Phones Review

Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update silence continues

Under: Android OS, Phone Software
By:Gary | November 27th, 2013

There are currently a lot of frustrated owners of some of Samsung flagship smartphones which all started with problems affecting the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update, and the silence about the availability of a fix for the issues continue.

It has been a while now since Samsung pulled the software following lots of problems being reported by users that had installed Android 4.3 to their Galaxy S3. Trouble is since the software was pulled in parts of Europe it has continued in the US for both the S3 and Galaxy S4 and owners of these devices have also reported problems.

We know someone that decided to update their Galaxy S3 to Android 4.3 despite warnings not to and has been left in his words “with a useless lump of plastic”, the rest of his comments we can’t publish as they are just a little stronger.

Like many other users he has been left with a handset that barely lasts for 5 hours on a full charge even in standby, and has also been the victim of missing calls because the phone won’t unlock in time.

There have been a number of other issues though such as being unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network that worked perfectly before the new firmware arrived, and some have put this down to the Samsung KNOX security suite.

Hopefully Samsung will get the situation sorted soon but when you consider how long it took the company to upgrade the handset from Android 4.1.2 in the first place it makes you wonder. We have been checking our unlocked GT-I9300 version of the handset on a daily basis with no sign of the fixed Android 4.3 update yet.

Have these problems made you lose all confidence in Samsung?

Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update silence continues

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  • Will J D Spooner

    I completely agree with the “useless lump of plastic” analogy. I had needed to send my S3 into Samsung for a power issue (it refused to turn on) and didn’t even agree to the update when it was placed on my phone but only discovered this when they finally sent it back four weeks later. As of three days ago I cannot access the Google app store and a great deal of other apps. All the while, the continual rebooting and failing of apps is causing my phone to only work in 5 second periods before freezing up again. So yea, when this contract’s up I’ll be ditching the Korean company and switching to Apple or Sony. Probably Sony as I’ll be buying a PS4.

    • galaxy36

      I am incredibly frustrated now I emailed samsung the day I got the “upgrade” and although they replied pretty quickly to the email I cannot believe they have not fixed this.
      I would quite happily go back to the 4.1 if they made it available but not even this is happening.
      I am shocked that a company the size of samsung haven’t sorted this and worse than that they are silent on the matter I would definetely think twice about choosing samsung when my next upgrade is due. Not Happy :(

    • Sebilion

      go for iphone sony is even worse than samsung

      • jmccabe

        Apple is worse than both in my opinion! In our family we have 4 Apple devices. Only one of them continued to work after 2 years.

  • Anshul Ahuja

    my s3 is still running on 4.1.2.. Dont know if i will go for the update even when it appears here in India..

    Need to listen atleast few hundreds of good comments and response from other people updating there phone,only then and then i will take the step of updating mine!

  • James W

    can I sum it up. Yep, Samsung can make a good phone, but their software support, especially after this fiasco is an utter joke. Apple and I am really not a fan of them, can show up Samsung any time of the week in this regard. Surely Google should step in and assist Samsung with this abortion, even allowing us to use another version of the OS without the touchwiz crap. I for one do not mind taking the risk of download and installing a workable solution, so come on Google, save the day.

  • stukerr

    I agree – i’ll never get a Samsung phone again after this. Every company has issues, even the mighty Apply, but they get it sorted quick-smart, not leave customers sitting with useless phones for weeks. I’d say we’d better get something out of this, but all I can see is maybe a free cr*apware download from the useless Samsung app store. It’s either a Nexus or iPhone next time for me.

    In case Samsung is watching I was about to drop £3k+ on Samsung appliances and another £2k on a Samsung TV – not any more…

  • Gregory M. Henchar

    I am experiencing problems also, does anyone know how I can update to the old firmware?
    Thanks

    • galaxy36

      theres a few sites that show you how to root back to old firmware and links to all the downloads you need im not experienced with that sorta thing so i daren’t do it!

      • Galaxy User

        I would like to add:

        Here are some websites you might want to visit (FOR THE FIRMWARE):
        1) Sammobile
        2) Samsung Updates

    • Emma

      Carphone Warehouse will roll your phone back but you have to pay £15.

  • Martin

    Samsung is a big joke and I hope they go bust because of this not happy at all :@

  • mahesh

    Absolutely hate my S3 now Samsung.. I am not buying your flagship smart(!?!?)phones anymore.. you lost me for sure!!!! More than the issue what irritates me more is the silence that Samsung maintains as if nothings happening.. You are not customer friendly company and so, i no longer ur customer..

  • Sheila

    HATE SAMSUNG NOW. cant wait for my upgrade because its going to be to a IPHONE. USELESS company left me with a piece of crap for a phone!

  • Tek73

    An absolute joke! first and last samsung mobile device that I’ll ever own. Samsung surely has to be the most shambolic/disorganised electronic consumer product manufacturer around at the moment… How on earth have they managed to become this big! Their arrogance will be the end of them, I’m sure…

  • ali

    yeah i lose all confidence in Samsung

  • txb23

    I have a Galaxy S3 via Virgin Mobile in the U.S. (which uses the Sprint network) and I started getting prompts about the upgrade on Monday morning, November 25 (might have started late Sunday; I hadn’t looked at my phone in hours when I went to bed). The prompts nag me pretty frequently now, and I keep pressing “Install Later” but I can’t seem to dismiss them altogether.

    My phone inexplicably rebooted itself last night (while I was in the middle of a game), and I feared the upgrade would be installed automatically at that time, but it wasn’t. Hopefully I’ll be able to hang onto the previous Android version until the issues with 4.3 are ironed out.

    • Galaxy User

      Hi txb23,

      Have you done the following steps to disable constant checking for updates?

      Under “Settings”, select “About Device”. Select “Software update” and uncheck “Auto Update”.

      Hope this helped!

  • mickg

    I’m from the UK and my S3 has all the symptoms people describe. The worst of a bad bunch is not been able to answer the phone!!!I’m a courier and need a working phone Samsung…I emailed tech support at Samsung and guess what…….no reply!SAMSUNG get your act together and stop staying silent….Last samsung I go for!

  • Marc

    I have the S3 sgh i747m or something like that and I am in Canada with virgin mobile, I updated my phone yesterday and all is fine except the fact that I don’t have the new app for camera with photosphere, the update was 548 mo or something like that, no bugs the notification pannel is faster an many apps are redesigned, fabulous, some people told that the number of gpu was the problem, I think so.

    If anyone has the answer tell me please, do you think it’s because when the download had finished, it was written cancel, install all, and install…. I take Install because I had thinked it gonna propose me to select the updates or apps to install that I wanted in a list or anything like that… but it juste start the update, Do you think if I had select install all I would have have the app for the camera?

  • geyer

    Honestly guys stop eating the crap sumsung serve us and root your devices. There are plenty of good ROMs based on android 4.4 and cm11 for our siii. I stopped trusting Samsung’s software long ago but I like the hardware.

    • timle

      Why are so few willing to do this? We update and change software on our PCs. Why do people think phone software can only be done by manufacturers or patiently wait for them to throw us a bone?

      • Rich

        Simple – Because all instructions for how to root a phone start off by saying “we accept no responsibility if you brick your phone”. That scares a lot of people off – myself included

      • jmccabe

        Other than the bricking issue Rich mentioned, it’s also because it voids your warranty; if you were to have some hardware fault after rooting nominally within your warranty period Samsung would wipe their hands of it.

        From a personal viewpoint, having rooted and tried various ROMs for my old HTC Desire (once it was out of warranty), I’ve found there seems to always be a compromise. E.g. on the Desire it seems common for ROMs to be unable to work the camera or FM radio properly – that makes them useless to me.

        • timle

          I know it’s a tough call. But actually aren’t we hearing the software provider saying that, but not necessarily the manufacturers themselves. I had a serious HW failure (Sudden Death emmc bug) while rooted and flashed that was handled by Samsung with no questions asked since it was their HW that failed. But if you brick you phone upgrading I guess some manufacturers might/would charge money to at least restore/reflash their own software back onto it.
          To me the pain (risk of bricking) is much lower than the gain (true software freedom). I have of course being doing this for years on my phones but even I of course must say ‘your mileage may vary or cop out on guaranteeing this to/for you.

          Regarding manufacturer app specific functionality you are of course right. It is often the case with FM radio chips that vendors don’t release the specs. The camera app from Samsung rocks compared to the standard Android camera app. My solution for that is that I just simply switch back to a/the Samsung ROM during vacation and back to my a/the CM ROM as my real daily driver. But I routinely switch between ROMs in a matter of 10-15 minutes with no loss of apps or data.

  • Mystery

    Why are people living with the problems. Do as I did and download the last version of 4.1.2 and flash it with Odin. Takes 20 mins and doesn’t increase binary and keeps it official. All in all 4.1.2 isn’t bad. I’m getting 3-4 days on a charge and it does everything it should.

    • mickg

      Can you tell me where to get the download? My phone is under warranty….will this action void it? Bit weary about doing it but willing to give it a go as the phone is becoming unbearable to use!

      • Galaxy User

        Go to Sammobile website and register or login and search for your model number. Download the file from the results (find your carrier and download the stock ROM).

  • timle

    People need to take responsibility for their own phones. Plenty of fantastic ROMs out there for the great S3 hardware. Just bite the bullet, root, and flash. I have run CM 10.2 (4.3) nightlies, Omnirom (4.4), CM 11 (4.4) as well as having tried the Samsung piece of crap Jelly Bean 4.3 update which I threw off after 2 days. I’ve not ever heard of a manufacturer really voiding a warranty because you rooted or flashed a ROM. Kind of like a PC maker saying no warranty on your computer because you ran Linux instead of Windows! Quit wasting your time waiting for the manufacturers to upgrade. Take the ROMs built by the community people having the same phone as you do. You may miss some of the fancy feature enriched apps that Samsung does provide, but in return you get better support for the latest Android OS(es) and much quicker updates. I found the first S3 KitKat ROMs about 1-2 weeks after the Nexus5 was released! Which manufacturer can boast or say that. I had KitKat on my S3 even before my friend with a Nexus 4 got his update from Google. Who is smiling now? We take can responsibility for what we run on our phones.

  • john

    i tried rooting my s3 after my 4.3 update, but it woudnt root beause of the 4.3 update,also i use i banking app on my phone which now wont work because i tried rooting my phone. to say im gutted is an understatement it was a brill phone

  • Yorkie

    Clearly wasn’t properly tested before release but the very least Samsung needs to do is to get everyones S3 working again by issuing an OTA downgrade to the stable 4.1.2. Then they need to get their 4.3 update properly tested before rolling it out again. Staying silent is just totally unacceptable and indicative of a company which just doesn’t care about its customers. I know what I’ll be buying next time around and it will not be from Samsung. Switched me off buying anything else of theirs too eg TV, Laptop, Home Cinema etc.

  • derekmski

    I have an s3 an I’ve been running a custom Rom the whole time. Samsung’s software is garbage. Cyanogenmod 10.2 or android 4.3.1 is more stable than stock has ever been. Samsung has decent hardware but the stock software ruins it.

  • John

    I’m about to do a reset on my phone as I have to every 5 or 6 mths because the phone thinks there is no ram left – there is but one of the base programs leaks memory so I have to do this. Amazing after reloading with same stuff I am back to 11 gb free. Anyways I was going to do an update to 4.3 but I guess the recommendation at the moment is ‘forget it’?

    • Galaxy User

      Yeah, that seems to be the most logical option, for now.

      • John

        Thanks for the reply think I’ll go down the well trodden route of resetting and rebuilding up again. I will go through the ‘do I really use this app’ approach once again!

  • Paul

    My S3 is useless now wish they put it back for now instead of leaving it in limbo!! One thing found today after a full discharge left it 10mins tried to switch it back on and 51% battery left!!

  • Emma

    I updated my unlocked S3 to 4.3 & received all the issues that came with it except for WiFi which has always been fine. The update didn’t come with Knox – has anyone else received it???

    Shame the latest series of Watchdog ended right before all this started!!

  • Pravin

    Hi I am from India , do any 1 know when I’ll s3 receives 4.3 ,daily checking for update can’t wait ….. Poor samsung

    • Galaxy User

      Hi, I guess Android 4.3 for S3 might be coming in December. Let’s hope and see if that is true.

      • Paul

        4.3 has been a major failure. We should hope they don’t release it without fixing it.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          *Samsung’s 4.3 based Touchwiz* has been a major failure.

          ^^ Fixed it for you. 4.3 itself has no major issues at all. Ask all the Nexus and other 4.3-running device owners.

          • sunroop

            samsung’s 4.3 drains battery. It extends only for 7hrs if you are not enabled mobile data

  • Pravin

    Samsung !! First update s3 then move for other’s … Only s3 running old version and rolling out is also very slow plz fix it soon … Apple update are done exactly by given timeline …. why samsung can’t …. Samsung building a good product but lagging in software update

    • Galaxy User

      I agree. Even if Samsung encountered problems with Android 4.2, they really should have worked on it and released it. Since Samsung decided to release Android 4.3 to the Galaxy S3, they really should quicken their pace in solving the bugs and not letting users wait a long time.

  • http://dnm.me/ Alan Jimenez

    No 4.3 here in Dominican Republic only the old 4.1 which I have since I bought the phone.

  • Bish

    Still on 4.1.2 this morning in the UK. What makes it worse is that I bought a Samsung Gear 2 weeks ago when the update was supposed to be out and it is still useless to me!

    • Mh

      Hi does ur watch work wif ur fone ???

  • Rod Walsh

    Hi All, I had the same problem in Ireland….phone was useless after update. One solution that has helped a lot is to clear the cache memory. Start up the phone in “engineering mode” ….by pressing the vol. up button, the select button and the power button at the same time. The little green Android icon with “exclamation” mark appears and then the screen with a list of files. Using the vol. down button move the cursor to the “clear cache memory” line and press power button to select. After a few moments it’s done and you can re-boot the phone. Do not be tempted to “reset” as it will clear your memory etc but update will remain….so no difference and you will have lost your stuff.
    This helped restore my S3 to nearly like it was before the update. Battery last’s all day. The only thing I notice is a slight lag when i press select and sometimes the phone is slow to respond in other way’s. Apart from that it seems to be performing reasonably all right. I just wish they had cleared the bugs before causing all this hassle. Good luck with it.

    • yunus

      Hi i am also in uk still waiting for update can anyone tell me when 4.3 is going to be realeased many thanks

  • UsernameCensored

    The poor Samsung-written software and pathetic update release speed are why I’ll be very unlikely to get a Samsung device again.

  • bkherallah

    Just root your phones and get a custom ROM… there’s already an unstable build of KitKat for galaxy s3 which is ironically more stable than Samsung’s 4.3!!!

  • Galaxy S3 user.

    Ridiculous. Samsung you lost customers trust by poor customer care, nearly a month since this issue has been raised still no news about sorting out the issue. Never again a Samsung product.

  • Seta Sera

    Their customer care is non existent. The continued generic we are looking into this and thank you or your patience is insulting and shows no regard for the customers who wrote on their webpage (fb)… They have taken way to long to fix the issues and l will not be buying another Samsung product anytime in the future…

    There is no timetable for when the update will be released only we are supposedly looking into it!

    I am done with them…

  • Arnab

    It’s distressing that after investing whooping INR 42,000/- in a Samsung mobile, we
    get this kind of service from Samsung!! It was my first Samsung phone and I
    extremely regret to have bought it. Pathetic after sale services and product full of manufacturing defects! (Replaced my battery due to manufacturing defects)

    Top it all a disastrous 4.3 update!!

    Samsung India is deaf… hope they have eyes to read their customer woes!…

    Wish I would have opted for an iphone5 instead.

    • Kunal

      Hey if u live in India, did u get Android 4.3 update..???????

  • Irish

    I got caught too! Perfectly working Galaxy SIII now a mess with freezing and poor sound quality on phone and other annoyances. HELLO SAMSUNG!!!

  • disgusted

    I bought my galaxy s3 on 11/28/13 and LOVED the phone, upgraded to 4.3 on 12/7/13 and I am returning the phone tonight 12/9/13. I would like to share the things I learned about this purchase……………..It’s a samsung, it’s a great product with the ABSOLUTE WORST customer service in the industry, I should of learned my lesson with my samsung plasma t.v……….. Best Buy ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have a very customer friendly return policy, I remembered this from my samsung plasma t.v. incident………Boost Mobile ROCKS!!!!!!!! Their live customer service went above and beyond in trying to troubleshoot the phone before and after samsung tried and they even called my local Best Buy store to verify that they would return the phone for a FULL REFUND………..I am taking my hard earned $408.48 and I will be using that towards my new iphone purchase tonight, this is the last samsung product that I will ever waste my time on again regardless of reviews.

  • Jim Bros

    Downloaded 4.3 update on NOTE II.
    What’s the difference between INSTALL and INSTALL ALL?
    And what kind of total morons would give us such a choice WITHOUT telling us what the difference between the 2 actually is?!!
    DOES ANYONE KNOW?!?!?!

  • Nicola

    My samsung galaxy s3 phone just stopped working a few days ago, completly. Samsung are taking ages to respond. I havent even got an adress to send it to yet. Has anyone else had the same problem?

  • KK

    I have upgraded my S3 to andriod 4.3 and having alot of problems . does any one knows how we can undo the upgrade. the system is very slow

  • Roo

    Just had mine update automatically. Wish I had that function switched off!!! What a load of rubbish!! I can see my phone hitting a very large object now because its so crap! Not due an upgrade until April. And I won’t use iphones so what next?? Maybe back to the htc. Who knows. I just know that what has just happened to my phone is ridiculous.

  • daniel

    Updates so far in my experience are at best ” the same or no better than they were before” and at worst “a train wreck!” while watching videos & in the lock screen I can’t tell what time it is or what my reception quality is. the most aggravating is the navigation no longer works as it used to.. with the one touch icon the blue arrow. now I have to give the Google Maps 15 instructions just a resume navigation. prior to this software update I could simply uninstall updates to my maps and the functionality of the blue arrow route would return now that’s not even possible anymore. if your navigation screwed over and you would like one better look for Scout in the App Store it’s not bad

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