Samsung Galaxy A3 is a relatively new Android based device – the smartphone was officially released last year in December. However, the A3 is still running Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS, which means that Lollipop is just around the corner. So, since the Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA update will be soon released, you might want to learn all the possible ways in which you can update your Samsung Galaxy A3.

If so, you are in the right place as during the guidelines from below I will teach you everything that’s related to the update procedure in term of applying the OTA release, manually flashing the stock Android firmware via Odin or even installing a custom ROM firmware like CM 12, AOKP or ParanoidAndroid.

But, let’s take each update operation separately in order to see how to make things properly. Thus, first of all we have the OTAs releases. These updates can be easily applied on your Galaxy A3. All you have to do is to wait for the official notification and from that point you can already consider your phone updated. Anyhow, the OTA roll outs are usually provided in phases or gradually, so not all the A3 devices will receive the notification at the same time. That means you might want to skip the wait.

Another thing that’s related to OTA updates: you can apply it only if your Galaxy A3 is on stock KitKat OS and only if your phone isn’t rooted. Else, your device will not recognize any further notifications. Therefore, here we are facing a problem, which can be easily resolved by choosing to manually flash the official Android OS through Odin. So, Odin can be used for installing the same OTA firmware but in a manual matter. Basically, you have to download the Android OS and flash the software package on your Galaxy A3 via Odin.

By choosing this operation you can therefore skip the OTA wait and also you can update a rooted device with an official firmware. Of course, root access will be then revoked, so after completing the update process you will have to find a new root solution to apply on the new Lollipop (for example) system.

Now, using Odin for flashing the stock Android OS is also important from another perspective. Let’s say you have completed a custom operation on your Galaxy A3 and now your phone is dealing with various software related issues. What can you do for fixing your Android device? Well, you can downgrade it to stock Android OS, as by doing so all malicious programs will be removed since your device will be restored back to stock and back to its initial state. Thus, use Odin if you want to manual troubleshoot issues like boot loops, lags, bugs, force close, errors, alerts, screen freeze, battery drain, heating situations, or total blackouts.

As you can already tell, both operations are official ones as in both cases you are using the stock and official Android OS. Well, the same can’t be applied when we talk about a custom ROM firmware. These updates represents free aftermarket distributions of Android system and they are usually developed and offered by third party devs – don’t associate these updates with Samsung or with Google. Now, because of that, if you choose to install a custom ROM firmware on your Galaxy A3, be prepared to lose your phone’s warranty.

Note that the warranty will be void so you will no longer be able to reclaim the same. For example, if afterwards, you manage to brick your Galaxy A3, taking your phone back to service will imply in paying for the technical assistance. Thus, using Odin, as already explained, will be once more a valid solution as in that way you can fix your device by yourselves.

Well, why using a custom ROM firmware? Basically because the custom Android ports brings lot more to your phone than stock releases. Thus, with a custom ROM installed, your Samsung Galaxy A3 might run better and faster. Usually the custom updates comes with features that cannot be found on the default Android system, these features being then used for improving the performances of your Android smartphone; in that matter you can now consider in speed up in phone, improve its battery life and in customizing other general performances. Also, with a custom ROM you can test Android firmwares ahead of official release.

Now, before considering in applying an update (especially when talking about custom ROMs) a backup operation should be completed. You see, during the flashing process, your personal data, info and accounts that are saved on the internal storage memory of your Galaxy A3 might get wiped out or corrupted. So, you can just lose everything that’s important for you. Therefore, before doing anything else, use compatible backup and restore apps and save your contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, internet settings, EFS folder and so on.

Moreover, if you are planning in manually updating your Galaxy A3, then you also have to take care of the following tasks:

  • A computer (powered by Windows) will have to be used as on the same you will download the required files.
  • Your Samsung Galaxy A3 and your phone’s USB cable will be required because you will eventually have to establish a connection between your handset and your computer.
  • A good idea will be to temporarily deactivate security protection from your computer. In rare situations users reported that antivirus and similar programs interfered with Odin or with the download process.
  • On your device USB debugging must be checked; but before doing so you need to gain developer rights on your phone, so go to “menu – settings – about phone” and tap several times on built number. Then, enable USB debugging from “menu – settings – developer options”.
  • Check the battery status on your A3 before going any further. If the power left is currently lower than 60%, before starting the update process, plug in the charger – if your phone will get stuck or turned off in the middle of the update operation, your device might also get bricked.

How to Update Samsung Galaxy A3

Apply an OTA Update

  1. First of all, check if there is any notification spotted on your Galaxy A3.
  2. Just slide down the Notification Panel as the notification will be displayed there.
  3. You can also manually check for OTAs by going to “menu – settings – about phone – software version – check for updates”.
  4. If the OTA is available, before doing anything else, enable a WiFi connection.
  5. Then follow on screen prompts and install the firmware – your phone will reboot several times during the flashing process, but the OS will be updated automatically.

Use Odin and Manual Update your Samsung Galaxy A3

  1. First, on your computer download Odin and Samsung KIES.
  2. Unzip Odin and install the program; also install Samsung KIES.
  3. Then, on your computer download the stock Android OS for your Galaxy A3 (you can get the update from SamMobile, or from any other source you want).
  4. Unzip the update package on desktop.
  5. Use Samsung KIES and install Galaxy A3 USB drivers on your computer.
  6. Now, enter your A3 in download mode and on your computer run Odin.
  7. Connect your smartphone with your PC – on Odin now the “added” message will be displayed while the ID:COM section will turn yellow or blue.
  8. From the program click on “PA” and select the firmware file from desktop.
  9. Don’t make any other changes and click on “start”.
  10. Wait while the ROM is being automatically flashed – the process will end when on Odin the “pass” message will be displayed and when the ID:COM section will turn green.
  11. Unplug the USB cable and reboot your Galaxy A3.

Install a custom ROM Firmware

  1. If you want to update your Galaxy A3 with a custom ROM, first you have to root your phone.
  2. Also, on your device you need to flash a custom recovery image such as CWM or TWRP recovery.
  3. Moreover, I recommend you to use this recovery image for making a Nandroid backup – in this way you can save and also restore the current firmware that runs on your device.
  4. Good; now on your computer download the custom ROM software that you want to install on your Galaxy A3.
  5. Don’t unzip the update package just save it on desktop.
  6. Connect your smartphone with your computer by plugging in the USB cable.
  7. Transfer the downloaded file on your phone’s SD card and in the end, unplug the USB cord.
  8. Turn off your phone and enter your A3 in recovery mode.
  9. From recovery make a hard reset and then clear cache: select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
  10. When done, return to main menu of recovery and from there select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  11. Wait while the ROM is being flashed and when done, from main menu of recovery choose “reboot system now”.

Good job; now you know how to properly update your Samsung Galaxy A3 whether it is about an OTA release, or about manual update procedures such as using Odin or a custom ROM firmware. Thus, you are now prepared for Lollipop and other further OS improvements. Do tell us how things worked for you and also share your experience with other users by using the comments field from below.

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