Although it has since been surpassed by both the GS4 and GS5, the Galaxy S3 is still very much a capable handset and for many owners there seems to be little reason to make a jump to something newer just yet. On the downside, despite its continued popularity and decent performance, last week we learned that the non-LTE versions of the handset will never officially see KitKat.

According to Samsung, the reason for this is that 1GB is simply not enough RAM to handle KitKat once all the Touchwiz goodies are added on. While stock KitKat is actually designed for devices with as little as 512MB RAM, it’s no secret that manufacturer customizations can slow things down. Of course, manufacturers often say something is “impossible”, when they are really trying to say they simply don’t want to make the additional efforts required to get things up and running. That seems to be the case with the Galaxy S3, as an experimental build of Touchwiz-laden KitKat has now been unofficially released thanks to the efforts of XDA contributors JustArchi and Kryten2k35.

Keep in mind that the Galaxy S3 build is actually a port of the a Note II Touchwiz/KitKat ROM and its developers note that it is not appropriate as a daily driver unless you’re willing to put up with some bugs and other glitches along the way. That said, the ROM seems to work reasonably well with the exception of some sensors, a bug related to ending calls, and a few other small things. That means core functions like camera, text messaging, apps, Wi-Fi and 3G should be fine.

The existence of this new experimental ROM highlights a big part of what makes Android so special: true freedom. Don’t like the way a manufacturer is handling a situation? The community can do something about it. For more details on the ROM, you’ll want to head on over to the XDA forums.


Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • Marcellus1

    The article is misleading. It makes it sound like no GS3 is getting KitKat, which is incorrect. Even your cited article states that it’s only the S3 GT-I9300 and GS3 Mini that are not getting KitKat. All of the other variants will get KitKat. The US GS3 variants have 2GB of RAM and will handle the KitKat update that they are scheduled to receive just fine.

    • Andrew Grush

      I apologize, I thought I put non-LTE version in the article.. but I didn’t. Fixed now, and thank you. :) Yes, any GS3 variant with 2GB RAM is fine to handle the update, and, in fact, Sprint already started pushing it out.

      • nishantsirohi123

        Which is why I am glad i got the Note 2, one year ago, paying some additional money.

        My friends often ask me, when do you sell your device, i reply, when it stops receiving updates.
        My first android was lg optimus one, it was launched with the then latest 2.2 Froyo, it went gingerbread and then it was done, i sold it and bought samsung galaxy R , i9103, it went from ginger bread to ICS and then that was it. My mom uses it and it works really well for her. She loves the camera and instagram on it.
        I have the note2 now, which went from 4.1 JB to 4.3 and recently went 4.4.2 KK.

    • The i9300 comprises the majority of the worlds SGS3’s, and is exactly the phone most people think of when you say so, outside of North America. It’s not at all misleading, it’s just the i9300 is the more popular and known device.

  • y

    This calles for a big fat FUCK YOU SAMSUNG

  • MasterMuffin

    “According to Samsung, the reason for this is that 512MB is simply not enough RAM” Pretty sure the S3 not getting the update has 1GB of RAM :)

    AOSP is way faster, just use it if you’re into modding. Only thing you’ll really lose is the great camera app

    • Andrew Grush

      Yah, I meant 1GB RAM. You’re right.

    • Gonzalo Massa

      Isn’t there any way to install the camera app?

      • MasterMuffin

        You can install it, but it won’t work. It depends on some TW libraries :/ I don’t remember if any devs got it working (pretty sure they didn’t).

    • Android Developer

      Faster, but still quite unstable, especially if you flash a Kitkat version.
      I also can’t find an AOSP-based rom (for I9300) that supports screen recording , as well as HDMI (MHL) .
      Do you know of such a rom?

      • MasterMuffin

        I can’t find anything that would crash my device, so not really that unstable. I’ve never tried HDMI, so I don’t know. I also haven’t flashed anything on my I9300 for like 5 months, so I really don’t know if they got that screen recording bug fixed (DAMN YOU EXYNOS). I’m still a flashaholic, but now I flash stuff on my Nexus 5 :)

        • Android Developer

          Which rom do you have?
          seeing that you do know about screen recording issues, I assume you also have Kitkat, and that you probably still have issues with this feature, right?

          • MasterMuffin

            Me no haz Chromecast. It has CM because it supports F2FS and the thing flies with it (and CM is probably the most stable ROM with Omni and I was going to give the phone to my dad so…). I really haven’t used it for so long, got a Nexus 5 for free and couldn’t say no!

          • Android Developer

            Wait you have Omni or CM ?
            Also, do you have the nightly of CM ?
            I had it and it had a lot of issues.
            The only rom that it’s stable enough (but it also has issues) is Omni.

          • MasterMuffin

            Nightly CM, don’t remember the date (can’t check, it’s out of juice right now).

          • Android Developer

            I see.
            I guess I will need to check other roms.

          • Deepak

            Try OmniRom. Works really gre8 without any issues. MX Player and WhatsApp have issues working on CM, at least for me, and don’t forget the “Unfortunately, the App has stopped working!!!!” error. Thanx Omni :)

          • Android Developer

            I also decided to use Omni, but I still have issues with screen recording and HDMI.

    • nishantsirohi123

      after discounts i feel that S3, is going to be the favorite choice for the android mod community, all that horsepower.

  • Bojan

    Since when does S3 have 512 RAM?

    • Andrew Grush

      Typo. Fixed.

    • MasterMuffin

      2 mins before you :P

  • stickman

    End call bug fixed. RIL is fully working, now the only things which still remain to have bugs are sensors.
    Follow linked thread, these guys are awesome and deserves samsung’s attention. At least our attention.

    Cheers. :)

  • xavier sepulveda

    Watch “TOUCHWIZ KITKAT ON I9300” on YouTube – TOUCHWIZ KITKAT ON I9300:


    “1GB is simply not enough RAM to handle KitKat once all the Touchwiz GOODIES are added on”

    since when bloat = goodies? Nevertheless I hope they’ll get the bugs ironed out as I want a sammy cam on 4.4.2

  • omarion

    this is such a bullshit…it doesnt support kitkat because of the 1 gb RAM? then why are all the devices like galaxy ace 4 with dual core and 1 gb of RAM has KITKAT right out of the box.