Samsung Canada confirms Android 4.3 update coming in November for Note II, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4

Daniel Bader

September 26, 2013 3:05pm

When the Galaxy Gear smart watch launches in early October, only one smartphone will be able to interface with it: the Galaxy Note 3. Even the Galaxy S4, the company’s flagship smartphone, won’t be able to speak to the wrist piece due to it lacking a Bluetooth LE stack only available in Android 4.3.

The company has decided to update its most recent devices to Android 4.3 in one fell swoop, bringing the Note II, Galaxy S3 and S4 to the same software level in a similar time frame, across all Canadian carriers. Being quite the ambitious goal, the company has been working with Google and the carriers to ensure a smooth rollout, and will pull the trigger sometime in Q4, likely in the November timeframe.

Samsung announced during its most recent Unpacked conference, at which it unveiled the Note 3, Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, that it would bring Android 4.3 to its older suite of devices sometime in Q4. International devices may see the update sooner — mid- to late October, we’re hearing — but Canadians will have to wait a bit longer. We received confirmation from Samsung Canada’s Vice President Enterprise Business Division, Paul Brannan, during a presentation at the Canadian Wireless Trade Show. It’s in Samsung’s best interests to offer the Premium Suite, as they call it, as soon as possible, since at launch only a handful of users will be able to interact with perhaps its most exciting product this year.

In order to entice customers to buy the Galaxy Gear, Samsung is offering a $100 discount when purchased with a Note 3 over the first weekend it is on sale. The move is unlikely to satiate the thousands of users on older hardware looking to buy a Gear, but Samsung is promising to address their needs soon enough.

  • Beeblz

    Cyanogenmod or bust :P

  • OMFCody

    Or you could get the “One” that gets updated in the coming days. Pun intended lol…

  • n___s

    RTFA: “The company has decided to update its most recent devices to Android 4.3 in one fell swoop … in a similar time frame, ACROSS ALL CANADIAN CARRIERS” (caps added for emphasis ‘coz clearly you missed it the first time)

    • Andy

      Carriers don’t announce Samsung updates, Samsung will release OTA automatically.

    • jroc

      I don’t think you understand how non-stock Android updates are handled in Canada.

    • monsterduc1000

      My buddy got his 4.3 ota update for his s4 the day after it was announced for the international version. I’m guessing it should be the same for the s3 and note 2 as you can always update via kies as well.

    • hunkyleepickle

      i find it so ironic that the slow update rollout that the oem’s and carriers are so known for is going to to completely shoot them in the foot for getting a product like the gear to sell. I for one look forward to it flopping, hard.

  • Top_Quark

    i bought an unlocked T-mobile S4 (M919 model) and used it on Wind prepaid when in Canada and now using it abroad (Lime/Cable & Wireless in the Caribbean). Will my phone get the 4.3 upgrade?

  • eszklar

    Would the Gear talk to 4.3 Android devices such as the Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10?

    • hunkyleepickle

      i suspect not. Samsung is keeping this guy locked down, its not just BLE like other wearables. Plus, you wouldnt have access to the samsung apps that go with the gear, so it would have limited functionality anyway.

    • eszklar

      Unless I got a hold of the APK for the app somehow? But perhaps that may not work as well.

    • Guest

      You are actually correct eszklar, Bluetooth LE is included in Android 4.3 (i don’t know what this guy is talking about) So all you need is a Samsung device that’s been NATIVELY updated to 4.3, OR a 4.3 Rom that a Developer has cooked the feature into :-)

  • Khristopher Ranger

    I’m still waiting for 4.3 on my Galaxy Nexus on Wind.

    • eszklar

      Flash it yourself? I’m on Mobilicity and flashed my Nexus as soon as 4.3 came out. Didn’t bother with Samsung Canada’s rollout.

    • Khristopher Ranger

      I have no idea how. My phone is locked by Wind too.

    • Desi Jatt

      all nexus devices come unlocked, that includes your very own Galaxy Nexus.

    • mateo.slo3

      don’t expect 4.3 for the galaxy nexus. apparently its “unsupported”

  • Super_Deluxe

    Sorry Samsung, your bloat and garbage that’s slowing down the performance led me to jump ship to Cyanogenmod. Now I’m running CM 10.1.3 RC2 and the performance and battery life is far better. Don’t know why I haven’t done this a long time ago.

    • 01011001001

      Why don’t you really show them and stop buying their products. There are others – HTC, Sony, Moto, Nexus etc… just saying..

    • Super_Deluxe

      What do you mean “stop buying their products”, this is my first Android phone and before this I knew nothing about Android. And plus I bought it back in last September when this was considered the best android phone… And also its not like other OEMs don’t put bloat on their phones either so your comment is pretty much invalid.

    • 01011001001

      Actually Sony has little bloat and so is the new moto, HTC and Samsung phones are probably the worst offenders. Just saying…

    • Taylor Bolin

      or you could buy a phone like a galaxy or one that has superior hardware to most sony’s or for sure better than the moto x and use a different rom and end up with a way better device, i for one would rather have more cores and a faster clock speed, then flash the rom, and have stock android

    • Mike_from_Saskatoon

      If you read the reviews of the HTC: One Google Play edition, you’ll notice that the stripped Android version actually gets WORSE battery life than the one with the HTC overlay.

      It’s inaccurate to assume that OS overlays always detract from the performance.

  • Jonah Emery

    Probably by the time 4.3 is released 4.4. or 5.0 will be out on the new Nexus device. Still, I am very appreciative that my GS3 will be updated. Worried about how long its going to take Rogers to push it down though.

  • enrai05

    November 30th is still “November”, right? I hope we don’t have to wait that long.
    I do want to see if anyone has a link to a list of features between 4.1 vs 4.3 (what’s added/deleted).

  • James L

    Is it just me, or do I recall reading that the S3 was to receive its update every month since June? I DON’T BELIEVE YOU ANYMORE SAMSUNG! I’ve since gone to Cyanogenmod and am planning to buy a Motorola. You screwed up Samsung and now you’ve lost a loyal customer.

  • Stuntman06

    I just looked at the features of 4.3. The only feature I would really like is the dialler. The dialler seems to be similar to the one I had on my HTC Desire Z. I missed the dialler when I upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S3. The other stuff doesn’t really interest me much.
    Overall, I’m still very happy with my SGS3 on 4.1.2. I’m in no hurry to get 4.3.

  • ToniCipriani

    Just a PSA over here… All Samsung Galaxy phones in Europe and North America manufactured after July 2013 now come with a region lock. This is ON TOP of the carrier lock, for the device to reject SIM cards not from the geographical region the device was sold in, even after removing the carrier SIM lock and the device is compatible, i.e. if buy your phone here, unlock it and planning to buy a SIM card abroad when travelling, the phone will reject that card.

    You can go f**k yourself, Samsung.

    • Lutz

      well, after 2 days of speculation, Samsung eventually pulled their finger out and clarified the lock:
      this is just for the first run: you can activate the phone only with a SIM from the region the phone is dedicated for. Once activated, you can use any SIM.
      Not what it actually says on the box and it took them some time to clarify which sheds a light on how they “appreciate” their customers.
      So even if the restriction is not as bad as previously thought, it still is outrageous.
      Looks like Samsung find they have been selling too many phones, I am happy to oblige – I will not buy any Samsung product again.

  • Gagan Mohal

    enough wait, i am rooting my phone now. Fcuk you samsung.

  • 01011001001

    I don’t get why Samsung for one who’s got all the resources and means to handle updates OTA ala Apple. I get why htc,blackberry etc can’t, but Samsung should be able to and should.

  • outburst

    I agree. I figure Bell will push this to me some time in 2014, when I will be considering a new phone…

  • Marsg

    Is the galaxy note 10.1 getting this update as well Its been only like a year since its release, and its newer than the s3

  • RS

    I stopped getting worked up over updates long ago. The features are bland at best. I’m more interested in going from 4.0 to 5.0 than from 4.3 .1 to 4.3.2a.

    • RS

      Ps I’ve flashed everything under the sun and always come back to touch whiz. For me, UI is much more refined than aosp.
      I’m curious to see how the updates will work with the tizen os.

    • Darren

      Wow, the voice of reason. The only thing I hate about TouchWiz is the bloatware. I use Go Launcher Prime and feel no real compulsion to flash a dodgy ROM.

  • Lutz

    November my a**e, I bought my Note 2 one year ago and no major update since. The most probable reason for the 4.3 update is so they can sell their stupid watch to existing customers.
    It’s manufacturers like Samsung that are driving the fragmentation of Android. With this update policy, it’s unlikely we will ever see 4.4 on our devices.
    This attitude of taking the money and run along with the stupid regional activation locks are the reasons why we should rather buy Google devices if it has to be Android.
    Whatever my next phone, it will DEFINITELY not be a Samsung.

  • n___s

    You were saying? S4 update pushed out today, S3 slated for Nov 29.