Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Update Release: 5 Key Details

The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update has been rolling out for the past few weeks, however, the roll out hasn’t exactly been pretty. The Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update has run into some problems overseas and we still haven’t seen the software roll out in the United States. Here, with anticipation running high, we take a look at five key details that Galaxy S3 owners in the United States, and abroad, should know about.

For much of 2013, Samsung Galaxy S3 users have been looking for their next big Android update. Since the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean last year, the only real big update came in the form of the Premium Suite Android 4.1.2 upgrade that arrived earlier this year for carriers in the United States and elsewhere. And while rumors suggested that the next big update would arrive in the summer in the form of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, that update never arrived.

Instead, Samsung skipped over Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update that the company announced in September, confirmed for arrival in October, detailed in October, and rolled out just a few short days ago inside of November. Anticipation, then, like it is now, was running high, especially because the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update was supposed to hit the United States in a timely manner. Unfortunately, that still hasn’t happened.

As we’ve pointed out, that may be for the best as Galaxy S3 owners who have received the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update are saying that the software is a complete and utter nightmare. That said, interest in this Android 4.3 update is extremely high at this point and here, we take a look at five of the latest developments that Galaxy S3 owners in the United States, and elsewhere, need to know about.

Rolling Out Extremely Slow

Maybe the most important thing that Samsung Galaxy S3 users around the world should know is that the update is moving out very, very slowly and it will likely continue to do so. The first roll out took place on November 4th, just a few short days after the Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 update started to roll out. Since then, the update has only been deployed in a few places around the world.

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For those that are complaining or worried, keep in mind that this is how a Samsung Android update roll out typically works. We see the software roll out to a couple of smaller regions then we start seeing the company push out the update a little bit faster before the software arrives for every single model in every single region in the world.

Samsung has hundreds of regions and hundreds of different variants to take care of. This is a lengthy process and one that simply does not happen overnight. It’s going to keep moving out slowly, particularly if the company needs time to work on the Android 4.3 issues that are apparently plaguing the Galaxy S3 in the United Kingdom.

Major Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Problems

Over the past few days, we’ve heard from a number of Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 users in the United Kingdom who say that the software is plagued by an obscene amount of issues. One Galaxy S3 owner in the UK told us that his device is currently afflicted by no less than seven issues including:

  • Phone restarting itself.
  • When phone is locked and asleep, press either home key or lock key and nothing works. Battery must be removed.
  • During some incoming calls the screen doesn’t display caller and the ringtone is “spluttery”.
  • Alarm works only sometimes.
  • Heavy battery drain during a ten minute call. It dropped by 12%.
  • Notification bar shows apps that have already been downloaded. Clear them and they reappear again.

That’s just one person. We’ve heard about these issues from others as well so it’s pretty clear that these are more widespread than this one Galaxy S3 owner running Android 4.3. Need proof? Look no further than SamsungUK’s Twitter account which is under fire from Galaxy S3 users experiencing these issues.

Thus far, the company has only offered a generic response in regard to the update, saying that it’s currently investigating the issues and that they will have an update on them soon. Whether that’s an upcoming bug fix or an update roll out that gets halted remains to be seen. There is speculation that the roll out has indeed been halted but Samsung, thus far, refuses to confirm anything.

Update is Still Coming to U.S.

We’ve heard from numerous Samsung Galaxy S3 users in the United States who are aware of the issues in the United Kingdom and are now wondering not only when, but if the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update will roll out in the U.S. Many users are specifically wondering if Samsung will skip Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S3 and move to Android 4.4 KitKat.

At this point, we consider this to be highly unlikely, based on the fact that that change would likely push an update deep into the holiday shopping season or more likely, into 2014. Samsung’s big Android 4.3 push is predicated on the Galaxy Gear support, support that it hopes will spawn sales during the holidays. Carriers are also looking to get these upgrades out as soon as possible so that they can sell the $299 accessory.

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Of course, they don’t want to release an extremely buggy piece of software and signs point to carriers going back to the drawing board, not with Android 4.4 KitKat, but with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

A tipster pointed us to a new Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 build that appeared on Sprint’s website earlier this week, a sign that the company is currently in the process of testing another version. So while nothing is confirmed, we highly doubt that these issues are going to cause the Galaxy S3 to skip yet another major Android update.

Rumored Release Dates Out the Window

Already, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 roll out has been thrown into disarray, thanks to two Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 updates that missed their rumored schedules. A leaked Android 4.3 road map, which has been dead on with Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 updates, pointed to a Sprint Galaxy S3 update on November 6th and an AT&T Galaxy S3 update earlier this week. Neither rolled out and it could, again, be because these carriers don’t want a repeat of what’s going on in the UK.


What this also means is that the rumored dates for carriers T-Mobile and Verizon could be out the window. The Verizon Galaxy S3 update is rumored for November 22nd while the T-Mobile Galaxy S3 update is rumored for November 25th. Neither is set in stone at this point and given the misses that we’ve seen thus far, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Galaxy S3 update delayed into December in the United States.

One Carrier Says December

Speaking of December, there is one carrier that claims that it will be upgrading the Galaxy S3 with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in December. French carrier SFR released its updated roll out calendar earlier this week and the carrier says that the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update will be rolling out sometime next month. It did not provide a specific date but it’s a sign that some carriers won’t dish the update out in November.


At this point, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update is extremely hard to predict given the roll out issues in the UK, but the key points that Galaxy S3 users in the U.S. elsewhere should hone in on are these:

  • Slow roll out will continue.
  • Bugs could slow things down even more.
  • It likely won’t be skipped for Android 4.4.
  • U.S. carriers won’t announce anything and release dates are up in the air.
  • Start looking at December.