Black Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE with Jelly Bean hands-on

What's this we have here? An international Samsung Galaxy S3 with 4G LTE support? In glossy black? With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean? We spotted this desirable device at the Vodafone Germany booth at IFA 2012 in Berlin today, and took it for a quick spin. It's a tad thicker than the standard international Galaxy S3, and a little heavier too. The glossy black chassis makes this S3 a bit less flashy than the other models, though if you prefer the original pebble white design, you'll be able to get the LTE S3 in that color too. And don't forget that Samsung also just announced new colors of brown, red, and gray, along with it.

On the software side, it's running the latest version of Android, 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean on the S3 works just like it does on the leaked builds we've seen for the 3G/HSPA model. You've got a redesigned notification bar, Google Now and other Jelly Bean features, along with new TouchWiz features like Dormant mode and Easy mode.

We've got more photos, and a full video walkthrough after the break.

More: Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update TouchWiz features

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • So...glossy...
  • How many GBs?
  • I think it has all the GBs.
  • It has all the wifi's and the gb's :)
  • That black is far too glossy (almost looks like dark gray). And wow was that phone fast...
  • Very fast!!!! Can't wait for JB!
  • That glossy black almost looks kinda looks purple.
  • Yea, that's very noticeable and annoying. I would have rathered something similar (Color wise) to the GNex.
  • The most appealing thjng to me was international 4g LTE. Since its international LTE does that mean it can work with any LTE network like the international GSM phones? Like Verizon and Att and Sprint?
  • Doubt it has a CDMA radio in it.
  • Not likely, Europe uses completely different LTE bands than the US.
    LTE may be a standard, but it's being deployed on various bands, most LTE phones out their these day cover only 2, maybe 3 bands. LTE chips haven't matured to the level of GSM or HSPA+, no quadband or pentaband LTE chips yet that I know of. LTE phone compatibility is going to be slow going, and even when we have chips that support a lot of bands, it will be hard to cover every or even most carriers because of how many frequencies LTE is being deployed on. Maybe software controlled radios can help that.
  • Shiny!
  • That glossy back is atrocious and looks disgusting with whatever is slimed all over it. Can't believe how dirty some people's hands are! I mean were they eating fried chicken before handling the phone? C'Mon Man! Gross
  • Is it compatible with any of US Lte bands?
  • Is that a quad-core LTE phone?!?!?!?!? I thought it couldn't be done!! Thats what they told us here is the US!!! WTF!!!!!
  • They never said it "couldn't" be done... They just couldn't do it in time for launch. Already in South Korea they have a quad-core LTE version, and I believe the Snapdragon S4 Pro in the LG flagship will also be quad-core with LTE. All that being said, I know how you feel. But I think the international owners, and those who bought unlocked phones would be more upset. Only about 2 months after release, Samsung releases newer colors, adds 2gb ram and LTE support. Sure we miss out on the quad-core, but little to no apps use quad-core yet, and the s4 with Adreno has been capable enough. By the time quad-core is really needed, the Galaxy S4 and S5 would probably be out. It's all about the "e-peen"... They just want high Antutu and Quadrant scores. I just wonder why Samsung went through the trouble of developing a whole new blue color, creating hyper-glaze coating, suffering a delayed launch because of defective pebble blue backpanels, when all along they had other colors in the works. They should have just gone black and white from the start, and given us red, blue, grey and brown after. As for whether the LTE bands will work, North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan all function on different LTE bands. Now the radio inside the Galaxy s3 may be the same on all GSM devices (non-CDMA) but it's not guaranteed that the carriers or software inside has crippled them to only work on specific brands. I'll post this on XDA dev forum and see what they say.
  • You are confusing couldn't be done with, couldn't be done without a 6 month delay.
  • This is likely the same as the Korean quad-core LTE model, just with whatever bands they use for LTE in Europe. They could bring it here as well if they made it with our bands, but I doubt they will. They used the Qualcomm S4 (MSM8960) in our models because they were ready for volume production, and had an efficient on-chip LTE setup. This version simply took more R&D to perfect, and it also helped them avoid running out of the Exynos 4412 due to the huge scale of the US market. I think its great that they're offering the Exynos LTE version in more countries, hopefully with 2gb ram as well, as it helps it to dominate. However I don't think I'd trade my S4 version in if given the choice, as this model is thicker, and almost certainly has poorer battery life and LTE performance. I've had a few LTE phones, and this is the most reliable signal I've had (even better than my Razr), and battery life is phenomenal, even on LTE all day. A more power-hungry chip based on older architecture and lithography, with a piggy-backed LTE setup from another manufacturer, will not touch the efficiency and reliable connection we get. However, it will be a more powerful phone, which I think is great. Give the open European market some choice. Here in the US, they had to make carriers happy, and wanted one model to appease all customers. Battery life and connection stability are HUGE issues for most of us here with older LTE phones, and I think the S4 was a good choice, as I really don't see anyone else beating it in those categories this year.
  • If anyone could hold out (and this is pure speculation) they may just release another version, like the SII and the Skyrocket.
  • You can buy Black gs3 on here