Is the Galaxy S3 Still a Good Phone in 2023? A Look Back at a Classic

The Samsung Galaxy S3, released in 2012, was a game-changer in the smartphone world. It boasted a stunning Super AMOLED display, a powerful processor, and a sleek design that captivated consumers. But as technology has advanced at an unprecedented pace, the question arises: is the Galaxy S3 still a good phone in 2023?

This article dives deep into the Galaxy S3’s features, strengths, and weaknesses, considering its performance, software, and the modern landscape of smartphones. By examining its capabilities compared to current devices, we’ll explore if this iconic phone remains relevant in today’s tech-driven society.

A Blast from the Past: Reliving the Galaxy S3’s Glory Days

The Galaxy S3 was a symbol of innovation and elegance in its time. Its 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a 720p resolution offered vibrant colors and sharp visuals. The powerful Exynos 4 Quad processor ensured smooth multitasking and a fluid user experience.

Its design was equally impressive. The curved edges and smooth back provided a comfortable grip, while the sleek, minimalist aesthetic made it a head-turner. The phone also introduced features like S Voice, a voice assistant, and Smart Stay, which kept the screen on while the user was looking at it.

Performance: Still Relevant, But Not a Powerhouse

While the Galaxy S3’s performance was revolutionary in 2012, it is undeniably outmatched by modern smartphones. The Exynos 4 Quad processor, once a powerhouse, struggles to keep up with the demands of modern apps and games. You’ll notice lag and slowdowns when navigating menus, opening apps, or running demanding tasks.

The 1GB of RAM is also inadequate for today’s standards. Multitasking becomes a challenge, and apps may reload frequently. While the phone can still handle basic tasks like browsing the internet, social media, and simple games, it’s not a device for heavy users or gamers.


  • Lightweight and comfortable design: Despite its age, the Galaxy S3 remains comfortable to hold and use thanks to its sleek design and relatively lightweight build.
  • Decent battery life: The 2100 mAh battery can still provide a full day of use with light usage. This is a significant advantage over some newer phones with larger screens and more demanding processors.


  • Outdated processor and RAM: The Galaxy S3’s processing power and memory are severely limited compared to modern devices. This leads to slow performance and frustrating lag.
  • Limited storage: The base model comes with 16GB of storage, which can be quickly consumed by apps and media. The lack of expandable storage is a significant drawback.

Software: Stuck in the Past

The Galaxy S3 initially ran Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it received updates to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. While these were significant operating systems in their time, they are significantly outdated compared to the latest Android versions. This means the Galaxy S3 lacks access to the latest features and security updates.

Furthermore, app compatibility is a major concern. Many modern apps are not designed for older Android versions and may not function correctly, if at all, on the Galaxy S3. This limits the phone’s usability and can be a major frustration for users.


  • Simple and user-friendly interface: The user interface on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is still relatively intuitive and easy to navigate, especially for those who are used to older Android versions.


  • No access to new features and updates: The Galaxy S3 is no longer receiving software updates, meaning it’s missing out on the latest security patches, bug fixes, and new features.
  • Limited app compatibility: Many modern apps are not compatible with older Android versions, severely limiting the functionality of the phone.

The Camera: A Decent Snap, But Not a Pro

The Galaxy S3 boasted an 8MP rear camera with a decent autofocus and LED flash. While it was considered a solid camera in 2012, it pales in comparison to the high-resolution, multi-lens cameras found in modern smartphones. You’ll find limitations in low-light performance, lack of detail in photos, and a limited range of features.


  • Simple and easy-to-use interface: The camera app is straightforward, making it easy to capture basic photos and videos.


  • Low resolution and outdated technology: The 8MP camera is significantly inferior to the 40MP+ cameras found in modern devices. The image quality is noticeably worse, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Limited features: The camera lacks many of the advanced features found in modern smartphones, such as portrait mode, night mode, and AI scene optimization.

The Big Picture: Is the Galaxy S3 Worth It?

For the average user in 2023, the Galaxy S3 falls short. Its outdated processor, limited RAM, and lack of software updates make it a cumbersome and frustrating experience. The camera is also severely outmatched by modern devices.

However, the Galaxy S3 can still be a viable option for a few specific scenarios:

  • A budget-friendly option for basic tasks: If you’re on a tight budget and only need a phone for basic tasks like calls, messaging, and web browsing, the Galaxy S3 could work.
  • A nostalgic piece of tech history: For those who appreciate vintage technology, the Galaxy S3 offers a glimpse into the past and a reminder of how far smartphones have come.
  • A project phone for tinkering: The Galaxy S3 can be an excellent platform for learning about Android development, rooting, and custom ROMs.

Ultimately, the decision of whether the Galaxy S3 is “good” depends on your individual needs and expectations. If you are seeking a reliable and powerful smartphone for today’s demanding applications, the Galaxy S3 is not the answer. However, for budget-minded individuals or those with a nostalgic yearning for the past, it may still hold a certain charm.


1. Is the Galaxy S3 still usable in 2023?

While the Galaxy S3 was a revolutionary phone in its time, it’s significantly outdated in 2023. It lacks essential features like modern security updates, high-speed internet connectivity, and a powerful processor for demanding apps. While you might be able to make calls and send texts, its slow performance and limited functionality make it a very frustrating experience.

It’s best to consider the Galaxy S3 a historical device rather than a practical daily driver. If you’re looking for a reliable and functional phone, look for something newer with modern capabilities.

2. What are the biggest drawbacks of using the Galaxy S3 in 2023?

The Galaxy S3 suffers from numerous drawbacks in 2023. Its outdated hardware leads to sluggish performance, especially when running modern apps. You’ll encounter frequent lag and app crashes, making even basic tasks frustrating. Moreover, the lack of security updates leaves the phone vulnerable to malware and cyber threats. Its small storage capacity limits you to installing only a handful of apps, and its outdated battery technology will likely require frequent charging. Finally, the small display and low resolution make it difficult to enjoy multimedia content or perform tasks requiring visual clarity.

These drawbacks make the Galaxy S3 unsuitable for everyday use in 2023. It’s best to stick with modern devices for a seamless and secure mobile experience.

3. Is the Galaxy S3 still supported by Samsung?

No, the Galaxy S3 is no longer supported by Samsung. It has reached the end of its lifecycle and receives no further software updates, including security patches. This means the phone is vulnerable to security risks and lacks the latest features and bug fixes.

Samsung’s decision to discontinue support is standard practice for older devices, as it allows them to focus resources on newer models.

4. Can I still find a Galaxy S3 to buy in 2023?

While finding a brand-new Galaxy S3 is impossible, you might find used or refurbished models on online marketplaces or through private sellers. However, exercise caution when purchasing a used device. Ensure it’s in good condition and has been properly refurbished to avoid encountering unexpected issues.

It’s important to remember that you’ll be buying a device with limited functionality and no future software support.

5. What are some alternatives to the Galaxy S3 in 2023?

There are numerous excellent alternatives to the Galaxy S3 in 2023, offering a wide range of features and price points. Consider exploring newer Samsung Galaxy models like the Galaxy A series or the flagship Galaxy S series. Other popular brands like Google Pixel, OnePlus, and Xiaomi offer affordable and feature-packed alternatives.

Remember to choose a phone with modern hardware and software for a seamless and secure experience.

6. What were the key features of the Galaxy S3 that made it so popular?

The Galaxy S3’s popularity stemmed from its impressive features for the time. Its stunning Super AMOLED display offered vibrant colors and deep blacks, while its powerful processor ensured smooth multitasking and app performance. The phone also featured a user-friendly interface with innovative features like voice commands and gesture controls.

Moreover, its sleek design and lightweight construction made it comfortable to hold and use. The Galaxy S3 pushed the boundaries of smartphone technology and offered a compelling user experience.

7. Is the Galaxy S3 a good option for a collector?

If you’re a collector of vintage tech, the Galaxy S3 might be a worthwhile addition to your collection. Its historical significance as a groundbreaking device makes it a valuable piece of mobile phone history.

However, be mindful of its condition and ensure it’s properly stored to preserve its value.

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