Galaxy S3 ‘sudden death’ (mainboard?) issue affecting some owners

December 20, 2012
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In case you own a Galaxy S3 and have experienced a strange event – the phone turning off and not rebooting without any explicable reason – fret not, you’re not alone in this and apparently Samsung is aware of the situation.

A post on Reddit that’s currently amassing over 150 comments points us towards a special xda-developers discussion entitled “Ultimate GS3 sudden death thread.”

Started just over a month ago, that thread had 61 pages and 601 posts at the time of this writing, detailing various instances in which the Galaxy S3 suffered from such a sudden death experience.

Reddit user TurtleRecall summarizes the apparent problem:

The XDA thread has 56 pages (so far) [at the time of his comment] of people whose mainboards have suddenly died. The devices seem to last between 150 and 200 days before failing. Samsung are replacing them under warranty whether or not people have rooted the devices or installed non-standard firmware.

There’s speculation that the NAND is becoming corrupted and failing. Worryingly, Samsung are replacing the mainboards with the same revision so this may just be putting the problem off for another 6 months or so.

It happened to my S3 last week and I’ve never rooted or installed anything other than the official 3UK Samsung firmware, first ICS then JB. Samsung haven’t officially acknowledged that there’s an issue, but both the guy I spoke to in the authorised repair centre and the chap in the Samsung warranty call centre have said they’ve seen this issue a lot lately.

Tl;Dr – S3 mainboards dying for no reason, Samsung replacing mainboards for free, but no new hardware revision so it might just happen again.

This isn’t the first time we report an issue with a popular device, and this isn’t the first time we’re going to tell you that no device is perfect, no matter what OS it’s running, so certain problems are to be expected. That said, it doesn’t mean it’s okay for smartphones to behave like that.

With that in mind, we have no idea how widespread this issue is, and there is no comment from Samsung on the matter. However, we would assume that only a limited number of Galaxy S3 units are suffering from this sudden death issue so far. Otherwise, we would have heard more from the angry masses.

Because tomorrow is December 21, we’ll make the obvious correlation and joke: is this Galaxy S3 dying a sign that the end is near?

Seriously though, we’re certainly looking forward for feedback from Galaxy S3 users out there. Have you experienced it anything like what’s described on Reddit and/or in the xda-developers thread?

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