Galaxy S3 ‘Sudden Death’ issue to be corrected by official Samsung firmware update

by: Chris SmithJanuary 2, 2013


A few weeks ago we learned that a number of Galaxy S3 owners have experienced a strange issue with their smartphones – shutting down for no apparent reason and not restarting thereafter, or “Sudden Death” – but now we have good news for you.

It appears that Samsung has a fix in the works for this particularly annoying problem, and a future firmware update should prevent Galaxy S3 units from going into Sudden Death mode.

The news comes from Tweakers, as the publication has talked directly to a Samsung Benelux spokesperson. The problem seems to be affect a “limited number of Galaxy S3 models with 16GB memory,” and it’s caused by a firmware bug.

More details about the Sudden Death issue aren’t available at this time, but what’s clear is that a firmware update, which is to be released at a yet-to-be-disclosed date, will solve the matter. Meanwhile, those of you that are still experiencing the issue should know that Samsung will fix and/or replace your faulty device.

Are any Android Authority readers out there affected by the Galaxy S3 Sudden Death phenomenon?

  • Apple-Fanboy

    Cheap piece of shit

    • Apple fag

      • dave

        Mr Garcia,I am not sure if I am offended by apple or fag.
        I agree as a samsung owner that apple has issues. I stand by my Samsung and I have faith they will fix it.
        All technology will have issues. Apple has had their issues as well.
        You look like a well dressed intelligent person. Don’t let others upset you enough to make crude comments.
        Your setting a bad example for every Latino American who has worked so hard to get where they are today.
        D. Cortez

        • Johnny Garcia

          I got samsung

          But now i dont see why the article now requires authentication

        • Johnny Garcia

          I can no longer view this article

    • Anonymous

      If by “cheap”, you mean “$200” and by “piece of sh*t”? You mean” amazing phone “, then yes, you are right on the market.

    • Troy bacon-daddy equis VI

      Dude, get off the internet

    • das

      least its fixable via firmware ,unlike apples ” grip of deatH ” lool antennagate fag

  • Gordon McIntosh

    My SIII died this morning with no warning

  • dynadom

    Mine kills sd cards

    • over-samsung

      Mine killed a Sandisk 64gb and a Kingston 8gb micro sd cards, then over 3 weeks it became more and more sluggish until it died. It’s currently getting a new mainboard.

  • Tjey

    after the 4.1.1 update my device lags a lot, now battery back up also ruduced, notification light doesnt glow like before…guess ICS was far better..really looking towards 4.1.2.

    • EKfine

      You probably had a bad firmware. Why don’t you flash a 4.1.2 firmware? Its been out for i think a month now and i have no issues with it. Even on 4.1.1 no issues with it too.

  • wachutalknboutwillis

    Happened to me on Tuesday, but it restarted on it’s own.
    Verizon GSIII Stock w/ 4.1.1

    • imran7


      My S3 mini had the same restarting problem. It used to restart randomly. I noticed that its back cover was slightly pressing the start button (on the right side), So I cut the soft plastic cover with the kitchen knife to make 1mm space between button and and cover and it sorted my problem.

      I don’t have this problem any more at all!

  • HellG

    Let me see…Samsung said it will fix the EMMC bug in the Note and the S2 and their variants for more than a year ago did they fix it?..NOPE!
    Will they fix this?..DOUBT IT!
    Why become like apple samsung? i really love you :(

    • I never had an issue like this before on my HTC EVO 4g LTE except when it restarted itself because I left it overclocked while not in use

    • Debbie Wong

      Its good that now S3 users will suffer as we S2 users are going trough..i hope they release 4.1.2 for S2 early this month.

    • carloslee8

      If its still not fixed in a week or month after my current phone dies I am not risking an S3. I remember getting a Skyrocket S2 and the 2nd day it randomly rebooted. Exchanged for a regular S2 and then Kies is not recognized on my Samsung brand laptop. Not a disaster (sarcasm)

  • Armand Salmon

    When I put my camera in ‘low light mode’ it can crash the camera app.
    This happens when the light is low. Very odd and do not see much info on it.

  • ProductFRED

    How about the one where there’s no call audio and the call disconnects and radio resets? It happened on my i9300 and I had to ship to Germany to be fixed. Now it’s happening again. Happens out of nowhere, and it’s a hardware failure. In fact, it required a new motherboard, and Samsung just copied the old IMEI over.

    Video (not mine):

    Thread on XDA:

    I refuse to pay another $80 of my own money to ship it from NY to Germany, and wait another month for it to be fixed. No one has even talked about this issue.

  • amskl

    I have this problem after the update 4.1. I took it of and put 4.0 on it the problem was solved.

  • I’ve noticed that my S3 4.1 reboots itself once in a while.

  • Vitor Mathias

    Mine died on Christmas and Samsung will not repair it on warranty. I Samsung tells me to ship it to Singapore despite it is the same GT-i9300 that Samsung sells here in Brazil. Shame on it…

  • Chong Benedict

    It is normal for Samsung devices and lucky that I never uses Samsung devices as they are lack of software skills compared to Sony.

  • Samsung is in a very dominant position in the market now. They should stop allowing carriers to make alterations(hardware and software) to their future devices and release the S4 without any variants worldwide. I’m an early adopter and currently own all of their flagship devices simfree, viz. SGS, SGSII, SG Nexus, SG Note, SGSIII and SG Note II. I haven’t had any problems with any of my devices whatsoever!

  • Loh CS

    I encountered several counts of self-reboot for past 2 weeks and it died yesterday after a phone call. It got stuck at the Samsung boot splash screen. Now in Samsung Service Center.

  • Lou781

    S3 died on me out of no where 2 weeks ago…wouldn’t turn back on.. Happened while I was on a call and had to pull the battery and keep pressing power button until it finally powered on

  • jaysann22

    After the 4.1 Jellybean update my S3 has been glitchy, laggy, and overall just not good. My lock screen glitches out to nothing but lines. As does my media gallery when browsing media. And the keyboard is awful. It is SUPER laggy… not to mention the lower battery life. As i suspected, jellybean ruined the phone by taking an update and overlaying a software over the stock ICS. All updates tend to do this and its the luck i’ve always had with Android. Thats why i never want updates. ICS was just fine. Not too happy with Samsung either as i am one of the “lucky” S3 owners whose MTP USB does not work at all and Samsung is apparently aware of this and has not addressed it… and i dont like the idea of turning in a NEW phone for some USED refurbished phone because of the manufacturer or software flaws. I paid for a new device, THATS what i should get…

  • Eagle

    Yeah I got the exact problem on my GS3 GT-I9300 16GB about a month ago and I sent it to a Samsung certified service center they said that the problem is the motherboard but not exactly what and they had to replace it (the motherboard) with a new one and I lost all my contacts and messages and syncing with my Samsung and Google accounts didn’t retrieve 1 single contact or sms :( :( :(

  • jess

    I have the galaxy s2 that just received a software update a week or two ago. And ever since it have been having this sudden death syndrome. I have to take out my battery to be able to turn it back on and when it does come back on my batter is always drained. >_< not cool

  • Lara

    And so the waiting game begins…bet you I won’t get this til 2014, took a few days before Christmas to get JB update. Samsung are slowly becoming crapple

  • Reagan Podelec

    Armand salmon Ive had the issue with the camera. It really annoying. I have yet to find any info on it.. its and issue with the app.

  • Ace Mobius

    Are there any reports of this issue occurring in Galaxy S3 Mini too? My colleague’s new Galaxy S3 Mini has conked out yesterday – purchased on 27th Dec 2012…

  • Freeman

    Where do I download the new update from Samsung (Update for the security breach), is an anti-virus software can keep my smartphone safe, even if I cant find the update
    from Samsung?

  • Fernanda Bentes

    I acquired a Samsung S3 in September in New York, but I live in Brazil. After charging it overnight, it experienced the “sudden death”. I went to some official Samsung repair center and called some others and none of them will take my phone to analyze it just because it wasn’t bought here in Brazil. What should I do now?? I’m not going to the US or dont have anybody going there any time soon…

  • SMR

    This exact same thing happened to my samsung galaxy s3 last week, one minute fine, and the next, absolutely nothing is working.


    14/01/2013 Me having 32GB s3 and i suffered same problem, but samsung rejected to do it for free and they want to me charge 300USD. Can somebody help me on this.

  • Soky

    My not even 5 months old yet S3 just did the sudden death! Am I suppose to contact Samsung to get my device replaced with a NEW one and not a “factory certified” one? Please help if you can!!!

  • This has started happening to me just a few days ago. And it has occurred 2 times today so far.

  • Short-Person

    Only phones with the memory revision “0xF1” are infected

    Mine is “0xF3”

  • Happens at least 3-4 times a week for me…

  • Rainey

    This happened to me over the weekend on Saturday night, 5/25/2013. I cant believe a fix hasn’t been deployed for this!

  • Cherman

    My sudden death syndrome of my S3 was fixed since the 4.1.2 update….
    I’m soooo glad about it.

  • nicole

    Mine died tonight :( its gonna be such a hassle taking this in to be fixed!!! Better not happen again!

  • Mohit Saini

    I have samsung s3, just 11 month old and after charging it overnight it is not booting up and Samsung service people are saying that it will cost approx INR 7600 ++ for new motherboard. any help for me