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Galaxy S3 Neo: a new Galaxy S3 with Android 4.4 KitKat released by Samsung

Loie Favre
7

While international Galaxy S3 owners across the globe wait for the Android 4.4 KitKAt update that likely won’t be coming, Samsung just released a new smartphone called the Galaxy S3 Neo (GT-I9301), which is almost identical to the Galaxy S3, with one major exception: it comes with Android 4.4 right out of the box. First in Germany and in India, could this new arrival reach other countries?

galaxy s3 neo teaser
The Galaxy S3 Neo: almost identical to the original. / © Samsung

The device isn’t on sale yet in Germany, though pre-ordering has already commenced. Samsung has made no official announcement of this device which was already released in India a while back, so we aren’t sure yet as to whether the device will be available worldwide. It simply appeared on the Samsung product page. The original international Galaxy S3 only has 1 GB of RAM, the reason for which Samsung is allegedly not updating the device to Android 4.4. The Galaxy S3 Neo, on the other hand, will come with 1.5 GB of memory, plus have the latest version of Android pre-installed. The device is 3G only and from what we can tell so far, will be released in its traditional white or blue colors.

Here you will find the tech specs Galaxy S3 Neo vs the original Galaxy S3:

  Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo (GT-I9301I) Samsung Galaxy S3 
System Android 4.4 Android 4.3
Display 4.8-inch, 1,280 x 720 pixels 4.8-inch, 1,280 x 720 pixels (306 ppi)
Processor 1.4 GHz, Quad-Core Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, quad-core, 1.4 GHz
RAM 1.5 GB 1024 MB (Samsung Galaxy S3)
2 GB (Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE)
Internal storage 16 GB (+microSD up 64 GB) 16 GB
Battery 2,100 mAh 2,100 mAh
Camera 8 MP (back), 1.9 MP (front) 8 MP (back), 1 MP (front)
Connectivity HSPA+, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 HSPA, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 (Samsung Galaxy S3)
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 (Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE)
Dimensions 136.6 x 70.7 x 8.6 mm 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Weight 132 g 133 g
Price 259 Euros (probably around 300 to 350 USD) 311.99 USD on Amazon (10.06.2014)

In trying to understand the reasoning behind launching this device, and in Germany first of all countries, it makes me feel a lot empathy for all the angry users who are waiting for the KitKat update to then find out it isn’t coming. It seems like sort of a slap in the face that Samsung is releasing a ''better'' edition of the Galaxy S3 with Android 4.4 and just 500 MB more RAM, and leaving the older S3 users behind. Perhaps I’m alone in thinking this, but it seems I’m not in reading the comments on the rant Kris wrote called ‘WTF is up with official Android updates that don’t work?’. Samsung, it seems, is losing a lot of clients in the process of their update shenanigans (either they aren’t coming or aren’t working) and is this new device putting salt in the wound?

What do you think of the new device? Would you consider getting it if it came to your country?

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Comments

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  • Yannick M 4 months ago Link

    So, that means if you are a Galaxy S3 owner the update to KitKat costs you $300. That's ridiculous! I just downloaded CyanogenMod on my S3. Now I got 4.4 with even more functions and that for free.

    6
    • Philipp Junghannß (My1) 4 months ago Link

      and on XDA we will soon get an almost perfect port since except the ram everything is identical, and they will use the tweaks Samsung deliberately wont.

      1
      • Brian Hillard 4 months ago Link

        Exactly. Samsung know all to well how popular the I9300 was and still is. Which is why they gave two excuses why Kitkat wasn't possible on this handset. Both having been debunked by guys on XDA.
        So, Samsung of course know this. So they bring out a technically identical phone with 500mb more RAM.
        And we all know that Kitkat runs very happily on 1GB.
        Roll on the stable Archie ROM.

        1
  • SebasC vd B 4 months ago Link

    The S3 was (and still is) a great phone but to invest in a new one? You are better off investing in a S4 or S5 if that's the case.

    0
  • Brian Hillard 4 months ago Link

    I agree. I sure as hell wouldn't invest in another Galaxy S3 just for Kitkat.
    I am going to hold onto my S3 for another 12 months, My 24 month contract will come to an end shortly so I am going to cancel the contract and go for a SIM only 12 month contract from my broadband supplier for £5 per month. They are offering a deal that gives me the same usage limits I have with my current contract, but will also double the data usage for free. So I figured that I still love my Galaxy S3, despite Samsung. And I will see how much the S5 reduces in price in 12 months.

    0
  • Random Username 4 months ago Link

    It's 512MB more RAM, btw.

    0
  • Brian Hillard 4 months ago Link

    Yeah I know.
    It still doesn't get away from he fact that it is a money grabbing release that plays on the popularity of the original S3.
    Utterly pointless.

    0