In the year 2012, Samsung made the whole ‘Mini’ flagship trend popular with the launch of the Galaxy S3 Mini. The first Galaxy Mini smartphone, the S3 Mini offered a design and feature set very similar to the flagship Galaxy S3 but at a much lower price tag. Surprisingly, despite being a ‘Mini’ flagship, the Galaxy S3 Mini didn’t receive any software support from Samsung as it launched with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and didn’t receive any further updates. The Galaxy S3 Mini is still stuck on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Samsung did launch a Galaxy S3 Mini Value Edition with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean installed out of the box, but sadly the firmware wasn’t released for the owners of original Galaxy S3 Mini GT-I8190. Thankfully, the Galaxy S3 Mini did gain the attention of a number of developers on XDA, as a result of which the device has a number of custom ROMs available. Many of the custom ROMs available are based on the newer versions of Android, including Android 4.4 KitKat and Android Lollipop. There are even ROMs available that are based on the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop version.
One of the more popular Lollipop ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is the OmniROM developed by XDA senior member golden-guy. Currently the ROM is in beta stage, so not all of the functions work as intended. The latest release did fix many of the earlier issues such as call drops, offline charging, button backlight support, battery indicator styles and VPN connectivity but a few do remain. Most of the major functions such as voice calls, SMS, mobile data, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi tethering, GPS, Audio and Video playback, Torch LED, voice recording, camera (still images) Email, MMS, LED button backlights, battery saver mode, offline charging, CPU Deep Sleep support, and others. The only major function that isn’t working is the video recording. So if you can live with the video recording bug, you could use this ROM as a daily driver. Of course, future builds of the ROM should fix this issue as well and make it even more stable as a daily driver.
So, are you ready to get the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OmniROM installed on your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini? If your answer is yes, then we expect you to be responsible and follow this guide with care to ensure that your smartphone does not end up getting bricked due to any wrong step. You don't have to worry much if you follow the guide and get your smartphone all set for the installation.
Do you have a habit of performing a backup of your data regularly? If not, you should begin doing that as you will need to have a backup ready if you want to get the OmniROM custom ROM installed on your Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The reason why say this is the fact that the OmniROM can be installed on your smartphone only after you perform a complete wipe via recovery. You must have guessed by now that a complete wipe will erase most of your data that is saved on your device. We do not think any of you will be keen on losing your data by installing this ROM, so pay heed to our suggestion and get all your data backed up either by downloading a backup and restore app from the Google Play Store or by using a PC software that will let you backup the data on your smartphone to your computer. Performing a backup of your data on your computer may not be as convenient as using an app from the Google Play Store, so we would recommend you back up your data on your device itself by choosing an app such as Titanium Backup, Helium, or MyBackup. Using the app, you will have to back up a few of your important data such as the contacts list, SMS, apps, app data and settings. You shouldn't back up your media files such as videos, photos, songs, and other files as they will not be wiped when you perform a clean install of this custom ROM. What you will need to do though, is get your current ROM backed up with the help of instruction from this link. A Nandroid backup makes it a lot easier for you to revert to your previous ROM, should you feel the need to revert to it later on.
To be able to flash this custom ROM on your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, you will have to ensure that you unlock the bootloader of the device first. Unlike stock based custom ROMs that are more popular, AOSP based custom ROMs are restricted to users who have unlocked the bootloader of their smartphones. Unlocking the bootloader is not a very complicated process, so you should be able to do it easily. On the Galaxy S3 Mini, there is no risk of voiding the warranty as well, since the device is no longer available from most retailers. The developer of OmniROM Android 5.1.1 Lollipop custom ROM makes it clear that you should use the latest version of TWRP Recovery to install this custom ROM on your Galaxy S3 Mini. So do not try to use any other custom recovery on your device. The TWRP image file can be downloaded from the ROM ZIP download link give in the installation procedure below. Rooting your Galaxy S3 Mini is important too, so don't forget to root it before you continue.
Now let us take a look at the USB Debugging option Under Developer Options in Settings and verify if this option has been checked or not. If you have enabled it earlier and have been connecting your Galaxy S3 Mini to the computer in the past and accessed all folders of your device, then you don't have to check for this.
Another thing that should be checked before you continue is to see if your Galaxy S3 Mini battery is charged and has at least 50 to 60% battery charge left. If that is not the case, you shouldn't proceed further as there are chances your device could get bricked in case your smartphone runs out of charge completely. You will need to charge it first and only then move on with the rest of the installation process.
How to Update Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Using OmniROM Custom ROM
- We begin the ROM installation process by downloading the OmniROM ZIP file from this link. The custom ROM ZIP file is just the first of three files that need to be downloaded to your computer in order to get this Android 5.1.1 Lollipop ROM installed on your Galaxy S3 Mini. The second file is the GAPPS ZIP file that you will find at this link. When the GAPPS ZIP file is downloaded as well, you will need to download the latest SuperSU ZIP from this link if you wish to gain root access with this custom ROM. However, make sure you download the latest version, anything below 2.40 is not recommended.
You can now begin transferring the three ZIP files downloaded in the previous step to the internal storage of your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Once the smartphone is connected to the computer with the USB cable, you can begin moving the files to the internal memory.
All the following steps need to be done via recovery, so you will have to get your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini to boot into recovery mode after you disconnect it from the computer and turn it off.
When you enter recovery menu on your Galaxy S3 Mini, you can begin the full wipe process. First of all, you will need to perform a factory reset. This can be done by selecting the 'wipe data factory reset' option in recovery. Next, select the 'advanced options' and wipe the system, cache, dalvik cache, and data partitions of your device. When you finish, you can move on to the next step below.
In this step, we are going to get the OmniROM custom ROM ZIP file flashed via recovery. You can flash the file by returning to the main recovery menu and then choosing the 'Install zip from SD card' option. Before you can flash the file, you will have to browse the internal storage of your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in order to choose the file.
Now it is the turn of the GAPPS ZIP file to be installed with the same process as above. Select the 'Install zip from SD card' option in recovery once again and flash this file.
Before the installation can be completed, there is also the SuperSU ZIP file that will have to be flashed in order to gain root access on your Galaxy S3 Mini with this Android 5.1.1 Lollipop custom ROM.
Once done flashing all three ZIP files, tap on the ‘reboot system now’ option to reboot your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
After the rather long first boot, you can begin exploring this OmniROM custom ROM and try out all the features to see you like the ROM enough to use it as a daily driver. For tips and tricks, new build releases, and any other issues with this custom ROM, refer to the official ROM thread at this link.