There's been no shortage of dubious images purporting to show future Samsung smartphones over the past few days, but today we have one that actually looks like it might be a legitimate leak. The photo you see above made its way out to PhoneArena this morning, and the site's tipster claims it shows the Samsung GT-i9300, an as yet unannounced device.
The image reveals a buttonless Samsung smartphone with a front-facing camera running Android 4.0 and Samsung's TouchWiz UX. Unlike most of the recent "Galaxy S III" leak claims, everything's in the right place, and minor details like the style of icons in the navigation bar, and the square Google Talk logo give this image an air of authenticity. It's also interesting to note that Samsung seems to have swapped the order of the ICS soft keys -- on the Galaxy Nexus and other vanilla Android devices, the task switcher is on the right, whereas in this photo it's on the left. Traditionally, Samsung phones have always placed the back button on the right side, so it makes sense that they'd opt to swap things around here.
A quick examination of the screen reveals a 16:9 aspect ratio display, meaning anything from qHD to 720p resolution is possible. It also appears that something in the top left corner of the screen has been blanked out. If we were to speculate, we'd say it wouldn't make much sense to redact a simple notification icon, but on AT&T phones, this is typically where you'd find the carrier's logo. Just sayin'.
Of course, there's a chance this thing is the long-awaited Galaxy S III, but that's impossible to verify. Whatever it is, the fact that Samsung's using virtual buttons on at least one of its 2012 devices could pour cold water on photos claiming to show a Galaxy S III with traditional physical buttons.
In any case, there's certainly no shortage of speculation about Samsung's upcoming Android phones, partly fuelled by the manufacturer's own secrecy. As PhoneScoop's Rich Brome points out, recent Bluetooth SIG listings for future devices have been light on details, even going so far as to leave out model numbers.
Whatever Samsung has planned for 2012, we'll bring you full coverage in the coming months.