Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems: Overheating, charging & Wi-Fi
3rd Jul 2012 | 15:55
All the problems you may experience with Samsung's flagship handset all rolled into one
As mentioned in our Samsung Galaxy S3 review, the Korean giant’s new Galaxy is one heck of a handset, but it hasn’t been without its problems.
While it’s important to remember that no blower is perfect, with a price tag of almost £500 nicker, it’s worth noting exactly what flaws are present in the device - and how they will affect you, the consumer.
The issues rounded up here are a varied bunch: some can be fixed instantly, while others may require the device to be completely replaced.
Whatever's the case, here are the problems you may or might have encountered on the Galaxy S2 follow-up.
Users on the FiatForum have experienced problems when charging their Galaxy S3 devices. Apparently, the handset refuses to charge itself when plugged into a socket.
One user, who goes by the name of dreamertae, wrote: “Is anybody having issues charging a Samsung Galaxy S3? I've had a look around online but not found many comments/issues yet, presumably because its new.
“I'm not sure if its just because its new but the charging is not at all consistent. The battery life seems ok but both last night and this morning I couldn't even get it to raise its charge at all, just stuck at 4% (wasn't intentional to let it drop this low).
“I tried a different charger, same thing but then suddenly a couple of hours later it decided it would work and is now charging fine I've switched it off again to give it a steady full charge but not looking forward to testing it when out and about in case I get the same issue.”
Another user, Frankie Fazer, claims he/she had to wait 9 hours for the handset to gain just a 40 per cent charge, writing: “Yes here too.. not sure what the issue is... with the travel charger plugged in the phone charges for a few moments then stops and starts again over and over.. took 9 hours to get 40% charge.. when i plugged into laptop it seemed to charge ok.. Maybe just a bad batch pf travel chargers?
“Either way samsung want to have the phone sent back for 3 weeks to test and fix the problem.. three weeks! as always samsung great customer service right.”
Another user, rahulmahajan, claims the problem isn't consistent, however, it's frequent enough to become annoying: "I am too having a similar problem. Bought S3 a week back and charging at times does not happens properly. It stays at same charging percentage for hours. I have tried official charger, different charger, charging from USB.
"It sometimes works, sometime not. It is very strange."
It seems that no one is able to place their finger on the problem, however, users can always report their handsets to their service providers if it's a recurring problem.
An explosive reaction
As reported by T3 last month, Samsung is investigating a report from a Dublin-based Galaxy S3 user who claims that his handset exploded while placed on his car’s mount.
He wrote: "So I driving along today with my Galaxy S3 in my car mount when suddenly a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone.
"I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone. The phone kept working but without any signal.
"I brought it to the carphone warehouse and they told me that they couldnt replace it for me that they had to send it off to be checked out first. No even replacement phone, left with nothing.
"The phone was destroyed and it slightly burned a piece of plastic on the inside of my car.
"And they are refusing to give me a replacement they had to send it off. Probably nothing I can do, but Im really annoyed.
"That could have burned the side of my face or through my pocket and my leg, or set fire to my bed. Its very dangerous."
Meanwhile, earlier reports claimed that a Korean schoolboy’s handset exploded while tucked away in his back pocket.
Samsung claims the external pressure preempted on the device was what caused it to explode (those must have been some really tight pockets).
As it stands, we're yet to hear what Samsung has discovered - for all we know there isn't a problem at all and this could just be a string of false reports - however, if they turn out to be accurate, we're intrigued as to what's causing the problem.
We'll ensure to let you know if we hear any further details on the issue.
Can't stand the heat
Internet forums have been awash with complaints from users that the Galaxy S3 is prone to overheating, causing the handset to freeze and sometimes even switching itself off.
Samsung has now launched an official investigation, and we will ensure to update this post as and when we hear the outcome.
An official Samsung statement read: “There have been recent online posts displaying pictures of a Samsung GALAXY SIII that appears to have heat-related damage at the bottom of the device.
"Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question.
“Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously.”
Wi-Fi connection optional
What is it with mobile devices and Wi-Fi connection issues? Several users on internet forums have complained that they're unable to connect to Wi-Fi, either at home or work, on their S3 handsets.
And when they do, the connection only lasts for a matter of minutes.
A user on the XDA-Developers forum claims the problem is rooted within the handset itself and that the connectivity issues aren't the result of a faulty network.
Muskstick wrote: "Alas, it seems there's a major issue with the wi-fi in my SGS3... I switch my phone on, and it fires up, and sees and connects to my home wi-fi... But if I try and USE the net or data connection, it's a dog's dinner... If I run a Mobile Speed-test, I get a terrible ping, an average download speed of 0.02 Mbps, and then it times out three quarters through with a connection error.
"It has done this since I got it Wednesday. However, I can confirm it is the PHONE, not my home wi-fi, as my Router is very new and mega-top end, and my three SGS2's are working absolutely fine on it. Moreover, if I pull the Notification Tray down on my SGS3, then disable Wi-fi, then pull back down, then re-enable, and then run the speed test again, I get great pings, 22Mbps Downlaod, and 5Mbs uplaod speed (my Home Internet is 100Mb).
"So clearly pointing to an issue with the phone. It does this on both 2.4GHz, and 5Ghz, as my router is full dual channel, independent. Looks like either a faulted phone (hope not), or a fault in current Kernel of the software, which would be better, if a fix was forthcoming.
"This bit is really bothering me though - a brand new device, and it's the only device in my home that has issues with connectivity and web."
His concerns have been mimicked by other users who claim to have encountered the same problem.
While Samsung hasn't released an official fix yet - chances are it will roll it out in the form of a software update - a user on the AndroidForums claims the following fix will solve the issue.
cary328is wrote: "I believe this is related to the popular issue regarding WIFI on our device. The most common "Fix" right now is something that was learned from XDA developers:
1. Go to your phone dialer
2. Dial *#0011#
3. When you see the "ServiceMode" screen, press the left menu button
4. Select "WiFi"
5. See that "Wifi Power Save Mode" button that is "ON" - well turn it "OFF"
6. Exit this menu, turn off your Wifi and turn it back on. If you already entered all your wifi credentials, forget your network info (remove it) and re-enter it again."
T3 hasn't tried the fix, however, we're interested to hear whether it works - so far, feedback has been mixed. If you'd like to comment on the fix, ensure you hit us up on T3's official Twitter and Facebook pages.