Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update for UK, Unlocked only

We always try to nudge readers about new operating system updates that may be coming their way and lately we’ve been posting plenty of info about the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. Around a week ago we finally heard that Jelly Bean was now being rolled out by some UK carriers and there’s further good news today as we can tell you that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update for the UK is also now being released to unlocked versions.

O2 and Three were among the first to offer the Jelly Bean update to their Galaxy S3 owners in the UK last week, followed by Vodafone and although the rollout briefly stalled on O2, the update is being released in stages. This just left Orange and T-Mobile owners of the device as well as those with SIM-free (unlocked) Galaxy S3s waiting and then only yesterday we heard that the Jelly Bean update for the SIM-free Galaxy S3 was imminent.

Although some may be surprised that the update didn’t arrive for the unlocked Galaxy S3 first it seems that Samsung may just have been checking that there were no major issues with carrier versions before unleashing it to those not tied to any particular operator. Earlier today it was reported that users of the BTU (British Unlocked Region) version of the SIM-free Galaxy S3 were starting to receive the Jelly Bean update either over-the-air (OTA) or via Kies. It’s a 248MB update and Jelly Bean will bring plenty of improvements and new features such as Google now and performance enhancements thanks to Project Butter.

Above you can see a picture we took of our own Samsung Galaxy S3 purchased in the UK with 4.1.1 Jelly Bean running nicely. If you are in the UK and have an unlocked Galaxy S3 you may already have received notification of this update but if not and you want to look manually then look at Settings, followed by About Device and then Software Update to check if it’s ready, it is always good to connect to Samsung Kies as well, you never know. Android Central sourced to the Android Central Forums for this and we note that the thread there states that the Jelly Bean update is available to US owners of the international unlocked version, which some may be pleased to hear.

We should perhaps spare a thought though for US readers with the Galaxy S3 carrier versions as we’ve mentioned previously that they are still waiting. The last official news from Samsung was simply that Jelly Bean would arrive in the “coming months” and of course that could mean that they may have to wait into next year. Understandably this is causing a certain amount of frustration but hopefully Samsung will push the update out sooner rather than later.

Are you in the UK and do you have an unlocked Galaxy S3? Have you already received notification that the Jelly Bean update is now available and if so, how did your download go? Let us have your comments to let us know.


84 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update for UK, Unlocked only”

  1. Test says:

    ‘We should perhaps spare a thought though for US readers with the Galaxy S3 carrier versions as we’ve mentioned previously that they are still waiting. The last official news from Sony…’ What the heck has Sony got to do with Samsung updates?

  2. Dawe-Z says:

    I’ve got a phone that I bought THROUGH T-Mobile as part of a pre-order upgrade seems that they may have slipped up and given me an unlocked Galaxy SIII as I just recieved the update through Kies and as far as I was concerned I was on a locked handset. I’d advise readers to check as there may be a lorry load of these things floating around without people realising.

  3. Promty says:

    No notification but this prompted me to check….. server busy on manual check but plugged in to Kies and am now downloading Jellybean!! woop woop

    1. Dawe-Z says:

      Get in!! So it looks like some of us have unlocked phones that apprently should be locked! LMAO! Bet T-Mobile aren’t gonna be happy when they figure out they cocked up big time! LOL

  4. savan says:

    I got mine share of jelly bean too 🙂 it’s yummy. I have Samsung Galaxy S3 unbranded. CSC: BTU. I got notification vie Kies. It worked like butter. If feels faster and google now is wiked. A step towards AI i suppose. Btw what are specific changes, is there more info or added functionality info somewhere??

  5. Downhillsheep says:

    Couldn’t do OTA, but managing with Kies as we speak. Please tell me this is Jelly Bean and not some incremental update as I will probably end up throwing S3 against the wall!!

  6. roland says:

    when is tmobile going to release the update !!!!! i want my new update now god dam you or ill throw my phone against the wall!! i cannot wait no longer! im gonna buy ipad mini to help me cope:)))))))

  7. downhillsheep says:

    Just got Jelly Bean via Kies and now I am wondering what all the fuss was about. The only things that seem to have changed are my folders no longer look like folders, and the brightness on my notification bar is so low, I can barely see the icons. Death Star sized disappointment. UNLESS, someone can tell me where I’m going wrong

  8. Andrew Clarkson says:

    Mine is also an unlocked s3 from t-mobile. Just updated via kies. I think t-mobile gadgets a batch of unlocked phones to get them started rather Ghana waiting for their branded versions Bedford selling them.

  9. Mark says:

    My Factory Unlocked S3 has no software update tab in MORE SETTINGS. Tried via Kies but that says there is no update!! Shocking, I do not understand at all

    1. Has says:

      Same applies to me im using o2 sim, handset is from tmobile but from poland-polish tmobile handset, however i do have the check for update option but says no updates available, guessing have to wait for tmobile to release the update..

  10. Rob says:

    I have an unlocked phone and din’t get a notification. I manually tried OTA, but it doesn’t work – I get error “Access to the software update is provided to users in the order in which they request. Try later”.

    So I tried with Kies and good news, the update is detected! although for my 1st attempt Kies crashed (before installing the firmware!!) and the 2nd attempt complained about my battery being too low at 47%. Guess I’ll need to wait until phone is charged…

  11. Dan Ford stokes says:

    I got my jelly bean via kies I have a unlocked s3 but the date on my kernel version says the 19th of October not September like yours. Just something I noticed. About time anyway.

  12. Dan Ford stokes says:

    T-mobile have not gave away unlocked phones anybody that thinks that I bet they got there phone from carphone or phones 4u and just got a nice sales person who gave you unlocked phones without you asking that’s all.

  13. doctor shemp says:

    I’m guessing if my s3 model name is i9300 then it is unlocked which is weird since I bought this through T-Mobile. Anyway the update still hasn’t come through.

  14. Disheartened says:

    Got the update yesterday, Im on 3 – totally messed up my phone!!! Since update constant process errors and cannot access media or playstore 🙁 It can’t ring because it thinks there are no ringtones and if I take a photo once its saved it can’t find it to view in gallery!!

  15. Gotta say. Battery life is even better than it was on ICS.
    And Cell Standby has been well and truly fixed.
    Cell Standby now appears on average third in the list with around 5% usage.
    Great stuff Samsung.

  16. Wraggieone says:

    Unbranded uk, updated via kies last night. Pretty impressed so far, much quicker, different and smoother transitions……Getting used to my grey notifications bar.

  17. andy says:

    as i work for a mobile phone company i can tell you now 90% of phones except blackberry and Iphones are now not locked to a network. this has been steadily happening over the last 12-24 months. carphone warehouse and phones 4 u handsets are ALL unlocked

  18. Sufyan says:

    Ive THREE mobile S3 unlocked.. but im not in UK region.. Jelly bean update has rolled out in my region but my phone is not updating.. what should i do

  19. Steveo252 says:

    im on o2 and cannot get it to update! When i try wirelessly im gettin a message saying “access to the software update service is provided to the users in the order in which they request it” – Frustrating as hell! So i decide that kies will be the answer….nope…everytime i reach 100% on the “preparing to install” screen Kies decides to crash and force close on the computer! love my S3 but fear it will be launched off a wall! anyone help?????

  20. Jennyd says:

    Download went ok but my alarm briefing no longer works, it’s there to select but doesn’t read out, car mode is gone too, and sky go app doesn’t work.. Not noticed anything positive just these negatives 🙁

  21. Grrrr says:

    I’m in the UK and with orange.. and guess what…. still no
    sign of the Jellybean update. Next chance I get I think it’s time to move to
    move to a supplier… Orange are just too slow and don’t seem to care about the
    customer experience.

  22. im on on orange and fully understand why the update has not come to us yet but have been told will be very soon the reason it hasn’t came is because orange do not want to issue new s3 to existing cutomers due to the fact the operating system has made their s3 get wiped and keep crashing due to an unstable o.s. but be patient and we shall get it pretty soon im sure…..at the end of the day what do people want stable o.s. or a s3 with a o.s. that constantly makes their lives a night mare think about it 🙂

  23. Alan says:

    I have an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 but I do not have the update available. Is there a way to do it? I am now concerned as I bought my phone over ebay and I assumed it was British but maybe it is not? Please help.

  24. Wayne says:

    I have an unlocked S3 but have had no notification of an upgrade to Jelly Bean. My ‘Software Upsdate’ icon now shows a red circle with ‘N’ in top right (what the hell is that?) which I thought might be the upgrade prompt but when I try all I get is ‘Access to the software update service is provided to users in the order in which they request it, Try later’ what the hell does that mean. FYI Kies also totally useless, beginning to seriously question my phone purchase choice!! any constructive replies welcome

  25. I’ve got an Orange UK mobile, bought from my local Orange shop. I have the “update software” button missing from the settings. I’ve been told Orange had the button removed because it interfered with their Swappable service. Have to update through Kies and USB cable but Jellybean has still not arrived.

  26. Laszlo Novak says:

    The Kies did let me know that there is an upgrade available, but could not perform it. I have got a Galaxy S3 from T-mobile, which is locked. I am slightly disappointed. How can I get the update?

  27. greenguy says:

    Cpw S3 but I can’t update. Kies let’s me download but then winter install it. Tried update thro setting & just get told it be done as you require it. Still won’t let me install. Just a joke

  28. WayneD says:

    I updated via Kies last week but I am finding that some of the apps I downloaded do not work. Such as Sky Go and Polaris Office. Any Suggestions ?

    Wayne D

    1. lybad says:

      Samsung Apps will get you the new version of Polaris Office which works.

      Sky Go doesn’t work on JellyBean yet – Sky only support a handful of Android devices, so don’t hold your breath.

  29. Aj says:

    I can’t seem to update your my s3 to jelly bean. I I did update software it said. NO updates available. I tried from Kies same thing. I am still on 4.0::::
    Can someone help?

  30. I HATE JELLYBEAN says:

    Update has made my phone slow and clunky, Also it has added extra numbers to incoming texts and calls. meaning I cannot return calls or texts. I have to create new text conversations every time and return calls through contact list. I HATE IT

  31. c-m says:

    My unlocked Galaxy S3 purchased on the web but shipped from Hong Kong (could that be the problem?) Has shown no sign of wanting to upgrade the android operating system. Samsung keep giving me a standard reply that things are being rolled out gradually but all my friends and colleagues who have contract S3s have had these upgraded about a month ago. Does anyone have an idea of what can be done to get the OS updated from android 4.0.4?

  32. Ashleigh says:

    I spoke to T-Mobile myself and they tried to blame Samsung for the update not being available yet so I rang Samsung myself and they told me to come down to them and they will update it for me and they also said that they are having a lot of problems with T-Mobile as they are not giving people the correct information! I’m fuming with T-Mobile they’ve had jelly bean over in America (through T-Mobile) since mid year! I think it’s a joke when every other network in the country has it!

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