Update Samsung Galaxy S III to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (both Official/Unofficial)

Samsung Galaxy S III was the greatest smartphone the world had ever witnessed at the time of its launch. With the launch of Galaxy S4, the specifications of Galaxy S III might sound historic but at the current price point (INR 25k in India), it is still a lucrative phone to go for.

And if you are a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III i9300 and would love to upgrade to the latest Android v4.2, then you can do so, by following a few simple steps, I shall be coming to them shortly. This is one of my favorite perks for getting a flagship android phone from a renowned brand, it is bound to get the latest Android updates for quite a long time.

There are two types of upgrades that can be done on your Galaxy S III. One is the official leaked firmware (thanks to sammobile) and the other one is by installing a third party custom firmware/rom. Though under normal circumstances, I would recommend you to go for the official upgrade, but because it is a leaked firmware, you will still end up voiding your manufacturer warranty, one of the major reasons one would prefer an official update. So, though it is an official update, it is still not an official update. I hope you understand what I am saying.

Before you proceed:
  • Backup your contacts by syncing them with your Google account.
  • Backup any other important data you have as flashing ROMs always puts your data at risk.

Update Samsung Galaxy S III using official leaked Android 4.2 firmware:

  • Download the leaked firmware package here.
  • Unzip the package in any folder on your PC.
  • If you haven’t already, install drivers for your phone using KIES. Disconnect your phone when the driver installation is complete.
  • Switch off your device. Press the Volume Down + Home + Power button simultaneously till you see a warning message trying to scare you. There isn’t any reason to be scared though, just press the Volume Up button to proceed to the download mode.
  • Start Odin. You will find it in the zip file you extracted in step #2.
  • Connect your phone to the PC using USB cable. A blue sign in Odin will confirm that Odin has detected your phone. (Don’t proceed further unless you get Odin to detect your S III.)
  • Click the PDA button in Odin and locate the I9300XXUFMB3_I9300OJKFMB3_HOME.tar.md5 file (you will find it too in the extracted folder).
  • Don’t play around with any other settings in Odin. Make sure re-partition is not enabled in Odin.
  • Start the flashing process and wait for it to complete.
  • Reboot your device and drool over the latest Jelly Bean sweetness on your device.
    • In case you are stuck in a bootloop, boot into your recovery mode by pressing Volume Up + Power + Home button. Then choose the option to Factory Reset your device. Repeat all the steps above again, it should work fine this time.
In case you want the goodness of a custom ROM, I shall explain the process to update Samsung Galaxy S III to the latest CyanogenMod nightly. CyanogenMod is the first thing that comes into the mind when one hears the term custom rom, right? Thanks to the extent of customization it allows, Cyanogenmod is the most popular custom rom out there.

Update Galaxy S III to Cyanogenmod 10.1 (based on Android 4.2):

  • You should have a rooted Galaxy S III with clockworkmod recovery flashed on it (TWRP would work fine too). It would be a good idea to take a nandroid backup once you have flashed cwm recovery.
  • Download the latest version of Cyanogenmod 10.1 nightly for the Samsung Galaxy S III here. An optional download recommended is that of GApps, i.e. Google Apps package.
  • Transfer the downloaded files to the internal sd card of your device.
  • Switch off your S III and boot into the clockworkmod recovery. To do that, press and hold Voluem Up + Power + Home button simultaneously till you see the recovery screen.
  • Scroll to Install zip from sd card. Then choose the option to Choose zip from sd card. Locate the zip file of the CM nightly you downloaded in step 2. Let clockworkmod recovery flash cyanogenmod on your S III. If you downloaded GApps too, you an flash them in the exact same way.
  • Perform a Factory Reset from within the clockworkmod recovery and finally reboot your phone.
I hope that you were able to reciprocate everything written above and have successfully upgraded to the latest Android version. The comments section is below this post, just in case you couldn’t get any of the steps above to work the way it should.
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