There are only hours left before Samsung unveils what is widely expected to be a next-gen smartphone - the successor to the best-selling Galaxy S2 - at an event in London. There have been a number of rumours ahead of the expected launch and, as may be expected, not all of them see eye to eye with each other. The only specification that seems (and we stress on that latter word) settled is the processor.

According to a release by the company, the phone (if the to-be-launched device is indeed the Galaxy S3) will run on a 1.5GHz Exynos 4 quad-core processor, which will debut on this device.

"The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices. Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high performance needs while keeping power consumption very low," Taehoon Kim, Vice President of System LSI Marketing, Device Solutions, said.

IBTimes UK runs the rule over five of the most contested specifications...

Screen Size

The debate seems to have been narrowed down to two options. The Galaxy S3's predecessor - the S2 - has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 480x800 pixels. The most consistent rumours surrounding the S3 is that it will feature a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display. However, there have also been reports of a 4.7-inch screen and, according to rumours from Vietnam, a 4.6-inch screen is also possible. In either case, it seems certain the S3 will sport a significantly larger display area than the S2.

According to a video leaked by Vietnamese site Tinhte, the Galaxy S3 is expected to feature a 4.6in display with a resolution of 720 x 1184 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy S3
Another leaked photo of Galaxy S3

Code Name

Robert Yi, a senior Vice President at Samsung, while speaking at the company's Q1 earnings call, let slip the remark that the company was anticipating "strong demand for Galaxy S3".

However, it is possible Yi was simply referring to the forthcoming phone by the popular tag rather than the company's official name/code name, a possibility reinforced by a CNET UK report that quoted an unidentified source in the UK telecom industry as saying: "do not expect it to be called the S3". The final point in this argument is the limited promotional material available explicitly refrains from using the phrase "Galaxy S3" and instead just says "next Galaxy phone". This would suggest Samsung is heading down the Apple route - the "new" iPad followed the iPad 2.

Samsung Galaxy S3
A leaked photo of Samsung Galaxy S3

Camera Quality

Samsung is most likely to offer an eight megapixel camera with its next-gen smartphone, along with the usual auto-focus and LED flash add-ons. The camera should, in addition, be able to record at 1080p. The possibility of an eight megapixel camera was strengthened by an earlier IBTimes UK report that quoted benchmark tests from the AnTuTu app as suggesting the phone would have an eight megapixel camera.

However, last month there were reports from Gizmodo Brazil that had a supposed press image and details of a 12 megapixel camera.

S3 Will Only be a Minor Update?

The unidentified source in the earlier mentioned CNET UK report also suggested the S3 would only be a cosmetic upgrade to the S2, going so far as to say it would be like the iPhone 4S was to the iPhone. Apparently the only truly new feature the S3 could sport would be a retina-tracking capability Samsung calls "Human Interaction" - which allows the phone's front-facing camera to detect when the user is looking away from the screen and lock the phone at that time.

Samsung Galaxy S3
An purported photo of Samsung Galaxy S3

Home Button and UI

A report by Digital Daily suggested Samsung had finalised exterior design last month; it took ten days to confirm the final design. The phone is expected to feature a physical "Home" button and a five column User Interface (UI), something that was supported by a supposedly leaked photograph on Polish blog OPDA.