Despite it aging at a fast rate (in Android years at least), the Galaxy S III smartphone is still one hell of a smartphone. So that’s why Samsung has been hard at work ensuring its most successful device to date will continue to receive prompt updates in order to keep things current. With that in mind— a leaked Android 4.2.2 firmware has surfaced for the unlocked variant of the device, courtesy of the fine folks at SamMobile. As expected, the leaked firmware is based off an incomplete version of the imminent update— but fortunately it appears that Samsung is pretty much done ironing out the bugs and should have the finished Android 4.2.2 build by the time June rolls around. Aside from the fact it is an incomplete version, the update does bring a ton of new goodies for the device including a new lockscreen, new S Voice, Driving Mode and a revamped Settings UI, among other things.
If you are a GT-I9300 owner and want more deets on the mouthwatering firmware, hit the break to grab the download link, as well as full instructions on how to flash the update to your device. Read more
Pre-paid carriers are getting more and more high-end phones every day, and StraightTalk is no different now that they offer the Samsung Galaxy S III. A user on HowardForums posted a photo of the Galaxy S III’s StraightTalk retail packaging, and as of now you can purchase it directly from StraighTalk’s website. The phone is unbranded and comes at the very reasonable price of $439.99. Aside from StraightTalk’s website, the S III should be available at Wal-Mart soon. Read more
If you’re a T-Mobile customer who owns a Samsung Galaxy S III, you’ll be happy to learn that an update should be arriving very soon for your device, in the form of Android 4.1.2. The only issue is that we’re not really sure of what the update includes (other than multi-window support), as T-Mobile has yet to update their support page.
However, we do know that the update adds two new apps, including Paper Artist and Group Play. It also supposedly adds T-Mobile’s new “4G” logo to the phone’s notification bar. The update is a full 187MB and according to reports, owners started receiving the update as early as 3AM this morning.
Let us know how the update is if you got it, and we’ll let you guys know some more information as soon as T-Mobile updates their support page.
A new flagship device from any manufacturer means it is time for drop tests to see how it might hold up against the inevitable slips of the hand that users deal with in the real world. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is hitting the market now, so we are subjected to viewing the results of these tests if you have the intestinal fortitude to see a brand new device hitting hard concrete. Testing the Galaxy S 4 may be of particular interest to those who have followed the debate about Samsung’s choice of materials for their devices and claims that plastic bodies help smartphones survive accidents better. Read more
There are a lot of people that think Android is better than iOS for many reasons, but most fans won’t put simplicity at the top of the list. Well according to a survey by Siegel+Gale, Samsung Galaxy phones are simpler than the iPhone. This survey was conducted with 400 people, and while both phones scored well, Samsung’s Galaxy line came out as the winner. According to the survey, Samsung’s high-speed file transfers and instant photo tagging and sharing made it simpler for users to share information. Also, since the Galaxy series is compatible with proprietary apps, it came across as simpler to use.
Siegel+Gale is a branding company that also came up with the Global Brand Simplicity Index. In this survey, Google came out on top while Apple came in at number 5. Samsung didn’t even make the top 10, but this is company brand recognition. So reading between the lines, the Apple brand is recognized at simpler than Samsung, but at the product level, the Galaxy phones are recognized as simpler than the iPhone.
As expected, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the HTC First Facebook phone today, but he also introduced a complete home replacement for many popular Android phones (and eventually tablets). It’s called Facebook Home, and according to Zuckerberg, “It sets the tone for your whole experience.”
Although the new launcher will work with all the apps that are installed on your phone, it changes the focal point to people as opposed to apps. The Coverfeed allows you to scroll through updates with large photos. You will be able to quickly see all the comments and respond inline. You will also find a notification pane that includes SMS messages and other important posts.
If you were excited about that purple Galaxy S III we told you about not too long ago, we’ve got a bit more information for you. We originally reported that the device would be available exclusively on Sprint sometime in April, and the latest leaks are pointing to April 12th. It’ll be available for $99, which is in line with the other Galaxy S III models Sprint offers, but does involve a $50 mail-in rebate. Either way, it’s a bargain for one of the best devices of last year, especially in such an eye-catching color.
Who’s planning on picking one of these up when they’re available?
As Apple and Samsung continue to bounce the crown for best-selling smartphone between each other, analysts at Nomura say the latest Galaxy device will push Samsung back to the top spot. Nomura was not impressed with the latest device in Samsung’s Galaxy line, the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Nevertheless, the changes that they describe as “evolutionary” as opposed to “revolutionary” should be enough to propel Samsung to the top spot.
During the fourth quarter of 2012 Apple sold around 27.4 million iPhone 5 devices versus 15.4 million Samsung Galaxy S III units to retake the title. Nomura’s analysts think Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II will combine for sales in the range of 35 to 40 million units per quarter during 2013. The analysts also expect a shift to occur during the upcoming sales quarters as both Apple and Samsung will have to start working on stealing users from each other rather than the smaller players in the smartphone market. Besides ratcheting up the acrimony that already exists between the two companies, this will probably result in more price-based competition. Such a situation will be good news for consumers but it will impact margins for Samsung and Apple and it will make life difficult for other manufacturers trying to capitalize on the market.
The buzz is all about the Samsung Galaxy S 4 right now, but the Galaxy S III isn’t going anywhere. In fact, a purple version will hit Sprint stores by mid-April. I would assume the Galaxy S III’s price will drop when the S 4 officially launches, and when you consider most of the new features that were announced last week will make its way to the SIII, it might be worth a look for those on a tighter budget.
Since most people that own a Galaxy S III are probably stuck in a contract with at least 1 year remaining, it’s good to know that Samsung plans on bringing most of the new Galaxy S 4 features to the Galaxy S III. I say “most” because some features such as anything regarding the IR blaster won’t make it since the GSIII lacks an IR blaster. So this means that features such as AirView, Smart Pause, Optical Reader, Group Play, Drama Shot, Photo Eraser, Sound and Shot, Cinema Photo, Dual Shot, Dual Recording, ChatON Video Chatting, ChatON Screen Sharing, S Translator, Adapt Display, and S Health will probably make it to your phone. I presume they will be part of the Android 4.2.2 update. As to when that will happen, no word, but you know how that goes with all the carrier testing. I wouldn’t expect carrier branded devices to approve the update until the end of the summer, but that’s just my opinion.
So there really isn’t a need to worry about upgrading, but if you’re still on the fence, you can check out our hands on video as well as Samsung’s overview video on the Next Big Thing.