The Samsung Galaxy S III is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. But some users have reported that, at any given moment, the Wi-Fi connection speed can drop to near useless levels. Even with solid networking hardware, the Galaxy doesn't seem to quite know how to consistently play well with wireless connections. Unfortunately, Samsung is not terribly forthcoming with either admitting there's an issue or solving the problem. However, if you happen to have one of the Galaxy S III devices with this issue, there is a fix.
Understand that a fix could come down the pipeline at any time. But for those who do not want to wait for said update to arrive, I'll explain how you can resolve this issue.
What's the problem?
Ultimately, the problem lies in the Wi-Fi Power Save Mode, which turns off wireless whenever the phone goes to sleep. For some of the Galaxy S III units, this seems to negatively effect the Wi-Fi when the phone is awakened.Now, on the Android Samsung Galaxy Tab, you can actually (and easily) set this feature in Settings | Wireless and network | Wi-Fi settings | Wi-Fi sleep policy. On the Galaxy S III, you won't find this setting. In fact, if you go to Settings | Power saving (Figure A), there isn't even a reference to Wi-Fi (or networking at all). Figure A
Here you see the Power savings settings on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.
If you don't want to wait for Samsung (or your carrier) to release a fix, you can do the following with the assurance that it will not effect future updates. Here's the steps for the fix.
- Open up the Galaxy S III phone dialer
- Dial *#0011#
- When the new screen opens, tap the menu button
- Select WiFi
- The WiFi Power Save Mode button should be set to ON (Figure B), so tap the ON button to set it to OFF
Set the WiFi Power Save Mode to OFF.
Just a couple more steps. You'll need to have the Galaxy S III forget all of the wireless networks you connect to. To do this, follow these steps:
- Tap the menu button
- Tap Settings
- Tap Wi-Fi
- Long press the wireless network you want to forget
- Tap Forget network
As soon as the network is forgotten, if it's within range, it will immediately appear. Tap the new wireless connection and connect. The issue should now be permanently fixed.
A couple words of warning: This solution will drain your battery faster. Why? Because Wi-Fi isn't going to shut off when the phone goes to sleep. But if you're having this particular problem with wireless, it's a trade off you might have to make until Samsung officially released a fix. You might also find that this setting resets to the default should your phone restart. Yes, this is a bit of a kludge for an issue Samsung should have addressed long ago, but it should get you by until the real fix comes out.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.