0.2 now im stuck with? Can i go back to kk?


    • I don't think that you can go back without flashing your phone and breakin the warranty.


    • Depending on the phone model, manufacture and service provider you may very well be able to flash back the 4.4.2 ROM. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 (S900-P) on Sprint. It has a KNOX sensor (not resettable) that once tripped is said to void your warranty (lies, lies, lies, yeah). In any event, I can download the older "Factory Stock ROMS" for KitKat from various web sites (google is your friend here) and I can flash those to my phone and they "will not" trip the KNOX sensor and will not cause me any support problems with my service provider (Sprint). Non-stock ROMs will trip KNOX and so may rooting (depends on how you do it). If you don't have a KNOX sensor I wouldn't worry about it.

      On a side note for all you Samsung S5 users on Sprint, I can tell you that I've rooted my phone twice (towel root 4.4.2, upgraded to 4.4.4, Odin root, tripped KNOX sensor-didn't care) and I've taken my phone in to a Sprint service center twice. The first time they didn't know what KNOX/root was and the second time they just didn't care - really. They're so hurting for customers (LTE Spark was a major flop here) they'll deal with it....


    • Of course you can! If you have Samsung download the latest kitkat firmware and install it on your phone using odin. Pretty simple and easy but you will lose everything. I have a note 3 and quite frankly lollipop sucks! Kitkat is way better. Good luck!


      • Will installing new firmware get rid of this annoying popup malware that my phone has acquired? Can i install it without using a desktop?


  • I have had droids since droids came out, what its running on now is awesome, I have not received a upgrade or did I want one, kinda did but not really, just fine the way it is..


  • I am so glad you have written this Post. The few good things about Lollipop was the upgrade was painless- no factory resets. My apps and launcher all worked as before. Also the battery life on my Note 4 still remains as bad as ever and did not noticeably degrade ;-( If anyone remembers the Note 2: android 4.21 upgrade to 4.3 would have experienced half day battery life fiasco!

    Yep notifications are terrible ... They are endless and you can easily remove important ones by trying to unlock the phone. I have yet to see any advantages over Kit Kat .Hopefully it will host Cortana real soon!!!


    • John B May 22, 2015 Link to comment

      You don't have to unlock your phone to remove notifications in lolipop. Just go to the proper settings and tell each app you don't want notifications from them (something you could not do in kitkat). I'm not going to give a step by step tutorial on how to remove notifications from your screen or phone , read some information about the OS before making a statement that is totally false about the OS. You have major control over so many settings in the new OS if people would only learn how to use it they wouldn't complain about something they are totally wrong on. Yes it is different than kitkat, but much more sophisticated.


  • i like KitKat


  • I am an android app developer. From now on, what i have designed, such as Cleanwiz,Lockwiz, green gallery and so on,work well with android. Soooo, i do agree that Android is better than Lollipop.


  • I am running CM12.1 on my Galaxy S5 and I would say it is smooth and fast. The stock Sammy OS is to slow and bloated.


    • True; however, after rooting, getting rid of the bloatware and tuning the stock rom on my Galaxy S5 (S900-P 8 core) it's smokin' fast and very smooth. It's just as smooth and fast as CM (IMHO) but not as "easily" configurable. I can still speed up my clock, tweak memory, improve scheduling, etc. etc. etc., just not from a menu interface as you can in CM. To me it's worth the extra work because I "like" the look and feel of Touch Wiz :-) (at least up to version 4.4.4 .... I HATE Lollipoop).


  • performance wise KitKat is best
    but UI wise lollipop is better than kitkat


  •   3
    Deactivated Account May 5, 2015 Link to comment

    When unlocking the screen, I now have to swipe up to bring up the unlock keypad. It no longer displays notifications at the top of the screen. They are either in the middle or completely offýehy.


  • Just can not understand why when I switched of my mobile the task do not go away. They just stay open. Meaning that the memory is not cleared. #fail


  • The only thing I miss is Lock screen widgets, probably gone for good on Lollipop sad to say.


  • Yes it's right. Android 4.4 KitKat is better than Android 5.x Lollipop.

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