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Sammy still sees some life in its now almost 2-year old handset

Samsung is well known for having a device at just about every price point, and quarter-inch size point you can possibly imagine, but this one is still surprising. This is the latest device in the Galaxy range launching for China, and if you think it looks familiar, you'd be right. This is the Galaxy S3 Neo+. 

So, what's different about it to warrant even a name change. Not a lot, truth be told. The internals are the same, the cameras are the same, the design is the same, there's a whole lot of the same going on. What is different is dual-SIM support, and of course, it now comes pre-loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

The return of an old favorite? Possibly. But even for China where there's a big demand on cheaper devices, is a recycled 2-year old phone the answer? 

Source: Samsung China via SamMobile

 

Reader comments

Samsung recycles the Galaxy S3 for China. No, really

60 Comments

My roommate just picked up a GS3 to replace her OG EVO. I have to say it's a pretty damn good phone. The performance doesn't make you think two year old phone, it flies. I personally don't like TW but it's a phone with some damn good life left in it. This may not be a popular opinion here but I agree with Louis CK, even the crappiest cell phone is a miracle.

I bought my Sprint GS3 two Decembers ago. It started off on 4.0.4 and now I'm rooted on a stock TW 4.3 Rom(No Knox). The GS3 is a beast. It handles almost everything I throw at it and it has at least one more update to 4.4 coming this year. In my opinion, this is what the Galaxy Nexus should have been.

For everyone with a GS3, if you start getting upgrade anxious, buy some accessories like cases and extended batteries. It'll bring new life to your phone.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mah battery)

I don't know why this is not the norm. Old flagship are the new cheap phones. Even if they cheapen the case up a bit, ala HTC making a plastic one for selling one the cheap this year after they release the Two.

derp

No joke - it'd be way cheaper for an OEM to just offer a design for 2-3 years, cost-cutting on the materials if need be. That's what the iPhone 5C is, and that's what lots of OEMs should do. Hopefully what else it would mean is that each device gets 2 years of support instead of coming up short like the 2012 HTC One series or the Nexus line or pretty much every LG phone ever made.

hammer meet nail, your spot on.

This is one of the reasons that Samsung has such huge margins.

Lets that HTC as the opposite here. They put out the One X (a few variants but all at the same time) then a year later the One, which is a total redesign.

WTF are they gonna do with all the cases that they ought for the OX? they write them off but they still lose money on them.

Galaxy S3 is still a really nice phone. My MIL has one on Verizon that recently got the 4.3 update. I was vaguely surprised to see it really doesn't feel any different than my HTC One. Of course, it's a Samsung so the battery life isn't great, but yeah I guess this is still the answer. Outside of the Moto X (which it shares a great deal of heritage with, hardware-wise) and Nexus 5, it beats pretty much any other mid-range device out there.

4.3 has really bogged down my S3. Not really enjoying it.

Counting down the days until I can upgrade.

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What's with so many Chinese handsets having dual SIM slots? Is it a popular thing there to use one number for work and another for personal use? And does switching from one SIM to another require a reboot, or are both active at once?

Not sure on the uses in China, but I've met a couple people here in the US that wanted two SIMs, one as a business phone and one as a personal phone. In those cases, both SIMs are active, but only SIM slot 1 uses data. So you could get a cheaper personal number and use your business line for data, if you wanted, or vice versa. As long as it supports your carrier's 3G bands it should be sufficient, I guess.

I've read that in the Chinese market some people actually share their cellphones with others like their families using them as of they were their home phone.

I think texting is big, for work and personal uses, and therefore they like to maintain multiple lines.

The language makes it easy to memorize long strings of numbers, over complex email addresses.

I wouldn't say this isn't a big change. This is a dual card simultaneously "standby" phone - i.e. It's got multiple antennas to take calls with the 2 SIMs, not just to switch between the 2. I'm sure they'll make good money on this.

There are a variety of reasons really. One is as you suggested, one for personal, one for work. Another is affairs, which are somehow even more common here than elsewhere (although it's better to go with two phones for this one).

Carriers in China are also weird. China Mobile's 3G isn't really 3G; it's just a lie. So some people use a China Mobile SIM for calls and China Unicom (who have a real 3G network) SIM for data. Also, there is no number portability, so if you switch carriers, you'll have to keep that old SIM too if you want the number.

This is only getting worse. China Mobile is quickly rolling out their 4G network, and they're requiring a new number to use it! So there isn't even number portability when you switch service type on the same carrier! At least this time, it's actually 4G (using a homegrown standard that most non-China market phones won't have a radio for, although the iPhone 5S has it).

The Chinese mobile market is a bit of a pain in the ass. My company develops apps here, and Android development here is just a lot harder. No Google Play Services to unify things is painful.

I am in Europe and I've been using dual SIM phones for a while, the main reason is to have work and private lines both in a single device. In former time I had to carry two phones and that's crap. I wish they sold more high end models with dual SIM here though. I am right now with a Huawei Ascend G700, surprisingly decent for its price (220 EUR including tax). The wife has as well a dual SIM for the same reason, she has a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Duos, which is all fine but the screen is too small for my taste.

Hey, get down to the normal user's level. Hardware is more than good enough for most uses (hey, it's more than Moto G).
What maybe misleading is Neo in the name, but hey... It's Samsung, they have so many products and niches that creating a coherent branding is impossible. So, whatever, people buy and enjoy S3s not only in China. Good phone, especially with the fact that Samsung is doing better and better with updates. There's still plenty of life on the hardware.

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Is it just me, or is samsung starting to seem like the general motors of wireless. Maybe they should take a look and see what happened to them in the 80s and 90s when they made too many products that were nearly identical and spread themselves too thin.

They are only out of bankruptcy because they consolidated products and put more development
into less products.

Still rocking mine. I have had really no major complaints about it's performance after almost 2 years of use.

I'm up for an upgrade in February and I'm really not in a rush since the phone still works perfectly.

im still rocking this phone. it doesnt disapoint one bit. i can run any game in the market, the battery life is good enough and cyanogenmod has official builds so im always up to date.

Clean rom is a great rom for this phone. I actually prefer an s3 with a custom rom over the s4 stock.

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Like others have said, I don't really see the problem and I think OEMs should continue to offer prior flagships as budget phones. Apple does it, it works well for them, and it's honestly a great business model. I think the S3 is going for $250 off contract at my local Walmart which isn't a bad deal at all for a well-specced phone with a great camera and expandability. If there's one thing Samsung is doing right, it's this.

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Its a good phone still. When I worked for att I did a lot of exchangws on them but that's because people had everything running and going and what not.

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Theoretically, they could do it, but it would still take some work, since they may need to redo TW, since this new version is going to have a Chinese UI, so any updates that require changes to TW are going to need work for each language. Then there's all the carrier bloatware that would need to be tested. Finally, neither Samsung nor the carriers would really want the S3 to live on, since it could cut into sales of newer models.

Personally, I'd love to see a return to longer shelf lives for modern phones, since that would give the manufacturers more incentive to fix bugs and refine the devices through updates, but the money is made by getting your customers to buy new handsets as quickly as possible. Sadly, the days of phones being on sale for years are over, at least for the time being. Remember the old Nokia 5165? That thing hung around for years, but it was built to last. Back then, you could still break a phone, but it was harder to do, and I remember people keeping the same devices well past two years.

Great phone, great move by Samsung here. My S3 is still working just fine, the difference between it and my note 3 isn't as big as some people may think.

I love my Garnet Red S III people with newer phones envy it even today. good for Samsung.

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I am activating a brand new S3 today to replace a broken S3. The repair was going to be nearly $200 and the new S3 (on contract) was only 1 cent, including free shipping. The S3 does anything and everything I need it to do. Of course, it will be promptly rooted and CM installed...

No point shelling out $200 for an S4 at this point. By the time this new S3 is ready for replacement in a couple of years, there will be a year old S5 on the market that can be had for around $100, instead of the ridiculous drop day pricing.

I hope you're replacing for more than shattered glass.
I replaced the shattered glass on my GS3 two months ago for $5.75.
Amazon, the iFixit App, and a hair dryer.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mah battery)

My dad still uses a navy blue S3, and I was surprised that it didn't seem really outdated when he recently removed his OtterBox Defender case. For a two year old device, I think it makes a nice budget smartphone. And the S3 is comparable in size to my One.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

The S3 (at least the International version) was the real disappointment compared to the S2 with terrible performance, garbage screen, same GPU RAM etc, it should really be called the S2 plus. The S4 is a worthy upgrade to the S3 just like the S1-S2.

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To be fair there wasn't any need for a radical change except for maybe build materials but beyond that its a good upgrade and what's with all the bad screen talk

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or iPhone 5

Ok. If it was a disappointment then why was the s3 the phone of the year in 2012 and why was it that after the s4 was released the s3 still sold like crazy. Everyone I know that has or had the s3 have said it's the best phone they owned.

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Perhaps they are talking about the US variant. The International variant (non LTE, 1GB RAM) was complete trash because of broken multitasking, home screen redraws, sudden death syndrome etc, none of which were major problems in the S2 era, or currently in the S4's time.

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If that picture is accurate then this phone comes with the Galaxy s4 launcher. Which is something the GS3 didn't get with the 4.3 update. I hope it gets it soon though.

Yep. It converted my wife from an iphone 4. She never went back to iphone. Plus this phone was the phone of the year in 2012 and even after s4 came out I saw so many people still buying this phone. I think it just looks great and runs great. This phone really put Samsung back on the map.

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This site's authors are getting a bit snobby with hardware.

New may be better but old isn't always bad...or even that old.

Will always have respect for the S3 as it was my first real smartphone had the Galaxy Ace before so I huge step up.

Its a brilliant phone even today it performs as it should so yeah and when it was released a phone that captured the public interest the Galaxy S3.

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I love my S III but this is a little ridiculous... At least update some of the stats? Guess if there is a market they will find it.

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I think the point is that most of the world doesn't have subsidized pricing, so if it keeps cost down people will still buy the phone. I actually know some people who like the s3 over the s4. I hope the s5 isn't as mediocre as when the s4 was released.

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It is because polygamy is allowed over there so you need two Sims in case your wives have different carriers and you want to save on your minutes by calling on the same carrier to each wife, therefore it's easier to get a dual Sim phone.
Since polygamy is frowned upon over in NA, it seems easier for polygamists to get two phones.

The S3 is still a relevant and stable device with incredible performance. I haven't had a reason to upgrade to another phone just yet. Maybe the S5 would knock my S3 out, that would a strong contender.

The s3 is still a great phone. It's even better if you root and install some great roms on it. My wife loved it on Sprint even though she could never really take advantage of the phone due to sprints slow data. Now on T-Mobile I got her an Xperia till I could get her another s3. Only problem is that the lte version of the s3 on T-Mobile still resells at a high price.

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Looking for a phone for my wife, it was going to be the blue S4 mini, might take a closer look at the S3.

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I bought my mother the S3 beginning of last year and she's perfectly fine with it. Says it's got everything she needs and she's not looking for an upgrade anytime soon. I'm not a Samsung touchwiz fan personally but there's no denying that the S3 is still a pretty good feature rich phone even by today's standards.

Posted via Android Central App from my Sony Xperia Z1