As purported Galaxy S III specs reenter the atmosphere, are you still interested?

Published: April 27, 2012

Over the last few weeks, Galaxy S III rumors have started flowing in faster than we can process them. Everyone is so excited or anxious to see what exactly Samsung has up its sleeve that people are willing to believe anything, that Samsung is certainly going to pitch a curve ball this year and throw everyone off balance. And everybody wants to be the first to know.

We're only six days away from Samsung's May 3rd event in London, and the rumor mill doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. Instead, more and more conflicting rumors and leaked images continue to roll in. In just the past week, we've seen (or heard): a leaked video of the Galaxy S III in a dummy housing, a premature listing on Amazon Germany, Samsung's anagram teaser site, the announcement of Samsung's quad-core Exynos chip to be used in "next Galaxy Smartphone," and a rumor stating the U.S. variant will carry the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset instead of Exynos.

This week, there have also been a couple less credible rumors floating around touting possible specifications. However, you will notice that more recent specifications point towards more reasonable and much more conservative specifications.

Back in March, I wrote that The Galaxy S III will likely be a victim of wild rumors. At the time, it was rumored to be arriving with a large, 4.8-inch, edge-to-edge 1080p Super AMOLED display, the ability to switch between stock Android and Samsung's customized TouchWiz interface, a quad-core Exynos (which we now know for a fact) and various other features – like a 12-megapixel camera and ceramic body.

Lately, however, those rumors have quickly been brought back down to earth. Samsung, while perfectly capable of producing some fine smartphone components, is not a super-company. Simply put, 4.3- to 4.8-inch 1080p displays neither exist yet nor are they necessary. Currently, a 4.7-inch display at 720p resolution is more fine that the human eye can distinguish (from a certain distance). A display beyond that would simply require more horsepower and battery power to run. And for what? A superfluous specification that you can't even see or take advantage of? No, thank you.

In the end, the chances of all the Galaxy S III variants coming with the same display size are slim. Just look at the Galaxy S II – different models for various carriers came with display sizes between 4.3- and 4.5-inches. My guess is that Galaxy S III models will also range from 4.5-inches to 4.8 and will come with an HD Super AMOLED display.

And the rumored quad-core Eyxnos is a half-truth. Just like with the Galaxy S II, a (very likely) rumor yesterday leads us to believe that Samsung, once again, will opt for a Qualcomm chipset for stateside variants of the Galaxy S III due to their compatibility with LTE. So, instead of the quad-core Exynos chipset that most were hoping for, it will instead be replaced by a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset (Krait CPU). Is that a bad thing? No. The S4 is a monster chipset in a league of its own. But people will still complain and be upset that it's neither Exynos or quad-core, just like those upset about the HTC One X for AT&T having the S4 instead of the (4-plus-1) Tegra 3.

Another specification that has been tossed around is the camera. It has been rumored to be either 12-megapixels or 8-megapixels. Truth be told, the differences between those two would be negligible. What we really want to know are what kind of optics it has, not how many megapixels.

But, what's most important of all is the possibility of a new material and revamped design. In February, BGR reported that the Galaxy S III would come in a ceramic case. Earlier this month, however, they built upon that report and, based on Samsung's event invites, say it could involve a ceramic case with "a brushed blue metal, possibly aluminum or stainless steel, but it could also be a brushed blue plastic."

An image leak this morning from Know Your Mobile (seen above), though, shows what could be the Galaxy S III. And I think it's safe to say – if it is actually the S III – that no one saw this coming. The device pictured above looks almost identical to the Galaxy Nexus. The only visible differences are the capacitive buttons and one physical button below the display, the Samsung branding below the speaker grill and the buttons along the edge (volume rocker on the left edge and power button on the right) are much more prominent and visible.

I'm sure the blue and white brushed blobs on Samsungs event invitation were an indication of some new material. But I'm not convinced it will be radically different than, say, Galaxy models of the past. Maybe it's because I had the Nexus for so long, but I have a hard time imagining anything but excessive plastic used in this Galaxy Nexus-like design.

The question is (assuming all of these specifications are on par with what gets unveiled next Thursday): do you still want it?

Quite frankly, the only phone that I could currently see myself getting weak in the knees for is a Galaxy Note-like device with an S4, Tegra 3 or quad-core Exynos and a better camera. That said, I will likely pick up an HTC One X for AT&T once it launches, just to give it a go as a personal device. The Galaxy S III has never once interested me, for whatever reason. Maybe it's because I was never terribly interested in the Galaxy S II line or because I don't get excited over very much anymore. But now that there's reason to believe it could be a Galaxy Nexus look-a-like, I'm even less intrigued. At the very least, I'm hoping for some radical design change to sweep me off my feet. I like Samsung devices. But as I mentioned when talking about which manufacturer should make the upcoming Nexus phone, Samsung likes to keep things looking the same, and I'm in need of some differentiation.

I could be wrong – it certainly wouldn't be the first time. But I have a feeling the Galaxy S III won't be anything mind-blowing. A great device, I'm sure it will be. But there isn't much Samsung could do to draw my attention away from their made-for-giants phone right now.

What do you make of all the Galaxy S III rumors, folks? Would you like to see the Galaxy S III come as a Galaxy Nexus look-a-like? Or do you hope Samsung introduces a radical design change? If everything we "know" (including the picture above) about the S III now is made official on Thursday, will you still be interested in it?

Image via Know Your Mobile

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