The Samsung galaxy S3 Neo is the best Dual-SIM smartphone on the market, but unfortunately we couldn’t say the same for the Android OS it came with out of the box. When released on the market, it came with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which is a fair way away from the later stages of Kitkat that we are in now. However, the Germans were luckier as they started off with Android 4.4. Recognizing that we are happy to say that it is taking the leap up to Android 4.4.2 Kitkat as we speak because the new firmware is rolling out in Europe.
The first country we know of is Germany as is seen from the announcement on the German website. There will be plenty more to follow after although we don’t know if this update will carry over to the Indian variant under the same name.
If you are currently running Jelly Bean there are lots to learn. The difference between Jelly bean and Kitkat is tremendous. That dies down as we go from 4.4 to 4.4.2 a lot, but there are still additional features to mention. The first different between Jelly Bean and KitKat is the boot animation followed by the lock screen. Google now is accessed by sliding up before unlocking, and this was one of the main differences with the original Kitkat. They took this away for the version here so you won’t see it. From there, the developers put the camera icon on the bottom right corner in this latest version. It means people can take photos with your devices without having to unlock it. Do not try and press the icon, though, because that doesn’t work. It will need to slide upward similar to Google Now. Users can always go to Settings > Lock Screen > Lock screen widgets and choose what they want shown on the lock screen. You will get full screen album covers now showing up when listening to music. The Dialer is completely revamp, and it works with Google Now. QuickOffice is a new app that you couldn’t find before, and some apps can fit the entire screen.
One of the things I like best with a jump up to Kitkat is that it is made to run better on devices with less processing power. That means that mid-rang and low-end devices can run smoother and faster. The Galaxy Neo I9301 comes with a Quad core, 1200 MHz processors and 1536 MB RAM. Now without being mean to it, that is hardly up there with today’s top-end standards. The point is that this is the perfect example of a smartphone that will benefit greatly of the new chocolate OS we have here, so that’s a good thing. It will have better performance over the original OS it came with out of the box.
Now lets talk more specifically about the Android 4.4.2 and what new features it brings over the original Android 4.4. Keep in mind that some features may change from mobile to mobile but most of them will stay the same and are available for the Neo. I already mentioned the new camera app so I won’t touch on that again. After unlocking, you will notice it is visibly faster than previously. There’s altering done to the status bar across the top of the display. The WiFi, signal strength, battery and clock are all white now. All white represents how much you have of any one particular thing and when it goes down it will be transparent white. It is noticeable for the signal strength and the battery. The idea here was to give it a better stock Kitkat feel. It ‘s not known whether they do this for our benefit by easing us into the new look or whether they weren’t ready to engage themselves properly. Speaking of Immersive there is a brand new Immersive mode, and it will let you view apps full screen without ant status bar in the way so that users can completely “immerse” themselves in the rich content of their choice. There’s a change to the notification tray font. It is thinner as can be seen by opening up the “Air command.” If you text a lot instead of talk you’ll love the new landscape keyboard. It is easier to type with and also comes with brand new Emoji icons. There’s also a new default message app location that lets you change the default messaging app. Right now it is set to Hangouts.
Those are the highlight features, but my favorite is the new Easter Eggs that the Android team have included. If you go to Settings and scroll down to About Phone followed by touching on the build number fast the letter “K” will appear. After spinning around and doing its thing, it will then enter the official logo that is a huge rip-off of the real chocolate bar to the point where you must be thinking patents are coming. You can tap on that screen again, and now there’s what I like to call a “Tetris” style arcade game where every Android OS to date is on the display. Each icon is movable by tapping on the screen.
Don’t forget to play it safe and backup all personal data you are storing on the smartphone before taking on the OTA update. It doesn’t matter if it’s official or unofficial, over the air or manual, you should always take a full backup or at least sync the device with the Google account or Samsung Kies. If you want to backup there is 16 GB of internal storage this handset comes with pre-installed in the hardware. You can buy microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC cards that hold up to 64 GB of additional external storage if you have used up the built-in amount. There’s no reason not to back up. If you have trouble with those options try using helium from the Google Play Store. There ‘re loads of other apps that also make it easier to backup apps to go along with your contacts, cal logs, SMS texts and other data.
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