Samsung Galaxy S3 owners may not have to wait long for Android 4.2.1 to make it to their devices. A pre-release version of the 4.2.1 firmware (I9300XXUFMB3) for the Galaxy S3 has been leaked, hinting that the official release is not far behind. This is really good news for S3 owners as a lot of other smartphones are still awaiting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The release will put the Galaxy S3 just one update behind the latest Android version. As expected, it brings a lot of goodies to the device, and Samsung has infused its Nature UX with many of the OS's components.

For one, the notification drawer now has many more toggles, which can be accessed by a two-finger swipe down. The toggles in the regular notification drawer have not been dropped though, which might leave users slightly confused. However, you can totally customise the toggles in the drawer to avoid overlaps. The secondary notification drawer has a lot more toggles than are seen on stock Android.

Screenshots of the Galaxy S3 with the 4.2.1 update

Screenshots of the Galaxy S3 with the 4.2.1 update

The update also brings the Daydream feature, which is a nice addition and should look great on the S3’s HD screen. However, there is no clarity on whether Photosphere has been included in the Galaxy S3’s build. The Galaxy S3 also gets lockscreen widgets thanks to this update.

Of course, this is still pre-release software and some minor bugs are to be expected. SamMobile, which revealed the existence of the leaked firmware, says the build is as good as any official firmware, but we would still advice caution before you flash it.

The I9300XXUFMB3 update brings these changes:

  • Android 4.2.1 – JOP40D
  • Improved Ripple effect on Lockscreen
  • Lockscreen widgets
  • Daydream feature
  • New toggles in Notification Centre
  • Actionable notifications
  • Voice commands to control many actions

The Galaxy S3 will soon be replaced as Samsung’s flagship by the Galaxy S4, which is expected to be announced on March 14. However, the Galaxy S3 is still a very high-end phone and the combination of the recent price drop and this update should help boost sales.

Here is a quick look at the key specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S3:

  • 4.8-inch, HD, Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi with DLNA support
  • GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS,
  • USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 8MP camera with AF, LED flash, BSI sensor, and 1080p HD video recording
  • 1.9 MP front facing camera with a resolution of 720p for video chat
  • 16/ 32/ 64GB internal memory, expandable up to 64GB

The phone is powered by an Exynos 4412 Quad processor clocked at 1.4GHz, and has 2GB of RAM. The 4.1 Jelly Bean update brought with it several changes to the smartphone, including Google Now and better performance. It has a 2100mAh Lithium-Ion battery.

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