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Posts Tagged: Samsung Galaxy S III Mini

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Two days ago, we shared leaked documentation showing Samsung’s progress in bringing Android 4.4 KitKat to their older generation devices. These internal documents unfortunately indicated that the official KitKat update for the International Galaxy S III GT-I9300 had been “canceled for now.”

For those keeping track, this documentation also stated that the hangup was due to the failure to implement Samsung’s proprietary applications (i.e. bloatware) onto the device. Because of this, we were quick to speculate that the most plausible explanation was that the device’s 1 GB of RAM would make it incapable of bearing the full weight of Samsung’s latest generation TouchWiz bloatware.

Now in an official statement given to the folks over at Sammobile, Samsung UK has confirmed both that the International Galaxy S III GT-I9300 won’t be getting KitKat, as well as why it can’t handle the truth update:

In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions’ hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device’s 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade.

Sadly, this also brings bad news for Galaxy S III Mini owners, as they too will not be receiving the official KitKat love. However, Samsung reiterated that the Galaxy S III LTE will indeed receive the official OTA thanks to the device’s 2 GB of RAM.

It’s quite unfortunate that the relatively new Galaxy S III and S III Mini won’t receive KitKat. This flies in the face of Google’s efforts with Project Svelte to make the OS run on devices with limited hardware specifications and as little as 512 MB of RAM. But judging from the amount of bloatware features that Samsung shoehorns onto their devices, this should come as no big surprise for anyone. That still doesn’t make it right, and perhaps Samsung should take this as a sign that they should consider trimming off some of the fat in their custom UI.

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It’s less than two weeks since Android 4.4 was released. Many developers successfully brought its sweetness to various unsupported devices. Android is capable of running on many different Systems-on-a-Chip like Qualcomm Snapdragon or Samsung Exynos, and sometimes it’s not easy to create a fully working custom ROM without proper drivers and documentation.

ST-Ericsson NovaThor iswas one of the more problematic SoCs available in many mid-range devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini or Sony Xperia U or P. Well, “was” because the company simply disappeared from the market like Texas Instruments, the creators of OMAP used in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Despite this, XDA Senior Member New Macław and his developer team created an almost fully working Android 4.4 build for the device.

The newest build is still considered beta, but a greater number of features are already working. Developers are working to fix remaining bugs like camera and SD mounting, which are common bugs in most Android 4.4 builds. It’s worth mentioning that the build’s first release was announced just yesterday, so the developers are working amazingly fast.

More information can be found in the ROM thread.

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Most developers, users, and consumers have thoroughly enjoyed the Samsung Galaxy S III—even Verizon users, despite the carrier’s best efforts. However, some find the device a tad large. It’s with those people in mind that Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. Now, it has been rooted.

XDA Forum Member avicohh released a root method for the Galaxy S III Mini, and it isn’t very difficult. For the time being, there isn’t a custom recovery available for the Mini, so users will have to flash a pre-rooted stock image via Odin.

The process is pretty simple. Users simply need to flash the image in Odin. The Galaxy S III Mini differs from its siblings because there is no key combination to launch recovery. So if users need to perform a factory reset, they have to do it in the Settings menu. To help those experiencing boot loops, the developer has provided an Odin-flashable wipe image.

For full instructions and download links, visit the original thread.

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The Motorola RAZR i may not exactly stand out at first glance. Sure, the 4.3″ Super AMOLED Advanced edge-to-edge display (PenTile) draws attention to itself thanks to its minuscule bezel. However, the real differences can be found in the internal architecture. The RAZR i is one of the first devices to be based on the Intel Medfield architecture, and it is the first Medfield device to clock in at 2 GHz. Backing up the processor is 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, an 8 MP camera, and a 2000 mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S III Mini also manages to set itself apart. Rather than distinguishing itself by its CPU instruction set, the S III Mini sets itself apart thanks to its relatively small size. Samsung’s new Galaxy S III Mini hopes to offer much of what makes the popular Galaxy S III great, but in a smaller package. Unlike its larger sibling, the S III Mini is powered by the relatively obscure dual-core ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8420 processor clocked at 1 GHz. The processor is backed up by 1 GB of RAM, up to 16 GB of storage, a 4″ WVGA Super AMOLED (presumably PenTile) display, a 5 MP camera, and a 1500 mAh battery. Most importantly, the device ships stock with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Eager to get in on the action? Join the discussion by heading over to the newly created Galaxy S III Mini and RAZR i forums!

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