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.