Galaxy S5 users cannot even dream about the official Android 5.1 update firmware for at least 2-3 months for their phone, experience tells us. Samsung must be really far from releasing the 5.1 OTA update for its S5 sets, as with the launch of Galaxy S6, S5 is no longer the priority device for updates. It’s gone down the pecking order after Galaxy S6, which would be first to receive official Android 5.1 update from Samsung, which in itself would take more than a month.
But worry not dear S5 users, there’s a way out, all thanks to awesome development community Android OS has got. With the launch of alpha builds of popular custom ROM, Cyanogenmod, v12.1, you can now treat yourself to goodness of 5.1 with pure Android UI in matter of few minutes — of course, your mileage will vary depending on your connection’s speed and your knowledge of root, recovery, etc. stuff. Btw, for Verizon and Sprint S5 users, there is one more Android 5.1 ROM available.
We’ve never been fan of Samsung’s custom skin, TouchWiz, that comes atop the Android UI, and thus AOSP based custom ROMs like CM12.1 have always been our choice of OS when it comes to UI. Sure, losing on camera quality by a bit hurts, as well as some other proprietary features, but when a good working build is available we find it hard to resist the urge to flash our S5 to AOSP ROM the next second than keep on official firmware.
You can go ahead and download the 5.1 update for Galaxy S5 right away, and all you’d need is a custom recovery like TWRP. Then, it’s a simple matter of flashing the ROM using the recovery.
When you need to go back to official Samsung firmware, to receive OTA for example, simply flash a firmware of Samsung for your device using Odin PC software and you’d be good. It’s a simple process, and removes both TWRP recovery and custom ROM.
The guide below, after the downloads section will help you through the installation.
Note: This is not an official Samsung Android 5.1 update, so expect few kinks at some corners of the ROM. Any major bugs will be reported below.
Download the ROM file in .zip format from the source development page here, where you could also keep a tab on updates for the ROM, and any current issues with the ROM with fixes, if any, available. Also download the Gapps file from the same page.
- Nearly all models are supported, download as per your S5’s model no. But, Exynos processor powered Galaxy S5, model no. SM-G900H, isn’t supported.
- There is one common file for these devices (contains word unified):
- European Galaxy S5 (klte, SM-G900F)
- Other S5 sets not mentioned below for which separate download is available
Separate file for these ones:
- Sprint Galaxy S5 (kltespr, SM-G900P)
- Verizon Galaxy S5 (kltevzw, SM-G900V)
- US Cellular Galaxy S5 (klteusc, SM-G900R4)
- Asian Galaxy S5 (kltedv, SM-G900I)
- Don’t try on any other device of Samsung or any other company
Warning: Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.
Important Note: Backup important files stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below, so that in case something goes wrong you’ll have backup of all your important files.
- Transfer the ROM file package file to your device’s internal storage and remember the location where you save it.
- You need TWRP recovery for this. Get it from here. There’s good instructions set there, too. For more help, Google is your friend.
- Boot into Recovery mode.
- Once in TWRP recovery, take a backup of your current ROM. Select Backup, then do a “Swipe to Back Up” on the bottom of the screen.
- Once the backup is finished, select Wipe, then do a “Swipe to Factory Reset” on the bottom of the screen.
- Go back to the main menu of TWRP recovery and select Install.
- Navigate to the file where you saved your ROM’s zip file, select it and “Swipe to Confirm Flash” on the bottom of the screen. Now wait until the flashing process finishes.
- Go to back to recovery’s Main menu, select Reboot » select System.
Your device will now reboot with Android 5.1 update, thanks to CM12.1 custom ROM.
In case you need any help over this, let us know. And, you can thank the developer albinoman887 for this.