Noob asks: Should I update an old phone before flashing with /e/?

I’m finally about to do it… upgrading from a Samsung S2 Android (had it 7 long years) to an S3 LTE that I will flash with /e/. I need to know; is it best to upgrade the firmware of the ‘new’ S3 before installing /e/? If so, how do I go about that? I’d generally prefer not to link to Play as I’ve managed so far (hence the S2 is 7 years without an update and I have no experience of doing it). If I must attach to Play, then so be it.

I’m an utter noob and I know I can potentially brick the S3, but I’m going for it. Never flashed anything before, except for pwning an ancient iPhone that I had before the S2.

Samsung GT-i9305
Android Version 4.3
Kernel 3.0.31-2569006

Any other first-time advice very welcome.

I don’t think it is absolutely necessary, but I recommend to install the latest StockROM version 4.4.4 Kitkat anyway. Especially bootloader and modem/radio are updated with it.

If your personal computer is running with Windows® 7, 8.1 or 10:

  1. Download Samsung’sTool ODIN3 v3.14.1 and Android USB Driver for Windows and install it.

  2. Download the latest Samsung firmware Android 4.4.4 Kitkat of your country for the Galaxy S III (LTE / International) - “i9305” and flash it for example with Samsung’sTool ODIN3.

  3. With ODIN3 you can also install the necessary TWRP for i9305 => twrp-3.3.1-0-i9305.img.tar.

  4. With TWRP Recovery you can as a last step install /e/ OS

If your personal computer is running with IOS or Linux, you can follow these instructions, for example.

In addition to countless step-by-step flash instructions, many videos in numerous languages can also be found on the WWW. Search words could be: GT-i9305 LineageOS custom ROM

Yes you should install the latest stock firmware, and maybe boot it until the configuration page (no need to go further, but you can test everything is working if you want).

This howto could help :

Try to find somewhere the stock firmware in case you need to restore one day.

Finding & download the latest Samsung firmware Android 4.4.4 Kitkat of your Country for the Galaxy S III (LTE / Int.) “i9305” has now become particularly easy with the new version of the tool → SamFirm 0.4.1.

Simply select the Samsung Galaxy Model and the Region / Career, check box [Yes] Binary Nature and check box [Yes] Decrypt Automatically (default), last click the button. [Check Updates].

SamFirm 0.4.1 goodie: Links for direct download of Odin Flash Tool and Samsung Driver Android.

In contrast to unreasonable approx. 15 kB/Sec for Non-Premium Members of Sammobile, the download speed of software from SamFirm is possible with a fast download.

Thanks for the answers, @archie and @Anonyme … I wish I had sent this last night as most answers are tailored towards Windows. Fortunately, I’m a Linux using noob so I started following the instructions Archie suggested.

I got stuck at the first instruction (Enable OEM Unlock), and discovered elsewhere that there is no ‘OEM Unlock’ option before Android 5.0 (Loillipop). What to do?

I have tried updating the S3 over wifi but it states that the latest updates are already installed. I understand that 4.4 KitKat is possible for the i9305 but my phone doesn’t want to get it for some reason (perhaps terminated support on such an elderly device?).

I looked up SamFirm (to look for a Linux equivalent) and a post at XDA-Dev suggest that it is deprecated and suggest

The rabbit hole deepens… perhaps you’d be kind enough to revise your kind advice for Linux use? Do you consider Updato safe?

According to the publicly available documents, Android 4.4.4 was the last StockROM version for most countries.

Only those for United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait ended with Android 4.3.

So you can (must) continue working on the existing Android 4.3 version. Good luck with Linux & Co.

Vielen Dank noch einmal, @archie,

This whole thing is quite labyrinthine! I would never have suspected that it would be applied differently in different countries.
United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE and Kuwait; an axis of deprecation! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

On I go with 4.3, then.