Samsung, the Korean smartphone giant, continues to maintain secrecy over the highly anticipated release of its flagship smartphone - Samsung Galaxy S3 - even as the rumour mills are working overtime fuelling speculation of new launch date, dual-boot OS launchers and a new set of features.
The latest rumours have been triggered by a couple of leaked photos depicting the Galaxy S3 and making waves online. One such photo has been published by Dutch mobile blog GSM Helpdesk in the Netherlands, which it claims to be an official press photo of the device that they have obtained from an unspecified source.
The leaked photo from the GSM Helpdesk hints at various new features and specifications for the smartphone, besides another leaked photo on Reddit which spills tidbits over dual-boot OS launchers and a new launch date.
Here is a roundup of the latest rumoured specs and features:
Display: Galaxy S3 is expected to sport a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Plus full HD screen, with 1080p resolution at a pixel density of 313ppi (pixels per inch). Further rumours suggest the display supports 16:9 aspect ratio with 3D capability.
Camera: The set of leaked photo and specs on Reddit suggest S3 is expected to sport a 12-megapixel rear camera, coupled with a 2 megapixel front camera for video chats that will also support 720p video recording.
Memory: Adding 2GB RAM, the next-gen Galaxy smartphone will feature internal storage options of 16/32GB. The device is also expected to support microSD card up to 64GB.
Connectivity: Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone will also likely incorporate LTE and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. As suggested by rumors, features like Bluetooth version 4.0, assisted GPS with GLONASS, Wi-Fi with DLNA and hotspot functionality are also on the cards.
Dual-Boot OS Launchers
An undisclosed Samsung employee reportedly revealed further details of the alleged smartphone specs to his friend at Talk Android following the photo leak.
"Ok he gave me some specs as well. He said that it will possibly have two optional launchers, ICS with touchwiz overlay and vanilla ICS. They aren't 100 percent sure if they will stick with touchwiz or have the dual launcher option. If they go dual, you will have the option of picking which one to use at startup, and you can change any time," Talk Android quoted the person who obtained the image as saying.
The report further brings another twist in the tale saying that Galaxy S3 will sport "a 4.7 inch screen that nearly takes up the whole phone," compared to S2's 4.3 inch screen. The device will also have a Super AMOLED Plus HD screen and a ceramic "micro arc oxidation" back, the source added.
Updates on the processor
The source further asserted the device will feature a quad-core Exynos 4412. The information corresponds to other reports that have also been betting on a 1.8GHz quad-core system-on-chip with built-in LTE to power the device.
Elsewhere, Korea Times report Monday cited an anonymous Samsung executive stating that in order to lower dependence on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, the company will use its single-chip solutions for its next smartphone - Galaxy S3.
"Samsung's single-chip solution is a combination of long-term evolution (LTE), telecommunications and W-CDMA functions," the executive told Korea Times.
The smartphone will port Samsung's Exynos-branded quad-core mobile application processors (APs), the executive added.
"The Exynos chip is currently built using a 45-nanometer process but the new Exynos chip will be made with 32-nanometer technology, giving better performance quality without using as much power," the report said.
"Samsung said that in terms of performance, it gives up to 26 percent more than the current 45-nanometer chip, with battery life improved by half. The new version will be used in the Galaxy S III."
However, earlier reports suggested, Samsung was pondering over using Qualcomm's MSM8960, a system-on-chip that combines LTE and application processor into one, instead of Samsung's own hardware, or a mix of Samsung-Qualcomm parts.
Besides, porting Samsung LTE modem to support 32nm Exynos Processor could nurse "that problematic choice very easily and free up Samsung from having to rely on Qualcomm's consent for future products," The Verge reported.
New launch date
Contrary to earlier rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S3 was a no-show at this year's Mobile World Congress held in February.
Latest reports from the GSM Helpdesk suggest the device will be launched on 22 May, while the leaked image points to a London launch for the handset on the same date.
Another recent report by ZDNet Korea hints at an April launch, followed by the commercial release in July, in a bid to coincide with Samsung's sponsorship of the London Olympic Games.
Elsewhere, other reports from Android Spin hint at a delayed release date pushed from April to June. The same site had reported on 13 March that the Galaxy S3 was in production and would be released next month or, at latest, in May.
In contrast, reports from TechRadar unearth another leaked photo, reporting that the Galaxy S3 could see the light of day in May. "Thanks to the photo which was posted on the social news website Reddit, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is set for a 22 May launch, in London," the report added.
"Official-looking leaked press image reveals that the device will get a new style with the front of the device sporting a two-tone white and grey design," the report adds.