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Samsung Galaxy S3 mainboard failure leading to dead devices?

A bit of a stir has arisen over on Reddit and XDA about a potentially bad situation for Samsung and owners of their Galaxy S3. A small but vocal group of people are reporting that their Galaxy handsets are experiencing a catastrophic mainboard failure that has resulted in several GS3-shaped paperweights.

Users are reporting random device failure after 150-200 days of use, regardless of whether the handset is stock or has been rooted with custom software. Samsung is replacing all handsets experiencing the issue under warranty, though there has been no revision to the hardware. This has led some to worry the problem will simply reoccur after another hundred days or so.

Compared to the millions of Galaxy S3 handset sold, the number experiencing the issue is minuscule, likely not enough to cause Samsung to revamp their hardware build. But if you have experienced a similar issue, know you are not alone. So let’s not everyone freak out. The world isn’t ending and your Galaxy S3 will be just fine.

[via PocketNow]

Continue reading on the Samsung Galaxy S3 forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • bob

    Good ole Samsung and their substandard hardware. I will never own another Samsung after all the problems I’ve had with mine.

    • nick olaguez

      Cool, thanks for the pep talk. We needed that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.angulo.56 Jorge Angulo

      100% agree

    • toomuchgame441

      I hate my plasticky S3, everything else is fine tho

      • Chris H

        I actually like the plastic. Yeah, it feels flimsy sometimes (not often enough for me to care) but I love how lightweight it is. I don’t even keep mine in a case.

        • Go Hawkeyes

          Concur. It’s lightweight and feels warm to the touch. Not cold and alien like the old all metal phones I had.

          • guitarist5122

            i enjoy the feel of it as well, though it is also nice to have that solid metal feel as well. it’s really a toss up for me

          • BLADESMAN1889

            a toss up or toss off ? lol

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            Unlike you, I like the feeling of cold hard steel in my hand….

          • Jonathan DeJesus

            Steel or Cock? LoL!

          • BLADESMAN1889

            :–) :–) :–)

        • toomuchgame441

          Mine is too slippery not to carry in some kind of case, I have a really slim bumper for my S3, looks and feels nice

        • John Wentworth

          Have to agree generally with some caveats. I liked the feel of my nexus, focus more than the harse cold metal of many htc phones Ink owned in the past. I think it’s not so much plastic that’s the problem but that they sometimes use plastic that’s too thin and tends to feel flimsy. My GSM nexus felt as solid as any metal phone I’ve owned, while the S1 felt like I would crack the plastic if I pressed too hard.

          I have to say though that my nexus 4 beats them all as far as feel goes, unfortunately it’s also known to be fragile so I keep it in a tpu case, i always have a case on my phones so the back cover tends not to matter to me too much. But I take my phones out of the case when I’m at home from time to time to play with and get a feel for the naked device.

          That just sounded kinda pervy lol.

    • guitarist5122

      Dude that myth is so old. Samsung is on point these days. a few bad eggs doesn’t make a crappy company. this note 2 is the best phone I’ve EVER owned by far. I’ve owned several brands in the past: Nokia, Motorola, HTC, LG, and this is my first smartphone from Samsung(had a dumb flip phone in the past by them which worked wonderfully).

      • BLADESMAN1889

        My old Samsung Omnia [Windows] was dodgy to say the least, the stylus carved fu**king GROOVES outa the goddam screen [and no, I wasn't pressing down to hard - it was only after several months]. The charging socket was the worst I’ve ever had on a phone.

        But that all changed with the Galaxy S 1.

    • John Wentworth

      Samsung’s hardware is generally very good, people like to diss samsung because they use plastic in their devices, but honestly I’ve owned a Captivate, Focus, Galaxy Nexus and I still own a galaxy S 2 and they’ve been great reliable phones. Never had an issue with them, except for the fact that WP7.5 was boring as hell lol. (It was a work phone)

      I decided to skip the S3 and get the nexus 4, but it wasn’t because of Samsung’s hardware, I just wanted a nexus device. If their’s a common problem occuring I would tend to think it is just an issue with a batch or few batches. Also while I’m not saying this is the users fault, I’ve noticed that certain users seem to repeatedly have phone issues that need to be replaced, over the course of many different model and OEM phones.
      Some users just treat their devices like sh*t and their will always be replacements needed of any device.

  • Da_James

    My galaxy S2 has sustained so much of physical abuse, so many rom and kernel changes that, if latest sony doesn’t have 4.2.1 out of the box (enough! would you buy a brand new vista computer already?!), it’s gonna be a samsung (galaxy S4), surely NOT an lg, eventually an htc.

    • C-Law

      Umm, what?

  • epitomia

    Minuscule? Seriously? In my country, so many are facing dead motherboards, to the point where they’ve ran out of phones to loan to customers while they wait for their S3 to be repaired (a service previously promised to S3 owners only)

    • Jeff C

      im my country….im sorry i just pictured you saying that with a russian accent.

      • Claire

        In soviet Russia, phone calls you!

    • mgamerz

      Did you suceed from a country recently?

      • Mark Haynes

        secede. Also the other word is spelled succeed.

        • mgamerz

          Damn… I even tried spell check… I failed.

          • aphex242

            And for the record, individuals can’t secede from a country. That word is called emigrate. Only regions of a country can secede.

        • davedsone

          DOUBLE KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • troyboy30

    hahaha

  • http://www.facebook.com/doran.hassett Doran Ryle Hassett

    When i ordred mine was working great then would just randomly freeze up…. replacement came and haven’t had any troubles yet…. What we have to come to terms with is that this is high technology and we have no idea “really” how long or how much abuse these devices can take…. If you told me in 1992 Captains Picard’s ipad was too bulky, there would be a lot of laughter. 100-200 days still lies within the warranty, get over it. You have a frickin supercomputer in your hands…..

    • bmg314

      How dare you, sir! Captain Picard only used Nexus devices!

      • http://www.facebook.com/doran.hassett Doran Ryle Hassett

        very true, sorry. I hope Malcolm McDowell is retired lol sorry Pat

  • Hrethgir

    Sounds like a bad batch of phones got out there, this is the first I’ve heard of this. Had my GS3 since it launched on Verizon, never a single problem. And I bet that once all the bad ones are replaced, it won’t happen again.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Wait, so these guys are upset that Samsung gives them a brand new GS3?

    • aphex242

      …are you slow? Yeah, people are upset that a hardware problem causes brand new phones to fail in 5-7 months. Understandably.

      A new phone is great. Having a dead phone for a few days while waiting for the new phone? Not so great. People want their phones to work, not to have to send them off and wait for new ones to arrive – is this that complicated?

      • davedsone

        Nah… Ill take the new replacement any day of the week… wouldn’t be upset in the least.

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        It’s hardly complex to comprehend that waiting a few days = having better resale value cause you just got a brand new replacement. BOOM!

        • aphex242

          I’d much prefer a reliable phone than one I get free, new ones of regularly because it craps out on me. And where do you keep your phone, a woodchipper? I had an Evo 4G I bought a month after they came out, and 2 years later, with no case or screen protector, you could barely tell it was preowned.

          And how do you think that resale value will hold up on a phone with reliability issues? Seriously dude, use your head.

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            The exact number hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s somewhere less than 1% devices affected. The iPhone had 99% affected with antennagate, purplegate, and so on. Yet the phone still holds resale value…. what….

          • aphex242

            You’re right, if this isn’t widespread, it won’t have much of an effect. The two other cases you mention are hardly the same – a slight purple haze in the corner of a photo taken of a direct light source on a mobile camera isn’t really the same as your phone being deader than a doornail.

            Still, I think I made my point, and I think you made yours. I like reliability, you like dealing with customer service departments on a regular basis. Got it.

        • disqus_Uy47KSLIGV

          They’re replacing the motherboards as far as I was lead to believe.

        • John Wentworth

          the resale value of my phones generally never diminishes due to the physical condition of the phone, I always have a case and screen protector on my phones. My almost 2 year old AT&T S2 is still in mint condition. I’d much rather have reliable over being without a phone for days.

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            Sounds like you haven’t attempted to sell many phones. I’ve sold 7 android handsets over the last few years, and the physical appearance greatly affected resale value.

  • ShangTsung702

    I’ve gone through 4 Verizon Galaxy S3 units. One of them was labled 32GB but was actually 16GB, so I guess that one doesn’t count. But I was so frustrated with replacing the phone that I got an HTC Droid DNA. I love this phone. I wish it had a metal backing, but that’s my only complaint so far.

  • Tommy Thompson

    I have had mine since it was released in July. No issues..

    • disqus_Uy47KSLIGV

      Yet

    • vegiisan

      Same, had mine since preorder batch, gave it my mum recently but it’s not having any issues.

  • David Manvell

    Several months ago they announced there were over 30 million of these sold and I’m sure that # has doubled by now. Just a couple of reported failures is dam good. Why was this article written?

    • guitarist5122

      to calm the people that think this is happening on a large scale.

  • Desi Maldonado

    Got my phone in July and experienced hardware failure a couple weeks ago. Called up
    AT&T, they filed a warranty claim (free) under my original warranty.
    My phone went out on Sunday afternoon. I paid $14 for expedited
    shipping and had my replacement device by 10AM Tuesday morning.

    Little relieved to know I’m not the only one … although hopefully this doesn’t turn into a repeat of my experience with my Xbox.

    Either way, AT&T and Samsung handled it very well.

  • CharlieTX

    Remember to do backups on a regular basis.

  • Dimitri
  • http://twitter.com/RLGalvin Galvin Raphael Loh

    Two of my colleagues using the S3 already experienced charging and dead phone issue just recently. I hope the “minuscule” in the above article is used accurately.

  • disqus_Uy47KSLIGV

    You’re saying a couple of reported failures, but this probably only just scrapes the surface of users on these forums. What about the people who don’t visit these forums, who’s phones have died in the same way and have just taken them back to their vendor? Potentially the number of failed handsets unreported could be several times more thrash those that have been.

  • turfgrass64

    Samsung build quality,lol

  • Anthony Chapman

    This just happened to me. I’ve got a white S3 locked to Three UK. I’m on holiday in Hong Kong. Left phone charging overnight. Woke up to a green fully charged light but phone won’t turn on. Tried girlfriends battery, no joy – completely dead. Going to try a Samsung service centre here but not holding out much hope of a new phone before the new year.

    Got my handset in mid June, so it lasted a hair over six months.

  • Anna

    I got gs3 yesterday, love galaxy’s, but after an hour it started shutting off, takes a couple of hours to come back on, :-(, had to go back to my s2

  • http://twitter.com/Aranhe Gillian Nuttall

    Hmm, my S3 mainboard has just failed too. Less than six months old. Wondered why the shop didn’t give me a hard time and simply sent it off. Saw the problem was the mainboard after tracking the repair log online.

  • krispyjim

    184 days mine has lasted. Just a few hours after the turn of the new year and it died in front of me.. screen went black, wont turn back on, wont charge. Now I’ll never know what the end of that ‘Happy New’ SMS I was reading says….

  • ILL Money

    Mine died. Samsung will repair it or you can contact your carrier.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/PhillClementPhoto

  • Sanjay

    My s3 died after 120 days. Since it was under warranty, they replaced the motherboard within a day. The same happened with my samsung galaxy tab 7.7 where they had to replace the unit as they did not have a spare motherboard. Not a single complaint with my iPads, iPod or iPhone. Something wrong with Samsung devices. Will NOT buy again.