Samsung Galaxy S III Final Rumour Roundup
The Samsung Galaxy S III will be announced on Thursday this week at Samsung's Unpacked event in London. The release will finally end months of speculation and rumour about this hotly anticipated device. Soon we'll finally see which of our predictions were right and which were wrong.
This article rounds up what we know so far about the Galaxy S III, and takes educated guesses to fill in the blanks. The predictions are made by category to allow for easy scoring later. Let's get into it!
CPU / GPU: Samsung have announced that the Galaxy S III will run on an own-brand Exynos quad-core chipset. The 32 nanometre CPU will be clocked at 1.4 GHz, making for a powerful handset on par with the Tegra 3 powered HTC One X. The graphics component will be an upgraded version of the Mali 400 used to great success in the Galaxy S II.
In benchmarking results that have been released thus far, the Galaxy S III seems to best even Tegra 3 powered tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime. According to Samsung themselves, the performance will be roughly doubled from the Galaxy S II and the battery usage will be reduced by 20% - not a bad upgrade.
However, customers in the US may see a different S III. In order to integrate LTE successfully, the handset will include the Snapdragon S4 dual-core chipset used in the HTC One S and LTE-equipped HTC One X. With the S4 offering surprisingly competitive results despite its core disadvantage, this shouldn't make a massive difference to those consumers.
RAM: The standard for smartphones and tablets these days in 1 GB, and I'd be surprised to see the Galaxy S III launch with more. Some sources have indicated 2 GB, but this seems a bit unlikely for a smartphone - if it happened, it'd be the first phone to ship with such a large amount.
Display: Anything less than a 4.7" display would be a surprise. The Galaxy Nexus launched with a 4.65" display, and the various rumours and pictures floating around thus far would indicate that the phone is slightly larger than the Galaxy Nexus. It also seems obvious that the only option for the screen is that popular 1280 x 720p resolution, which would result in a pixel density just north of 300 - Retina territory.
Camera: According to various images that have been leaked over the past few weeks, we're expecting an 8 or 12 megapixel rear camera on the Galaxy S III. This'll be complemented by a 2 megapixel front facing camera. Both would be among the best cameras available on a smartphone; the Galaxy S II was famous for its high quality camera and the S III should be a continuation of that trend. In terms of video recording, it seems fair to expect 1080p video capture at 30 fps and 720p at 60 - the same as the S II.
Connectivity: The Samsung Galaxy S III is unlikely to launch with anything particularly disruptive in this area - I'd expect the usual options, namely MHL-enabled USB 2.0 (for simultaneous HDMI out and charging), wireless N, Bluetooth 4 and a-GPS.
In terms of cellular connections, we'll likely see LTE in the US and HSPA+ elsewhere.
Storage: Again, this is a place where we can't see the Galaxy S III diverging from standards of the day. I'd expect a 16 GB and 32 GB version of the phone, to equal the HTC One X and other recent flagships.
Buttons: Despite Ice Cream Sandwich's ability to run on an entirely button free display - see the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - most depictions of the Galaxy S III have included capacitive or hardware buttons that aren't part of the main display. While I wouldn't be massively surprised to see soft buttons - and indeed, I prefer them - most reports indicate that we can expect the same combination of hardware home button and capacitive menu and back buttons.
Shape: I'm expecting a similar chassis to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - very very thin, an expansive screen with minimal bezel and a slightly curved shape.
OS / Software: The Samsung Galaxy S III will come with the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, wrapped in a newer version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI. That UI remained relatively unchanged when the Galaxy S II was upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, so hopefully we'll see some greater changes here.
We've also heard that a version of the Galaxy S III may make an appearance as a Windows Phone later this year, upon the release of Windows Phone 8.
The Galaxy S III is expected to launch with "S Cloud" integration. The Samsung branded platform should include the usual mix of cloud storage space, media streaming and potentially phone backups as well. The service's thunder has mostly been stolen by LG, who announced their similar LG Cloud at the beginning of the week.
Special Features: These are the sort of things that don't turn up in benchmarks and images, so they're much harder to confirm. Various rumours have been floating about - wireless charging at the range of several meters and waterproofing have been two of the more likely ones. Either would be a big differentiator for Samsung, and could be part of the reason why the Galaxy S III wasn't revealed before now.
Name: This one is a bit obvious now, but the Galaxy S III will be called the Galaxy S III. The name was confirmed by Samsung VP Yi during Samsung's Q1 earnings call. Previously, the handset had only been called "the next Galaxy", in much the same way that the iPad 3 is called "the new iPad." Perhaps Yi was mistaken, but I'd be highly surprised to see Samsung fully adopt Apple's nomenclature.
So that's it folks - everything there is to know about the Samsung Galaxy S III. Be sure to tune into the Samsung Unpacked event on Thursday, which will undoubtedly be covered by all the major publications. You can also watch live via the Samsung Unpacked app, which is available for free in the Google Play marketplace.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I'll try to answer any questions I can!
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