Phones Review

Samsung Galaxy S3 dying and 4.1.2 update predicament

Under: Mobile Phones, Samsung
By:Gary | December 21st, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S3 remains one of the most popular smartphones since its release back in the summer, with the company enjoying massive sales around the world. The biggest issue that users have had with the handset is the delay in receiving the latest Android updates for customers with certain carriers, but now we have some worrying news of owners reporting their Samsung Galaxy S3 dying as well as the Android 4.1.2 predicament.

There is currently a growing thread on the XDA Developers forum with owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 reporting their handsets are suddenly dying, and what is being called a ‘Sudden Death’ issue. Owners have found their handset suddenly dying after leaving the device on charge overnight or just turning off the display of the handset.

Many of these affected owners have had their Galaxy S3 around the six month mark, and currently it is not clear what is causing the problems, but it seems to be a hardware issue and possibly the motherboard. There is some thought though that the issues could be caused by users tweaking their software on the handset, but some have had problems running the stock operating system.

There is also some thought about the battery that is supplied with the device could be causing issues, and so far there are reports of owners being affected in the UK, Brazil, and Sweden among others. It has to be remembered though Samsung has sold millions of the Galaxy S3 model so it doesn’t at the time of writing seem a widespread issue.

Some of the owners though have reported long wait times for their handset to be repaired, but it may be an idea if you are an owner of the device to make a back up of all your data stored on the device just in case, which could be said to owners of any device of this type.

On further investigation it seems the problem is affecting both rooted and stock handsets with the motherboard seemingly the heart of the problem with Samsung in the main replacing free of charge, and currently the XDA forum thread is 64 pages long and growing all the time.

Meanwhile the Android 4.1.2 update is spreading to more regions after hitting the UK yesterday where we updated our version of the handset. This came as many owners of the handset on Orange and T-Mobile are still stuck on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but this also depends on where you get your handset from.

A friend of mine heard I had updated my handset and informed me that he had done the same with his device even though he is a customer of Orange. It turns out he purchased his device via high street retailer Phones4U and it seems the company sends out unlocked versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3, and previously he was running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

So this may be an idea in the future when purchasing a new smartphone with a carrier so you get to see Android updates earlier, but it is a pretty poor showing from Orange and T-Mobile considering the likes of O2, Three, and Vodafone updated customers Galaxy S3’s a while ago now. It would be nice if the two carriers quickly got the update out to owners taking them straight up to Android 4.1.2, but we won’t be holding our breath though.

Have you had issues with your Samsung Galaxy S3, and are you frustrated with Orange and T-Mobile?

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  • Barry Freeman

    I’ve been a customer of T-Mobile for some years now, from my slew of Nokias through iPhone 4, I finally switched to Android and got the S3 on contract from them.

    Not only have they not rolled jelly Bean, but they refuse to answer any questions about when it’s likely to appear.

    Now, as I’m sure you know, Android is not like an old Nokia OS. If we got an update … well, I can’t recall EVER getting an update on any of the 7 Nokia phones I had. But that’s because the software was very very simple. You might get downloadable games but basically the OS was fixed for the life of the phone.

    Enter iOS and Android. The developers of Android said that Android is only about one third of the way through development. It’s a full-fledged Operating System just like on you’re home PC and look how often updates for THAT come along.

    T-Mobile seem to be stuck in the old mindset and can’t seem to understand that an OS update offers not only bug fixes but new and exciting features. Apple don’t have the same problem as the various Android phone providers. They send the updates over the air and they only have 1 or 2 models to cater for. Their updates basically don’t involve the carrier.

    Google does the same thing for their Nexus phones.

    Samsung rolls out updates a little slower after adding their pieces and making sure everything works with their skin. As do HTC and all the others.

    But then the carriers get into the act. They want to brand the phone and OS not understanding that no one wants that. They’re reluctant to let go of control. If they’d just sit back and supply network, we’d all be much happier.

    I finally got fed up and rooted and now I’m running Omega ROM, Jelly bean 4.1.2 and my phone hasn’t died yet.

    One thing I know. I won’t be buying a phone on contract again. We’re past that. Now, we have to look at phone the same way we do computers. You buy a computer, and sometimes it comes with an Operating System but you’re free to change it if you want to. Want to run linux? sure, no problem. If you got a Mac, you can run Mac OS, Windows and Linux all at the same time if that’s what you want.

    And you’re ISP doesn’t, and shouldn’t, care.

    Thats what the cariiers need to be. ISPs.

    • Austin

      First off 4.1 Jelly Bean is out for T-Mobile USA users ive had it on mine for about 3-4 weeks. in fact T-MO was the first or second carrier in the US to get jelly bean

      • Dellz

        Mate hes talking about T-mobile UK (TMU) where it hasn’t been release yet to either T-mobile or their stupid allied force Orange… shocking and very annoying…

    • http://twitter.com/fazilniyaz Fazil

      This is pretty weird but I’m on T-Mobile too. I upgraded to the S3 on the T-mobile website and received it in early October. I received the 4.1.2 update and the previous 4.1.1 update as soon as it became available in the UK. Furthermore its still network locked(meaning I can’t use a SIM from a different carrier; I tried after having read this article). Those updates were not OTA though. I had it done via Kies as I kept receiving a server busy error when I tried to do it on the phone itself(i.e. OTA)

  • Bob Barker

    My S3 is on Orange in the UK and I’ve had 4.1.1 for 2 months now. I got the phone via Carphone Warehouse. For me the upgrade to 4.1.1 was the worst days work I’ve ever done. I use the phone in the car with an iBolt screen mount for satnav and music and handsfree phone calls. Since the “upgrade” the microUSB connection from my iBolt hasn’t worked. This is a problem that Samsung are aware of…..but are sitting on their hands with. Firmware upgrades via Kies do not take the 5 -30mins predicted….more like 2-3 hours. Good phone…..rubbish support!!

    • sir4c

      I agree, rubbish support. I have the same problem and now cannot easily use my handset in the car with my ibolt. No Sat nav or blackbox or Charing! I phoned Samsung to complain and when I mention compensation the response was “we don’t offer any, ever”.
      I wanted to go back to ics but apparently the only way to do that would void my warranty! The solution offered was “wait for the update”, which I have been for two months. Terrible service, not even a cinema voucher or letter of apologies for sending out what was clearly untested firmware!

      • Bob Barker

        And the great thing is I’ve loaded the latest firmware and still no docking!! I think I should’ve stuck with HTC!! Well, that’s Samsung and iPhone off my list when my contract comes round for renewal……great own goal there Samsung!!!!

  • King Khan

    Jus got the NEW Jelly bean 4.1.2 update and im in U.K and locked to O2

  • http://www.facebook.com/domhnall.dods Domhnall Dods

    I read this story the other day and thought “hmm my phone’s about 6 months old”. This morning hey presto, my S3 is dead. Three UK say they’ve not heard of any issues so they’ve taken it in for repair but I may be without my phone for a few weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/srinivasaprabhu.allamudi SrinivasaPrabhu Allamudi

    Guys
    Dont buy Samsung Galaxy S3, Its all trash. Its life is just 5 to 6 months. My phone died in just 5 months, customer service is a night mare.

    • Ivan Vastag

      Mine died 2 days ago and I’m from Serbia where I bought my handset from Telenor mobile provider… Don’t what will happen…

  • Merry Timbo

    Updated to the 4.1.2 yesterday (on Orange) and so wish I hadn’t. The predictive text whilst texting is a bloody joke and my phone will no longer read some of the files on my memory card. Whilst the music stored on one side of the split they introduced in the last update is visible the rest has dissappeared along with all my pictures. After trawling the forums I am now of the understanding that there is no way to roll back this update. The only options available are to wait for a patch or perform a factory reset which is something I’m rather reluctant to do. I’ve now switched off the auto update feature and in future will wait to update until it has been fully tried and tested. Just hope Google sort it out quickly

  • Roy M

    My Galaxy S3 experienced some screen freezes then died a day later (inconveniently on Christmas EVE). I’m yet to take it for service so can’t report on that yet. I bought the phone mid July so it’s pretty much in line with the 6 month failures being experienced elsewhere.

    • Ziv

      Hi Roy M, did u get any help with this? im experiencing the same problem and im in
      Zimbabwe and there is no samsung repair centre and just need my
      information retrieved at the least

  • Saurabh Kale

    its really sucking and disturbing me

    even i’m facing the same problem since i installed new Jellybean 4.1.1

    i just want to get out of this problem please help me

    • Zivanayi

      hi Saurabh did u get any help with this? im experiencing the same problem and im in Zimbabwe and there is no samsung repair centre and just need my information retrieved at the least

  • Penfolio

    +1 for the sudden death problem. My S3 died just before Xmas – one minute working fine, the next it was dead. Took it back to the store, they sent it for repair, just got a note back from the repairer saying that the mainboard needed replacing.

  • Glenn Tom

    We updated my wife’s S3 OTA to version 4.1.1according to the phone. Since updating the OS we have had a couple of issues. The first is losing mobile connectivity frequently basically it will find connect to EE but then loses its connection. The other is with contacts where it displays the contacts in alphabetical order but the letters to separate the contacts is incorrect.
    Has anyone one else experienced these issues after updating the OS?

  • http://www.facebook.com/babbster Mark Babb

    I’ve had 2 S3′S From day one… I haven’t had any issues with my phones. Just like anything else that’s man made there are bugs and lemons. This is a great phone.

  • grow a brain, i dnt mean a dik

    haha readers still think the update is coming to the usa, guess they will be reallllyyy disappointed when they dont get it by next year haha fuckers DONT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. . THIS WILL TEACH U

  • http://twitter.com/NobleJedi9 Oliver Jackson-Ali

    I have 4.1.1 on my GS3 and waiting for 4.1.2 and 4.2.1 to come on TMobile. The following week my nephew will be the proud owner of this amazing phone as I obtain the GNote 2 since my workload increased so I need the multitasking combo of phone/tablet,even if it is running 4.1.1JB . Either way I’ll be patient.@google-327b21763d331494626a1cdd219f6f24:disqus you should have JB since the update came round Oct ’12

  • http://twitter.com/WhiZZin8t0r Richard Flurey

    I had the sudden death problem after updating to Jelly Bean 4.1.2 before Christmas but it seems that another 50Mb firmware update came out on the 21st of Feb 2013 from Orange/EE. The issue seems to have gone away and my phone hasn’t crashed since.

    It was not responding after the screen turns off, sometimes hanging during certain apps like Facebook (possibly the autocorrect feature when typing?) and I had to strip down the software I was using to a minimum which meant no synching with my Exchange email account at work or anything else heavy going. It doesn’t seem like it’s strictly a hardware fault, just a bad firmware depending on the batch of S3s you have (probably the first lot that was on preorder like mine?). I ran a lot of diagnostic software on the phone and it didn’t show me anything to be at fault, nor trigger a crash.

    The latest update maintains the same version of Android 4.1.2 but probably has made changes to the underlying kernel version of the operating system which might have explained the instability problems.

  • Barry Freeman

    Just an update. I finally got tired of waiting for T-Mo UK to get off their hands. rooted the phone and flashed a custom ROM.

    Rock steady and no problems ever since. This is the last time I buy a phone on contract though. Next time it’ll be from the Play store, a Nexus phone and the carriers can bid for my custom.

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