Samsung Galaxy S III not compatible with previous MHL-HDMI adapters, requires new one

Samsung Galaxy S III not compatible with previous MHL-HDMI adapters, requires new one
Let’s skip the introduction - you already know that the Samsung Galaxy S III is practically the most powerful mobile device to come out yet. It’s amazing, but we appreciated also the fact that it came with a removable battery, expandable memory via microSD card slots and a simple MHL microUSB port for chargin. We can go on and on with the great things about the Galaxy S III, but the way it connects to an HDTV (and you’d want to connect this phone to an HDTV, trust us) is not one of them.

Actually, the way Samsung handled this is horrific - we don’t know the exact reason, but it turns out now that the SGS III requires a special MHL adapter. First, an explanation. MHL is the port on the bottom of your device that acts as a gateway for both charging the device and connecting it to external displays. For the latter, you need an MHL to HDMI adapter, a simple dongle that allows you to further connect to an HDMI cable and a TV/monitor.

All good so far - we’ve seen the same mechanism work in the Galaxy S II, we’ve bought the MHL adapter, and now we’re happy that we can use this in the SGS III... not. UK retailer Clove who just got the new MHL-HDMI adapter explains why:

“Any previous MHL adapter will not work with the S3 due to the pin layout.”

It’s not a huge deal as the adapter itself costs £24.98 including tax (that’s $39), but it’s annoying. And maybe there’s a reason for that, but we honestly don’t know it. You can help us with an explanation and/or thank Samsung in the comments below. 

Also below is a link to Clove's web store, in case you want to order your adapter. Note, that if you want to hook up your SGS III to a non-1080p monitor/TV, you might run into problems:

source: Clove via SlashGear

Related phones

Galaxy S III
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(11.60h 3G talk time)



1. fosbjohn

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

So.... can the phone charge as well when connected to the tv? As this adapter uses the same port on the bottom of the phone.

7. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

I would guess the adapter would charge the phone the S2 adapter does and it makes the adapter more useful otherwise you could only watch as long as the phone battery lasts

12. fosbjohn

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

Thanks for the quick response cnpthe3rd!

19. matty1323

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

The MHL adapters of the past from Samsung require power when connecting via HDMI. There is a small microusb port on the side of the adapter to plug in a power plug or maybe USB cable for power otherwise the Adapter will not display anything via HDMI. So Yes it will charge your device while connected to HDMI, you don't have a choice.

2. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Wait, does galaxy s3 have a HDMI out or not.?!? I got even a HDMI cable shipped with my one a half year old phone (xperia arc)

8. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

yes did you not understand that? it has HDMI out from the MHL (micro usb) port just like the S2 they changed the pin configuration so your old (galaxy S2) cable will not work you have to buy a new one

18. romeo1

Posts: 824; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

so no it doesn't have hdmi it can make use of hdmi with an adapter

3. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

I hope Galaxy S3 is not ban from importing to USA by crazy rotten Apple lawsuits.

9. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

not going to happen don't worry about that

4. mettec

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

So does this include the U.S. versions? I am sure within a few months of release there will be other manufactuers making their versions of the adapter to work with the S3 but getting my S3 (pre-ordered) and having to wait still sucks. Not willing to pay $40+ for a Samsung OEM version.

10. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

yes I'm sure that Chinese manufacturers have already started making them and they will soon be available for 99 cents from the China product outlet store AKA EBay

5. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

That simply means i will have to shed more money.. Why couldn't they have included one in the Retail Box itself.. Everyone knows the answer to this question, they wanted to make more money by these accessories that is why they changed to a new pin layout.

6. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

yes it is a big conspiracy all aimed at you. but you are welcome to run down to the local electronics surplus store and buy a male micro usb plug, a female HDMI socket, some wire and solder and make your own. not including your labor and aggravation that method would cost you around 15-20 in parts assuming you can find the parts you need or you can get the parts from the china product outlet web page AKA E-Bay and spend around 5 and wait for china to ship them so see you have lots of options but yes they change the pin out for the sole reason of forcing you to buy new accessories otherwise you would not buy new ones and therefore there would be no incentive for manufactures to produce them and if there were no manufacturers making accessories sales on the phone would suffer

20. romeo1

Posts: 824; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

i think you are right if they both have the same amount of pins

23. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It lowers the purchase price of the phone, as not all customers will use the cable anyway. Besides, apple does a pin every new device they release. Hopefully the new MicroUSB standard alleviates that. New cables usually mean higher thresholds or quality, so maybe it's worth the change

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you CANT buy a generic plug. thats not possible. If its anything like previous samsung only cables, there is a recognition chip in the plug so it wont work without it. why did they do that? To make an extra few bux of course. If that is the extent to how down and dirty they want to get, I can live with that. Its not like they are forcing you into an entire custom ecosystem where the more your in the less control you have and the more impossible it is for you to get out, like a certain fruit company we know... its just 1 cable

13. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

This is exactly the type of stuff you complain Apple does. When Samsung does it you're ok with it. Hmm a word that starts with an H comes to mind

21. romeo1

Posts: 824; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

apple has allot of stuff that used that port. the dockingstation speakertowers car cables alarm clocks and if you bought a couple of these you could run up to 1000s of dollars/euros with this it could run up to 100 if they had a dockingstation with hdmi otherwise its just the 30/40 dollars/euros so its the same thing but the money you're losing not as much money as apple lets you lose


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

Honestly this is kind of a let down. i just bought me an HDMI adapter and the cable and to not be able to use them just sucks lol... hmm not good sammy not good...

29. stjcripes

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

It should be noted that price is £20.82 before tax. One should use this price when converting to USD ($32.18 at time of post) as that not only would you be hard pressed to find a 20% sales tax in the US, but the tax rates will vary from state to state and city to city. I imagine we'll see a more traditional price of $29.99 or $34.99, though.

30. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

havent other companies stopped putting earphones in there boxes also? as a business move i think it makes sense. at 9 million pre-orders already, thats 9 million little connectors needed and probably market research shows that maybe like only 500,00 people would ever use it. and thats probably a larger number then people would actually use. last year when i got my samsung infuse i plugged it into my big screen twice.. why? cause i could. other than that i use DLNA if i want media on my big screen

31. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

All I know is...I HATED the proprietary cords from regular cell phones. Samsung and Motorola were some of the worse offenders. I thought Android, Gogle did a good job with that. HTC and the Rezound...has a plug that only fits the this special MHL. I like the idea of need for another port on the device. .but Samsung doesnt need to do this....

32. xplayer

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Quick Question so my samsung galaxy s2 usb on the go cable will work with my gs3 or should i have to buy a new one?????? plz reply thanx.......

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless