Galaxy S3Updated November 8

A few days ago, the guys at Sammobile, a well known contributor in the world of Samsung and Android, have posted an article stating that Samsung has finally released the official Android 4.3 for Galaxy S3. The update was  released in Ireland for carrier Vodafone.

DID YOU KNOW? Updato offers seamless and guaranteed phone unlocking for any device, carrier and region! It's quick and easy - try it now.

However, if you decided to install the update manually, you would have noticed that it is in German when you first install it Also everybody who installed it said it is full of bugs. There is massive battery drain, lag all over the place, lockscreen issues etc. Also most users that installed this are saying that downgrading from this version caused their phone to lose network signal (message “not registered to network”).

Now, there are some facts that need to be made clear:

1. This is an official update. It is available in Ireland for Vodafone users through Samsung Kies. It can be confirmed by Vodafone users there.

2. This version has bugs. Even though it was officially released, no one can argue the fact that this version is not finished. However, the lag and other minor issues can be fixed by installing a custom kernel – Yank555 – (you have to register on the forum to download files).

3. Updating to this version will change from EFS v1 to EFS v2. The EFS folder contains very important information about the phone, such as the IMEI number, Wifi devices MAC addresses, the product code etc. EFS v2 was introduced with Android 4.1.2 XXEMG4. Now, the reason why I’m telling you this, is because this is what caused users to fail to downgrade to Android 4.1.2 and lose network signal. If you didn’t have an EFS backup, and downgraded to an older Android version, you probably encountered some serious issues. If you want do downgrade to a lower Android version, you have to maintain a newer modem, like one used with firmware XXEMG4 and other newer ones.

4. This is definitely not a good firmware. I don’t care that this was officially released in Ireland to one carrier and a few Galaxy S3 owners there. No one can argue with the fact that this is not a final build. Galaxy S3 is the most popular Samsung smartphone on the planet, they are not going to release the same firmware globally. So official or not, I still think this was released for testing purposes and that the final and stable build will probably be released any day now.

So, official or not, we are still waiting for the real Android 4.3 update for Galaxy S3. Until then, if you are good with custom ROM and so on, give this one or other custom ROMs based on this firmware a try, just to get the feeling of Android 4.3.

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.

unlock your phone

Easily and safely unlock your phone for any network provider in just minutes.

Get Started

View Comments

  • pbm5362

    Sammobile has tweeted that their site has been under a DDos attack for the past few days. This could be the reason for this alleged “official” update. I don’t think they would intentionally fool people.

    • pbm5362

      There have also been posts on Sammobile saying that that this supposed official update has malware in it and that those downgrading back to stock rom are having serious issues. If I were anyone thinking of flashing this “official firmware”, DON’T DO IT.

    • Tudor Graur

      I don’t think either, I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding.

    • Lucas

      I don’t think you know what a DDoS attack is…

      Anyways, the title is deceiving. It is final, bugs or no bugs.

      And no, no problem downgrading to an official firmware after the update. Managed to go back to 4.1.2 with no problems and installed various custom roms, even one based off MJ9.

    • Tudor Graur

      I don’t think “final” is the proper word here. It was released officially, meaning Samsung released it on Kies for Vodafone Ireland users, but you cannot name this firmware “final”. It still needs optimization to become final and stable. As for downgrading, I’m glad to hear you managed to downgrade successfully, but there are a lot of users who didn’t know about the EFS change and got stuck in the process. Thank you for your contribution!

  • christopher

    Any idea when the official one comes and how i can update manually?
    massive battery drain and other bugs on mine as i thought i had the official update. :(

    • Tudor Graur

      A steady update should be here any day now, as for manually updating you have our tutorial about how to install an official update using Odin.

    • Lucas

      This is the official one, at least for Ireland. Maybe Vodafone will release an update. Eitherway, as the rest of the carriers update to 4.3, we should see higher changelists with the bugs fixed.

  • 0sAND1s

    I installed this version and I couldn’t log to GSM network. The IMEI was also corrupted. I understood that in 4.3 they changed the format of the EFS partition.I had to rollback to 4.1.2, and restore the EFS partition. While rolling back, I was stuck at the boot animation, the only solution was to clear user data in the recovery mode, and I lost all my data. Also, 4.3 could not be rooted. SuperSU was not installed after auto-cf-root, but I later realized I could manually install it, maybe it worked that way, I didn’t try, I had already rolled back.
    So be careful.

    • Tudor Graur

      Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • Lucas

      4.3 changes the format of the efs to v2, but that was introduced in 4.1.2 with builds newer/equal than MG*, like MG4, MH2, etc.

      If you have efs v1/v2, this firmware will work with no problems, and if you decide to go back to 4.1.2 or 4.2.2, you can do so, but having in mind that you will also need the right modem, depending if you have efs v1 or v2.

      For example, if you had EMI1 and updated to MJ9 (the modem here is MJ5) your efs will be chaged to v2. If you want to go back to 4.1.2/4.2.2 you have two choices:

      1) Leave the modem as it is
      2) Change the modem to a efs v1 compatible one

  • ord

    i think u a right this is not official release,,,

  • pbm5362

    If anyone has supposedly received the update via OTA or Kies, check and see if the kernel version has changed to 3.4.0. Jellybean 4.1.2 is based off of Linux kernel 3.0.31. This is what is present in this leaked test build. Jellybean 4.2 and 4.3 are based off of Linux kernel 3.4.0. If the kernel version hasn’t changed to 3.4.0, it isn’t official.

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool