Not the Samsung Galaxy S III

Unless you count any of the past months' fake renders and fan-made mock-ups (like the one above), Samsung's done a great job of  keeping the Galaxy S III next Galaxy under wraps. So much so that a sort of online news vacuum has developed, which, in the absence of any actual news, draws in unsubstantiated rumors and speculation. As the phone's May 3 unveiling draws near, we're seeing even more reports of what "might" be coming in Samsung's next flagship product.

Firstly, let's look at what we do know. Yesterday's press invite references the "next Galaxy" smartphone, and in an interview with BNN.ca, Samsung Canada's VP of Mobile Communications, Paul Brannen, says that it'll be a "flagship" phone, and the next evolution of the Galaxy line. Neither mentioned any specific branding, and Brannen in particular seemed to go out of his way to avoid doing so (for obvious reasons.)

Today's latest set of rumors comes from CNET's Crave blog, sources for which suggest that the "Galaxy S III" will be more of an incremental upgrade than a revolutionary product -- "like the iPhone 4S was to the 4." The problem with that is Samsung already has plenty of incremental updates to the Galaxy S II. In 4G LTE markets, there's the Galaxy S II LTE (aka Skyrocket), and in Asia, there's the Galaxy S II HD LTE. And then there's the Galaxy Note, which already offers a larger screen in addition to both LTE connectivity and an HD display.

Due in part to the lack of reliable leaked info, consumers' expectations are sky-high for Samsung's next flagship -- comment threads and forum discussions speculate on ridiculous features, like a 2GHz quad-core chip, 2GB of RAM and a 1080p display. With this in mind, it's possible that Samsung's merely trying to manage expectations going into a major product launch -- the old adage "under-promise and over-deliver" applies here.

CNET's source also suggested Samsung may do away with its current naming convention, saying "don't expect it to be called the S3." We'd be surprised if Samsung completely abandoned its Galaxy S branding, though. The manufacturer's sold 20 million Galaxy S II's worldwide, and in its native South Korea, more than 10% of the entire population owns one. With such a popular device, it'd make sense to have a clearly identified successor. In a world of Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touches and HTC EVO 4G LTE's, the "Galaxy S III" name is clear and succinct enough to do just that.

Spec-wise, reports have been circulating for months suggesting a quad-core phone with a 720p display. That's highly likely, but not even remotely surprising. The likes of HTC, LG and Huawei have already set the bar at this level for their 2012 flagships.

So the bottom line is we still have no idea what to expect on May 3. And that makes the event all the more exciting, considering how rare it is to go into a major smartphone announcement knowing absolutely nothing. Whatever form it ends up taking, we'll be on the ground in London on the day to bring you full coverage of Samsung's next flagship.

Source: BNN.ca, CNET Crave

More: Samsung Galaxy S III forums

 

Reader comments

Breaking: We still have no idea what Samsung's 'next Galaxy' will bring

41 Comments

That's not the point when they announce and release it overseas and wait 6 months before announcing and releasing the exact same phone stateside and acting like it's the newest thing ever.

The galaxy s2 been out for almost a year and still if not the best one of the best phone out there, so your point is useless.

I agree.

I have an Exynos based Galaxy S2 from AT&T. It came out here in October and despite being released in April of 2011 (a year ago) it'll run right there with the big boys still.

I'm more than content with this phone. It's a beast on ICS with the custom ROMs out there these days.

If anything out there beats it today in terms of performance it's by marginal amounts. No phone totally blows it out of the water. I can see myself being content (hopefully) with this device for the full two years. :)

It's very attractive but for the amount of space it takes up, it's not very feature rich. That band around the clock though, maybe show weather conditions rather than just day/night....that could be interesting.

I use 3 home screens with a Gmail widget on the right most screen, 4 stacked folders (ICS) on the left most, and nothing on my center screen. I am perfect fine with a 3x4 or even a 4x4 widget if it looked like that.

You mention how rare it is to go into an announcement knowing nothing, but I wonder if Samsung can keep the wraps on it for the next two weeks. They have already done an impressive job, but I think it would be difficult to contain all leaks up to May 3. Part of me wants to know all about it, but a bigger part is sort of excited to see an event where most of us are seeing things for the first time.

The thing is there has been enough "leaks" to cover pretty much any spec setup so at this point unless the "source" identifies themselves and it turns out to be the CEO of Samsung or something we would never know if the leaks are real.

I love articles that state that the phone "will" come with so and so specs as if they know. Waste of time man it even says the phone is released on May 3rd which it obviously won't be.

I know I know I'm not digging at you ;) I'm just saying, don't believe it otherwise you will be disappointed lol

I am tired of all the speculation. It has gone to iPhone levels as hype. It is good but just sick of the complains that will follow because it didn't make somebody breakfast in the morning like some major tech site said it would.

Samsung is known for devices with striking similarity to iProducts. Maybe they are taking a queue from their marketing department now as well.

It will probably be the same phone as the Galaxy S 2 but with some voice integration, lol.

Dear Samsung,

I hope you got my last letter but in case u didn't here we go again...to make this product revolutionary u don't need to think outside the box to much all u have to do is the following ...get the battery from the razr maxx or something similar to it ...next 32 gigs of internal memory along with SD card slot for those of us who want and need it make it hot swap able please ty also u don't need to worry about 1080 screen 720 does the job...its only a cellphone ....also a dedicated camera button would go a long way trust me I know this ...next up screen keep it smaller then 4.8 please we don't need use it as a tablet that's what u have ur galaxy tab for ...also have the option to load ICS vanilla and ICS with ur touch wiz ...trust me people would luv u...and lastly I can't stress this enough ...do not and I repeat do not make different sizes and variants of this phone don't fall into that trap ...make one universal phone and that's it ...follow Crapple on this one please u will see how big it makes it to the consumer and also for brand recognition ...its better for accessories and production of goodies companies are willing to make for u ...oh and last few points obviously quad core and lte and let's not forget a minimum of 8mp camera with in updated sensor ty

I feel bad for these companies like Samsung and Apple... the rumor mils go nuts before the announcement to the point that the expectations are set so unrealistically high that they are bound to disappoint with the actual finished product. I mean, really: 2Ghz quad core and 1080p?... you would need a cart just for the battery on this thing.

Samsung should just say they plan to show off a new midrange feature phone and then BAM! hit everyone right upside the head with the gSiii4GLTEaddMoreLettersHere. And of course follow that up with "available tomorrow, on all carriers, worldwide" :-)

No cart necessary, just duct tape one of those external batteries Phil just mentioned to the back side of the phone. :-P

I agree man 100%. It's really not fair to the manufacturers who haven't even let slip a word about the device even existing, yet these bloggers and speculators writing articles that get huge hits just for having the name of a device + specs in it, are building up to something that Samsung probably can't even deliver.

That must be a lot of pressure. Things get out of hand, customers expect more and more than you ever promised, and next thing you know you finally launch a top quality product and it doesn't meet these rumor mill expectations and bam there goes half your market.

I already know I am getting this device, it simply cannot be anything less than amazing (by comparison to it's left and right other devices) but it's a shame to see so much pressure put on them for something that simply cannot be.

I'm hoping they don't eliminate the sd-card. They make great improvements with the new phones but at the same tie they take away what I feel is the most important parts of a solid phone. Memory, the phones need memory, forget this dropbox bullshit. Try accessing your dropbox account when you are out of your carriers range and not near wifi. It cost just about nothing to ad the sd-card and at least 32 memory. I refuse to buy any new phones without the sd-card. I would sacrifice a little thickness and a few extra bucks to gain all the most important parts of a good phone. Just My Opinion.
Vinny

I didn't think any of their GS2 products had SD card slots. I guess I've been drinking the Nexus cool-aid too long. I look forward to getting something different that has more features.

My buddy who works as a network admin at Sprint says that there is a Samsung LTE device showing up on his reports alot.

He obviously doesn't know (or won't tell) if it is the mythical SGSIII, but there hasn't been a Samsung device with Sprint LTE on it announced yet, so there is a good possibility.

Though a Note variant has been rumored for Sprint for several months, so that could be it. I asked if he knew anything about it and he said he hadn't heard the "Note" name associated with anything.

This will be a great phone if you like S AMOLED HD (high contrast / no greyscale). I prefer to sacrifice a little battery time for the beauty and clarity of S LCD HD. For me, a camera button is a must have.

Swappable batteries and SD is old school with LTE and cloud. Over 98% of current Android and iPhone users have no need thus no desire to futz with that.

Touchwiz hopefully will rival the superior functionality rivaling HTC's quietly brilliant Sense.

Samsung fans will be pleased. A competitive market is good for all of us. I wonder how the closed Apple ecosystem will increase its fan base with these spectacular 2012 Android offerings.

Sell Apple buy Google.

"Swappable ... SD is old school with LTE and cloud. Over 98% of current Android and iPhone users have no need..."

Seriously? This may be true in 5 to 10 years, but not today. I don't know where you live, but in the States most of the country is not covered by 4G (covered means by every carrier, not just one or two), and almost every carrier has unreasonable data caps and tiered data plans.

SD cards will be obsolete only if every point is covered by a 4G (or more in the future)network and every carrier has unlimited data as their default.

ilaifire... Please read! I said swappable SD cards. Over 98% of smartphone users do NOT swap out their SD cards or batteries. 16 or 32 GB is more than sufficient storage for them. Simply, over 98% don't swap. Got it?

OEM's like Samsung, HTC, Apple, LG, Motorola, and Nokia are not stupid. And neither are the wireless service providers who build out these wonderful communication networks.

Moreover, if you don't yet have 4G, users can swap content with the cloud over wifi or 3 g for that matter. If you're concerned about steaming with charges and data caps, go with Sprint.... duh!

If a person feels the world owes them massive amounts of free wireless data, then they are acting out a tantrum like an entitled child brat pig.

Sorry, can you please clarify what you mean by "swappable"? I took it to mean that an end user can take an SD card and replace it, as opposed to "hot swappable" which would mean that a user can replace it while the phone is still on. If you meant "hot swappable", I completely agree, most users don't need that capability and I would be completely fine with having the SD card located underneath the battery (which should also be replaceable). Now if you meant the first definition I gave, then I completely disagree with you. At least Apple keeps doubling the maximum size on their iPhones every year, most android manufacturers are still stuck at 16 gb with a very select few phones at 32 (CDMA version of Nexus Galaxy, non-LTE version of the HTC One X are the only ones coming to mind right now).

While accessing cloud storage over 3G is possible, it is slow. Have you tried downloading a 200 mb file over 3g? It takes for ever. What files could I possibly wish to keep with me that are 200 mb in size? Well, most android roms I've seen are ~200 mb, and then there are movies. The smallest movie files I have on my computer are approximately 300mb/20 minutes. In regards to your comment about swapping over wi-fi, if I'm in an area with wi-fi I am also with a computer and have at least 500 gb of storage on me.

To your point about Sprint not having charges or data caps, you are correct. This is why I have Sprint. There is a really big "but" with this though, Sprint doesn't have charges or caps *right now*. Other carriers used to not have caps either but now they do.

I do not feel that the world owes me free wireless data, I feel that there is a problem caused by the combined choices of the manufacturers and carriers in the United States (and possibly the lack of regulation). Manufacturers are moving away from storing data on your phone and towards storing data in the cloud. I have no problem with this and think this is a great idea, but for this to work well you need to have unlimited access to cloud storage (no data caps/overage charges/throttling), and high speed coverage should cover everywhere. Until those two conditions are met there is an extreme problem with cloud storage. On the other hand because of the increased smartphone ownership and increased data traffic on carrier networks many of them have had to add caps, or lower existing caps. This also makes sense since the older networks they have weren't meant for handling this much traffic, and they can't make enough infrastructure to support that traffic appear over night. The combination of these two situations is what causes the problem, and personally I feel it is the manufacturers who should be taking this into account instead of the carriers (seeing as the carriers are trying to build out 4G networks which would provide the necessary infrastructure).

To move away from your 'hot swappable' diversion. Let me make myself clear again. Over 98% of smartphone users never remove their battery or SD card during the life of their phone. I realize many AC forum chatters may not live in the standard user realm yet try simply asking 10 random smartphone users. Perhaps you'll be shocked to find they just use their phones. Everything is just fine as far as they are concerned. Way better experience with apps and the like than their past cell phones. We love our fully featured email, texting, apps, maps, photos, and music. And they still expect to have to charge the battery daily. They love their big touch screens as well. Billions are being sold and regularly used.

And we all know this new generation of smartphones being introduced in 2012 coincident with a massive 2 year upgrade cycle are phenomenal, thrilling, and extremely empowering.