Following a teaser showing off the Android 4.4 KitKat lockscreen on the Galaxy S4, the folks over at SamMobile have leaked a KitKat test firmware for the quad-core variant of the device. The firmware – build number I9505XXUFNA1 – is a test build that’s reportedly very close to the final version, with only a few minor quirks that will hopefully be resolved in time for the expected rollout schedule of the latest Android version for Samsung’s 2013 flagship.
The firmware brings a number of changes and improvements. The status bar icons are now completely white as was expected, there’s a dedicated camera shortcut on the lockscreen, typing in landscape mode and finger-tracking have been improved, and performance has received a noticeable boost resulting in higher benchmark scores. The most important feature on KitKat is reduced RAM consumption for system apps, but it remains to be seen if that is something Samsung has implemented for its own system-level apps, which are aplenty thanks to the plethora of both useful and gimmicky software features the Korean manufacturer adds to Android.
The test firmware can be downloaded at the source link and flashed via Odin (instructions are included at the source link). As usual, you know what you’re getting into when flashing pre-release firmware, so make sure to take backups before taking the plunge, and remember that you may need to manually flash back to stock later on when the official update arrives (unless you flash back to a stock Android 4.3 ROM, in which case you’ll get the 4.4 update over the air.)