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General S3 still on stock 4.1.2- looking to update: what are my options?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jeff123816, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. jeff123816

    jeff123816 Lurker
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    I'm using an unlocked AT&T S3 on T-Mobile and other than a few minor battery drain issues with "Android System," I don't have any problems. I'd like to update the phone, however, I'm hesitant to do so, due to the various battery drain issues with the latest 4.3 update from Samsung. In addition, I'm interested in rooting in the future and don't want to bring in KNOX. I do some very light tethering via FoxFi but the free version is more than adequate for me.

    I've considered flashing to the latest stable Cyanogenmod for the S3, which is 10.2.1 (Android 4.3) but I don't want to lose the Samsung camera app which would seem to be best tuned to my hardware. Other than that app, I wouldn't miss any of the other Samsung specific apps. I've heard that the generic Google camera app that ships with Cyanogenmod performs poorly on the S3. I don't know how true that is- does anyone have any experience with this? Can the Samsung camera app somehow be sideloaded in Cyanogenmod?

    I've also been told that it is possible to root and install a modified stock version of Samsung's 4.3 update without KNOX but I haven't been able to locate such a ROM- not sure if it's even available. I'm wondering if this would be worth the trouble due to all the bugs in the Samsung 4.3 update.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     

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  2. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    monkey
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    Hey Jeff. Unless you're still under warranty, Knox is nothing to worry about on at&t. It can still be rooted and flashed, you just can't hide the fact it's been flashed if you have to claim your warranty.
    The touchwiz camera is by far the best cam you can have on the s3 but unfortunately it requires touchwiz OS to work :(
    The stock camera you get in custom roms is actually not too bad but not as good as Samsungs.
    There are a lot of de-bloated, de-knoxed touchwiz based custom roms with the tw camera and lots of customisations that you can check out but they only go up to 4.3.
    Most of the aosp based kitkat roms like CM11 are VERY stable now, flawless and they're at 4.4.2 so you have plenty choices out there :thumbup:
     
  3. thequeenscheese

    thequeenscheese Android Expert
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    Is 4.3 still a sluggish bad update?
     
  4. prj

    prj Android Enthusiast
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    Yes. Don't do it. Battery drain is the worst of it. Root your phone to get rid of the update notificications
     
  5. thequeenscheese

    thequeenscheese Android Expert
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    I never get notifications anyways
     
  6. luis32744

    luis32744 Newbie
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    I'm currently on rooted stock 4.3 haven't noticed that claimed battery issue. I listen to music, surf ebay and text all day. Oh and a standard battery.
     

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  7. prj

    prj Android Enthusiast
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    You're pic shows 34% battery left after about 12 hours. Not really impressive. Prior to 4.3 I would have over 50% battery life left after that amount of time.
     
  8. jeff123816

    jeff123816 Lurker
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    Thanks for the helpful replies. I too have been hesitant to apply the Touch Wiz 4.3 update due to the multiple issues, including battery drain. It's too bad that they've allowed this to continue. It's been months and I figured that they would have released maintenance updates along the way to remedy the problems. I hear that the stable version of Cyanogenmod (10.2.1) is really good, but that the camera app they provide doesn't take good advantage of the S3 hardware. So I'm on the fence and leaning toward just sticking with stock 4.1.2. It's a shame because I'd like to try out the new features of 4.3 but not at the cost of basic functionality. Samsung should not have shoved a bug-ridden update onto people. The fact that they still haven't bothered to fix it speaks volumes about their commitment to their products. My next phone may be an HTC.
     
  9. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    monkey
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    If you flash a custom recovery like clockworkmod (cwm) you can use it to make a backup of the entire phone then experiment with different roms and you can easily restore your backup to go back to exactly how your phone is right now :thumbup:
     
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  10. luis32744

    luis32744 Newbie
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    Yeah you're right it does suck lol
     
  11. luis32744

    luis32744 Newbie
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    Flashing Roms like there is no tomorrow. All thanks To CWM custom recovery Lol
     
  12. tjoebgen

    tjoebgen Well-Known Member
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    I WANT MY OLD PHONE BACK!

    There. Does that answer your question about updating?

    I LOVED my phone before the 4.3 update. Now I nearly hate it. The update has screwed so many things up - and, YES, I have done a full factory reset (and I'm still trying to put the pieces back together from that too).

    I wish that we were given the opportunity to accept or deny updates instead of having them forced on us. Being nagged every hour to do it isn't helpful since it basically holds your phone hostage until you accept it. It should say "Hey, we have an update you might like. Press x to accept, Press y to defer for a week, Press z to decline and wait for the next update."

    I use to love that I could brag to my iPhriends about how awesome my phone was compared to theirs (but only when they prayed to theirs claiming that theirs was the only true phone). My stock phone was silky smooth, the Maps and Navigation were nearly perfect, best GPS ever, ultra fast camera, super easy to organize and customize.

    Now, I have to worry every couple of hours if something is going to mysteriously drain my battery for no reason (some days it lasts all day, some days it drains in a matter of hours), and the new Maps (and lack of a Navigation Icon!!!!!) is a real disgrace. I sometimes wonder if the people at Google felt sorry for Apple when they had their massive map/navigation failure last year and decided to break theirs too (or maybe they want everyone to switch to waze now that they own them?).

    I now spend more time trying to find ways to fix my phone and get it back to the way it use to be than I ever did when setting it up when I first got it. What a horrid update this was. And it is just a ton of little things.

    If I had the ability to get it back to before 4.3, I'd jump all over it.
     
  13. duvallite

    duvallite Well-Known Member
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    All of the above issues are why I am not going to do the 4.3 update on my T-Mobile S3. It works really nice on 4.1.2 and I don't want to take the chance. Btw, I don't get any notifications about the update, but it's there and available if I wanted it. My wife's Virgin Mobile S3 is on 4.3, and she is regularly having battery issues, with random battery drainage issues. As an example, we both started at 100% this morning with both phones set up approximately the same and about the same amount of usage while we were out. Six hours later, I'm at 87% and hers is at 53%.
     
  14. phlojo

    phlojo Well-Known Member
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    The only thing that I notice is that the multi-window function of the Touch Wiz interface no longer works. It's not that big a deal, but it would be nice if it did.

    I've considered switching to CM, but if I do root+flash, might as well go to Android 4.4, so I'm waiting for a CM11 RC. I was not aware that the Touch Wiz camera app was superior - I learned something today. :)

    Do you know of any stable, good ROMs for S3 that run KitKat?

    The other reason why I hesitate flashing is the fact that I would have to re-do my settings, such as ring tones, and I'm just too lazy to spend time on that. Besides Titanium, what are some good back-up options, ones that back-up EVERYTHING, including such settings?
     
  15. Palmetto Fellow

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    You have good reason to be apprehensive. In my experience, the camera from GAPPS for 4.4 isn't as good as the Samsung camera. It wasn't nearly as smooth...so imagine panning with the camera...there was a jitter-like delay and everything seemed choppy (slightly). I went back to a 4.3 Touchwiz based ROM and confirmed my suspicion. Samsung's camera seems better in just about every way.

    Autofocus wasn't much different though, and if you don't mind the choppiness. I didn't exhaustively play with the camera, but I don't know if burst shooting is included with the Google camera, and there were fewer options from what I could tell in my brief experience.

    If you're going to root, make a nandroid backup...then try 4.4 CM/AOSP. Then try MOAR (A 4.3 Touchwiz ROM) and see which you like better. I prefer MOAR myself.
     
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  16. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Nothing beats the Samsung camera but if you do flash a kitkat rom, the new Google camera is in play store and has really nice features like photosphere a and lens blur. It's only for kitkat.
    Image quality will never be as good as the touchwiz camera but if you've never seen photosphere, Google it. It's pretty awesome.
    I wouldn't pay to much attention to a rom being "stable", snapshot, nightly, release candidate etc.
    The nightlies/betas I'm using are very very stable :thumbup:
     
  17. Palmetto Fellow

    Palmetto Fellow Android Expert
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    Not sure why I didn't care much for Kit Kat. I tried the Nameless ROM and installed GAPPS. After 30 minutes, I had to go back to stock Touchwiz, and a day or so later, I tried MOAR, and can't imagine trying anything else. It seems to have everything I could ever want.

    So I wonder...what am I missing due to pure ignorance? Sometimes it's bliss, but sometimes you wonder what you're missing out on.

    IIRC, the google search bar is persistent on every screen, and has allocated real estate at the top. Is that correct? Seems like that plus the icons at the bottom really eat into your available homepage area.

    Also, this could be related just to the Nameless ROM, but it felt less customizable than MOAR. I'm almost done setting up MOAR to the point where I'd make my first nandroid backup. I could possibly try a Kit Kat ROM again, but this time, spend more time playing with it. Anything I should look out for that sets it apart from 4.3?
     
  18. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Most of the improvements in kitkat are performance and aosp roms are faster than tw anyway. Especially if you activate the new "beta" run time, Android Run Time (ART) in Developer Options.
    I dont know anyone who uses nameless. You should make a nandroid and give Carbon or Liquid Smooth a try with ART enabled unless there are touchwiz features you cant live without.
    I think MOAR is a great tw rom, the looks are very customisable but cant be changed as much as with the theme chooser in aosp roms.
    If youre sticking to TW, have you played with Xposed Framework? That will add custom rom features to your touchwiz rom. Its really cool and doesnt require flashing anything :thumbup:
     

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