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Upgraded Galaxy S3 Alpha Released In Japan. Same Hardware As Note II

Eric McBride


Well this one sure came out of nowhere. Samsung and NTT DoCoMo (on of Japans biggest mobile carriers) have apparently just released a new "Galaxy S3 Alpha" edition with upgraded hardware! This version of the Galaxy S3 not only comes in a different color, but appears to be running the same hardware as Samsung’s newly released Galaxy Note 2. Umm..any US and European Galaxy S3 owners saying “WTF?” right about now?

The device is being called the Galaxy S3 alpha, and as shown in the picture, it comes in a greyish black color (this color scheme is also available for the Note 2). Spec wise, the Note 2 is apparently no longer king of the castle, as this new Galaxy S3 Alpha is rocking the same Exynos 4412 1.6Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM found in the Note 2. Considering the “original” Galaxy S3 shipped with a 1.4Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, I can understand if there are some surprised/disappointed/pissed the f**k off GS3 owners out there reading about this device. Did I mention it ships with Jelly Bean right out of the box?

As you can see from the screenshot, it’s also LTE compatible as well. No word yet if this device will hit the US or EU anytime soon (or on pricing), but we'll keep you informed when we find out more. 

What do you guys think about this new Japanese version? Unfair for the early adopters, or the price to pay for buying early?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Picture credits: Pocket Now

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  • Ahmed Kotha Feb 26, 2013 Link

    Glalaxy s4 going to release on march 14...find out review

  • Patrick R. Oct 12, 2012 Link

    @Ijhaye, I agree. This is where the open nature of Android and multiple OEMs works against some consumers (mostly the early adopters). It is usually a game of chicken among OEMs. Everyone is furiously developing their tech - displays, multi core cpus, RAM, storage etc. If one manufacturer releases a higher specd model, the others are forced to follow since they may potentially lose sales to competitors. Android users are spec crazy, you want to get the best value for your money so even an average user with very little tech IQ will inevitably ask a sales rep which is the better phone, the salesman will usually refer to the specs to make a recomendation. So incremental mid cycle upgrades are inevitable. Also, in this case, htc having lost the battle between the One series and the S3 and Note, it might be an opportune time to prepare the release of their next generation device with the next gen processor and beat Samsung for a few months(?) by releasing theirs first. Apple does not have that problem, you want an iOS device? Choose between black or white (that's it, it's that simple), no OEM war or specs to consider.

  • ljhaye Oct 11, 2012 Link

    similar strategy to the HTC One X+ or Motorola Razor MAXX, my only concern is for the early adopers or even regular customers out there. Your phone gets to be outdated in a few months. Other than that i do like the increased specs as soon as availble strategy :).

    One thing I will say about Apple you at least get a year before your iphone is beat specwise by a the newest model. I think OEMs need to be careful about over staurating their market and conditioning their customers to wait for the latest HARDWARE upgraded versions of their flagship phones.

  • DaBartonator
    • Mod
    Oct 11, 2012 Link

    Dissapointed that I disentangle have better specs than note 2 lol

  • Eric McBride Oct 11, 2012 Link

    @David -LOL. Galaxy Note1.5....or just..Galaxy No


  • David H. Oct 11, 2012 Link

    Maybe they should have called it the Galaxy Note 1 1/2? Second release in the series, between the 1 and 2, and "half size"!

  • Eric McBride Oct 11, 2012 Link

    @Stefan - I never tried dual booting an S3, but I agree that it could have something to do with your kernel. In regards to your next device, there might be a few more Nexus devices coming!

    And yeah..Im also worried about what devs can do with the Note 2. Looks like I will just root it at first but keep the stock ROM (just so I can restore my hundreds of apps with Titanium) just to make sure that the S Pen plays nice. But I must admit..Touchwiz IS actually getting better!

    Never thought I'd actually speak those words. LOL :)

  • Stefan E. Oct 11, 2012 Link

    It is somewhat usable, and some even claim it works fine. My experience is different, but it may have partially to do with my Kernel (Siyah, because I dual boot, CM10 as primary ATM).

    Even with stock kernel, it can hardly be perfect when the lead developer throws in the towel and calls it hopeless. Some people tend to see only what they want to see.

    As to my next device, I still have time. The S3 isn't terrible, and right now there isn't anything tempting. The Nexus 4 currently doesn't look like it's going to be. And the Padfone 2 would have to attract the custom developer crowd to convince me - the PF1 is still pathetic in that area.

    The Note 2 is even less CyanogenMOD friendly, because even if the developers overcome the difficulties with Exynos eventually, you would lose the digitizer functionality, degrading the pen to a regular capacitive one.

  • Eric McBride Oct 11, 2012 Link

    @Stefan - Hey Stefan! Long time no hear!

    I have only tested CM9 on the S3. Is CM10 really that bad? Perhaps AOKP ROMS for it are out and more stable, as I have found some really good JB ROMS on a few different forums.

    And I decided not to hold out for the Padfone 2. Note 2 is on the way :-D

    I couldn't hold it any longer!!!

  • Stefan E. Oct 11, 2012 Link

    Oh yes, I am saying WTF!?

    But not about this device - updated ones come out all the time... :P

    The real WTF is how badly CM10 performs on the Galaxy S3 (which I installed yesterday). You have to enable "Force GPU Rendering" to make it even usable, and then there are quite some bugs and performance issues.

    Just like CodeworkX said, it is a mess. Might be the first time I am selling my device after a few months, as there are a few things I don't like about stock ROMs either, and it doesn't look like they can be improved.

    Maybe the Padfone 2...? XD